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FULL EPISODE

Rising Stars 2021: Behind The Mask

Students from LaGuardia, the renowned NYC public arts "FAME" school, transcend the pandemic with their music, dance, vocals, drama, art and tech skills - turning dark stages into a screen debut that spotlights inner strength and unbreakable bonds.

AIRED: June 04, 2021 | 1:56:37
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

- The first confirmed U.S. case of the contagious

coronavirus. - Government Cuomo just

announced the first confirmed - As of tomorrow, our public

schools will be closed. - We are looking at another

day of extreme- [sirens blaring]

[somber music]

[bright music]

[gentle orchestral music]

♪ Welcome to my world

♪ Won't you come on in

♪ Miracles I guess

♪ Still happen now and then

♪ Step into my heart

♪ Leave your cares behind

♪ Welcome to my world

♪ Built with you in mind

♪ Knock, and the door will open ♪

♪ Seek, and you will find

♪ Ask, and you'll be given

♪ The key to this world of mine ♪

♪ I'll be waiting here

- [Announcer] Stand clear of the closing doors.

♪ With my arms unfurled

♪ Waiting just for you

♪ Welcome to my world [siren blaring]

[gentle music]

- [Announcer] Welcome to Rising Stars 2021,

Behind the Mask, created and performed

by the students of LaGuardia High School.

- Rising Stars is my favorite thing that I do all year.

I was asked by Sandy Faison if I would come in

and help with staging.

At the time, she asked me if I would direct it with Lee.

He started giving it a structure by giving it a theme

and having the kids audition for it.

One of their first shows, a singer started singing a song

that was a little bit more classical,

and the audience wasn't used to it,

and they started throwing pennies at her.

And credit to her, she didn't get off the stage,

and they started to realize

that she was actually really good.

And by the end, they gave her a standing ovation.

It's one of the things about Rising Stars

that's really special, because it broadens

the mind of the audience.

Little did we know in February 2020

that it would be the last show that was performed

at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

And these kids who are basically waiting all the time

for opportunities to perform and to share their crafts,

everything was stopped.

So this show is really about what did these students,

what did they do?

And that's what the show is. This is what they did.

[bright music]

♪ Something is stirring, shifting ground ♪

♪ It's just begun

♪ Edges are blurring all around ♪

♪ And yesterday is done

♪ Feel the flow, hear what's happening ♪

♪ We're what's happening

♪ Don't you know

♪ We're the movers and we're the shapers ♪

♪ We're the names in tomorrow's papers ♪

♪ Up to us, man, to show 'em

♪ It's our time, breathe it in

♪ Worlds to change, and worlds to win ♪

♪ Our turn, coming through

♪ Me and you, man, me and you

[gentle music]

♪ Feel how it quivers on the brink ♪

- What?

♪ Everything

♪ Gives you the shivers, makes you think ♪

♪ There's so much stuff to sing ♪

♪ And you and me

♪ We'll be singing it like the birds ♪

♪ Me with music and you the words ♪

♪ Tell 'em things they don't know ♪

♪ Up to us, pal, to show 'em

♪ It's our time, breathe it in

♪ Worlds to change, and worlds to win ♪

♪ Our turn coming through

♪ Me and you, pal, me and you

♪ Years from now, we'll remember ♪

♪ And we'll come back

♪ By the rooftop and hang a plaque ♪

♪ This is where we began

♪ Being what we can

♪ It's our heads on the block

♪ Give us room and start the clock ♪

♪ Our dream coming true

♪ Me and you, pal, me and you

♪ Me and you

♪ Me and you

♪ Me and you

♪ Me and you

♪ Me and you

♪ Me and you

♪ Me and you

[upbeat music]

♪ I made the promise with silent words ♪

♪ I never broke the homage for drama ♪

♪ I must vomit until I choke

♪ But then the silent came silence polishing while I spoke ♪

♪ Ticktock from the album to that ♪

♪ So you know that's all she wrote ♪

♪ But why not make it last

♪ But why not pay for past

♪ Dreams intersected, extended

♪ Then after the hour passed

♪ I have no doubts that we shall all continue to surpass ♪

♪ The bar we set, but what's next ♪

♪ Laughter will be from lag

♪ Ooh

♪ Ooh

♪ Ooh

♪ Ooh

♪ Ooh, ah

- To our dreams and nightmares no longer bound.

What matters now is how to make a new sound.

Pray the shadows of our past are forgiven.

Forget moon and sun, for another star has risen.

Time and space will bend, creativity is forever.

Behold the story's end.

It's truly now or never.

♪ That's the bump we're speeding for ♪

♪ That's the jump we're leaping for ♪

♪ Keep the dream alive although life's a part ♪

♪ Of moving forward, holding on for dearest life ♪

♪ Holding till I drop the mic

♪ Coping at the skulls

♪ And I will stand against the [indistinct] ♪

♪ Right before we're that but everything is uncertain ♪

♪ Anticipating when we're dropping ♪

♪ Keep the eyes on the curtains ♪

♪ I'm stacking up the verses, studying words ♪

♪ Miss, you're watching from a screen ♪

♪ But wish you witness this is in person ♪

♪ Mm, look how far

♪ We've come

♪ We've come so far, look where we are ♪

♪ Look where we are

♪ Come so far

♪ So far

- My name is Rohan Menon.

I am 16 years old, and I am a sophomore.

The Rising Stars experience as a whole

has been something so unique.

Entering on my first performance, just seeing the camera

and the lighting, it was definitely eye-opening for me.

[gentle piano music]

♪ They say distance is relative ♪

♪ Relative to relatives I have

♪ I'd say I'm relatively close

♪ To breaking down

♪ Because right now I feel so alone ♪

♪ I've been missing the elements ♪

♪ And wishing the elephant in the room ♪

♪ Would leave and kindly close the door ♪

♪ I can't ignore them like before ♪

♪ Not anymore

♪ Oh, I miss you most at six feet apart ♪

♪ When you're right outside my window ♪

♪ But can't ride inside my car

♪ And it hurts to know just how lovely you are ♪

♪ And be too far away to hold

♪ But close enough to break my heart ♪

♪ I miss your smile

♪ Feels like my miles

♪ Six feet apart

♪ So far, so far but so close

♪ Like a star out in the cosmos ♪

♪ Can't touch the beauty I see

♪ That's how it feels at six feet ♪

♪ Space and time are interwoven ♪

♪ Or at least that's what we're told ♪

♪ When I was young I was suspicious, but it's true ♪

♪ Time sticks like glue, I feel so blue ♪

♪ Here missing you

♪ Oh, I miss you most at six feet apart ♪

♪ When you're right outside my window ♪

♪ But can't ride inside my car

♪ And it hurts to know just how lovely you are ♪

♪ And be too far away to hold

♪ But close enough to break my heart ♪

♪ I miss your smile

♪ It feels like miles six feet apart ♪

♪ So far, so far but so close

♪ Like a star out in the cosmos ♪

♪ Can't touch the beauty I see

♪ That's how it feels at six feet, so far ♪

♪ So far but so close

♪ Like a star out in the cosmos ♪

♪ Can't touch the beauty I see

♪ That's how it feels at six feet ♪

♪ How does it feel to be on your own ♪

♪ No one to understand

♪ I know I'm here and I don't belong ♪

♪ I'm on my knees today

♪ When it gets dark, I will know no fear ♪

♪ Life can be so unkind

♪ Hanging around on the edge of the world ♪

♪ Finally no one around

♪ Oh, would you help me

♪ I don't understand

♪ Is it over

♪ Am I losing solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

♪ Solid ground

- My name is Mireille Cambry, and I am 17 years old.

I am a vocal major at LaGuardia High School.

- My name is Sidney.

I'm a vocal major. I'm 16 years old.

- We really just wanted to get together

and show something powerful and see how we can still unite

even though we're in a pandemic that's meant to separate us.

- [Student] In such dire times of COVID-19,

we have to remember that we are students

of LaGuardia High School.

- [Student] It is up to us to spread hope

and light up those faces under the mask

by being heroes in our community.

♪ We can hide away in daylight

♪ We go undercover, wait out the sun ♪

♪ Got a secret side in plain sight ♪

♪ Where the streets are empty, that's where we run ♪

♪ Everyday people do everyday things but I ♪

♪ Can't be one of them, no

♪ I know you hear me now, we are a different kind ♪

♪ We can do anything

♪ We could be heroes

♪ Ooh

♪ We could be heroes

♪ Me and you

♪ We could be heroes

♪ Ooh

♪ We could be heroes

♪ Me and you

♪ Yeah, yeah, we could

- I am a hero because I teach kids

how to knit during the pandemic.

- I'm a hero because I keep my sister safe

during this pandemic.

- I am a hero because I teach dance

[indistinct] to 11 to 13-year-olds.

- Because I've made 15 masks for my community

during the pandemic.

- I am a hero because I bring groceries

to my family members who are at high risk.

- [All] Because we wear masks.

♪ We could be

♪ Anybody's got the power

♪ You and me, we got the world in our hands ♪

["Billie Jean"]

[upbeat music]

♪ What are you willing to lose

♪ You cover your wounds

♪ But underneath them

♪ A million voices in your head that whisper ♪

♪ Stop now

♪ Another twist of the knife

♪ Turn of the screws, it's all in your mind ♪

♪ And it's fighting you

♪ Arm yourself, a storm is coming ♪

♪ Well, kid, what you gonna do now ♪

♪ It's your reflection looking back ♪

♪ To pull you down

♪ So are you gonna die today

♪ Or make it out alive

♪ You gotta conquer the monster in your head ♪

♪ And then you'll fly

♪ Fly, phoenix, fly

♪ It's time for a new empire

♪ Go bury your demons

♪ Then tear down the ceiling

♪ Phoenix, fly

♪ And now you're playing with matches ♪

♪ Come out of the ashes underneath you ♪

♪ A million voices in the crowd ♪

♪ They're screaming, stop now

♪ We'll let 'em swallow their pride ♪

♪ You're turning the tide to true believers ♪

♪ Got them in the palm of your hand ♪

♪ You're playing God now

♪ What you gonna do now

♪ It's your reflection looking back ♪

♪ To pull you down

♪ So are you gonna die today

♪ Or make it out alive

♪ You gotta conquer the monster in your head ♪

♪ And then you'll fly

♪ Fly, phoenix, fly

♪ It's time for a new empire

♪ Go bury your demons

♪ Then tear down the ceiling

♪ Phoenix, fly

[upbeat music]

- Hi, I'm Mia Lailani, and I am a 15-year-old

sophomore vocal major.

All these events are impacting the youth and a lot of people

and we have to start having these conversations

so we can find solutions so we can change

and we can make a better future for ourselves.

But just to start the conversation overall

and get some awareness.

[bright piano music]

♪ Ooh, I don't know

♪ No, no, I don't know

♪ Mm

♪ Mama said the world's a disaster ♪

♪ And Mama said the world is so lonely ♪

♪ So many questions left unanswered ♪

♪ And I just hope one day it will change ♪

♪ I'm so tired of being forgotten ♪

♪ In this world, though man

♪ I'm tired of losing sleep

♪ Over something I can't change ♪

♪ I don't wanna grow up, no

♪ I don't wanna grow up, no

♪ I don't wanna lose all my hope ♪

♪ But I'm scared, oh

♪ Some days I just wish we could go back in time ♪

♪ To the days we're feeling just fine ♪

♪ To when things were feeling all right ♪

♪ But even then, hold on tight

♪ To your hopes and dreams

♪ 'Cause they're ripping at the seams ♪

♪ And everything's gonna be just fine ♪

♪ I'm so tired of feeling forgotten ♪

♪ In this world I can never change ♪

♪ I just want love and peace

♪ Is that too high of a price range ♪

♪ I don't wanna grow up, no

♪ I don't wanna grow up, no

♪ I don't wanna lose all my hope ♪

♪ But I'm scared, oh

[lively music]

- My name is Bailey.

I'm a sophomore. I'm 15 years old.

- My name is Samantha Gray.

I'm a sophomore. I'm 16 years old.

We're in the graduating class of 2023.

- The entire piece was really about stepping out

behind something that we may have struggled with before

and finding our way along as we go.

- If you listen to the lyrics, he says in the piece,

"I don't wanna be perfect."

And I feel like we really want to convey that.

No one's perfect, but that's okay,

as long as you're comfortable with who you are.

[bright piano music]

♪ When I was a child

♪ My mother told me not to cry

♪ That the world would have my back someday ♪

♪ And I wanna remember what it's like to find ♪

♪ The light inside, free

♪ Until they told me who to be

♪ Made me question all that I believe, and I ♪

♪ Need to remember what it's like to shine ♪

♪ This light inside, oh I

♪ Breaking through

♪ Here in my view

♪ I don't wanna be perfect

♪ Just trying to be honest

♪ I know that I'm worth it

♪ Put my fear on the shelf

♪ That all of my light come out ♪

♪ And it shined on my doubt, I can't hide it ♪

♪ 'Cause I finally love myself

♪ Love myself, love myself

♪ Love myself

♪ Oh, I was naive

♪ To think I'd find it all outside ♪

♪ Trapped inside the corners of my mind ♪

♪ But all I need was in me the whole time ♪

♪ Waiting to be let go

♪ Time is up, I gotta go

♪ There's more to life than listening to the lies ♪

♪ But now I know I'm not alone

♪ Not alone, not alone, not alone ♪

♪ Not alone, not alone, not alone, ♪

♪ Not alone, not alone, not alone ♪

- Hey, um, do you remember me?

We met at summer camp five years ago.

That's fine. [chuckles]

I don't cry.

Ever.

I don't feel anything.

Except this one night with you.

Well, it was the last night of camp,

and the boys sneak into the girls' dorms

'cause the girls will play this game thing

where you try to guess where our belly buttons are

with our pajamas on, which is erotic,

and challenging 'cause we're all different, aren't we?

Anyway, you get paired with me, and you turn to go,

but you get it, you get me.

Bang on.

And people cheer, and maybe they're bullying,

but I don't care, it feels like we're in a romcom, you know?

And you have this smile. I notice it.

And it feels like you've reached right in, your whole hand,

and touched something right in the core,

the freezing cold core of me, and just for second,

you lit it up.

And it's like [imitates explosion].

But basically, anyway,

I know you don't remember me or anything.

But I was thinking that this was the best bit

of my life so far, probably.

I mean, I know it is.

I actually never really realized that before,

but I've had a really bad year.

And I'm really trying to do something, and I've missed you.

I've realized that I've missed you.

I'm back for a few weeks, and I thought

I would look you up today and see what you're up to

and see if maybe you remember that too,

and whether you might wanna have dinner.

Do you like curry? I got it on sale, but it's fine.

Sorry.

[bright piano music]

♪ I'll be

♪ Seeing you

♪ In all the old familiar places ♪

♪ That this heart of mine embraces ♪

♪ All day through

♪ In that small cafe

♪ The hall across the way

♪ The children's carousel

♪ The chestnut trees

♪ The wishing well

♪ I'll be

♪ Seeing you

♪ In every lovely summer's day

♪ In everything that's light and gay ♪

♪ I'll always think of you that way ♪

♪ I'll find you in the morning sun ♪

♪ And when the night is new

♪ I'll be looking at the moon

♪ But I'll be seeing you

[gentle jazz music]

[upbeat music]

♪ Take me away

♪ Take me away

♪ From you tonight

♪ From you, you might

♪ Slip away

♪ 'Cause I'm fading [indistinct] ♪

♪ This dance

♪ When it rains

♪ It's okay, I got you by my side ♪

♪ Please don't change the tune tonight ♪

♪ Like every other day you decide ♪

♪ Decide what to do

♪ When the sun goes down and you ♪

♪ I take off your dress in my room ♪

♪ And get heavy into me

♪ Into me

♪ Take me away

♪ Take me away

♪ Staring at the shadows on the wall ♪

♪ Till the light's gone out

♪ Make me come alive 'cause I wanna go home right now ♪

♪ I got everything I needed

♪ Give your everything to me

♪ I'll play, take me away

♪ I'll play, take me away

♪ I'll play, take me away

- Hi, my name is Nathalie Brea. I am 17 years old.

I'm a senior, and I'm a vocal major.

I came here to be an artist,

and that really helped me become a better musician,

a better version of myself.

[bright keyboard music]

♪ This is my song

♪ And no one

♪ Can take it away

♪ It's been so long

♪ But now you're here

♪ Here to stay

♪ And I wonder

♪ If you know

♪ What it means

♪ To find your dream's come true ♪

♪ Ooh

♪ I may not always seem to

♪ And sometimes you don't hear me ♪

♪ But you don't have to be near me ♪

♪ To know that I'm singing

♪ This is my song

♪ And nothing

♪ Can make it die

♪ It's been so long

♪ And I'm stronger

♪ I know why

♪ And I wonder

♪ If you really

♪ Really know

♪ That as long as I

♪ I will sing my song

♪ For you

[light piano music] [feet shuffling]

[shovel scraping]

[feet shuffling]

[gentle piano music]

[feet shuffling]

[fire crackling]

[intense music]

[heavy panting]

[deep piano music]

[upbeat piano music]

♪ It's very clear

♪ Our love is here to stay

♪ Not for a year

♪ But ever and a day

♪ The radio and the telephone

♪ And the movies that we know

♪ May just be passing fancies

♪ And in time may go

♪ But oh my dear

♪ Our love is here to stay

♪ Together we're

♪ Going a long, long way

♪ In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble ♪

♪ They're only made of clay, but ♪

♪ Our love is here to

♪ Stay

[bright piano scale music]

[Daniel sighs]

[tinkling music]

[lively piano music]

- Hi, I'm Jose Sebastian.

I am a dancer with American Ballet Theatre,

and the director of the Incubator program at ABT.

I actually joined LaGuardia in my sophomore year,

and I just want to wish all the students

a huge congratulations on your performance.

[upbeat music]

♪ When you're a jet, you're a jet ♪

♪ All the way from your first cigarette ♪

♪ To your last dying day

♪ When you're a jet, if the spit hits the fan ♪

♪ You got brothers around, you're a family man ♪

♪ You're never alone, you're never disconnected ♪

♪ You're here with your own

♪ When company's expected, you're a jet ♪

♪ You're a jet

♪ You're the swingingest kind of jet ♪

♪ You're a jet

♪ Freeze it, buzz it, easy does it ♪

♪ Stay loose, boy

♪ Got a rocket in your pocket

♪ Stay cooly-cool, boy

♪ Go, man, go

♪ But not like a crazy schoolboy, pow ♪

♪ Just play it cool, boy

♪ Real cool, real cool

♪ Real cool

♪ Maria

♪ I just met a girl named Maria ♪

♪ And suddenly I've found

♪ How wonderful a sound

♪ Could be, Maria

♪ Say it loud and there's music playing ♪

♪ Say it soft

♪ And it's almost

♪ Like praying

♪ Maria

♪ I'll never stop saying

♪ Maria

♪ The most beautiful sound I've ever heard ♪

♪ Maria

- Hi, my name is Elijah Fretchman.

I'm a junior, and my major is instrumental.

Music, it's a way of expression.

It's a way to convey a feeling that you feel

to somebody else.

At least to me, it's almost clearer than words.

[upbeat music]

♪ Oh

♪ Say all that you wrote

♪ You're getting worked up and you're doing the most ♪

♪ You're gonna be good, you're [indistinct] ♪

♪ Girl, you look good now, no

♪ There's nobody giving it away ♪

♪ Girl, get free, you can make a mistake ♪

♪ I got a problem with people, didn't even ask 'em ♪

♪ You think too much, enough said ♪

♪ Top of the morning

♪ And you fought for circuit, baby ♪

♪ You can't breathe

♪ You got a warning, girl, your head is hurting ♪

♪ Grinding in your teeth

♪ If you're wondering why you're waking up ♪

♪ To hurting in your head

♪ You're running through your mind ♪

♪ But baby, don't worry about it, enough said ♪

♪ When we move it

♪ When we move it all

♪ When we move it

♪ See, we move it all

♪ When we move it

♪ See, we move it all

♪ See, we move it all, see, we move it all ♪

♪ I'm always just sitting looking at my phone ♪

♪ Trying to fly high as time

♪ When we can be alone

♪ So every time you call I give the same response ♪

♪ Uh, yeah, I'm busy, so just go and get lost ♪

♪ Every week that goes by I start to lose hope ♪

♪ I'm losing my mind like this stuff is a joke ♪

♪ So when I'm losing

♪ 'Cause you really better know ♪

♪ It's your own damn fault, that's why, yo ♪

[soft music]

[upbeat music]

♪ You're way beyond return, girl ♪

♪ Way beyond return

♪ Building what you make, girl

♪ Baby, I'm concerned

♪ Living in the worst world

♪ You're the only one

♪ You're the only one, girl

♪ You're the only one

♪ You're the only one

♪ Baby, I'm concerned

♪ Baby, I'm concerned [indistinct] ♪

♪ You're the only one

♪ You're the only one

♪ You're the only one

♪ You're the only one

[ethereal vocalizing]

[mellow music]

[gentle piano music]

[students vocalizing]

♪ Oh

♪ Mm, mm

♪ Oh

♪ The mist across the window hides the lights ♪

♪ But nothing hides the color of the lights that shine ♪

♪ Electricity so fine

♪ Look and draw your eyes

♪ Yeah

♪ Tired of all the darkness in our lives ♪

♪ No more angry words to say

♪ We can come alive

♪ Get into the car and drive

♪ To the other side

♪ Steppin' out

♪ Into the night

♪ Into the light

♪ Movin'

♪ Steppin' out

♪ Into the night

♪ Into the light

- [All] We are the A-List step team.

- And by the time you're done watching our performance,

you will know that everything is gonna be all right

as long as we have each other.

- This year at LaGuardia for me was very uncertain.

But I will say that LaGuardia did an amazing job

of keeping the legacy of what LaGuardia is known for alive.

- Thankfully, we came together and we pulled through,

and we all really just supported each other throughout it.

- [Gideon] Rising Stars is triumph, is unity.

You see countless number of acts, Spanish, African,

dance, singing, and you realize that 3,000 students,

all different identities, coming together to form

one big student-led show.

[feet stomping]

[indistinct shouting]

[feet stomping]

♪ Dirty word, hello [indistinct shouting]

♪ Hello, hello, how low

♪ Hello, hello, hello, how low

♪ Hello, hello, hello, how low

♪ Hello, hello, hello, how low

♪ With the light's out it's less dangerous ♪

♪ Here we are now, entertain us ♪

♪ I feel stupid and contagious

♪ Here we are now, entertain us ♪

♪ A mulatto

- Do you hear me? Do you hear me?

- [All] 'Cause we gonna be all right

[feet stomping]

♪ Alls my life I has to fight

♪ Alls my life

[feet stomping] [indistinct shouting]

[indistinct singing]

♪ Gon' be all right

♪ Gon' be all right

♪ We gon' be all right

♪ We gon' be all right

♪ Do you hear me, do you feel me, we gon' be all right ♪

♪ We gon' be all right

♪ We gon' be all right

♪ We gon' be all right

♪ Do you hear me, do you feel me, we gon' be all right ♪

♪ Uh, and when I wake up

♪ I recognize you looking at me for the paycut ♪

♪ But homicide be looking at you from the face down ♪

♪ What MAC-11 even boom with the bass down ♪

♪ Schemin', and let me tell you 'bout my life ♪

♪ Painkillers only put me in the twilight ♪

♪ Where pretty and Benjamin is the highlight ♪

♪ Now tell my mama I love her

♪ But this what I like, Lord knows ♪

- [All] A-List awesome, we've got the step!

[indistinct shouting]

We've got the step!

[indistinct shouting]

Hey, hey, hey!

A-List, A-List, A-List, A-List!

[feet stomping]

- [Student] Okay!

- [Student] What?

- We kick [indistinct] and get yourself [indistinct]!

A-List!

I said, A-List!

Show 'em what we do.

[feet stomping] [hands clapping]

What? [indistinct shouting]

- Five, six, seven, eight!

- [All] A-List! [indistinct]

- May name is Larry Pressgrove, and I am co-director

and music supervisor for Rising Stars.

My focus is often on the house band

and making all the acts come together.

Rising Stars I think is valuable for the students

because Rising Stars breaks all boundaries.

And it's just a way to feature aspects of students

that might not get to be seen

on all the other performances LaGuardia has.

And also you get to do something that is just about beauty

and connection and community.

And I think it's valuable for every human being

to have that aspect in their lives.

- My name is Danielle Wu, I'm in 12th grade,

and I'm an instrumental major.

My experience at LaGuardia has been really fun.

I got to play in a lot of ensembles

and made a lot of great friends there just making music.

Working on Rising Stars definitely made

a lot of friendships stronger.

We were going through a lot of tracks to see which one

we would choose as our house band number,

and once we listened to "Smooth," all of us were like,

yeah, this goes hard.

["Smooth"]

[jaunty music]

♪ They say I'm crazy, got no sense ♪

♪ But I don't care

♪ They may or may not mean offense ♪

♪ But I don't care

♪ You see, I'm sort of independent ♪

♪ I am my own superintendent

♪ And my star is on the ascendent ♪

♪ That's why I don't care

♪ I don't care

♪ I don't care

♪ What they may think of me

♪ I'm happy-go-lucky, they say that I'm plucky ♪

♪ Contended and carefree

♪ I don't care, oh, I don't care ♪

♪ If I just get a mean and stony stare ♪

♪ If I'm not successful, it won't be distressful ♪

♪ 'Cause I don't care

♪ A girl should know her etiquette ♪

♪ Alas, a lack

♪ Propriety demands we walk a narrow track ♪

♪ When fellas used to wink at me ♪

♪ I'd freeze and then they'd shrink at me ♪

♪ But now when fellas wink at me ♪

♪ I wink at them right back

♪ I don't care

♪ I don't care

♪ If people frown on me

♪ Perhaps it's the lone way, but I'll go my own way ♪

♪ That's my philosophy

♪ I don't care, oh, I don't care ♪

♪ If he's a clerk or just a millionaire ♪

♪ There's no doubt about it, I'll sing and I'll shout it ♪

♪ 'Cause I don't care

♪ Oh, I don't care, oh, I don't care ♪

♪ When it comes to happiness, I want my share ♪

♪ Don't try to rearrange me

♪ There's nothing can change me ♪

♪ 'Cause I

♪ Don't

♪ Care

[gentle orchestral music]

- My name is Anais Fernandez.

I am 17, and I am a junior drama major.

My experience at LaGuardia has been really intense

and really overwhelming at times, but also super special.

It was my first time going to school.

It was my first time taking the train.

And my commute was my favorite part

of going to school in the morning.

The train was empty. I couldn't see people's faces.

And that just hit me in a really weird way.

The faces on this train used to tell stories.

Good stories, stories like the ones passed down

from our mothers, stories that feel like speeding

through space, or maybe through a darkened subway tunnel.

The faces on this train used to tell stories

with all the figurative language

my English teacher could ask for.

I could find similes in their smiles,

metaphors in their mouths, imagery right behind their eyes,

and always irony tucked into the corners of their lips.

Sad stories, stories of cold nights and not enough to wear.

Stories that sound like clinking coins in cups.

Stories printed in black and white,

slipped through and left behind for the next person.

Loud stories, stories of boom box bass

and beats and beat-up baseball caps.

Stories that start with, it's showtime, folks,

and read like limber limbs on steel poles.

The seats on this train used to tell stories.

Stories of lost things, umbrellas

and MetroCards, mittens and hats.

They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

And I imagine that if all of the lost things on the subway

were turned into illustrations, they would create

the most beautiful picture book.

The bodies on this train used to tell stories.

In the summer they would shine,

and in the winter they would disappear,

only to come out again too early, forgetting that the snow

always has the best April Fool's Day trick up its sleeve.

The subway was my favorite library.

No overdue policy, and the shelves were always stocked,

but never the same.

I treated the threshold between the platform

and the train car floor like a steel-bound front cover.

And when the man tells me to stand clear

of the closing doors, it sounds like a dedication.

- [Announcer] Stand clear of the closing doors, please.

- The faces on this train are few now.

Covered and concealed by a cloth veil.

I know that behind the mask, there is still a story.

But for now, all the titles are the same.

Keep breathing.

- I'm Brody Ajemian, I'm a sophomore, I'm 15,

and I'm an instrumental major.

My experience at LaGuardia so far

has helped me grow artistically.

I've been able to explore myself so much,

musically especially, that it's just given me

a fresh perspective on who I am as a person, as an artist.

No matter what, I definitely see myself doing music

in the next five years and way beyond that.

[gentle piano music]

[upbeat music]

- [Ramona] Hey, you, it's Ramona Stone.

I obviously can't pick up right now.

But if you got something to say,

please leave it after the beep.

[voicemail beeps]

♪ Haven't heard from you in weeks ♪

♪ Life's been pretty bleak without you ♪

♪ I'll wash my hands 10 times a day ♪

♪ Why are you leaving me to bray without you ♪

♪ Oh, Ramona

♪ She said, six feet away from me ♪

♪ You should be in quarantine

♪ I said Ramona

♪ I'm missing you, I can't

♪ I can't help it, I'm missing you ♪

♪ I can't, I can't help it, I'm missing you ♪

♪ I took the train to your apartment ♪

♪ Said it was a bombardment, I need you ♪

♪ You say it's difficult to breathe ♪

♪ When I'm crawling at your knees and need you ♪

♪ Oh, Ramona

♪ Oh, Ramona

♪ I don't have corona

♪ Oh, Ramona

♪ I don't have corona

♪ I can't, I can't help it, I'm missing you ♪

♪ I can't, I can't help it, I'm missing you ♪

[mellow music]

[gentle music]

- [Narrator] A model, an artist, a beautiful being.

Scruffy Von Phoenix was ahead of his time.

- Scruffy always had a creative soul.

He would walk around with this artistic confidence.

His art was always his modeling.

- [Narrator] In 1981 and into '82,

Scruffy made it onto "America's Next Top Model."

- Scruffy never needed an agent.

He made it to the finals of "America's Next Top Model."

He went against Montgomery Carmichael,

one of the meanest models in the modeling business.

Scruffy won. He was victorious.

- [Narrator] In 1983, Von Phoenix was put on the cover

of "Vogue" and numerous other magazines.

His art and modeling were remarkable.

His art was so moving.

Just a picture of him could bring you to tears.

[Bethany sobbing]

[Bethany sniffs] [Bethany sobs]

- [Narrator] Scruffy had changed the course of modern art.

But in 2011, he disappeared.

No one has seen him since.

Was it the paparazzi that drove him away,

or was he sick of the spotlight?

- I really was upset when I heard

about Scruffy's disappearance.

But I know that he would never run away from the spotlight

because he was born to be in the spotlight.

- You say the name Scruffy Von Phoenix,

and everybody knows who you're talking about.

He was a bright light, and yet also a dark light.

He was beautiful, yet disgusting.

He was a spirit, a force, and a legend

if there ever was one.

He was-

- Scruffy- - Von-

- [Woman] Phoenix.

[lively music]

- My name is Piper Miller.

I'm 15 years old, and I'm a sophomore.

It's been a rocky journey

to stay motivated in the past year.

But when I see other performances

or when I get to have a day out and go explore the city,

just different random occurrences will spark inspiration.

[lively guitar music]

♪ I wanna live right under a waterfall ♪

♪ I wanna sleep in a mangrove tree ♪

♪ I wanna wake up with dew on my eyelashes ♪

♪ And I want to be free

♪ I'm sick and tired of this concrete encampment ♪

♪ I want a forest in which I can roam ♪

♪ I wanna dangle my feet off a cliffside ♪

♪ Look out at the world and call it my home ♪

♪ Look out at the world and call it my home ♪

♪ When the ground shakes from the guzzling factories ♪

♪ Piercing the earth and draining its core ♪

♪ Mother Earth cries as she wakes from her slumber ♪

♪ She writhes and she weakens and utters, no more ♪

♪ She writhes and she weakens and utters, no more ♪

♪ When all is dark and all hope is dormant ♪

♪ And only our memories are keeping us fed ♪

♪ Will we look back at our labyrinth of skyscrapers ♪

♪ Forever too scared to be looking ahead ♪

♪ But maybe in the afterlife I'll live by a waterfall ♪

♪ And I can sleep in my mangrove tree ♪

♪ I can wake up and I can dust off my wings ♪

♪ And take to the sky and be free ♪

♪ And be free

- My name is Matthew Rossetti, I'm 17 years old,

I'm a senior at LaGuardia High School.

Dance brings me into my own world.

It genuinely makes me feel like myself

no matter what I'm doing.

It makes me feel this is the right thing to do

and this is what I'm gonna be doing

for the rest of my life.

- Dance to me is my favorite creative outlet.

I feel like it's the best place where I could

release my emotions from the day.

- You can tell such powerful stories and evoke emotion

just through dance and educate at the same time.

[vocalizing]

♪ I buy a new car for the, for real ♪

♪ I tear down the mall with the, for real ♪

♪ You can't even talk to the, no ♪

♪ She with bosses and, on God

♪ I pull up in 'Raris and, skrrr ♪

♪ With choppers and Harleys and, for real ♪

♪ I be Gucci'd down, Gucci

♪ You wearing Lacoste and

♪ Yeah, Moncler, yuh, fur came off a bear, yuh, yeah ♪

♪ Triple homicide, put me in a chair, yuh, in jail ♪

♪ Triple cross the plug, we do not play fair, yuh, on God ♪

♪ Got 'em tennis chains on and they real blingy, bling ♪

♪ Draco make you do the chicken head like Chingy, Chingy ♪

♪ Walk in Neiman Marcus and I spend a light 50, 50 ♪

♪ Please proceed with caution, shooters ♪

♪ They be right with me

♪ 21, bad, bad, cute face and some nice ♪

♪ I ain't no sucker and I ain't cuffin', no action, nah ♪

♪ The streets raised me, I'm a whole ♪

♪ Yeah, dawg, yeah, not for real, dawg, 21 ♪

♪ Straight up out the 6

♪ Now got a house in the hills, dawg, 21 ♪

♪ Wanna see a body, get you killed, dawg, wet ♪

♪ Wanna tweet about me, get you killed, dawg, wet ♪

♪ Killed dawg, I'm a real dawg, 21 ♪

♪ You a lil' dawg, 21, bill dog ♪

♪ Want a bill dawg, chasing meals, dawg, yeah ♪

♪ Dunk right in your like O'Neal, dawg, wet ♪

♪ Plus I shoot like Reggie Mill, dawg, 21 ♪

♪ Chopper sting you like a eel, dawg, fast ♪

♪ Ruler clips, sent a ruler hit ♪

♪ Pull up on your, she say that I got a ruler ♪

♪ Spray your block down

♪ We not really with that ruh-rah ♪

♪ Glock cocked now, I don't really give no ♪

♪ 'Bout who I hit, yeah, yo

♪ She get jiggy with me

♪ Keep that Siggy with me

♪ I'm Mad Max, you know I got Ziggy with me ♪

♪ Keep a mad mag in case a wanna get busy with me ♪

♪ 'Rari matte black and I got a Bentley with me ♪

♪ I got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight ♪

♪ M's in my bank account, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, in my bank account, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, in my bank account, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, in my bank account, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, in my bank account, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, in my bank account, on God ♪

♪ I got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight ♪

♪ Shooters ready to gun you down, yeah ♪

♪ Ready to gun you down, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, ready to gun you down, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, ready to gun you down, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, ready to gun you down, on God ♪

♪ Yeah, ready to gun you down, on God ♪

♪ I ain't no sucker and I ain't cuffin' no action ♪

♪ The streets raised me, I'm a whole ♪

- My name is Zeren, I'm 16, and I'm a junior

at LaGuardia, and I'm a vocal major.

I really, really wanted to go to LaGuardia

since like sixth grade.

It's different than normal high schools,

I think just because of the energy,

just the people that go there.

Everyone there is super creative.

It's a nice thing to be surrounded by other people

who like the same things that you do

and are passionate in the same ways.

[upbeat music]

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ I am sitting in the morning

♪ At the diner on the corner

♪ I am waiting at the counter

♪ For the man to pour the coffee ♪

♪ And he fills it only halfway

♪ And before I even argue

♪ He is looking out the window

♪ At somebody coming in

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ It is always nice to see you

♪ Says the man behind the counter ♪

♪ To the woman who has come in

♪ She is shaking her umbrella

♪ And I look the other way

♪ As they are kissing their hellos ♪

♪ And I'm pretending not to see them ♪

♪ And instead I pour the milk

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ I open up the paper

♪ There's a story of an actor

♪ Who had died while he was drinking ♪

♪ He was no one I had heard of

♪ And I'm turning to the horoscope ♪

♪ And looking for the funnies

♪ When I'm feeling someone watching me ♪

♪ And so I raise my head

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Oh, this rain it will continue ♪

♪ Through the morning as I'm listening ♪

♪ To the bells of the cathedral ♪

♪ I am thinking of your voice

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ♪

- Hi, I'm Suzanne Vega,

and I was a student at the High School of Performing Arts.

I think it's so great that people of all ages

still like my song and still perform to it.

I just think it's fantastic.

You have all my love and all my support. Mwah.

♪ Flushed out the demons

♪ And I've been blaming someone else ♪

♪ I have my reasons

♪ Why I couldn't be myself

♪ And I've been trying

♪ But it don't come easy to me

♪ It don't come easy to me

♪ Total disaster

♪ Grew like a cancer in my chest ♪

♪ And in the laughter

♪ Was a pain I thought I'd left, but I've been trying ♪

♪ But that don't come easy to me ♪

♪ And I've been working hard to hear you ♪

♪ But nobody gonna feel what I feel ♪

♪ And now

♪ I've been trying to break it down to build it up ♪

♪ I've been trying to tell myself I'm good enough ♪

♪ So tell me it's over

♪ Say I'm sober and I'm done

♪ Done with staying out all night until the dawn ♪

♪ Saying I'm a light to cover up the storm ♪

♪ So tell me it's over

♪ Say I'm sober and I'm done

♪ Done with staying out all night until the dawn ♪

♪ Saying I'm a light to cover up the storm ♪

♪ So tell me it's over

♪ Say I'm sober

- My name is Sereia Sarumida, I'm 14 years old,

and I'm a freshmen instrumental major.

It's been very difficult to have classes over Zoom

because I don't get to meet many new people.

Playing piano has kept me motivated during this past year.

[lively piano music]

- Hi, my name is Grace Woosley,

and I'm a senior drama major this year.

I'm doing an act on ventriloquism.

Now more than ever was the perfect time

to be doing an act like this, because you can finally see

the actual talent behind the ventriloquism

as opposed to a large stage.

It's interesting how the medium has really

shifted this year, but I'm really loving it.

Man, this quarantine sucks.

I really miss you, Lino.

- Yeah, I miss you too, Grace.

I really gotta tell you though,

I started watching this awesome show.

I think you'll love it, it's about how [Lino goes silent].

- Uh, wait, what?

I, I, I can't hear you.

[Grace sighs]

I really wish we could be together right now.

[video crackles] Together right now.

- Wow, what just happened?

- Lino? How did you get here?

We have to be socially distanced and wear masks!

- Hello.

Can't you see I'm a puppet now?

- Yeah, well, you're more than a puppet to me.

- What does that mean?

♪ You've got a friend in me

- Oh.

♪ You've got a friend in me

- Hey, I like it.

♪ You've got troubles, and I've got 'em too ♪

♪ There isn't anything that I wouldn't do for you ♪

♪ We stick together and we'll see it through ♪

♪ 'Cause you've got a friend in me ♪

♪ Yeah, you've got a friend in me ♪

[Puppet Lino gasps]

- What's wrong?

- Oh, well, it just got me thinking. [whines]

♪ Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am ♪

♪ Bigger and stronger, too

- Hey, maybe.

♪ But none of them will ever love you the way I do ♪

♪ It's me and you, boy

♪ And as the years go by

♪ Our friendship will never die ♪

♪ You're gonna see it's our destiny ♪

- Hey. - What?

♪ You've got a friend in me.

- Aw.

♪ You've got a friend in me

♪ Yeah

- Hey, that was so cool.

- I know. [laughs]

♪ It's been a long, dark night

♪ I've been a waiting for the morning ♪

♪ It's been a long, hard fight

♪ I can see a brand-new day dawning ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh

♪ I feel like a captured eagle

♪ You know an eagle's born to fly ♪

♪ Ooh

♪ And now that I've found my freedom ♪

♪ Like an eagle

♪ I am eager for the sky

♪ I can see the light

♪ Of the clear blue morning

♪ I can see

♪ The light of a brand-new day

♪ I can see the light

♪ Of a clear blue morning

♪ Everything's gonna be all right ♪

♪ It's gonna be okay

♪ I can see

♪ I can see ♪ The light

♪ The clear blue sky

♪ I can see the light of the morning ♪

♪ I can see the light

♪ I can see the clear blue morning ♪

♪ I can see the light

♪ Of a brand-new day ♪ I can see

♪ The light ♪ I can see

♪ I can see the light

♪ Everything's gonna be all right ♪

♪ It's gonna be okay

[gentle piano music]

♪ Life is so simple

♪ A little boy, a little girl

♪ Laughing and learning

♪ Trying to figure out the world ♪

♪ It felt like summer when I kissed you in the rain ♪

♪ And I know your story, but tell me again ♪

♪ Nothing you say wouldn't interest me ♪

♪ All of your words are like poems to me ♪

♪ I would be honored if you would take me as I am ♪

♪ I want you

♪ To look right in my eyes

♪ To tell me you love me

♪ To be by my side

♪ I want you

♪ At the end of my life

♪ Wanna see your face

♪ Wanna fall with grace

♪ At the moment I die

♪ Is that all right

♪ Is that all right

♪ Is that

♪ All right

- My name is Aaron Syi.

I am 16 years old, and I am a junior.

I've been able to stay motivated

throughout the whole year through music and art.

Quarantine really helped me realize how thankful I should be

for the education that I get.

I feel like this song will show that even

if we're not together, we could unite

through music and art.

[gentle music]

♪ Your love is thick

♪ And it swallowed me whole

♪ You're so much braver

♪ Than I gave you credit for

♪ That's not lip service

♪ You're the best listener

♪ That I've ever met

♪ Let's be best friends

♪ Best friend with benefits

♪ What took me so long

♪ I've never felt

♪ This healthy before

♪ I've never wanted

♪ Something rational

♪ I am aware now

♪ I am aware now

♪ You've already won me over

♪ In spite of me

♪ And don't be alarmed if I fall ♪

♪ Head over feet

♪ And don't be surprised if I love you ♪

♪ For all that you are

♪ I couldn't help it

♪ It's all your fault

♪ You've already won me over

♪ In spite of me

♪ And don't be alarmed if I fall ♪

♪ Head over feet

♪ Don't be surprised if I love you ♪

♪ For all that you are

♪ I couldn't help it

♪ It's all your fault

♪ Knot in my stomach and

♪ Lump in my throat

[bright piano music]

♪ I put a spell on you

♪ Because you're mine

♪ You better stop doing the things you do ♪

♪ I tell you, I ain't lying

♪ I ain't lying

♪ You know I can't stand it

♪ You're running around

♪ You know better, daddy

♪ I can't stand it 'cause you bring me down ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh

♪ I put a spell on you

♪ Because you're mine

♪ Oh, no, no, no

[bright music]

♪ You know I love you, I love you ♪

♪ I love you, I love you anyhow ♪

♪ And I don't care if you don't want me ♪

♪ I'm yours right now

♪ I put a spell on you

♪ Because

♪ You're mine

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

- Hello, my name is Marcus Gilmore.

I am a professional musician, composer, performer,

and I am also a fellow graduate

of LaGuardia Music and Art and Performing Arts High School.

It was an incredibly profound period of my life,

because it was the first time that I was involved

in a community, in a space of like-minded individuals

who were also artists looking to realize

their full potential.

Truly one of the most important periods of my life.

[upbeat jazz music]

♪ Looking at you sitting there

♪ Your mind a million miles away ♪

♪ I might as well be talking to the wall ♪

♪ At least they'll hear what I've got to say ♪

♪ It's the same old story

♪ About somebody with a dream

♪ Looking for the glory no matter how far ♪

♪ The future seems

♪ You've got stars in your eyes ♪

♪ There's a whole world out there for you ♪

♪ You've got stars in your eyes ♪

♪ What are you gonna do

♪ You've got stars in your eyes ♪

♪ There's a whole world waiting for you ♪

♪ I would never, ever

♪ Treat you wrong

♪ With your arms wide open

♪ I wanna, I wanna make you strong ♪

♪ Hey

♪ I'll give you all I've got to give ♪

♪ If you just open up your heart ♪

♪ And live

♪ You've got stars in your eyes ♪

♪ There's a whole world waiting for you ♪

♪ You've got stars in your eyes ♪

♪ What are you gonna do, oh, oh ♪

♪ You've got stars in your eyes ♪

♪ The whole world waiting for you ♪

- Hi, my name is Ella Colby.

- Hi, my name is Charles Head.

And we came up with this dance on FaceTime,

and it was right before the deadline to submit your act.

There were definitely some limitations,

but it was super rewarding in the end.

LaGuardia as a community, we persisted through all of this

and how we can get together and do a show like this.

- It was a little stressful to put this all together

during the pandemic, but I'm so excited

to see everyone's acts in Rising Stars,

and I know they're fantastic, so it's gonna be great.

[bright piano music]

[singer vocalizing]

♪ I think about that day

♪ I left him at a Greyhound station west of Santa Fe ♪

♪ We were 17, but he was sweet and it was true ♪

♪ Still I did what I had to do

♪ 'Cause I just knew

♪ Summer Sunday nights

♪ We'd sink into our seats

♪ Right as they dimmed out all the lights ♪

♪ A Technicolor world made out of music and machine ♪

♪ It called me to be on that screen ♪

♪ And live inside each scene

♪ Without a nickel to my name

♪ Hopped a bus, here I came

♪ Could be brave or just insane ♪

♪ We'll have to see

♪ 'Cause maybe in that sleepy town ♪

♪ He'll sit one day, the lights are down ♪

♪ He'll see my face and think of how ♪

♪ He used to know me

♪ Climb these hills

♪ I'm reaching for the heights

♪ And chasing all the lights that shine ♪

♪ Lights that shine

♪ And when they let you down

♪ It's another day of

♪ You'll get up off the ground

♪ It's another day of

♪ The morning rolls around

♪ And it's another day of sun

♪ I hear 'em every day

♪ The rhythms in the canyons

♪ That'll never fade away

♪ The ballads in the barrooms

♪ Left by those who came before ♪

♪ They say you gotta want it more ♪

♪ So I bang on every door

♪ And even when the answer's no ♪

♪ Or when my money's running low ♪

♪ The dusty mic and neon glow

♪ Are all I need

♪ And someday as I sing my song ♪

♪ A smalltown kid'll come along ♪

♪ That'll be the thing to push him on and go, go ♪

♪ Climb these hills, I'm reaching for the heights ♪

♪ And chasing all the lights that shine ♪

♪ Lights that shine

♪ And when they let you down

♪ It's another day of

♪ You'll get up off the ground

♪ It's another day of

♪ And morning rolls around

♪ And it's another day of sun

♪ When they let you down

♪ The morning rolls around

♪ It's another day of sun ♪ Oh

♪ It's another day of sun ♪ Oh

♪ Another day has just begun ♪ Oh

♪ It's another day of sun

[bright music]

[car horns honking]

♪ It's another day of sun

- Hi, everyone, I'm Shawn Martinbrough.

I'm a very proud Fiorello H. LaGuardia Music and Art alumni.

One of the great things about being a creator

is that no matter what's going on around us,

we channel it to create something new.

[upbeat music] - This is not a test.

Due to the new COVID-19 virus,

the following measures come into effect.

Isolate. Wash your hands.

Sanitize. Stay at home.

Isolate. Wash your hands.

Sanitize.

Stay at home, stay at home, stay at home,

stay at home, stay at home, stay at home, stay at home.

- [Man] Isolated house warning.

[techno music]

- This is not a test. - Tempo, tempo.

[techno music]

- Give me that tempo. - Tempo.

♪ What's poppin' ♪ Who you

♪ Brand-new whip is hoppin'

♪ I got a license, I confess [indistinct] ♪

♪ Just judge, he spend his holiday [indistinct] ♪

♪ My bodyguard really don't talk ♪

[indistinct singing]

[techno music]

- My name is Anais Reno. I am 17 years old.

I'm a drama major, and I'm a senior.

My experience at LaGuardia has helped me grow a lot.

The fact that I can even call myself an artist

is because of LaGuardia.

The message I'm trying to convey through my performance

is a thank you, but also a farewell to this show.

♪ And now the purple dusk of twilight time ♪

♪ Steals across the meadows of my heart ♪

♪ Love

♪ Love is not a stardust

♪ Of yesterday

♪ The music

♪ Of the years gone by

♪ Sometimes I wonder

♪ Why I spend

♪ The lonely nights

♪ Dreaming of a song

♪ The melody

♪ Haunts my reverie

♪ And I am once again with you

♪ When our love was new

♪ And each kiss an inspiration

♪ But that was long ago

♪ Now my consolation

♪ Is in the stardust of a song

♪ Beside a garden wall

♪ Where stars are bright

♪ You are in my arms

♪ The nightingale tells his fairy tale ♪

♪ Of paradise where roses bloom ♪

♪ Though I dream in vain

♪ In my heart

♪ It will remain

♪ My stardust melody

♪ The memory of love's

♪ Refrain

[upbeat music]

♪ Do, do, do, do, do

♪ Oh

♪ Do, do, do, do, do, do

♪ As around the sun the Earth know she revolving ♪

♪ And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May ♪

♪ Just as hate knows love's the cure ♪

♪ You can rest your mind assured ♪

♪ That I'll be loving you always ♪

♪ As now can't reveal the mystery of tomorrow ♪

♪ But in passing we'll grow older every day ♪

♪ Just as all is born is new

♪ Do know what I say is true

♪ That I'll be loving you always ♪

♪ Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until the ocean covers every mountain high ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream ♪

♪ Did you know that true love asks for nothing ♪

♪ Her acceptance is the way we pay ♪

♪ Did you know that life has given love a guarantee ♪

♪ To last through forever and another day ♪

♪ Just as time knew to move on

♪ Since the beginning

♪ And the seasons know exactly

♪ When to change

♪ Just as kindness knows no shame ♪

♪ Know through all your joy and pain ♪

♪ That I'll be loving you always ♪

♪ Until the day is night and night becomes the day ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until the trees and seas just up and fly away ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until the day that eight times eight ♪

♪ Times eight is four

♪ Always

♪ Until the day that is the day that are no more ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky ♪

♪ Until the ocean covers every mountain high ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea ♪

♪ Always

♪ Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream ♪

♪ Until the day is night and night becomes the day ♪

♪ Until the trees and seas just up and fly away ♪

♪ Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four ♪

♪ Until the day that is the day there are no more ♪

♪ Until the rainbow burns the stars out of the sky ♪

♪ Until the ocean covers every mountain high ♪

♪ Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea ♪

♪ Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream ♪

♪ Always ♪ Until the day is night

♪ And night becomes the day

♪ Until the trees and seas just up and fly away ♪

♪ Away ♪ Until the day that eight

♪ Times eight times eight is four ♪

♪ Until the day that is the day there are no more ♪

- Did I kill it? [students laughing]

- I can hands down say Rising Stars has been the favorite

and the best part of my high school experience.

Sleep is not as valuable as Rising Stars,

but it's definitely worth it.

- Knowing it's my last year working on Rising Stars

and being at LaGuardia is kind of bittersweet

because I've absolutely loved my LaGuardia experience.

- Everything has been on Zoom, but it didn't mean

that everything had to stop.

As a drama major, we still had to do scenes,

we still had to learn monologues, we still had to learn

different techniques and everything.

- Some advice, it would be to not worry about making friends

and that you don't have to live up to people's expectations.

Just be who you are.

- Just being in the environment of New York

has been a privilege.

There's life on every street, and you never know

who you'll see outside and what you'll hear.

- Despite all of the struggles and challenges

we've been through this year, we can still

change the world, we can still better ourselves,

better each other, and better society.

- I stay motivated by drinking a lot of bubble tea

and just reminding myself that everything will be okay

no matter what's happening in the present.

- I've been really passionate about music

ever since I was a little kid, so finding out

that I got into LaGuardia and I get to work

with such amazing teachers and students

who are as passionate as me has been really nice.

- Being on the production team, I think what I love most

is you get to see a show come together

kind of from the inside.

It was nice to still learn new things this year.

- We're young people and we're teens, but if any time

is the time to really let yourself grow, it would be now.

- Being on the behind-the-scenes kind of thing

is really interesting, I've never done that before.

So it's definitely different than what I've always done,

but I really enjoyed it.

[upbeat jazz music]

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