As previously noted, the Darden Cup is kind of a big deal. Here’s how it works: Each year, Darden sections compete in a variety events throughout the year, vying for, you guessed it, the Darden Cup. A couple weeks ago, the sections participated in the Talent Show portion of the event (at the Jefferson Theater on the Downtown Mall, no less), with Section E taking the crown.

We recently caught up with Master of Ceremonies, Michael Brophy, Vice President of Athletics for the Darden Student Association (DSA), Johnny Mishu and Section E member/choreographer and newly elected DSA representative, Rachel Southall, to talk about the event. Check out their answers below!

Michael Brophy – Master of Ceremonies

What did you enjoy about hosting the Talent Show?

My other dream career is to be a stand-up comedian, so hosting the show was a chance to try that dream on for size. I learned that I’m funny for an MBA student, but probably not sufficiently funny to pursue a career in comedy. Thankfully, the crowd was hyped up enough that they made up for my lack of comic experience.

What was the highlight of the event for you? 

As a member of Section E, seeing their performance and getting to announce their victory was special. We are not the most athletically-inclined section, so I was excited to see that Darden Cup has started to include different types of events.

Johnny Mishu – Vice President of Athletics

Why did you decide to add a Talent Show to this year’s Darden Cup?

After reading feedback from last year’s surveys and looking at the history of Darden Cup, we realized that many past events catered to a specific type of person: American-born athletes (with events like football, basketball and softball).

This year, we focused on evolving Darden Cup to better represent the diverse backgrounds and skillsets of our entire student body. We felt there was no better way to accomplish that goal than with a talent show.  We hoped this event would showcase those who, in the past, may not have been inclined to participate in the more sporty Darden Cup events or whose abilities and talents may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

What was the highlight of the event for you?

The highlight of the night for me was actually right when the lights came on and our MCs, Michael Brophy and Vita Wu, came on stage to kick off the event. The crowd screamed with excitement, and the energy in the theater was palpable. Their excitement about the show was beyond what I could have imagined.

What have you enjoyed about serving as the DSA’s VP for Athletics?

Being in a position to shape and improve Darden Cup.  Darden Cup is an integral part of the Darden experience and was so impactful for me as a First Year student. In my opinion, it represents Darden’s unique section camaraderie and close-knit community.

Rachel Southall – Section E member/Choreographer

What was the concept for Section E’s performance?

I volunteered to take on the Talent Show and brainstormed the idea when Quarter 2 started. I wanted it to be a big production number where we could get as many First and Second Years as possible involved and where we worked together from beginning to end to put it together. I tried to come up with funny/well-known/visual concepts that the group would have fun doing and that would be crowd-pleasers.

What did you enjoy about the Talent Show?

The practices! We had way too many practices, but most were well-attended, and we were able to bond a lot and laugh at ourselves. It was the best way to close out the quarter because we spent a lot of our free time in a studio working together and being a team. It was also super enjoyable to win.