The Miami Beach Chamber hosted its signature talent show event, The Chamber’s Got Talent on September 24, 2020. The event was a virtual showcase streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live with participants as young as 9 years old and with many talents ranging from a magic mentalist act to original song compositions performed on a guitar. The fundraiser event benefitted the Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation on its initiative to help support Project UpStart, a program run by Miami-Dade County Public Schools that assists children in varying states of homelessness.
The final tally revealed two winners for a tied first place, 9 year-old Isabella Velasquez who sang “Titanium” by Cia and Mio Marco Rodriguez also known as Mentalist & Magician Mio who performed a divination act with two volunteers from the audience.
Project UP-START, under the Department of Title I Administration, is the Education Program for Children and Youth Living in Transition in Miami-Dade. The program assists schools with the identification, enrollment and attendance of students in transition to help ensure their successful academic achievement. The core of the program is to prevent children and youth in transition from being stigmatized, separated, segregated, or isolated.
The show was kicked off with an amazing performance by professional singer Maryel Epps with her rendition of “Our Love” by Natalie Cole. The talent show participants were judged on Stage Appearance & Presence, Originality, Personality, Creativity, Coordination and Overall Performance by two distinguished members of our Miami Beach Community, Miss Julianna Strout, Commissioner of North Bay Village and former Miss Rhode Island as well as Mr. David Wallack, owner of the iconic Mango’s Tropical Café on Ocean Drive. The participants also received points based on a popular vote cast via the Zoom polling.
Isabella is 9 years old and loves music! She is a 4th grade honor student at Miami Beach South Pointe Elementary and this year’s Spelling Bee Champion. Most recently, Isabella won Univision’s Pequenos Gigantes USA, and was among the 10 finalists on Televisa’s Pequenos Gigantes 2020 in Mexico City, when the show was cancelled due to COVID-19. To view her post-show victory interview, visit her YouTube channel IsaRocks.
Voted Magician of the Year by Ring 45 of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Mio is truly a World Class Magician & Mentalist. Born into a NYC show biz family, Mio has been performing professionally since 1989 and his home base is now Fort Lauderdale, FL. Mio is as comfortable performing Close-Up Magic as he is presenting his one-man Mentalism Stage Show in full theatres around the world. For more information visit his website www.magicbymio.com.
The other participants included Kevin Crowder of BusinessFlare Charlotte Libov, author and singer, Niklaus Salvatore representing S.M.A.S.H. and Chayim Kessler of Miami Beach CPA. All the participants received gift certificates to Shucker’s Waterfront Bar & Grill and Mango’s Tropical Café. To donate to this local initiative visit the Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation web page.