By: Katrina Cherk
This year, MSJ will be introducing new rules and regulations to our annual Homecoming performance. The major changes include the accommodation of the new Wednesday schedule, as well as the pre-recording process, which is headed by L2’s Tech committee- Kevin Li, Kush Patel, and Jonah Lin. This summer, each class sent their script to Tech at the end of August, and over the course of the following two months, the voice actors from each class met with Tech to record their script. After the recording was finished, Tech proceeded to edit the files. They added in airband mixes, various sound effects, and appropriate pauses for cheering, and after a month of careful editing, they sent the finalized MP3 file containing the entire pre-recording to the class officers for final editing.
Though many of the script, music, and lyric deadlines have stayed relatively similar, the pre-recording process differs greatly from previous years. Both Tech’s and the voice actors’ roles in Homecoming have increased greatly, and class officers have had greater collaboration and communication with L2. In previous years, scripts and music were turned in early for approval, and the entire performance was done live on Homecoming day.
The new pre-recording process was decided last year, after the senior class went overtime. The implementation of the new pre-recording process is primarily to make sure that each class’s Homecoming performance stays within the time constraints of the allotted lunch period. In order to prevent Homecoming from upsetting students, faculty, and administrators, the pre-recording was implemented to regulate time and avoid unwanted and unexpected “add-ins” during the live performance. This process is not entirely new, however. Other high schools, such as WashingtonHigh School and IrvingtonHigh School have used the same method for their Homecomings.
Leadership adviser Ben Breazeale strongly supports the change. “In my opinion, there are no negatives to it. I know that change always hurts, but I think that in a few years… it will be a very accepted, perfectly fine way of doing it… In the long run, I think it will be something we look back at and say, ‘Wow, we should have done that a lot earlier.’” He plans to continue using pre-recordings and believes that it will become a more fluid process over time.
However, many students involved in pre-recording strongly oppose the change, as they believe it detracts from their Homecoming performances and causes unnecessary complications. Junior Class President Tiffany Chang said that the pre-recording “definitely did not give the skit cast and officers much leeway. The recording was also difficult to plan because it can be pretty unpredictable, especially when dealing with the buffer zones and the crowd’s reactions.”
“I know that the seniors went overtime last year, and it [caused] a few concerns and difficulties, but I believe that the pre-recording is not the best way to solve the problem. It is inconvenient, time consuming, and inefficient…” said Sophomore Class Secretary Yvonne Chen.
Since the process is new to MSJ, Tech underwent drastic changes to adapt to the new rule. Li, the head of Tech, said, “I definitely don’t like the pre-recording process. I believe it takes away from the [liveliness] of Homecoming. Having voice-overs gives it a more natural feel… It is also a complete waste of time for Tech, as we had to start during the summer to get everything prepared.”
In order to coordinate Homecoming with the new Wednesday schedule, the juniors will be given 10 extra minutes of set-up time in the morning in order to account for the shorter fourth-period set-up time. In addition, the adjusted lunch time for Homecoming is 10 minutes shorter than usual for all classes. School will still start at 9:00 AM on Wednesday.
“Homecoming is fun. Homecoming is the week of the year where you’re supposed to show your school spirit, but it’s also really important to remember that we want to respect everything, respect the schedule. We can’t go overtime,” said Angela Chen, the head of the Homecoming and Multicultural Week Committee, as she explained why the changes were necessary.