Name: Breanne Pancarik
From: Escondido, California
School: Classical Academy High School
I skipped up the stairs to the second floor. The air is always
different here; filled with the scent of hairspray, industrial
carpet, and lots of sweat. I turned the corner into the conference
room that we use as our “makeup room” and took in the view. Five
moms were sitting around the large rectangular conference table with
papers, makeup, and a projector strewn about. I smile and wave to
Rocio. I’ve known her since third grade. I stick my bag and
backpack in the corner of the room by the hat stand and take a seat
with the other moms. It’s tech week, and we’ve got 80 kids to put
I’ve volunteered for The Classical Academy’s Musical Theater program
every year since I graduated from there in the eighth grade. Every
tech week, after school I go directly to the California Center for
the Arts Escondido from the high school. I’ve been volunteering for
four years and they do two shows a year. That’s eight weeks from
2:30 to 10:00 every day of that week. It’s a long day, but it’s
completely worth it.
You see, all throughout my time at The Classical Academy I participated
in their award winning Musical Theater program and learned so much.
How to work with a group consisting of many personalities. How to
take direction and criticism. But when it came time for me to move
on, I couldn’t. I found myself returning to the place that
influenced my life so greatly. I want to share with these kids what
this program taught me. I want to give back to this community.
In the makeup room, it is our responsibility to make sure these kids
have the most amazing faces on stage. Whether it be Cinderella with
realistic makeup or The Lion King with tribal makeup, we’ve done it
all. My job was to assist with ensemble makeup, apply false
eyelashes, and occasionally paint a lead’s face. I worked my way up
the ranks from being the youngest one on the team to one of the
experts who people ask questions to. I’ve learned to be bold and
just go for it.
Working with these kids has encouraged my goal to become a Middle School
Drama teacher. Through interaction with the leadership, the students,
and my fellow committee members, I feel I’ve gained valuable
experience in communications, conflict resolution, and creativity.
Time management has also become an important skill to have because of
the long hours worked after school with homework still due the next
These kids have a wonderful opportunity for growth and fun in this program.
I want them to learn and create memories like I did when I was in it.
Arts programs in schools are dying all around us and I want to keep
them alive. The program is largely run by volunteers and I want to do
my share in helping the kids have the time of theirs lives and foster