2017-02-17 / Schools
Schools join forces for showcase
Talent show featured students, parents, school staff
But on Feb. 10, the two campuses joined together at Simi Valley High to put on a 19-act talent show that featured SVHS teens onstage and Royal High students providing technical support behind the scenes.
“Usually it’s rivalry between these schools,” said Anthony Gulino, one of the many adult mentors who volunteered to support the students in their production. “But for something like this, they came together and worked together and forgot all the rivalry to put on a successful show.”
Gulino’s 14-year-old daughter, Gabby, a ninth-grader at Royal, was part of the crew working the spotlights.
She was among many students helping out from Royal’s Interact Club, a service club associated with Rotary International.
“I definitely love how both the schools are coming together,” Gabby said. “I want to get into the theater business. This is fun and I love doing it.”
The production, sponsored by the Simi Valley High School PTSA, was more of a showcase than a competition, so there were no judges or winners, said Gulino, who served as the PTSA’s talent show chair.
“Even though we held auditions as part of the process, those were not competitive,” he said. “I believe that anyone who is brave enough to step out on that stage in front of those lights and that audience deserves to be there.”
She also performed a solo dramatic stage reading of “Contents Flammable.” The story is about a woman who can’t quit smoking and burns her child’s face by accident, causing blindness.
“It’s a very powerful message for anti-smoking,” 15-year-old Lindsay said. “I have a lot of friends who have had problems with it, so this really struck me.”
Kiersten Fortuna, a ninth-grader in Royal’s Interact Club, worked the curtains behind the scenes.
“They needed volunteers and I like to volunteer, so I decided to help them,” the 15-year-old said. “I think it’s pretty nice because we’re usually rivals, but we’re actually putting on something together and creating something beautiful.”
Among the acts was a piano performance by Cindy Fernandes, assistant principal at SVHS, who played George Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.”
“Everybody knows I love Gershwin, so I figured it would be appropriate for people who came to the show who know me,” she said. “They would expect me to play Gershwin, so it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Robert Pollard, the lead night custodian at SVHS, sang “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” and “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley.
“I come from a long background of playing in bands,” said Pollard, 67, who wore a white jumpsuit with blue and red accents for the performance.
“We have staff members that are involved with the show and I just thought it would be fun,” Pollard said. “Plus, I’m a ham. I like to go out there and have a good time.”