Knott’s: Clowns, Killers, Consumerism
Anya Ernst - Staff Writer
During Mid-September through Halloween, whether they are scaring or being scared, Knott’s Berry Farm is full of OCSA students. Knott’s Berry Farm closes early from September 20th to October 31st in order to put on Knott’s Scary Farm. This was Knott’s 46th year since introducing the fall favorite. A few OCSA Evolution reporters dared to enter the park one Friday night. Some were excited to be spooked, craving the rush of adrenaline. Others clearly did not know what they were getting into.
Since 1973, Knott’s Scary Farm (originally known as Halloween Haunt and only lasting three nights) has been terrifying guests and cultivating the spirit of fall as we know it in Southern California. Scary Farm features mazes, shows, special rides and roaming ghouls and ghosts wondering the park in the four scare zones. For the 2018 season, they introduced two new mazes--”Dark Entities” and “The Depths”-- for a total of 14. Scary Farm also features many live shows and performances, including “The Hanging” - a dark comedy show that has been performed since the original Halloween Haunt in Ghost Town. And they featured a new scare zone called “Forsaken Lake”.
Annual advancements in special effects make each year more frightening than the last. Wherever visitors turn, witches, clowns and ghosts lurk in the shadows ready to jump out. Nowhere is safe (well, except the restaurants and gift shops where panicked guests retreat for sanctuary).
When the Evolution staff writers went to the park, they were excited for the mazes and scare zones, while, juniors Frankie Fanelli (CW) and Maddy Ernst (CV) were not.
“I definitely didn’t know what I was getting myself into.” Fanelli said, “I didn’t think it would be that scary or that they would chase you! It sucked.” Within 15 minutes, Fanelli and Ernst had to leave the park.
“After being chased, surrounded and scarred for life we decided to leave and got Starbucks,” added Ernst.
Junior Maggie McDougall (PD) has been a long-time visitor and Scary Farm passholder since 2016. “My favorite part is walking around, interacting and messing with the scarers,” she said.
McDougall, like other OCSA students, is a frequent guest that buys passes in order to enjoy the scares all season long.
But what links Knott’s Scary Farm to OCSA? Not only is it the most popular Friday-night hangout for students in October, but it employs many current OCSA students and alumni. Senior Jenna Haight (DM) worked as a Scare Actor this season.
“It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind job” Haight said, “Most people don’t go into work to smother latex and zombie makeup on their face!”
Haight detailed her work routine consisting of intensive and detailed makeup and costume prep followed by extensive safety precautions and regulations to keep both the actors and guests safe. Haight’s creative background at OCSA and connections through friends helped her book the once in a lifetime gig.
Not only are OCSA kids working as scare actors, they also work behind the scenes. Carter Hodges (‘16) was in the Musical Theatre and Commercial Music conservatory. At the park, Hodges transformed the actors with special effects makeup. Hodges uses different techniques in order to convert the scare actors in to the gory creatures that haunt the park every night.
“The makeup and costumes really bring the scare actors to the next level and that’s what makes the monsters so scary” said McDougall. “It’s really cool knowing that other kids from my school are working behind it all.”
Homecoming: A Cosmic Collision
Khala Quail - Photographer/Staff Writer
Homecoming 2018 was a night to remember. The “Cosmic Collision” theme provided for a night of sparkles, galaxy-printed dresses and suits, and dancing that was out of this world.
Senior Logan Soderling (IA) and junior Nikola Schmitt (PD), the head coordinators of the dance, did a wonderful job organizing it, and planned many elements that made the night spectacular. A coffee stand kept attendees dancing, and the Archie’s ice cream stand outside was a refreshing touch to keep everybody cool. The virtual reality room, another popular feature, was packed the entire night. There was even an adorable DIY doughnut machine that added a little bit of sweetness to everybody’s night. Fans kept the people on the dance floor cool, which was a fantastic solution to previous complaints that the dance floor was too hot.
Before the dance, some students voiced their concerns regarding the music selection, but the DJ didn’t disappoint. He played a variety of songs throughout the night, many of which were student suggested. The homecoming court was another sweet surprise, as Logan and Nikola crowned all four of the homecoming court nominees. They abolished the idea of a conventional king and queen, and instead followed the theme of their campaigns and joined forces for the greater good. The Brutes and Lasses shared a slow dance together, unified under four lustrous crowns that signified not only royalty, but unity. The dance, was decorated beautifully, as twinkling stars hung down above the staircase for all to enjoy. The extensive amount of room for students to meander about as well as all of the ambiance may have created the best homecoming dance that OCSA has seen.
The venue offered an amazing space for students to let loose and enjoy time with their friends and the student body grew closer under this cosmic collision of classes. As Logan and Nikola prepare for the next dance, we are all out of this world to see what theme our next dance takes on.
To Floss, To Shoot, To Mosh
Mikayla Ann Chua - Arts Editor
A line of middle schoolers snaked outside the Webb Theatre, waiting to let loose on the dance floor. The space theme was apparent at every corner: colored party lights in tight balloons, glow-in-the-dark paraphernalia littering the event center, and lanterns majestically hanging from the ceiling. DJ Joshua Kim (CCD 9) added to the mix too, remixing Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” with Iggy Azalea “Fancy.” Thanks to Leadership, the photo booth captured memories in spaceships and of alien life forms that were out of this world.
“It’s really wild. OCSA wants you to be creative. Technically, there’s mixed genres,” Alia Kalfin (MT 7) said, regarding the best part of the theme of the dance.
The ultimate climax of the night was when the students formed a mosh pit to “God’s Plan,” thanks to DJ Joshua Kim. That Friday afternoon went harder than 10th street moshing for these middle schoolers.
A Dip in the Koi Pond
OCSA students are familiar with the exquisitely painted murals throughout the campus, most notably the ones that are found in the tower. Most were created by OCSA Visual Arts seniors, contributing to the beautification of the campus before they graduate. Recently, there has been an addition to the collection of artwork, but this time not in the tower.
For the first time since the creation of the DMS, there is a new addition to these paintings in the Quad stairways. A team of visual arts students collaborated to paint a series of fish on each step! To gain further insight on the creative process, Evolution interviewed two senior Visual arts students, Miran Hassan and Sam Horio.
Hassan and Horio are both talented students in the conservatory, but possess differing art styles. Miran states, “My inspirations for my art is constantly changing, because I’m always finding new things that I love.” On the other hand, Sam expresses her art more from an internal place. She claims, “My inspirations for my art is trying to convey what I can’t say out loud. To me art is like a different language in the way of expressing feelings you can’t say directly.”
This is not only the artists first mural painted on the campus, but it was also their first time collaborating on a project this large and substantial.
Miran recalls, “At first I was overwhelmed and scared that it would be difficult to to create a beautiful cohesive painting with as many as 10 hands working on one canvas. But after the first session, we all understood the ideal ‘look’ we were going for and we used our strengths in certain aspects throughout the murals were all very diverse in their styles and such, which can be daunting, but we all had to trust one another with the confidence to work on the same piece.”
On the other hand, Sam thinks “It wasn’t hard collaborating with others on the same because I feel at this point we all learned how to adjust and combine our different styles to create a uniform one.”
Fortunately OCSA’s visual arts program is rigorous enough to stretch their artistic boundaries.
“Visual Arts has prepared me for these daunting tasks through the multitude of opportunities offered to us to make artwork to be displayed or bought or donated.” Miran informs “So, as far back as 7th grade, I’ve been participating in the events offered.”
“VA prepared me to create the tasks through patience and perseverance. Personally I feel like if you just put in the time and effort you will be getting the equivalent result regardless of skill.” Sam says.
The stair murals beautify the campus, and catches our eye anytime we pass the DMS, thanks to these skilled and dedicated artists!
Katherine’s Declassified School Survival Guide
Katherine Baugio - Staff Writer
Time Flies By Quicker Than People Tell You It Will. As a current senior myself, I can tell you that the older you get, the quicker time seems to slip from your grasp (and sometimes it can get out of control). Quick tip, breathe! Set a plan for yourself, get organized. It really helps everything run smoother and makes you less stressed.
As Cheesy As It Sounds, Things Will Work Themselves Out. The thing about hitting rock bottom is that you can only go up from there. It’s a nicer way to think of challenges we might face, or may be facing currently. Difficult times may vary in length depending on the person, and as bad as it gets, just know there is still hope so don't give up! You got this!
Have Fun, Be In The Moment, Don’t Get Too Caught Up In Everything. While it’s a good thing to be aware of all of these ideas, it’s also important to try not to let it get to your head too much. Graduating may seem like the most ideal thing at the time, but it comes much sooner than you’d expect. You don’t want to miss the moments you’ll remember the most.
Now that you’re mentally prepared, let’s talk about school specifically and how to own it. Over the four years that I’ve been in high school, these have been the most prominent points of inquiry from younger students.
Juggling School vs. Outside Life, Responsibility and The Art of Balance. But how? First, you have to establish what you want to prioritize and schedule your activities around those things. For instance, if you want to prioritize family more, set aside some time on the weekends specifically to spend time with them. It takes time and training, but the more effort you put into it, the easier it gets. Also, make sure to get enough rest, find some time to relax.
Perseverance, The Fight Against Procrastination and Senioritis. Okay, so procrastination is hard to beat (speaking from experience). A lot of it is just training yourself to get around it, which I know isn’t easy. Though as I’ve said before, keeping in mind that college is around the corner. If you want to get into a good one, you have to put the work to keeping those grades up and sometimes you have to sacrifice leisure time to get that done. It’s worth it in the long run, trust me. Try to find ways to reward yourself for getting work done, but have self-control, and don’t let it get out of hand.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew. Overachieving and pushing yourself can be healthy, but you also need to be aware of your limits. AP students especially, if you want to go for 4 or 5, good for you! Just make sure that you’re able to handle that workload on top of conservatory and your other activities. School’s good, but try not to let it take over your life, save time for yourself.
At least try to take some of these ideas into consideration. But if you really do want to make a change, reading this is one thing, taking action is another. It all starts with you. The choices you make now will create the habits you take into the future, so make the best ones for you. Best of luck!
Behind the Mask: Inside the Acting Conservatory
Amy Basile - Staff Writer
It’s a new school year at OCSA, which means another year of exciting conservatory classes. Students in the Acting Conservatory were approached on the inner workings of their conservatory and the new rules that have been changed over the summer.
On a Thursday block nine class, “Mask” with Mr. Amerson, students were given the freedom to improvise based off of prompts centered around the class theme: the witches of “Macbeth.” Amerson expressed that the goal of the class is to create “a way to study character, a different way to analyze a character.” This class is a only a small piece of what the conservatory does Monday through Thursday every week, as spontaneous as it sounds. Mask gives the actors a platform to engage with their art; allowing them to become the characters, and even the props, settings and sounds themselves.
Acting Conservatory students anonymously spoke about their relationship with their teachers over the past few years and said, “I have a lot of really cool teachers that I respect really deeply and I think that they give a lot of good feedback… [We are] somewhat casual for a student-teacher relationship, but I think that's what you want in an acting environment.”
A junior agreed, saying, “Our conservatory has some really great teachers and a lot of them just have so much training, and they all have like these amazing different techniques. So, every year you get something- someone new, and you learn so much more in something else and that's something we try to do in the Acting Conservatory. I love that.”
Students’ enthusiasm about their teachers and classes, however, is overshadowed by a new code of rules governing the conservatory- a list known as the Six Commandments. “Technically last year they started handing out referrals for blacks… but this year they’re really enforcing it,” said one student, supplying the timeline for the new rule requiring the students to wear all black clothing.
The referral situation was explained as “a three strike policy” meaning the students could risk three write-ups before administration is contacted. They expressed that many students are particularly unhappy about dress code and the new bathroom policy.
“I think the rules, as annoying as they might be, they’re not that hard to follow. They add a certain level of like yeah, we’re all doing this thing! But the bathroom ones I do think are crazy. Not being able to go to the bathroom during class. Its like if you have an emergency, you have an emergency and even if it's not an emergency they should be able to use the bathroom.” Another student said.
“They’re a bit ridiculous. I don't see the necessity of making things punishable with a referral, and making things punishable by a referral twice.” A senior supplied, “That, I think, is extreme. I can understand where they’re coming from… but I think it's overly punished.”
Whether or not this subject will be addressed in the conservatory as a whole has yet to be seen, though it has caused discussion among students hoping for a solution. In the end, a student simplified the issue by saying, “I love my conservatory. I love acting. I love the people. I think sometimes different things about it are weird or like difficult but like, it's not that hard to wear black everyday.”
Amanda Mendoza - Staff Writer
A new rule banning delivery services has created a controversy on campus. It states that unless the order arrives after 4:30 pm, the meal will be thrown away.
Services like Postmates, GrubHub, UberEats and DoorDash are among the popular apps students use to order food that typically wouldn’t be an option in a school cafeteria.
Some students argue that the rule fails to consider students like Pua Tanielu (MT’19) who doesn't bring food with them to school. Tanielu said, “I use food delivery services during school hours: for lunch or block 7. I never have food on me and I don’t want to eat school lunch so I just use postmates and DoorDash. I wasn’t even aware of the rule.”
Some students like Tanielu think the rule is unjust because they aren’t allowed to leave campus to buy food.
While students have complained about this rule, the school staff have opposing outlook on the matter. When delivered to the school, meals are dropped off to the front desk to Becky Hall, the school receptionist. She arrives around 12:30 pm, when meals begin to arrive.
“I would support Postmates, but after 4:30. But it’s not fair to the school cafeteria during lunch and block 7. Also, kids were leaving the classroom to get their food, which isn’t good!” Becky said. She also stated that the reason for prohibiting orders until 4:30 was so students can still receive dinner for after-school rehearsals, when the school cafeteria closes.
Mr. Ciecek, Dean of Facilities and Supervision, also thinks that it’s not necessary to have food delivered to the school. He states, “We have [food] services on campus, so there is no need to have it delivered prior… When students signed the rules and regulations handbook and turned it in, they agreed to follow it. We implemented this rule in the handbook in June prior to the school year by the OCSA Board of Trustees.”
Though OCSA students now have a time restriction when ordering food, they can still pick it up in the evening, after conservatory and before rehearsals.
Officer Rojo: Campus Defender
Hannah Franklin - Staff Writer
In early May of last year, emails were sent to the entire student body about a new resource officer coming to the school. After asking other students about this, it became clear that many students know very little about the new resource officer.
Her name is Officer Rojo, and she remains a mystery to most students. She’s not here everyday, but when she is, she’s patrolling and protecting OCSA.
Rojo explained her background and how she graduated from the police academy in 2010, and worked as a patrol officer at the Santa Ana Police Station for some time. She then moved up into a detective role for 2 years doing undercover work, and eventually transferred to OCSA.
The Santa Ana police office had informed the officers that there was a space open for work at OCSA, and Rojo jumped at the opportunity. She says that as a mom, she felt that this would be a fulfilling opportunity for her, and that with the recent incidents of gun violence in schools, she felt particularly passionate about working at one. It wasn’t easy getting here though, as she had to do an internal and an external interview to qualify. Eventually, she was chosen as the best officer for the job.
Before Rojo became a police officer, she played softball in school and wanted to be an EMT. But when she stumbled upon police work, she clearly had both talent and passion. Rojo noted that she, “Would love to make an impact”, and spoke about wanting to help in any way she could. She even said that her office door was always open for if anyone ever needed somebody to talk to.
She then spoke about her experience as a woman in the police force, a historically male-dominated field. Rojo said that she personally has never experienced any discrimination as a female officer, however there is a discrepancy in the gender ratio of officers at the Santa Ana station. But she says, “If you work hard and do the right thing you’ll be respected.” The mostly female to male ratio here at OCSA is refreshing according to Rojo, as she gets to experience both sides of the spectrum.
Rojo mentioned again that she wanted to be there for the students, and that the student body should feel free to say hi and talk to her sometime. So, for any students that are interested in getting to know one of the newest faculty members for yourself, feel free to stop by and talk to Officer Rojo.
Man on the Street: What’s Scarier than a Hydroflask Dropping?
Claire Jones - Features Editor
Senior Mark Fitch (IA)
“When you’re on the stairway alone and you hear the sound of a roller backpack”
Senior Alex Murphy (FTV)
“The splash back from the toilet bowl”
Senior Zoe McCuen (VA)
“Everyone show your elevator pass”
Senior Sonya Kiskaschi(CW)
Fashion Feature: The Art of Perfecting the Classic Ensemble of Black and Denim
By: Emilia Angotti and Erin Kim Managing Editor and Photo Editor/Production Assistant
As the back-to-school season has commenced, new back-to-school styles are emerging through the unique expression of students all around campus. Students make it their own as they add their own flare to street style, turning it into higher fashion.
Sophomore Tasha Zentil (ACT)
Tasha is featured here in a chic, low cut long sleeve tee with a ruffled neckline, matched with clean wide cut denim pants. Her earrings and scrunchies add a subtle pop of color the ensemble. Her chunky black sandals finish off the outfit and tie the look together
Junior Jacob Aguilar (FTV)
Seen here mixing sophistication with street style as he transforms his cut-off denim shorts and plain black T-shirt with a black blazer.
Zentil and Aguilar sporting their respective ensembles.
I sit right between this couple in one of my classes, and while they’re both really nice people, they’ve been having some relationship problems lately and hashing it out during class time. They bicker so much that I know everything about their relationship now... everything. It never gets heated enough to warrant intervention or loud enough to get the teacher’s attention, but it’s unpleasant nonetheless. I’m just so sick of their arguing.
Stuck in the middle
Stuck In The Middle,
First off - that sucks! Sitting in between a couple is a struggle on its own, but the fact that they’re fighting makes it so much harder to concentrate in class. Try jumping in their conversation; make them uncomfortable. Maybe make a weird amount of eye contact and eat some sort of smelly food like sardines and they’ll shut right up to avoid the awkwardness! You don’t have to be a relationship counselor and definitely don’t need to be in the middle of that, so just do something drastic enough to shut them up! If this doesn’t work, tell your teacher you “can't see the board” and they should change your seat. XOXO
I have a very serious question that FTV Sophomores need to know the answer to. Do you like Wendy’s?
Hello! Ah.. That’s a complicated question, yet one I recieve on a frequent basis. Wendy is a wonderful lady, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Wendy herself. As for her home, I am not a particular fan. Her walls are painted horrendous neon colors and her decorum is ill fitting. If she were to redecorate and repaint, there would be no issue, but the fact is her home is atrocious. So no, I personally do not enjoy Wendy’s.