The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Betty Williamson
Local columnist 

University is looking for local talent


Last updated 2/2/2021 at 3:56pm

Are you a singer, a dancer, a musician, an undiscovered cowboy poet?

Do you have that one magic trick that gets requested every Thanksgiving, or a card manipulation that always fools your audience?

Are you a closet yodeler secretly yearning to go public? Do you make killer tortillas and have a great how-to demonstration?

If so — or if you have virtually (and virtually is the key word here) any kind of talent — the folks at the Eastern New Mexico University Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking are looking for you.

You don't even have to leave your living room to participate.

Eastern is looking for locals willing to unveil their creative skills for its upcoming “Portales Showcase: Talent of the Eastern Plains,” a show that will stream online April 22-25.

“The thing we really want to underscore is community,” said Anne Beck, professor of theater at ENMU. “People can be anywhere. They don't have to come to the building. The rehearsals will be virtual. The performances will be virtual.”

Beck and her colleagues are hosting “auditions” online from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday via Zoom.

“The word 'audition' is intimidating, even to actors,” Beck said. “Really, we are looking for talent or special skills.”

As for what those might be, “the sky's the limit,” Beck stressed.

Whether you juggle garden tools, do dressage with your Shetland pony, or are eager to divulge your great-grandma's best rhubarb cobbler recipe, Beck has only this request: “No politics, no profanity, nothing spicy … it must be family-friendly.”

If you are chomping at the bit to participate (or if your Shetland pony is), here's what you need to know.

“You would need access to email and a computer,” Beck said.

There is an online sign-up form available at or you may email Beck at [email protected], and she will get one to you.

Once that has been received, Beck said, there will be a Zoom link sent for the auditions.

She said those who sign up will have a 10-minute “appointment” on Saturday to explain or demonstrate what they have to offer.

If Saturday doesn't work for you, let Beck know and she will find a way to visit with you.

Rehearsals (again, Beck said they are using the term somewhat loosely) will begin in late March, and will be done entirely virtually. It's also possible that some performances will be pre-recorded rather than done live in April, Beck said.

Dust off that top hat and find your unicycle. We have magic to make.

Betty Williamson wonders if her old dog can learn new tricks by Saturday. Reach her at:

[email protected]


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