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Dana Reyes
Topic Started: Apr 27 2015, 07:36 AM (469 Views)
ArcanaFire
Cannon Fodder
[ * ]
Name: Dana Reyes
Gender: Female
Age: 17
Grade: Senior
School: Cochise High School
Hobbies and Interests: Animation, foley (post-production sound effects), band and orchestra (clarinet), stage magic

Appearance: Dana can be described as stout, standing at 5’3” and a solid 160 lbs. Her skin is smooth and brown, marking her Spanish heritage. She is curvy, with wide shoulders and hips, and an ample chest that tends to draw attention away from the extra weight she carries in her belly. Her thighs and calves are both muscular due to time spent marching, where she carries a good bit of her weight. She has several tan lines from t-shirts, shorts and high socks.

Her hair is thick and curly, dark brown in color and tends to become frizzy in humidity. She typically wears it parted in the center, in a low ponytail that falls between her shoulder blades. When worn loose, her hair is long, ending at her armpits.

She has a round face with full cheeks and thick eyebrows that give her a somewhat childlike look. Her brown eyes are large and almond-shaped, framed by thick lashes and set close together. She carries a pair of glasses for reading, but seldom wears them outside the classroom. Her nose is marked by wide nostrils that flare when she is angry or upset. She has a generous mouth with full lips and a small gap between her two front teeth.

Her ears are pierced once each at the lobes, but she doesn’t tend to wear earrings in them, given her sensitivity to cheaper metals and unwillingness to wear more expensive jewelry to school and risk losing it. She tends to dress in layers, jeans and a tank top with a t-shirt over that and a hoodie tied around her waist, prepared for the cooler desert nights when she gets home late. Her socks are always black. Because Dana fluxuates in weight over the course of band season, dropping a few pounds while she is more physically active then gaining it again during the winter, she wears a black canvas belt with a double buckle and holes down the full length of it.

On the day of the science trip, she was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans, a black wife-beater style tank top, a pink babydoll t-shirt reading “got prestidigitation?” in white lettering and a black zip-up Audioslave hoodie tied around her waist.

Biography: Dana was born on August 12th, 1996 in Kingman, Arizona, to Joyce and Ricky Reyes. Joyce came from a mostly Irish family in Boston, the majority of whom fell out of contact with her when she moved to Arizona to be with her husband, and Ricky was born in Kingston to a pair of immigrants from Spain. Dana's paternal grandmother passed away before she was born from a heart attack.

Her mother worked at the public library as a circulation clerk, while her father did construction for a large firm. Because of the erratic nature of the construction jobs Ricky took on, the family had frequent dry spells in which Joyce’s library job was their only source of income and they had to rely on savings. Because of this, Dana often had to get creative with how she entertained herself as her family frequently couldn’t afford the latest popular toys. Some of her favorite playthings were found objects.

Her mother once caught her attempting to fight the oven using the trashcan lid as a shield, the broom as a lance, and a pot on her head as a helmet after watching ‘The Sword in the Stone.’

Her family did, however, have a TV and Saturday morning cartoons were one of the rare times the whole family sat together regularly. Dana would continue to get up early and watch them long after the rest of her class outgrew them.

Dana often spent her summer days with her paternal grandfather, Antonio, who amused her with coin tricks and would give her quarters to practice with. They were always quite close. Antonio was good at keeping up with her in spite of his chronic coughing. He sustained complications through most of his life after a severe bout of pnumonia and an infection that settled in his lungs, among which was bronchiectasis. Antonio was also poor at speaking English, so Dana grew up conversing in both English and Catalan. She was fascinated with his ability to roll coins over his knuckles and produce them seemingly from nowhere, but her little hands weren’t quite dexterous enough to get the hang of it .

Early in her school career she did a book report on a biography of Harry Houdini. Like most things magic, he absolutely fascinated her and she spent many class sessions staring out the window and daydreaming about him. In fact, she was often made to stay in at recess for disrupting class after attempting to pull off stunts. Once she even asked a classmate to tie her to a swing with a jump rope and push her until it was going high, so she could try to wiggle out of the ropes. A teacher found them and stopped this before it got far.

When she had the means to do it, Dana would often rent videos of stage magic performances. Her parents supported this because, as an active child, there were few things that could hold her attention for any length of time and the smooth movements and seemingly impossible feats kept her rooted in her seat for hours at a time. She would watch them repeatedly trying to figure out how the tricks were done; to her, the magicians on screen were more than impressive, and she wanted to be able to accomplish the feats that kept her spellbound.

Most of the time, however, it was difficult to keep Dana sitting still. Her mother would ask her to stay put while she loaded the car with groceries, and Dana would wander off. Her father would talk to her about how her day was and have to ask her the same questions repeatedly to get an answer. In class, she would often leave her seat without permission to the frustration of her teachers.

Dana’s parents did everything they could to try to reign in her behavior. They met with teachers regularly, put her on a strict schedule in an attempt to make her get all of her assignments finished on time, and had stern talks with her to try and get her to behave in class. Finally, they resorted to sending her to a psychiatrist. In the second grade, she was diagnosed with ADHD and given Adderall to help her attention span. Her grades rose, and her disruptive magic escapades trickled to a stop.

For the next few years, Dana behaved more or less like a normal child, but as the years went by she felt more and more like there was a piece of her missing. It became more difficult to entertain herself with the things that used to interest her, and while her schoolwork was flourishing, the rest of her life had become lackluster.

When she was twelve years old, she watched a documentary on the making of animated films. She was fascinated with all of the different objects the post production team used to create sound effects. To her, it was as spellbinding as the stage magic that had captivated her as a child and for the first time in years she felt she had regained a little bit of what she used to have before she began taking the Adderall. What struck her most profoundly was that most of the sound effects were created from found objects much like the ones she played with as a child, and it occurred to her that she could replicate most of these sounds herself. That night, she scoured the house for pots, pans, sponges, bubble wrap and anything else that could be used to make noises. It entertained her for hours. From that moment on she was completely set on the idea of one day becoming a foley artist for cartoons.

That same year, her grandfather was hospitalized and put on the transplant list for a new pair of lungs. Ricky brought Dana in to visit him at least once a week, and she spent hours sitting in the hospital with him. During those visits, she began to practice coin tricks again, and to her delight, picked them up far more easily at twelve than she had when she was little.

Through high school Dana was close to both of her parents and her grandfather, who was in poor health and in and out of the hospital from complications due to his bronchiectasis. She did not have much of an extended family to speak of, Joyce being estranged from her parents and siblings by virtue of distance and a lack of resources to travel, and Ricky being Antonio’s only child.

During the summer between the eighth grade and freshman year, Dana urged her parents to let her taper off the Adderall. She was older now, after all, and capable of policing herself. She told them it would be more difficult but surely that was a fair price to pay for feeling like herself again. Finally, they relented, on the condition that Dana take up an extracurricular to help give her life structure.

Upon entering high school, Dana stopped taking Adderall and joined marching band. She felt that the band was close enough to foley to hold her interest, given the whole thing was about creating sound. Her attention span was still bad, and her grades suffered for it, but she was no longer failing because of it and the strict schedule band brought on helped her learn to discipline herself. After failing to produce any sound on the trumpet, she chose to play the clarinet, as the reeded instrument came more naturally to her and was therefore easier for her to coax sound out of.

Due to stopping the Adderall, Dana gained a lot of weight her first two years of high school. This was both in fat and muscle, as her legs built strength from marching every day. Before this point she had been rail thin, as one of the side effects of the Adderall was a metabolism boost, and the difference was obvious. It came on slowly, a few pounds at a time, raising concern from her mother. However, the difference in Dana's attitude was clear and in the end they decided mutually that the extra weight was worth having her daughter back. At first, she was teased both for her weight and for not being able to afford the best clothing, but eventually she became more comfortable with her social standing. This was aided by the fact that her chest filled out considerably in the summer between her sophomore and junior years. She was still well overweight, but between knowing how to carry herself and the aforementioned filling out, she managed to regain a degree of confidence. The bullying tapered off for the most part once she stopped reacting to it. However, a well-timed or unexpected jab at her weight could still make her blush. Because of this, Dana knows how to be empathetic to others.

She got into the habit of carrying a backpack with all of her schoolbooks in it, having a distaste for travelling across the school back to her locker multiple times in a day. She also carried a number of seemingly random objects with her that she could use to create sound effects during her free periods. This includes sponges, bubble wrap, tin cans, scraps of velcro, balloons and plastic tableware. Naturally, it was extremely heavy.

Academically, Dana excelled at her Spanish classes in particular, taking them not to learn the language but to raise her GPA. She did have a bit of difficulty with some of the nuances, as she grew up speaking Catalan rather than the Spanish taught in most high schools, but her grades were still consistent A’s and B’s. She also excelled in art class due to her interest in animation. In other classes her grades tend to fluctuate due to her tendency to turn in papers covered in doodles or only partially complete. She kept close tabs on the numbers to make sure her grades were high enough to keep her parents placated.

As an only child, she is still close to her parents, and to her grandfather who is still regularly in and out of the hospital and serves to be another draw on the family’s limited resources. Dana chips in where she can, holding a part time job serving coffee at a local café.

At school, she goes out of her way to be nice to people, and to avoid people who aren’t as nice back. Dana learned at an early age that getting angry doesn’t help most situations. She can be a bit of a pushover, especially when it comes to being asked to move boxes of equipment for different clubs and sports teams, but she knows when she’s being taken advantage of. Dana is still usually willing to give her time and effort, however, as she doesn’t see it as costing her anything to smile and help out if no one is rushing her.

Dana attends most sporting events to show her support, sometimes going as far as to paint her face in school colors. She never played sports, however, because a combination of having to focus on the team’s effort for an extended amount of time and her dislike of running kept them from being fun for her. Her short legs and extra body weight make running difficult and she becomes winded easily during aerobic exercise.

Dana tends to gravitate toward people that share her interests. She is not popular in the traditional sense, but people do tend to like her by virtue of her being friendly. Dana was never the kind of girl that boys looked to for dates, but her tendency to stay upbeat makes her someone people want to be around. She knows she isn’t particularly pretty, nor is she particularly smart, so she tries to make up for it by being kind and fun. Anything Dana does, she does with enthusiasm.

She wants to go into animation in hopes of landing a job doing post production work on cartoons. Her top choice is Chapman University, Orange in California, but she has already been accepted to Shawnee State University in Ohio, which is the more likely option due to the lower tuition rates. Both are in the top one hundred schools for animation in the United States.

Advantages: Dana has quick hands due to years of prestidigitation. She knows how to recreate all manner of sounds with different objects due to her interest in foley. She has good walking stamina from band and powerful legs. She is also used to carrying a heavy backpack. As long as the work is slow and steady, and doesn’t require much thought, Dana can handle it. She’s also known for being friendly and is used to smiling through being picked on.
Disadvantages: She’s chubby and gets winded easily if she has to run, and is slow when she does. She also has a short attention span that makes it difficult for her to get a grasp on anything with complicated instructions.
Edited by ArcanaFire, Apr 28 2015, 06:24 PM.
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ArcanaFire
Cannon Fodder
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Okay, it took me a couple of days but I think I hit everything, and I'm ready for a second passthrough. Thank you very much for your time, doing all these can't be easy~
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