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Details add to classic atmosphere of NOTS (VIDEO)

The annual event that students have been anticipating for weeks finally came, bringing both stress and excitement. FC?s 21st annual Night of the Stars (NOTS) took place at The Grand 1401 on the 10th floor from 5 to11 p.m., Feb. 16. While most of the ladies spent Saturday getting ready at hair, nail and other appointments, most of the boys got ready quickly right before the event. Many students met their friends and dates at specific houses and rode together in limousines to this formal event.

NOTS has been a tradition for FC that started in 1991. Though the school took a break in 1995 and 1996, this event was brought back in 1997 and has been an event that students look forward to each year ever since.

Theme adds to setting

A red carpet awaited students as they first walked into The Grand, which went along with the theme of NOTS this year, Hollywood. Milne Photography offered their services on the first floor of the building, allowing students to take photos with their dates or friends with a Hollywood-themed backdrop. After waiting in a line that seemed to continuously grow, students then proceeded to the elevator which took them up to the 10th floor.

After exiting the elevator, students checked in with chaperone Vanessa Markarian and Student Leadership Advisor Kim Bimat, who gave them programs, photo booth tickets and cards indicating which dinner they chose: beef, chicken or vegetarian. Attendees then made their entrance into the main room that featured a lounge area, popcorn machine, photo booth and drink bar.

Track coach Myster Holliman and Nick Rocca greeted students at the drink bar, offering them Shirley Temples, Roy Rogers and a variety of Cream Soda mixtures. Students had the option of mingling in the lounge area before proceeding to their assigned tables. The tables were each named after Hollywood films, such as E.T., The Godfather and Casa Blanca.

Markarian, who is involved with youth ministry at Peoples Church, enjoyed chaperoning the event because she got to see students who she has watched grow up in a formal setting.

“I think it?s just awesome to see everyone all dressed up and all grown up, because I?ve watched some of these students from elementary school through high school,” Markarian said. “It?s just awesome to see them all grown up and beautiful. I think doing movies instead of dancing shows a lot of their creativity and it?s awesome. You don?t have to dance to have fun so it?s just a good idea; I love it! It?s been 18 years since {my husband} Matt has been coaching {boys soccer} and this is first time I?ve been able to come. I love it; I think everyone’s doing a great job. Leadership did a good job with the event.”

Time with friends cherished, hosts entertain

Dinner was served at 6:45 P.M. but students were free to walk around and talk in the lounge area or visit friends at other tables. Sophomores Chris Grossman and Ashley Garcia served as the announcers of the evening, keeping students posted on the schedule throughout the night and providing attendees with comedy. Grossman and Garcia wrote their own song about NOTS set to match the tune of the Spongebob Squarepants “Campfire Song Song.” The duo was encouraged by audience members to sing it multiple times.

Ashley Erickson, ’13, notes that she enjoys getting to see her friends in a different setting than usual. As a senior, this final high school formal made Erickson begin to anticipate graduation.

“I’ve loved everything about tonight,” Erickson said. “I like seeing everybody all dressed up, because my friends and I usually wear sweats all the time. It?s kind of bittersweet. It?s really exciting because we?re going to graduate pretty soon, but it?s also a reminder that I?m going to graduate soon and I don?t ever get to go to formal again really, so it?s special. As for the movies this year, they’re really short, and I’m going to leave it at that.”

Junior Lucas Lopez enjoyed the entire atmosphere of the evening and especially enjoyed getting to spend time with his friends. He notes that the event seems to get better each year, and he looks forward to attending the event next year as well.

“It?s really fun; I like hanging out with my friends, the movies are great, and the food?s great,” Lopez said. “The whole experience is really fun. I?ve been to NOTS before and enjoyed both years; every year it just gets better. My favorite parts have definitely been hanging out with my friends and the movies for sure. Next year I?m looking forward to our senior movie because the movies just get more fun each year. I?m looking forward to a new theme and just another fun year of friends.”

Students appreciate films, enjoy atmosphere

The lounge and photo booth closed at 8 p.m. and students made their way to their seats. Grossman and Garcia then appeared on stage and introduced the first movie, the freshman class’ portrayal of the 2006 film Benchwarmers. The two proceeded to announce and comment on each movie throughout the night. The sophomore class remade an episode of The Big Bang Theory for their movie but renamed it The Creation Fact. The juniors went a different direction and chose to remake the 1984 movie The Karate Kid. The senior class chose to make their own version of the classic ’80s film The Breakfast Club.

Freshman Tyler Breedlove enjoyed watching each of the movies. He hopes to get more involved with the making of his class’ film next year.

“NOTS has been really fun,” Breedlove said. “I like the movies; they?re probably my favorite part along with hanging out with my friends. The dinner was really good and the movies are fun to watch. I wasn?t in the movie this year but I?m looking forward to being in it next year.”

After playing the freshman, sophomore and junior movies, there was a 15-minute intermission, allowing students to get up and take a break. Students then watched junior Mark Bennett as he entertained the audience with some stand-up comedy before the senior movie was played.

“I was asked to fill time at NOTS the day before and do some stand up comedy,” Bennett said. “Katie, my date, texted me and said that Mr. Foshee wanted me to my comedy act for NOTS so I agreed to do it. I?ve been working on the act for a little bit so I just extended it a little bit further to fill more time. I was extremely nervous to go up there but it was a lot of fun. I would love to do it again next year.”

Kathryn Damschen, ’15, enjoyed watching the movies and also thought the Hollywood theme was a good choice for the event. She thinks NOTS was better this year compared to last year.

“I like all the movies; I think everyone did a great job,” Damschen said. “I like it is better than last year because I just like how it?s very Hollywood-esque. I also like the popcorn machine and lounge area because last year there was just a big picture of something and it was just not very cool. This year they did a lot better job with all the props and decorations. I really just like everything about tonight: the decorations, the movies, the people. I just love it.”

FC alumnus
Scott Jennings, ’12, attended NOTS as junior Annalise Rosik‘s date. As a college student coming back to his high school’s formal, he got a new perspective on the event. Like Damschen, Jennings thought the Hollywood theme was a good choice.

“I really like the decorations, and I like the Hollywood theme,” Jennings said. “I think the photo booth was a good feature and seeing my younger classmates’ videos is really cool. The Big Bang Theory was pretty funny and the movies they chose and made were really good.”

Awards given to recognize class movies

After all the movies were shown, an awards ceremony followed with awards that looked similar to Oscars. These awards were given out for Best Soundtrack, Best Screenplay, Best On-Screen Chemistry, Best Editing and Best Line in addition to the traditional Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Parents’ Choice Award (Best Film). The sophomore and senior classes swept the awards with the seniors receiving 7 of the 10 awards.

Bailey Brogan, ’16, took part in the freshmen movie, Benchwarmers. Although Brogan thought the film could have been better constructed and portrayed he was happy to participate in it. Brogan enjoyed his first time at NOTS grateful for the time he spend with his friends.

“It was terrifying watching myself on screen,” Brogan said. “It came out a little bit better than I expected but it still wasn’t that great. It’s my first year at NOTS so it’s been really fun and I hope to continue being a part of the movies. I’ve had a great time so far hanging out with friends and being all dressed up.”

Sophomore Collin Winegarden participated his class’ movie as the main actor in the sophomores rendition of The Big Bang Theory, renaming it The Creation Fact. Winegarden was nervous to watch himself on the big screen with the rest of the attendees of NOTS but was happy to see the finished product.

“It was a lot of fun to be in the movie,” Winegarden said. “It was kind of embarrassing watching it with everyone else but it was still nice to see our final product. Last year our movie was kind of boring but this year it was fun. I hope to be participating in the years to come with the NOTS movies.”

Hannah Avila, ’14, was a big part of the movie making process for the junior class. Arriving the day of filming to merely help out, Avila soon became the one to film and direct the movie. Once the juniors wrapped up their version of The Karate Kid it was also placed on Avila to edit the film with the help of Bobby Christopher, ’14. Avila was nervous to see her work on the screen but enjoyed the experience, as well as the overall experience of NOTS.

“It was interesting editing, filming and being the director of the movie,” Avila said. “It was a lot of fun though. I didn’t think I was going to be that involved in the process but it was a fun experience. I think I might help edit next year but I’m not a big fan of acting so I think I’m going to stay away from that. But so far I’m having a great time with my date Cole Nale. The photo booth is really cool as well as the drink station. So far the night has been really enjoyable.”

After wanting to be a part of the NOTS movie since freshmen year senior Katie Barisic played the role of NAME in The Breakfast Club. Through her portrayal of NAME Barisic received the award for Best Actress. She enjoyed her time spent filming the movie as well as her time watching it.

“I loved it being in the movie,” Barisic said “I’ve been trying to be in the movie for three years now and I finally got it my senior year. Of all things conceited I loved watching myself on the big screen. My experience at NOTS this year has been really great. The only complaint I have is my shoes. It’s weird to think that this is my last NOTS, I’m really going to miss it.”

For more information about class films, read the Feb. 15 article, Juniors produce ‘The Karate Kid’ parody for NOTS.

For more information on the history of NOTS, read the Jan. 19, 2007 article, Suggestion creates NOTS tradition.

For more features, read the Feb. 12 article, Students voice outlook on holiday: Join the discussion.

Viviana Hinojosa, Features Editor and Maddie Yee, Senior Editor also contributed to this article.

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