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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • Credits to Smugmug. The seniors who participated in HDA’s production of Oklahoma. Yan pictured bottom row, fourth from the left. 

Artist of the Issue: Emma Yan

Saisha Ghai Assistant Arts Editor '27
Art has always been a central part of life for Emma Yan ’24. Beginning as a writer in preschool to a now celebrated member of the Hopkins art community, she is, to her core, a dedicated artist.

Art has always been a central part of life for Emma Yan ’24. Beginning as a writer in preschool to a now celebrated member of the Hopkins art community, she is, to her core, a dedicated artist.
Yan’s passion for the arts began in her childhood as she developed a penchant for reading. She recollects, “I sort of grew up surrounded by literature, like in preschool that was my first instinct: to read. I was a writer even when I was really little.” As she grew older, Yan and her brothers “loved to make iMovies; they’re not very professional, but they’re really special to me, and fostered my interest in the arts.” These iMovies allowed her to experiment with film, as “not having to do it professionally, but sort of getting to play around with it was really fun.” 
At Hopkins, Yan pursued her interests while learning more about herself. In junior school she tried a plethora of different arts, mentioning that “I did painting, I did orchestra, I did acting. I think that sort of helped me narrow in on what, specifically, I like to do.” Experimenting with theater also helped her hone in on her interests, she recalls: “I think being HDA helped me learn how to act and from there learn how to write, stage, and manage plays.” Within HDA, she “stage manages, acts, directs, and works with the soundboard.” 
One of Yan’s proudest moments at Hopkins came when she finished her first screenplay as part of the Young Apprentice Writers Program (YAWP). She recalls, “I worked with an author, Elaine, who lives in LA.” With Elaine, she wrote her first screenplay: “I hadn’t really done that stuff before, and it was just a really special experience to me.” Working on that screenplay also inspired her personally, as she “had never met any Asian women in Hollywood, so meeting Elaine and seeing ‘Wow, I could do this in my future’ was really special to me.” She writes as part of campus productions as well: “I’m editor in chief of Daystar,” which according to Hopkins School’s website, “reflects the best of Hopkins’ budding writers and visual artists.”
Outside of art, Yan participates in many different activities on campus. She’s the head of Cards for Care, a “club my friend and I founded during the pandemic.” The club’s primary focus is to “send homemade cards to healthcare workers, especially when they need it the most.” Additionally, she is “the head of the Asian American Student Association, as well as the club Helping Asian American Pacific Islanders.” Yan is also a part of “the Hopkins Student Council as a class representative.” 
Yan’s work has left many people with strong impressions of her. According to Vincent Sze ’27, Yan is “really inspirational; seeing a woman of color accomplish so much in leadership positions is no small feat.” Her attitude is another notable thing to Sze, as “When [Yan] is around, I can always count on her to be very caring and energetic, especially when times are bleak.” One specific memory he has with her is “During Oklahoma, she was really positive and optimistic even when everyone was falling sick.” Her outlook assisted Sze in staying motivated: “[Yan] helped keep up my excitement about the production despite the chaos and uncertainty.”
To Yan, writing is an act that comes to her easily. Her motivation to create is “to find beauty in the small things.” Not only that, but art allows her to communicate “parts of myself like my culture; I think I write a lot including Chinese protagonists and Asian characters, because I don’t think we see that a lot in media.” In the future, Yan plans on majoring in screenwriting at the University of Southern California (USC), and seeks to “work with directing, producing, and screenwriting. I want to keep those things in my life, and make that my job.” She begins her study of screenwriting at USC in the fall of 2024. 
After years of experimentation and discovering herself, Yan has learned that to her, creating is “like breathing.” Not only an innate act, but artistry, to her, is a purpose: “I’m living, so I have to create art.”

Editor in Chief 
Asher Joseph

Managing Editor 
Margaret Russell

Claire Billings
Jo Reymond
Rose Porosoff
Eric Roberts
Abby Rakotomavo
Elona Spiewak
Veena Scholand
Miriam Levin
Liliana Dumas
Saisha Ghai
Olivia Yu
Anya Mahajan
Rain Zeng
Winter Szarabajka
Aerin O'Brien

Karun Srihari
Samantha Bernstein
Hana Beauregard
Micah Betts
Elaina Paktuka
Edel Lee
Anjali van Bladel
Nate Gerber
Rebecca Li

Hailey Willey
Web Editors
Amelia Hudonogov-Foster
Anvi Pathak
Chloe Wang

Faculty Advisers
Stephen May
Elizabeth Gleason
Shanti Madison
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
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