Ultra Violet Live competitor profile: Kent Morita

February 13, 2014

Courtesy of Kent Morita

Name: Kent Morita
Hometown: Los Gatos, Calif.
Year: Steinhardt sophomore
Dorm: Lafayette residence hall
Act: Instrumental Performance

What is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration might be Brian May from Queen, Ken Jeong from “The Hangover” or David Macklovitch from Chromeo. They are very accomplished artists and all of them are very intelligent in the academic sense (Brian May has a Ph.D. for astrophysics, Ken Jeong is a physician, David Macklovitch has a Ph.D. in French). I just find it astonishing that one person can accomplish so much in different fields, and I have a massive amount of respect and admiration for those people.

How long have you been performing and what made you interested in performing in the first place?
I have been performing this act since the beginning of high school. I figured if piano takes 10 fingers to play, and trumpet only takes up three in one hand … that’s seven less fingers to worry about. And it seemed super fun.

What made you decide to participate in the UVL Prelims?
I love performing in front of an audience, it gives me a rush and makes me feel good. I imagine that perhaps I contributed to some entertainment and joy for some people. That would be awesome, and I play for that.

What was the first thing that went through your mind when you found out you were advancing to the finals at Skirball?
Never thought I would be playing on the same stage Key and Peele, Louis C.K. … some of the greatest performers have made people’s day. I hope to do the same.

What would winning UVL mean to you?
Winning UVL? Oh man, I know that would be awesome. Every time I perform I am overjoyed when I see people’s faces light up and I am super happy when they start to clap. I would imagine winning UVL will be a form of that feeling I get, a feeling of “Yeah, you did good man” combined with “Hey, you should do more of this to make a bunch more people have fun.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 13 print edition. Bryna Shuman is features editor. Email her at bshuman@nyunews.com.

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