Juniors recreate ‘Teen Beach Movie,’ prepare for Quad Day performance

September 19, 2019 — by Alekhya Vadlakonda and Christine Zhang

Junior Urmila Vudali dipped her brush into the yellow paint, laughing with her friends as they helped her recreate the “Big Momma’s” sign that would go with the junior class’ Homecoming decorations. Nearby, other juniors were creating surfboards, and another cluster of students was working on decorations for a school hallway. They all shared the common goal of making the best Homecoming decorations this year. 

The juniors’ Homecoming theme this year was “Teen Beach Movie,” a 2013 Disney Channel original film featuring two surfers, Brady and McKenzie, who are transported into a beach party movie where bikers and surfers feud over a popular beach hangout. Their performance showcased six dances — partner, all girls, all boys, co-ed (aka stunt), K-pop and color guard — alongside their skit on Sept. 26, the junior quad day. 

Auditions for skit roles were held in early September. Juniors Ajay Gupta and Shannon Ji wrote the script, and candidates performed excerpts of the script for their auditions. Junior class president Cynthia Zhang and junior class representative Aliza Zaman decided the cast. Everyone who auditioned this year was given a part. Junior Cameron King played Brady while junior Sarah Wang played McKenzie, the two main characters of “Teen Beach Movie.” 

Dances began practices in the last week of August. Most dances held weekly practices until mid-September, but they started to occur more often as Quad Day drew closer. 

Juniors Wilson Fung and Vudali were in charge of decorations. Vudali said they planned to divide the hallway in front of the office between bikers and surfers, the central conflict in “Teen Beach Movie.” They also built and painted an arch as well as recreated Big Momma’s restaurant, a setting in the film. For their smaller decorations, the juniors made surfboards, signs, a motorcycle and a jukebox from cardboard, construction paper and cardstock-like material. 

On Sept. 7, around 20 students showed up to the decorating session. It was their second meeting, and the group decorated for about five hours. 

“I think most people don’t want a repeat of last year,” Vudali said. “Last year, I felt really bad because even though there was a lot of effort put into [our decorations], not a lot of people committed and that was just unfortunate.” 

Since Vudali’s house is currently under reconstruction, the decorators used many of the supplies that they found from the construction waste, such as cardstock. Others also donated materials like construction paper and box cutters. Decorators generally met either at Vudali’s house or at junior Alisa Chankhunthod’s house. 

Vudali said she became the head of the decoration committee because junior class president Cynthia Zhang asked her to. She later realized that it was an opportunity for her to apply her art skills to a project of a larger scale. 

“I don’t think they had many volunteers to be the head,” Vudali said. “Both Alisa and I are in art classes and we work well with each other, so it’s nice to have that kind of creative support.”

Vudali participated in both the all-girls dance and the K-pop dance. The practices were usually around two hours on Friday evenings or over the weekend. 

Junior Enoch Luk, who participated in the co-ed dance, was motivated to join because he wanted to improve on his performance from sophomore year. 

“I did Homecoming in sophomore year because I didn’t want to regret not doing it,” Luk said. “This time, I actually want to perform instead of just following motions, and I also learned cool stunts.” 

Vudali held high expectations for both the juniors’ decorations and their dances. 

“I think we made pretty good progress,” she said. “This year, we definitely want to step it up because we feel this responsibility as juniors not to let our class down. We have to do better than we did when we were underclassmen.”

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