Soulstice Searching

Soulstice only comes around once a year, when hundreds gather in the Bren for a couple of hours to watch great talent and share some sweet UCI love. But the process of putting the show together takes a whole lot longer than that. There are months and months of preparation before the talent acts even audition to be featured in the show. And who does all the work that goes into making one great show happen? That responsibility goes to the members of Committee and League.

The Soulstice Committee is made up of 15 students devoted to sharing the artistic talents of UCI students. The Executive Director and Executive Producer are essentially the ‘presidents’ of Committee, overseeing the efforts of the Talent Directors, the Marketing Directors, the Stage & Crew Director and the group’s interns. They contact potential judges, work through the logistics of the show’s timing, keep track of the talent acts’ progress — everything you see on the night of the big show has been carefully coordinated by this group of students.

This year’s Committee has been working together since spring quarter of last year, marketing and promoting the show. Also included on Committee are the two Soulstice League captains, Alicia Diaz and Patrick Chung.

“The Soulstice League is a hilarious group of students who serve as the show’s emcees,” Chung said. “If Soulstice was the Superbowl, we’d be the halftime show.”

The League opens and closes the show, and performs in the time between talent acts. The 16 members of the group were chosen in the spring of last year and have been working on content for the show ever since. Skits and videos centered on UCI humor are their specialty.

“Our creative process is pretty cool,” Diaz said. “We start with one word or phrase, something that’s relevant on campus and bounce it around between us until it’s complete enough to be an idea for a video or onstage skit.”

The League starts writing and rehearsing in the summer, giving them a full six months of prep time before the big show. The League has most of their repertoire prepared by the time the talent acts are chosen in fall quarter.

The Talent Directors are the ones who decide what will make up the show; they audition all the prospective talent acts and check in with them throughout their rehearsal process prior to the show. This year, the show received over 110 talent applications and the directors auditioned over 80 acts to select the 15 acts being featured in the show; the audition process is quite selective.

“We look for a certain passion that is conveyed through performance,” said Zachary Ferguson, one of the three Talent Directors. “We want acts that are going to elevate the show and make Soulstice something that everyone can relate to and be inspired by.”

This is Soulstice’s main mission: to serve as a space for UCI’s arts community to share their passion with the rest of the student body. It’s a unique experience both for those involved in the process of creating the show and for the students who get to see a whole new side to their school. At a school that doesn’t necessarily foster creativity, an event like this is important. By creating an environment for students to practice and share their artistry, we let students know that their experience at UCI is a multi-faceted one.

This Thursday, the Bren Events Center will house the fourth annual Soulstice, and it’s sure to be an event packed with song, dance, laughs and lots of Soul. Come out and support the arts at UCI!