Student Interviews on the Impact of the Arts
The Burbank Arts for All Foundation is proud to highlight students in the CLASS OF 2020 who have been part of the robust arts community in Burbank Unified School District classrooms. We hope you enjoy reading about their experiences and getting to know them as we celebrate an important milestone in their lives: high school graduation.
Today, we present to you Eli Staub, who has been performing in the theatrical and choral arts throughout his entire Burbank education. Eli will attend the USC School of Cinematic Arts this Fall, where he will be majoring in Film and Television Production. Congratulations Eli!
“Teachers will often mention how they can tell someone is a choir or theatre kid — they carry themselves with maturity and thrive in social situations. This is no accident. By participating in the arts, you are making yourself more in tune with your emotions and your mind and will gain valuable time management skills along the way.“
My name is Eli Staub. I have been performing in the theatrical and choral arts throughout my entire Burbank education, and have a huge passion for filmmaking.
What was your first experience with the arts while in the Burbank Unified Schools? My first experience with the arts in Burbank schools was when I decided to participate in the Roosevelt Variety Show in first grade. I played a member of Gaston’s gang in Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Since then, I performed in every future variety show performance, singing songs like Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine, or I’m All Alone from Spamalot.
What art experience in the schools are you most proud of and how did it impact you? Between the Roosevelt Variety Show, Luther plays, Starlight show choir, and my theatre and show choir experiences in high school, I would say that I am the proudest of my high school performing arts career. In John Burroughs High School Drama Classes (JBHS Drama), I participated in every play and musical — starting even before I became a student at JBHS. I played roles such as Dill in To Kill A Mockingbird, Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Billy Flynn in Chicago.
In my drama performances, I grew in the ability to work as part of a team, while getting in touch with my emotions to portray authentic characters. In Powerhouse show choir, I have gained even more team-building experience, as I have been the president during my senior year. Especially now during the pandemic, I am working towards bringing the choir together and making sure we are all remaining positive and full of love.
What advice do you have for younger students interested in doing something like what you do? If I could give any advice to a student deciding to pursue a performing arts education in Burbank schools, I would say, try everything. Burbank is blessed with an excellent performing arts programs, which not only hones performance skills but builds character. By trying everything, you will have an easier time figuring out what you love to do and will be able to navigate your education with a more mature, educated, and kind demeanor that other students, as well as teachers, will certainly notice.
Teachers will often mention how they can tell someone is a choir or theatre kid — they carry themselves with maturity and thrive in social situations. This is no accident. By participating in the arts, you are making yourself more in tune with your emotions and your mind and will gain valuable time management skills along the way.
Please share your plans for your future after graduation. Are you going on to college? If so, where and what do you hope to study? After high school, I will be majoring in Film and Television Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and will follow my dreams of being a feature film director.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you expect the arts to continue to play a role in your life and if so, how? No matter what, the arts will be playing a huge role in my life. I wish to pursue a career as a director, so cinematic arts will continue, but I will continue to act and perform as much as I can. In five years, I will be making my own films, and hopefully getting plenty of opportunities to act and sing, even if I must create those opportunities for myself.