Student Blog: Spicy for a Cause

Nope, not that type of spicy;) More like habenero spicy, but this fundraiser definitely did not miss any heat. Here's all about the chaos that was "Peppers"!

By: Feb. 26, 2024
Student Blog: Spicy for a Cause
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I am proud of how much spice I can tolerate, but MY GOSH, habanero peppers are HOT. The context is Musical Theatre Repertory, a student organization I have recently joined, hosts an annual fundraiser called “Peppers” for a local nonprofit. The reason it’s called “Peppers” is because every group that performs has to eat a habanero pepper before or during their performance. It gets WILD.  There are many tears but mostly just laughs as groups suffer through their comedy sketches or the tight harmonies of an acapella group. You find out who your friends and enemies are as people can donate to force others to eat more peppers (like our wonderful emcees Erin and Jordan who ended up eating like five or something crazy). People did throw up on stage, but I admire them most for their perseverance:)

The nonprofit we were supporting is called “My Friend’s Place”. It is an incredible organization that seeks to aid unhoused youth and young adults in the Los Angeles area. I love that this was the organization chosen because targeted demographic includes our peers. “My Friend’s Place” aims to reach those ages 15-25 (and their children) to teach self-sufficiency and valuable life skills. Coming to LA has made me realize the housing crisis is a large issue that needs to be tackled immediately, so I am proud that MTR raised over $700 to help our peers in need.

As the hosts of "Peppers", MTR does the opening number. Our chosen performance was our adaptation of "Apex Predator" from Mean Girls which was brilliantly titled "Apeps Predator" and the lyrics were changed to match the peppery theme of the night. We ate the peppers about one minute into the song and when I tell you it was like a SLAP in the face which only got worse the more you breathed. Luckily, the number came with upbeat choreo too so that little pepper did QUITE the damage on me. Despite this obstacle, I had the best time performing. The whole MTR board struggled together while embracing the comedy our reactions brought to the number. Theatre is always about finding ways to be innovative and challenge yourself so I guess this was just one fun way of doing it!

The rest of the night felt like a celebration of all the different areas of performance and the arts. We had a few incredible acapella groups who covered songs ranging from a Footloose medley to W.A.P. and managed to still incredibly sing through their sets post “peppering”.  There were improv groups, sketch comedy groups, an insane dancing duo who performed “Hot Honey Rag”, and an amazing Britney Spears number performed by the USC icon Willconqiue. “Peppers” embodied exactly what I love about my school; there are brilliant students on their own academic journeys, but no one is willing to sacrifice their artistic side. Watching just a few of our university’s groups come together for an amazing cause brought me a night of so much joy and pride. It was just one snapshot of the fact that you never have to give up the arts because there will always be fun opporutnies to get involved:)


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