Today a friend texted me that my school, LaGuardia High School, was in the New York Post.
I literally said to myself “What now?”.
The article, about a current senior’s experience, was titled “LaGuardia High School is full of cutthroat divas”. It explained the senior’s point of view, and basically, the whole article was a big whiney menagerie about not getting into the musical. It riddles off her assets mentioning she has a book called “Earth Hates Me”. I understand the humor, but I’m sorry, did you say, "earth" hates you? Does earth hate you because you live on the Upper West Side? Or does it hate you for all the opportunities it has clearly given you? Or does it hate you for having a food and a roof over your head? Does it hate you for being able to go to college?
The article mentions that for the senior (I will not mention their name, you can look it up if you’re interested), “being in the school musical ‘was the dream.’ But she’s been shut out for three years, despite having hired a $180-an-hour vocal coach”. I am SO SO sorry your money didn’t get you a part. SO. SORRY. I am also sorry that your hard work didn’t earn you a part, because everyone knows that if you work hard on Broadway, you are GUARANTEED to get any part you audition for (If you are what they were looking for or not)! The earth definitely owes you.
In all seriousness, yes, there is a problem with favoritism in this school. However, I have seen people with no connections and no lessons get big and little parts in the musicals. (Hey, I have no connections and after three years of auditioning, I got in it for next year. Last year, I busted my ass going to lessons and practicing for the 42nd Street audition. May I reming you I have an hour and a half commute to school. At that time I kid you not, I got about 4 hours of sleep a night. Did I get a part? No. What did I do? I worked harder for next year).
Later in the article, it talks about the rigorous time schedule and how it feels like a job outside of school. If you signed up for this though, you should be aware of the commitment and if you want to do this professionally, than you shouldn’t mind. When did commitment become such a bad thing?
The article as a whole bothered me immensely, because this is not the most pressing issue in our school. I agree that it is super competitive to get into productions at our school, one reason is that there are not enough opportunities to perform...because of our biggest issue: there is not enough funding. We can all complain about our 1st world problems or we could talk about the solutions and get over it. Or maybe, we can talk about the other more significant issues at our school.
What about the rats in our practice rooms and throughout the school?
Or the instruments that have not been replaced since the 80s?
Or the cockroaches in the classrooms and locker rooms?
Or the alleged “listener boxes” in the classrooms?
To be clear, I feel extremely lucky to go to this school and I am grateful to have the opportunity to have all of my arts classes and I realize that most schools aren't fortunate enough to have such programs. These are just some problems that would've been more meaningful to talk about.
However, my school is changing before my eyes, and it is not for the better:
- Money is not being spent on what it should be.
- Every year, because of the increasing focus on grades, more and more talented kids are being turned away. - The administration's increasingly prioritizes the education over arts.
- Programs and ensembles get less and less money to put on shows and productions every year.
- You get kicked out of practice rooms for practicing, get kicked out of practices after school without a permit, and kicked out of the stairwells for even lingering too long.
My school is changing for the worse. This would’ve been something worth writing to the Post about.
Feminist, singer, writer, animal lover, actress, fashionista, tv junkie, shark enthusiast, wanderer, music lover, New Yorker, and most of all, human.