Orange County School of the Arts and its students are, for the lack of better term, notorious for standing out. Whether that be a theater kid’s inability not to break out in a tap dance routine in the middle of the class or a production designer’s born sense of unorthodox fashion choices, people know OCSA for being weird.
It’s fair to say that this expectation from outside of OCSA has influenced its student body to actively fulfill their role as the ‘weirdos’ — students wear furry onesies and 10 inch heels casually, and celebrate Halloween religiously. OCSA is a school where everyone tries to out-weird one another, a school where everyone stands out, and nobody stands out. Of course, unless you’re Fabrizio Mejia.
To be fair, Mejia’s physical look does help him stand out from the crowd. For those meeting him for the first time, Fabrizio is known for his luscious, waist-length hair.
“I haven’t gotten a haircut since 2013. I never really liked haircuts,” Mejia said. “I just wanted to grow it out without having to trim it or having to cut it off.”
His distinctive look has gotten him a few nicknames including Fabio, named after the famous model of equally luscious hair. Mejia recalled that he had his mother’s full support when he first started growing his hair out.
“She was all for it. But now, she’s trying really hard to get me to cut it off,” he said.
Nowadays, one can catch Mejia talking about finally getting a haircut.
“I don’t know when I’ll do it, but I’m for sure going to donate it once I get a haircut,” Mejia said.
But what makes Fabrizio truly unique is his down-to-earth persona.
“I’ve never seen him brag about anything, and I’ve known him since freshman year,” Jared Closter, a fellow creative writing student said. “We’ve worked on many writing projects together, and he never disagrees. He’s the most easy-going dude I know.”
Coupled with his long hair and his nonchalant attitude, Mejia has been stereotyped into a certain group by many people.
“They always think I’m either a surfer, stoner, or just some suspicious guy. I’m none of that,” Mejia said.
It’s clear that one can’t simply define Mejia using broad terms like ‘surfer.’ Like other creative writing students, Fabrizio spends most of his time on campus either reading or writing. A huge fan of screenplays, he took the TV writing course four times.
“I just really, really like writing sitcoms,” Mejia said.
However, writing isn’t Mejia’s only talent; he also plays the piano and the guitar, even trying out for the commercial music conservatory. Every Saturday, Fabrizio is busy painting a mural for an activist organization — Korean Resource Center.
His true passion, however, is far from any artistic fields that he’d immersed himself into. Taking courses like AP Physics and AP Calculus, Mejia has always been on top of his mathematical and scientific studies. To continue this, he plans on studying mechanical engineering in college.
With their last year in high school almost coming to an end, seniors everywhere are going through some of the most stressful times of their academic career. That, of course, is unless you’re Fabrizio Mejia.
“It’ll definitely be sad, but I know I’ll get over it,” Mejia said, when asked about how he would react to a college rejection letter.
He didn’t hesitate with his answer. Even though he was uncertain about his future, he was crystal clear about himself and his capabilities.
“He definitely was a star from birth,” Frida Mejia, Fabrizio’s older sister said. “He’s iconic in the way he straddles the line between not giving a crap and still staying pretty clean in that endearing, dorky hoodlum way.”
When asked about what truly made Fabrizio special, Frida didn’t simply point out his hair or his heavy southern California accent.
“I think his inside iconic qualities are most important. He’s more compassionate and stronger than I was when I was his age, and even now. He’s empathetic but also fair, and does a good job of balancing those. He’s intuitive and intelligent in more than just his school work, just the way he maneuvers around things so calmly and with certainty.”
For his senior photo, Mejia decided to pose by the bushes and reconnect with mother nature. With a flower crown on his head and his pink shirt half-unbuttoned, he truly embodied his nickname, Brother Nature.
Any classroom he’s in, he’s the guy that everybody recognizes instantly — Mejia doesn’t need to try to make a statement, it’s in his aura. He doesn’t need to rub off his love for German expressionist films to other students, nor does he have to perform a score from “Hamilton.” Mejia became an OCSA icon by doing what he does the best — by being himself.