Evolution

Evolution Follow us @ ocsaevolution We Change With You Issue 6 Santa Ana, California June 2016 From Trailers to Towers: OCSA’s Turning the Big 3-0! Jack Murphy Co-Editor-in-Chief 1987: Gas was 87 cents per gallon, average rent was $395 per month, “The Simpsons” premiered on TV, and Orange County High School of the Arts was launched as an after-school arts program at Los Alamitos High School (LAHS). 2016: Average price of gas is $2.30, average rent is $1,200, “Fuller House” premiers on Netflix, and OCSA adds the DMS to become a state-ofthe-art, eight-building campus across three city blocks serving 2,150 students. To kick off the 30th anniversary, “Celebrating 30 Years of Pure Imagination,” alum Matthew Morrison will host “Season Premiere” at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach in September. Along with Morrison, the show will feature other alumni, as well as some of his fellow colleagues from past projects. Throughout the year, various alumni are expected to appear in performances, lead master classes, guest direct, Ralph Opacic with students at a piano circa spring 1987 and even perform in an original song at Season Finale. The annual Gala fundraiser’s tagline will be “Expect the Unexpected,” planning to draw the year-long focus from alumni to current students. The show will include musical numbers highlighting the best of the past five Galas, as well as a flashback to 1987 with Dr. Opacic, OCSA founder and executive director, and some alumni. Those early days in the late‘80s might be a pretty hard picture for current students to believe. “I taught in an electronics closet when I first started at OCSA,” said Creative Director Cindy Peca, on staff since 1989. “We had to sweep it and we had to move the cords and everything away before we could have a dance class in there.” Besides the infrastructural differences, Peca believes a huge change since the LAHS days has been formation of community. “Even though we had a few departments back then, we never saw each other,” said Peca. The campus was spread out over LAHS and a nearby middle school, so students from different conservatories did not interact and work with each other like today. Another noticeable difference over the past 30 years: growth. In 1987, there were only 120 students; currently, there are 2,150. Integrated Arts Director Heather Stafford, on staff since 1994, not only noticed the schoolwide growth, but the growth within the conservatory she built up from its beginnings. “The first time I had graduates we only had three,” she said. “Now, we have about 40.” Before becoming the director of IA, Stafford taught Advanced Acting for Musical Theatre. She started the conservatory at a desk in the arts office hallway with a phone and computer, recruting staff members to teach. With the move to Santa Ana in 2000 came substantial changes in financial operations. Opacic said, “we went overnight from a $750,000 business to a $10,000,000 business.” The new financial obligations came with serious burdens: “Within the first two years, we found ourselves $4 million deficit. We were near bankruptcy,” said Opacic. The school was close to shutting its doors for good. Now, administration is in early-stage conversations with school districts in the San Gabriel Valley and South Bay. The plan for the first campus in San Diego County, which was delayed in December, is still in the works, in hopes of securing real estate in downtown Oceanside. OC Register Artists of the Year Nikki Rosenbloom Staff Writer Every year, the OC Register accepts nominations from high school teachers across Orange County for the title of Varsity Arts Artist of the Year in theater, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, visual arts and film. This year, there were 391 submissions. In the end, 60 finalists were chosen with 10 artists representing each category. Two OCSA students won the Varsity Arts Artist of the Year in their discipline: senior Amanda Sun (CCD) for dance and junior Yeo Jean Song (VA) for visual arts. Among the finalists at OCSA were Sydney Dardis (CV), Brian Dinh (VA), Hannah Kim (IM), Claire Offenberger (FTV), Sabrina Rincon (CMD), Jason Risdana (CV), and Jemelee Wang (IM). Sun’s dance audition drew inspiration from various sources. She wanted to “share [her] love for Amanda Sun Photo Courtesy of Amanda Sun dance and science, and thought that this opportunity would be perfect to create something new,” she said. “My first piece that I auditioned with was exploring the connections between literature and the brain through dance. I was inspired by my AP Literature class, where we were reading “The Sound Yeo Jean Song Photo Courtesy of OC Register and The Fury” by William Faulkner. The second piece that I created was an exploration of classical Indian dance, where I learned different hand motions and incorporated them into the modern dance,” said Sun. Classical and Contemporary Dance (CCD) Director Steven Hyde reflected on Sun’s success due to her individuality: “[Sun] possesses mature body awareness--physical manifestations of expressive spinal articulations accented through dynamics. Basically, Amanda is able to morph her body into shapes that emotionally connect [with] and move those observing her.” For visual artist Song, her main purpose in participating was to receive constructive feedback on her artwork. “I thought it was a really cool opportunity, and I could get some honest criticism from it,” she said. “Am I actually good, or are people just too polite to tell me I’m awful?” Song bases her art on the storyboards of films and games. “I try to reveal as much of the story as possible in one snapshot, while leaving some details hazy to make it intere ѥ%)Յ䁕́٥)ɽͽх䁱Ё)͡ɽչ̸)Mѥ́䁅Ёͻe)ٕ͕͔ٕ)Ѽ͔$Ѽ)ѡЁɔ)ѽ䁕ٕȳt͡ͅ)Ḿͼ͕)ЁɴѼѼ)ѥѼȁѡȰ)ݡͼ݅́ѥ)ݡ͔Ё)ѥѽѼMѠ)-ɕɽM)䁥ѡ= ((0