CSUN’s psychology department has talent

CSUNs psychology department has talent

Gabrielle Moreira

Hanna Kim performed a flamenco dance with a member of the audience during the group singalong at the fourth annual Psychology’s Got Talent event at CSUN on Oct. 18. Photo credit: Danielle Hale / Daily Sundial

CSUN’s psychology department held their 4th annual “Psychology’s Got Talent” talent show Thursday night where more than 35 students sang, danced, and played instruments.

The show was spearheaded in 2008 by Andrew Ainsworth, associate professor of psychology, who thought students needed a distraction from the nation’s economic downfall and subsequent tuition increases.

“I wanted to do something fun that could boost students’ morale,” he said. “It’s funny when you tell people you’re doing a talent show. They assume it’s going to be bad, but the department has a lot of talented students. It’s a variety show.”


A silent auction and art exhibit were added to the show to help fund the department’s Creative Endeavors Scholarship program, which is granted to psychology students who use creative ways to pursue their goals in the field. This year’s exhibit displayed paintings by student Lusin Chaparian and had 29 auction items up for bid. The auction brought in about $800 while previous years earned $1,000.

The night was divided into two acts with 10 different performances in each act and an intermission in between to garner more auction bids.

Students sang songs from Mariah Carey, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and Adele. Others played instrumentals like John Frusciante’s “Murderers” and a piano rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Lindsay Day, a graduate student in social work, closed out the first act with “Gimmie Gimmie,” a song from the Broadway play “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Day, 34, has been in musical theater since she was 4-years-old and has performed in Simi Valley, Glendale, and Los Angeles. She studied psychology as an undergraduate and has performed at the show the last three years.

“It’s really fun to attend the talent show,” Day said. “It gives you a chance to see your fellow students and professors outside of the classroom.”

Marnie Shapiro, a senior clinical psychology major, danced ballet to Florence+The Machine’s “Cosmic Love.” Shapiro started ballet at 8-years-old and was a professional ballerina from the age of 18 to 24.

“I was a ballet dancer in my former life,” she said. “But I was in a car accident in my twenties and sustained nerve damage so I can’t dance at full capacity anymore.”

Shapiro, 34, said she had to get herself back into dancing shape two months before the show. No longer able to dance professionally, Shapiro hopes to be a teacher and said teaching is similar to being on stage.

“I see it as a mini-performance,” she said. “I love being on the stage and I love being in front of an audience.”

Olga Kramarova, performed a mock “Saidi” dance, typically performed by men in the Middle East. Kramarova used two canes to lure the audience at the fourth annual Psychology’s Got Talent event at CSUN. Photo credit: Danielle Hale / Daily Sundial