OCSA Meets the Duffer Brothers
Kat Long - Staff Writer
As ‘80s nostalgia enthusiasts and the creators of the Upside Down, Matt and Ross Duffer (aka the Duffer brothers) have seen profound success with the release of their series “Stranger Things.” After the recent release of its second season, the two hosted a master class at Chapman University available to select FTV and CW students.
The brothers chose to begin their film career at Chapman since it was the only film program allowing the two to work as a team. Throughout the course of their careers, they remained in tandem as a filmmaking duo. Ten years after graduating, they returned to their alma mater to discuss their newfound achievements.
“The brothers came out and talked about their experience in the industry,” said FTV senior Rachel Simurda, “and how they went from college to building their career, which was super cool to hear.” An audience filled with aspiring filmmakers and writers, these students had the opportunity to meet with rising auteurs within the industry.
As creators of a show well-known among the OCSA community and nationwide, hearing their perspective on success and survival was inspiring to many students. “They went through their history, successes, and the failures they faced, and what made them stand out to eventually be one of the biggest names in TV history right now,” said FTV senior Ethan Hammock.
Although they have had recent success, what was interesting to many students was the difficulties they suffered before reaching this point. “What really intrigued me was the amount of times they encountered setbacks and ‘no’s’ while trying to pitch Stranger Things,” Hammock said. “Even through countless rejections from several studios, they never gave up and I found that really interesting and inspiring as someone who wants to get into the industry.”
The filmmakers also discussed what motivated their creation of “Stranger Things” and their inspiration for filmmaking. “They talked a lot about sticking true to their vision and wanted to make something that was personal for them, and that is exactly what I want to do,” Simurda said.
Not only did the Duffer brothers inspire students in terms of filmmaking, but they did so in terms of writing as well. CW senior Mady Park said that “the most poignant thing that they mentioned was the fact that making mistakes should be what motivates you to become a better creator.”
After the master class, students had the chance to meet them and take a photo with them, a moment awaited by many. “Meeting them was really cool. They’re pretty quiet guys on the outside, but you can tell they’re really smart on the inside and have a lot of great ideas,” Hammock said.
As recent successes and creators of a well beloved television show, the Duffer Brothers’ words of wisdom informed students of the difficulties of the film world while also inspiring and motivating students to do what they love. Park said: “It was humbling to see someone with such great fame take the time to remind young creatives that you should never discredit your roots and take everything with as much detail and dedication as possible.”
May All Your Christmases Be Bright
Cori McKay - News Editor
Dormant since it arrived, South Coast Plaza’s “greatest tree yet” was finally ready to transform into its full glimmering glory on Nov. 16th. In preparation for the South Coast Plaza’s Annual Tree Lighting, OCSA’s Montage and Unplugged performance groups rehearsed tirelessly to continue their tradition of lighting up the stage prior to the actual lighting of the tree. OCSA students, across a wide range of conservatories, prepared their arsenal of Christmas hits. From Unplugged’s spirited rendition of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” to Montage’s fully choreographed, pop version of “Let It Snow”, the students made sure to include everyone’s favorites while presenting unique performances showcasing their skills.
Though the event took place before Thanksgiving, “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” immediately filled the audience with the Christmas spirit as Unplugged opened the show, definitely impressing the audience with their crisp harmonies. Like their name alludes, Unplugged has a distinct sound, relying solely on the vocals. No instruments. No backing track. This provides lovely layers to their performances and allows a wider creative range to work with their material and personalize it. Senior Olivia Rybus talked about her experience with this year’s show:
“This is my first year in Tree Lighting and the entire process was so wonderful. Since it is a free event, a great deal of students come to watch the show which further brings together our supportive OCSA family.”
Following Unplugged, OCSA’s performance group Montage took the stage with their segment of singing, dancing, and skits. In the show, Montage made it their goal to assist Mrs. Claus in preparation for Christmas. As true OCSA fashion, it was done through song. Their performance was filled with Frosty the Snowman, hot chocolate, snow (soapy foam), and Saint Nicholas himself, accomplishing every element of the holiday season yet another year.
Tree Lighting has been one of OCSA’s staples for quite some time and for good reason. Rybus feels that being involved in Tree Lighting “is so rewarding as an artist to perform for people, creating a strong emotional effect...this event does just that. It brings the community together with radiating joy and spirit.”
It may be argued that this event is responsible for all the Christmas puppy pajamas and peppermint lattes present in November, but most can agree that more Christmas is always a good thing.
Winter is Cold, Sales Are Hot!
Morgan Hohenester - Staff Writer
The deceivingly warm weather and appearance of Captain Snowflake on Art Attack can only mean one thing - it’s time for the annual Winter Market! Every year at the end of November, the visual arts conservatory hosts the event where students sell items crafted themselves to other students, parents and teachers for two days during school hours as well as after school.
Randy Au and Paige Oden, the directors of the Visual Arts conservatory, use the market as an opportunity to teach students about business and branding. Participating in the Winter Market provides students with insight on how to make a living off of creating and selling their own products, and it’s a great opportunity for some experience in the field.
Applications for taking part in the market begin early November. Students describe the product they plan on selling, such as jewelry or candles, and include sketches or prototypes. Once accepted, the product preparation begins. Meetings and workshops are held throughout the month to help ensure that everyone is informed and ready for what to expect at the Winter Market.
Miran Hassan, a junior in Visual Arts, has participated in the Winter Market for four years and has been very successful in his sales. To prepare for the Winter Market, he has to begin making his products at the start of November. “Creating the products takes a lot of time, so I put all of my free time towards it,” Hassan said. The products Hassan sells include candles, sugar scrubs, roll-on fragrances and bath bombs, and his brand name is Boho Bath and Beauty. Other students, such as sophomore Jonathan Arendt-Rosenberg (VA), need to begin making their products, such as painted bowls and succulents, as early as summer to ensure that they will be prepared enough for the event, as they may take longer.
Before the application process begins, students need to already have an idea of what it is they want to create. When coming up with ideas on what to make, students are encouraged to express their creative side. Inspiration can be pulled from a variety of places, and most students create products which relate to their personal interests or even past experiences. Hassan said, “I started making sugar scrubs in sixth grade through a workshop at my middle school, and would just sell it to friends in little Ziploc bags.” After learning about the Winter Market, he began taking his sales much more seriously and realized how much more he can do with his products. He now has a website for his variety of products, and is even a vendor in Patchwork Show, which happens twice a year in Santa Ana. Walking around school, students can be seen wearing their new pins, hats, and other items purchased from the market.
What’s not to love about the Winter Market! From the selling of baked goods, to the guest appearance of Santa Claus himself, they’ve got it all.
A Complete Guide to the Chocolate Drinks of Santa Ana
Tim Park - Features Editor
Deck the halls with boughs of holly OCSA, 'tis the holiday season! It’s that time of the year when everyone’s allowed to eat as much as they want, and hide their bellies underneath knit sweaters. If Halloween has all the candy and Thanksgiving has all the turkey, the quintessential Christmas food item is a delicious cup of warm chocolate beverage. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, hot cocoa’s warmth is here to win you over; it’s getting chilly outside. So this holiday season, we decided to compare all the drinks available near OCSA, because you deserve nothing but the best.
The beverages were sampled then graded under three categories: price, taste, and how jolly the experience was. Check it out for yourself.
Beverage #1: Hot Cocoa from 7/11
The undeniable king of frugality, 7/11 brought it home with their honest pricing of $1.89 (medium cup). Keep in mind that their medium size is comparable to a large at other cafes. With just a little over a dollar, you can get yourself a nice cup of hot cocoa.
5 gingerbread men out of 5
A pleasant surprise. The sweetness wasn’t overbearing, nor was the watered down taste prevalent. The taste did get boring after a couple sips, but that was more than enough to judge the overall flavour. Also worth noting are the accounts from some students that 7/11’s hot cocoa tastes exactly the same as the one available at AM/PM; the two companies have neither confirmed nor denied this allegation.
3 mall Santas out of 5
Experience: This is where the hot streak is broken. As we all know, 7/11 isn’t necessarily known for cleanliness. Half-filled coffee cups are everywhere, creamers are spilt all over the place, and the store is always occupied with too many people, especially in the morning rush. And with an array of interesting drifters who always seem to have a thing or two to say to your face, your time at 7/11 is a guaranteed uniqueness- but not quite jolly.
1 snowman out of 5
Beverage #2: White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks
Price: $4.45 for a grande hot cocoa. $4.45. Let that sink in. With that money you can get a 1/4lb popcorn chicken meal with a side of fries and a biscuit from Popeyes- and you’d still have $0.45 left.
0 Die Hard out of 5
Taste: It tastes good. That’s it, really. It tastes just like how one might imagine a drink called “white chocolate mocha” to taste like. It’s sweet, soft, and warm. Nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps it’s our fault for expecting anything else than a fancy Swiss Miss mix.
3 unwanted Christmas socks out of 5
Experience: Um. The cups are all fancy and red?
3 reruns of Home Alone on FX out of 5
Beverage #3: Hot Chocolate from Pop’s Café
Price: Let’s be real, the OCSA student body has let this place off the hooks for nostalgia’s sake for the past years. A decent breakfast meal, let’s say a cheese omelet with a side of toasts and a drink, goes well over $15. However, their pricing for a large hot chocolate was surprisingly low, coming in at $2.10. It’s reasonable.
4 drunk uncles out of 5
Taste: To give credits where credits are due, Pop’s Café doesn’t try to fool anyone with their mediocre-at-its-best hot chocolate. It doesn’t have a fancy name, nor does it have any extra toppings. It’s exactly what you want out of a two dollar beverage, sweet and smooth.
3 half-eaten gingerbread houses out of 5
Experience: This is the reason why the cafe has a religious following. From weirdly outdated chairs to the collection of the randomest wall hangings, Pop’s Café delivers what chains like Denny’s or IHOP cannot; a sense of character.
5 sharpened candy canes out of 5
Beverage #4: Abuelita Latte from Café Calacas
Price: A little explaining is required here. Café Calacas, does in fact, offer regular hot chocolate for reasonable $2.75. It tastes fine, just like any other hot chocolate. However, the cafe also offers what has now become quite a household name. This delicious chocolate drink comes with a bit of a price tag. The reason why their $4.95 is mostly justified is down below.
4 unfulfilled New Year’s Resolutions from around this time last year out of 5
Taste: Mexi moka is truly something else. In a sea of mediocre, vanilla hot chocolates, Abuelita Latte shines bright like a lighttower. Underneath the layer of smooth, soothing cream, there awaits the drink that screams out deliciousness. The chocolate is dark and rich, ratio between milk, coffee, and cocoa is perfect, and the extra kick of cinnamon can get anyone’s day going. The best part? Its size is so big that you can never finish it by yourself.
5 unstoppable carol singers who won’t leave you alone out of 5
Experience: It’s an unspoken truth that all art students dream about moving to the east coast. But the next time Williamsburg's hip brewhouses make you feel jealous, always remember that the culture we have in California is incomparable to those overcharging, weird-named, sailor-tatted hacks in New York. Café Calacas offers a mixture of authentic Mexican eatery and modern brunch cafes, and the result is something so fundamentally West Coast.
5 children wrongfully enlisted on the Naughty List out of 5
Well, there you have it, the in depth guide of all the hot cocoas near the campus. Whether you drop some quarters for that affordable 7/11 cup or wait in line for twenty minutes only to spend $5 on a venti hot chocolate from Starbucks, hopefully your drink will be as magical and full of joy as this holiday season. And the next time your friend asks for a sip; don’t scoff them off, give them that sip. Because that’s what the holidays are about, sharing warmth with your loved ones.
Chloe Enriquez - Staff Writer
Combinations of various colors and patterns lather the Symphony Hall stage with the accompaniment of Classical Voice artists, consumed in detailed costuming and props resembling the 1930's era. On December 2, 2017, the Classical Voice Opera Scenes Class presented “Love Stinks, Another Rawpera Event.” This event included various scenes involving the story of love and, as the name entails, how love stinks. The classical voice students portrayed each story through dramatic acting, precise costuming, and expressive voice and emotion. Their ability to captivate their audience was specifically due to the fact that they were able to expressively act a storyline rather than express simply through vocals. Exaggerated facial expressions and the embodiment of particular movements connected to the story which made it intriguing to watch.
The first scene entitled,”Duet: la ci darem” began with senior Classical Voice performers Adin Boyer and Weena Park. In this particular scene, fictional character Don Giovanni (Boyer) attempts to seduce Zerlina (Park) in hopes to lure her into his castle. Elaborate costuming and detailed lighting enabled the audience’s captivation of the scene, but what specifically caught the audience’s interest was the students’ admirable acting ability. I interviewed Adin Boyer in order to understand this question, “It was really interesting for me because I'm not an actor, so going through the blocking of the scenes using acting techniques was very hard for me. I really put myself out of my comfort zone.” Even though Boyer was enduring a challenging aspect that he was not completely comfortable with, he was able to execute this difficult task with ease.
Each scene presented a unique difference; specifically differences in lighting, setting, costuming, but most importantly in characterization. I was in awe of the students’ ability to switch characters so quickly with only a short period of time between each scene. This challenging ability was executed seamlessly by all of the students, most prominently by one performer, Danielle LeDuc, who was involved in almost every scene. I asked about how she managed such a challenging task, “In order to effectively portray each individual, I had to spend a lot of time researching each character and create background information to solidify my knowledge of each. When the knowledge of the characters was put from paper to stage, I had to fuel each action and constantly keep in mind, ‘why is the character doing this,’ which really helped me to fully embody my characters and not lose sight of each one.” I was amazed to understand the lengths and difficulties involved in effectively portraying each character including Internal challenges and trial and error.
As an audience member, I was completely captivated throughout the entirety of the show. It offered a beautiful 1930’s aesthetic through the use of costuming, staging, lightning, vocals, and acting. The performers execution was incredible to watch and their ability to perform challenging tasks was ultimately impressive.
A Chillingly Funny Production
Katrina Hung - Staff Writer
The clock strikes twelve as the ancestors of the Addams family rise from their graves to join the living for a night of love, laughter and mystery. As everyone comes together for the annual Addams’ gathering, they rejoice, celebrating their unique family culture. However, the celebration comes to a halt when it is revealed that Wednesday Addams, the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams, has fallen in love with “a normal boy”. From there, the rest of the plot continues to unfold through the storytelling of Integrated Arts and the intricate sets of Production and Design.
For the past two months, the cast of the Addams Family have been hard at practice. Whether it be memorizing lines or learning choreography, they have dedicated their time in order to ensure a flawless end result. The cast, played by the conservatory’s high school students, were all fully committed to playing their individual characters yet continued to play off of each other’s dynamics, resulting in a very entertaining two hours. According to senior Taylor Scott (IA), “the Addams Family is probably the best IA show I’ve seen! I’ve seen every musical since I came to OCSA in 7th grade and just seeing everyone develop their acting, singing, and dancing skills over the years has been really amazing. Everything from the set to the jokes was fantastic!” The laughter was shared not only between the audience but also within the cast themselves. “I remember during our first run, when I said a rather suggestive line, Mrs. Stafford laughed so hard at it that Natalie Kiladjian and I both broke character and started cracking up ourselves. Then the entire cast and both directors started laughing as well! Gotta love Mrs. Stafford!” says senior Kristofer Medina (IA), who plays Gomez Addams, as he recalls the funniest moment he had during rehearsal.
In addition to the talented cast, the entire musical could not have succeeded without the skills from the Production and Design crew as well as the directors of the show who worked behind the scenes in order to keep each scene running smoothly. Senior Annabeth Amarasuriya (IA), on her role as the Assistant Director, states “assistant directing was definitely a unique and special experience. As a performer, I am not usually on the directing side, but the being directed side. it was interesting to see how a show is created from the other end. I had to help with blocking, running scenes with the cast, and being on book whenever needed. There is no better feeling then seeing something you’ve worked hard on come together, and the entire cast worked extremely hard on this production. I couldn’t have been prouder of them!”
In the end, the adored Addams family was brought to life, however, only because of the dedication from the cast and crew. “By the time the actual show weekend came around, I’m not kidding for I knew every line! Seeing the show with an audience, and seeing how much they enjoyed something I had put my heart and soul into for the past two months was so rewarding and filled me with pride for my cast!” exclaims Amarasuriya. As the show comes to a close, the cast shares their memories as they take their final bows with the crowd giving a standing ovation, amazed at the talent beaming from the stage. The Addams Family was definitely the talk of the weekend for the songs and dances will always continue, but the IA musicals were truly “pulled in a new direction” - Wednesday Addams.
Have You Met Pedro?
Thalia Atallah - Staff Writer
1.2 million followers on Instagram. More than 100 thousand subscribers on YouTube. Starring in Brazilian kid shows such as “Especial Mansão Bem Assombrada” with a fan base consisting of awe-struck Brazilian teens. Brazilian actor, singer, dancer and voice actor Pedro Henrique is welcomed to the OCSA family. Henrique, a 10th grade MT student moved to California from Brazil a month before the new school year began. With his major following on social media Pedro stated, “In Brazil, I did many different projects, shows, soap operas and musicals and that is why I have all of the followers because of this career.”
Scrolling through Pedro’s Instagram you can expect to see multiple comments on each picture from his fans, mostly in Portuguese, comments such as, “My bb <3” and “Love you! <3 Pedro my crush <3” Pedro explains that he and his family decided to take on the major change of moving so Pedro could pursue this career in the location and atmosphere of OCSA. Pedro stated, “I think California is the best place for this, and OCSA is the best school for this.”
One of the biggest differences between where Pedro had lived all of his life to now is the language. His first language is Portuguese and at OCSA, as you know, everyone speaks English. In Brazil they only taught basic English in school. Determined Pedro took outside English classes to ensure better English skills for when he made the big move to America. He explained how enthusiastic he is about using and expanding his English vocabulary, “Although it is very different it is very cool! I have always liked English! I love it! When I used to watch films in Brazil I would watch in English with the subtitles in Portuguese because I always wanted to learn. And to one day be here.” It is already a challenge in itself being an OCSA student, but youthful Pedro has to work a little harder in order to learn and understand the English language.
But over everything else Pedro is a boy who is living out his dream. He stated, “This is a dream that has come true to come here to California. We are like here next to Hollywood you know? In Brazil, I was too far away. So I am very happy. It is hard for my family but they are so happy for me” Attending OCSA Pedro works everyday to continue the success he possessed in Brazil. And it is clear that he has the drive and aspirations that it takes to live the Hollywood dream.
Strike a Pose With The Pros
Maya Maharaj - Editor-in-Chief
Whether it’s dewy or digital, you’ve been captivated by their glow. Their striking sense of style. Their ability to tell a story with simply the way they carry themselves.
OCSA’s professional models have sparked intrigue among our students for a while, sweeping 10th street and our smartphone screens with bold looks and expanding followings.
Behind the cameras, the makeup, and the ensembles, what are these models really like? How similar are they to the personas preserved in their photos and what do they plan on doing with their image in the future?
“I never really planned on becoming a model, actually,” says Junior Emma Milani (ACT). “It started with acting…. there’s a sort of openness [I have] in front of the camera that I struggle to find in my everyday life.” Modeling gave Milani a gateway to a new relationship with the camera and what seems like a whole new world.
“My favorite shoot was one I did a while back with the photographer Keitaro Cloward. He and a friend of mine (Bean) went out into this field of tall grass and flowers and wind and ran around and listened to music and just let us be free. That place became ‘our world.’ It was our secret place. That became the name of our shoot-our world- and it was really magical and special to me.”
Junior Lillie Radziminsky (ACT) seems to have entered a similar world after working with Swedish Photographer, Therese Öhrvall, someone she shared the same cultural background and love for minimalism with. “It’s really fun to put someone’s art into real life...and take on the art fully.” Through modeling Radziminsky is able to bring creator’s visions into fruition, cultivating the thriving scenes their images create.
It is important to remember that the models are not only residents in these aesthetic worlds, but founders. When they are not spending time in sets under professional lights, some of them are work behind them. Consider Junior Lily Yeung (P&D). Featured in renowned publications such as Vogue Germany, Yeung still maintains a balance working as both the creator and the muse. A background in production and design has left her designing images just as often as she poses for them. “I am really into painting and photography. I definitely think that understanding composition and lines helps you to be more creative with your body positions and movement because you know how it will create a line within the photograph or interest with the clothes or part of your body.”
Having already made their mark on the world, these girls are working towards creating their own. We are fortunate to catch glimpses of it in our everyday life through their innovative choices in dress. (See P6 for a look at these ensembles.)
Man on the Street: New Year, New You
Tim Park - Features Editor
Well, that was quick. With 2017 coming to an end, we asked OCSA students about their New Years resolution; what aspect about yourself would you like to change in 2018?
Senior Ameer Zhowandai (CW)
“I’d like to realign myself within Buddhist ideals, including extreme meditation and full immersion in nature, in order to find some way to be at peace with the absurdist meaningless of my existence.”
Senior Yoojin Kim (VA)
“Funny you ask, as I consider myself flawless. There is not a single quality about myself that I’d like to change, since I was born perfect. I’m a gorgeous woman. That’s not me being egotistical or selfish; it’s a fact, I’m a knockout.”
Senior Elliot Mark (FTV)
“I want to take myself less seriously. I also want to gain sympathy for birds.”
Jack Dowsett (history/government teacher)
“Well. I guess I want to be a pet owner.”
*Mr. Dowsett has kindly declined to take a picture for personal reasons. Instead, he provided the Evolution staff with a cardboard cutout of himself.
Conservatory Holiday Gift Guide
Jayna Bosse - Photo Editor
Fashion Theme : Model's Special
Emilia Angotti & Tim Park - Staff Writers
You’ve heard them talk, now take a look at what OCSA’s models are serving.
In her campaign with Gucci, Emma showcases a sequin kaftan ombre from turquoise blue to pink. White fishnets over knee-high striped socks, complemented with white fuzzy shoes to create a layered look . She completed the eclectic outfit with a velvet sleeve and retro heart-shaped earrings.
A sheer white dress with embroidered pastel flowers to add an accent of color, with a loosely tied white ribbon creating a renaissance look. The outfit was completed with accent black combat boots.
Original 70’s ribbed yellow knit with wool vintage plaid mini skirt with fringe hem and side buckle detail. Her red beret matched with a pair of velvet ankle boots. Primary colors red and yellows were used throughout the outfit to present a vibrant tone.
If there is one thing we can get out of these models, it’s that the most important thing about an outfit is being yourself. From designer brands to thrifted vintage apparel,these outfits were personalized with their own individual flavors. It isn’t the price tag, brand name, or whatever style is trending; it’s what you can bring to the table regarding expressing your own individuality through fashion.
Photo Contest Winner
This is a picture we took during a Photography field trip of some happy OCSA boys.
Photo by: Lauren Shaw (CMD19)