Sending Love to the Virtual Holiday Show by Paloma Fernandez

In this unconventional year, the arts have been forced to make many adjustments. The SOTA community is no different. Every year all the departments come together to create a Holiday Show. I myself have never been apart of the traditional Holiday Show, yet, this year I was put in charge of leading a small group of Creative Writers in creating a play, and putting on a staged zoom reading to submit. 

I can only assume that the creation of this show is much more enjoyable in person than online. At times it was proven frustrating. At first, the nine of us attempted to write together, but we got extremely little done during this time. We would get distracted easily, and then I would get distracted while trying to get everyone back on track. So, in our two days working as a whole group, we were only able to produce an idea and a single page of writing. At this point, we decided to split into groups of two or three, and each group would write a couple of pages before passing the baton to for the next group to take over. With this system, we ended getting the play done in a week rather than the year I assume it would have taken if we were to continue as a whole group. Then came the time to do a staged reading of the finished product, but it was much more difficult to get six people on zoom at the same time that I thought. 

I know for a fact that I missed out on the playful whole group atmosphere there is most years. I know that at times it was more stressful than fun. But, I am still glad I did it. In the end, we produced a piece titled “Medieval Matriarchal Merriment,” and it follows five medieval women during a white elephant gift exchange, and it is everything but traditional. I will not say much more because it will be online soon enough, and you can go see its glory for yourself. In the end, I would just like to say, thank you to everyone who worked on this project with me, I love you all endlessly. 

Link to the Holiday Show: 

Paloma Fernandez (Class of ’22)

Stagefright by Paloma Fernandez

Creative Writing is a department where you can’t get by without always participating. Everyday you are sharing your opinions and interpretations and your own pieces. For me coming into and environment like this was somewhat challenging. I have never been a big sharer in class. At my old schools I was able to get by without sharing as much, but that’s not the case for this department.

So by the time our Fall poetry and prose show came around I wasn’t ready. Throughout the show everyone in the department goes up and shares either a poetry or prose piece. Also, skits written by a few of the seniors in the department are performed. So naturally I was freaking out a little inside about this. But I somehow convinced myself to do a longer prose piece and to somewhat face my fear.

My piece was one of the longer ones in the show. So of course this made me nervous. I was thinking about changing my piece, but by the time we started rehearsal and staying at school till about 6:00 every night, I realized it was too late now.

The night of the show came around and I was absolutely terrified. Throughout the day there were just scenarios of ways I would mess up playing throughout my head and what the chances of me passing out on stage were. Luckily it was a small chance.

Once it was my turn I walked up and stood on the podium, trying to center myself and stand up straight. The whole time I was up their my legs were trembling, and it was out of my power. About half way through my piece I realized I had to stop worrying so much. So that’s what I did and I stopped thinking about pauses and looking up and just did them naturally. By the time I walked off stage I was so relieved. About the fact that it was over and I did not terribly fail, and that I got a good response from the audience. It was very reassuring when a couple days after people would tell me that they really liked my piece, and that made me believe my friends and family when they told me I did well and it wasn’t just them feeling obligated to tell me that.

Paloma Fernandez, class of 2022