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Behind the scenes of the PRYAF Jan. Revue


Students balance school, performing, and quick changes in spring performance.

Sitting in front of the white lights that top the mirror, Freshman Ziarra Gomez uses a steady hand to cover her eye with white paint in a teardrop shape. With another flick of her wrist a red circle is painted onto her nose. A red lip is added, teasing of her dark black hair, and the look is complete; she is now a deranged clown for her Creative Dance classes performance of “Crazy”. In another corner the smell of hairspray fills the air as Junior Elizabeth Umphenour becomes a bearded lady for the opening act. This sounds like the scene of a circus tent, but is actually students preparing for the Jan. revue at the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation.

Ziarra Gomez

The show features performances from over 100 students from 3rd to 12th grade in dance, choir, drama, and band. Behind the bright lights and elaborate costumes students like Gomez have to learn how to balance school, work, and performing,  “It’s all really stressful because it’s in Jan. which is school time” said Gomez “you have to do your homework on time, you have to go to bed on time.”

Dancer Helena Higuera faces another challenge of being a performer, she must change from street wear for her hip hop performance of “Right On Time” to a clown that involves hair and makeup for “Crazy.” “before I do my first act I have to get my clothes ready, then I get a team to help me get changed,” said Higuera, “someone’s taking off my socks, and putting pants and shirt, putting on my makeup.” For dancers being late means not being in the number at all, which can be detrimental to the number, “During a quick change I’m thinking ‘oh my gosh I’m gonna miss my cue, I need to hurry up,” said Higuera.

Her own masterpiece: Layla Hughes (above) performs an original song in the Jan. revue. Layla has been singing as long as she can remember and taking guitar classes at PRYAF for the last three years. 

But through these stresses students don’t seem to care, “I love performing” said Elizebeth Umphenour, “It’s not all glamorous, but the hard work and dedication that goes into it, but my favorite part is seeing how are hard work makes something so great and fabulous.”

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