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Photograph courtesy of Rishi Kumar Grace Peng, Saratoga Resident and Kevin Lynch (Palo Alto...
Saratogans hoping to show off their talents without having to take a trip to Hollywood now have a forum to do so in the city. Those looking to massage their vocal chords with a little singing, show off their wit with some comedy or bust out some James Brown dance moves can do so during the monthly "Saratoga's Got Talent" performance event at the Blue Rock Shoot in the Village.
The idea came from resident Rishi Kumar.
"It originally was supposed to be an extension of the weekly Village Marketplace. People were sticking around until about 6 p.m., but then they just headed home. So I was trying to think of something we could do to keep them in the Village and have them eat at one of the restaurants or shop," Kumar said.
The event was initially titled "Saratoga Village Karaoke" and envisioned as a weekly happening. The first event took place at the Bell Tower Bistro in July.
But with the new school year starting, the event was moved to every first Saturday of the month to accommodate families' schedules. It was also moved to the Blue Rock Shoot where there was a cozier environment for children and adults to hang out, Kumar said.
It's become more than just a clever way to bring foot traffic to downtown Saratoga.
"It's become a celebration of cultures," Kumar said. "What we want is an intermingling of people in Saratoga. We want a good representation of Saratoga's demographics."
Kumar, who is Indian, said those attending the event at first were friends of his with similar ethnic backgrounds. But recently the event has been "trending toward a good mix," he said.
The talent show has become an event for families, Kumar said. It was so popular with children that adults didn't want to interrupt them. So the event's organizers decided to give children the first portion of the show and leave the second half for adults.
The performance show has attracted those who can sing, dance, and like Mayor Chuck Page, tell a few jokes.
Page performed a stand-up comedy routine at the Feb. 4 event. He was able to poke some fun at the parking issue in downtown Saratoga at night.
"The parking out here is hard sometimes, right? I've never seen a place where every restaurant has plenty of tables open, but there's no parking. I don't know what these people are doing. It's like they're coming here and dropping off their cars and carpooling to Los Gatos," Page joked.
Page said he likes the idea of the event.
"It's good to see people come out and show off their talents," he said. "I think it has potential to bring more people into the city to partake in what we have to offer."
Kumar said people from Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Belmont and even East Bay cities like Pleasanton and Danville have attended the event.
"It's a win-win for everyone," Kumar said. "There's new foot traffic from people from all over who are getting introduced to our Village and they're having fun."
For more information on Saratoga's Got Talent, visit!/saratogatalent. Or sign up for email alerts at