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Julia Geniush: how not to lose yourself and help others show their talents


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“My whole life is connected with a microphone,” Yulia Geniush, presenter of RUSA FM radio, smiles sweetly. “Only the microphones change all the time.” At the age of four she performed on stage for the first time, at nine she played with a symphony orchestra, in her youth she sang in a youth group and traveled throughout the then USSR. Over time, it was the microphone that brought her to the USA. Now she not only sings, but also helps others reveal their talents. Now Julia is at the origins of a new project - a talent show for older people. We decided to talk about how important it is not to miss out on your talent at any age.

Yulia and I are meeting at the radio station, there is time to talk before the broadcast. Yulia has been working on the radio for many years; here she has several original programs. One of them – “Morning Stars” – helps to reveal the talents of the youngest listeners. She herself knows firsthand how important it is not to bury your talent in the ground.

“I was born into a creative family. Dad is an orchestra conductor, mom is a choir conductor. Both of them graduated from the Saratov Conservatory, and my childhood was spent in Saratov. I started playing the piano when I was one year old, and then a microphone fell into my hands - and at the age of four I was already singing on stage, at the age of nine I was playing with a symphony orchestra. It's amazing that there was no fear, no surprise. Everything was very natural. I just remember this feeling and how great it is when you can speak the language of music, and the orchestra helps you with this”“Yulia began her story.

The talented girl received a higher musical education. She was a promising pianist and won serious music competitions. But the microphone continued to beckon.

“I was invited to sing one track in the studio for the new women’s group “Angelika”, which was then being organized. And I sang. Everyone was so delighted! And it was so strange to me that I didn’t do anything, didn’t put any effort into it, and the success was as if I’d been doing this for five years already! Then I was offered to become the lead singer of the group. It was 1989, my little sister also got into the group - she sang backing vocals. We traveled all over the USSR together. We got acquainted with touring life, with wonderful people, with adult performers on stage.”,” Yulia shares her memories.

Photo from the personal archive of Yulia Geniush

There is grief in the family - the wife sings

In 1991, the young singer recorded her first solo song “Nostalgia”. The talented sound engineer Andrei Subbotin helped her with this. The song never reached the audience, but Yulia married Andrei - and stopped singing.

“I remember that our first child had already been born, and we were once in the company of Andrei’s colleagues, also sound engineers. Then he said jokingly: “I have grief in my family - my wife is singing.” After that I stopped singing because I wanted to see my husband happy. Since then, for almost 20 years, I have sung only lullabies to babies.“Yulia admitted. – When they brought songs to my husband that were never released anywhere, they accumulated in our archives on cassette tapes - I played them for the children and sang something myself.”

As time went. One by one, children were born. The spouses have three of them. They were all happy together and, it would seem, she had already forgotten about the scene. But suddenly Andrei was gone. And Yulina’s sister, who, having won a green card, moved to the United States, once invited her and her children to visit New York.

Come tomorrow and you will have a visa

What is a must-do for a musical person in New York? Of course, go listen to jazz!

“My sister invited me to a jazz club in Manhattan. There was an open microphone and I sang one song. Then another one. Then again. They didn't let me go. And then, when I had already sat down at the table, a man approached who introduced himself as the organizer of jazz festivals. He said: “I invite you to become our artist!” In response, I told him that I couldn’t, I’m here as a guest. And he: “It’s not a problem, just come tomorrow - we’ll get you a visa as a person with extraordinary talent.” I thought: maybe I don’t have enough English and I don’t understand something? – Julia laughed. – He left. I turn to my sister, and she sits and looks at me with huge eyes of surprise. Indeed, three months later I received this visa and stayed here with the children.”

On the subject: A land of talent: 10 superstars who were born in New York

Since then, her life has been a lot of jazz, a lot of music and a lot of microphone. She finally recorded her solo album - as if finishing what she didn’t have time to do in her youth. And unexpectedly for myself, I changed the microphone again - this time I became a presenter on Radio USA.

“I’ve been here for 10 years, running programs with creative people who realize their potential on this side of the ocean. In addition, I have a children's program “Morning Stars”. There we help the little ones show their talents. And recently, together with the company SMARTCOMP, we have a new project - a talent show for older people. He completely captured me!” – the interlocutor admires.

Photo from the personal archive of Yulia Geniush

Talent doesn’t go away – it sleeps and waits in the wings

Yulina’s parents have also been living in the USA for a long time. Perhaps that is why such a project was invented.

“At some point, I was suddenly struck by the feeling of insecurity of our elderly. It turns out that children have protection: first of all, their parents, as well as the entire world around them. For example, if adults see a child on the street who is walking across the road on his own or is otherwise in danger, they will immediately rush to his aid. What about the old people? They are often left alone with their problems, explains Yulia. – NI recently came across an article about an American talent show for seniors. And I thought: why aren’t our elderly covered?”

Then Julia met representatives of the Israeli company SmartComp. In Israel, they have been helping older people learn computers for many years and provide older people with 24-hour support on all issues related to computer technology and the Internet.

“I realized that the representatives of this company and I were on the same wavelength, and together we created this project - the SmartComp Talent Show. We started visiting different day centers for older people, inviting them to take part in the competition - and recording interviews with them. And then it dawned on me: talent has no age! We give these wonderful people a chance to discover now those talents that they, for various reasons, were unable to discover at a younger age. Perhaps people simply did not have enough time or opportunity. It’s understandable: emigration, settling into life in a new place, children, then grandchildren... But talent doesn’t disappear anywhere - it sleeps and waits in the wings. And when a person has time, he shows himself,” – our counterpart summarizes.

She has many amazing stories in store. She remembers with a smile how she expected everyone to sing, play instruments, and read poetry. And the talents turned out to be much more multifaceted. For example, one honored Olympic-class volleyball coach brought a unique collection of whistles to show them. He is ready to tell a whole story about each of them, and these are no longer just whistles - this is something more.

“Or, I remember, in one of the centers we recorded an interview with a man who made an amazing wooden sculpture of Adam and Eve. Roots. I ask: are you a sculptor by profession? “No,” he answers, “this is one of my first works!” Well, then it’s just genetics – this is a manifestation of real talent! We continue to communicate and it turns out that this man’s father is the first sculptor of busts of Lenin! They were family friends with Vladimir Lenin and Nadezhda Krupskaya. And Lenin even gave our sculptor’s dad a gold cigarette case with his personal signature. You see, this man’s talent has already become overgrown with history, and this is the most amazing thing!” – Julia is delighted.

Photo from the personal archive of Yulia Geniush

Talent has no age

Participation in the talent show is free. You just need to register (if you can’t do it yourself, SmartComp employees will help you), talk about your talent and even make a video presentation. The Golden Talents gala will take place on April 14 at the Oceana Theater in Brighton Beach.

“We decided that the entrance ticket to the gala concert would be a subscription to SmartComp, so that people would still understand what kind of company this is. You can always cancel your subscription. There is nothing to be afraid of here - I have already signed up my parents! By the way, mom will also participate in the talent show! On the site you can register as a viewer and vote for those whose talents you like the most. Those people who receive the most votes will qualify to participate in the gala concert. Our venerable jury includes people dear to our hearts! And the beloved Nutsa, and the respected person Galina Todd, but we won’t reveal all the secrets! I will only say that they will appear on stage together with the winners - on April 14 at the Oceana Theater at the gala concert “Golden Talants” Talent Show SmartComp! Prizes provided by our partners will also be awarded there, from computers to furniture.”,” Julia enthusiastically shares her plans.

A vernissage will be held for sculptors and artists in the theater foyer. Some works will be shown only in photographs, but the best ones will be presented live at the exhibition.

“I probably understood the most important thing from this experience. Talent has no age. I met a woman among our talent show participants. She's over 80 and she sings amazingly. When she came out, it seemed to me that she was not even 50. We joked that she was probably not old enough to participate in the competition. And when I asked to reveal the secret of how old she was, she said: “I will answer with the words of my favorite singer: as old as winters!”

If you would like to take part in tSmartComp talent show or go to the “Golden Talents” gala concert on April 14 at the Oceana Theater, find out all the information at this site.

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