Senior Sarah Gomes makes sure to sleep well and to eat healthy before a performance, but itâ€™s not just because itâ€™s common advice. Gomes has a chronic skin condition that requires her to keep on a strict diet and rest often.
Since birth, Gomes has had eczema, which causes skin irritation and inflammation. While she never had serious problems with it before, her eczema worsened in her junior year. Even though Gomes suffers from outbreaks of itchiness and flaking skin during her quarterly eczema flare-ups, she still performs in Rhapsody in Blue and takes vocal lessons in her free time.
â€śPerforming in front of a crowd [got harder] over time because I started to think more about the performance and the overall aspect of it,â€ť Gomes said. â€śI think I was my own biggest competitor at that point because I was being too hard on myself even when I knew I could perfectly execute a performance.â€ť
Gomesâ€™ eczema has forced her to give up dairy products, switch diets often and take careful note of her sleep schedule, but despite all of her precautions, it can still affect her singing. Last year, Gomes had a severe rash that prevented her from performing at the 2018 Cabaret Night and forced her to miss a week of school to recover.
â€śIt really got in the way because I was so ready to finally blossom as a performer,â€ť Gomes said. â€śIt really tore me down a lot because I couldnâ€™t perform [at] the time, and performing was the one way I could release my stress.â€ť
One of the ways Gomes deals with her eczema is by taking naps, which help her prevent outbreaks and infections by de-stressing herself. But for Gomes, singing is equally important as sleep is for her lifestyle.
â€ś[Singing] makes [me] feel more accomplished, and especially when [I] became so good at something [Iâ€™m] really passionate about, it makes [me] want to do the best [I] can do,â€ť Gomes said. â€ś[My] biggest motivation is to finally get out of my shell and stop overthinking, and singing has helped me become a stronger person.â€ť
By Jason Wu, Staff writer
Photo by Jessie Dixon