At home with the queen

Forget 'stodgy'— the word that best describes Rose Queen Evanne Friedmann is 'genuine.'

October 27, 2010|By Joe Piasecki, The Valley Sun
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

Hang out with Evanne Friedmann and it's hard to keep from laughing and smiling, because she's doing just that all the time.

The 17-year-old La Cañada High School senior and aspiring filmmaker has plenty to be happy about: Evanne will be crowned the Tournament of Roses' 93rd Rose Queen during a ceremony today at the Pasadena Convention Center.

But with her mother, sister and big scruffy dog in the living room of her cozy La Cañada Flintridge home, it was also easy to see Monday that Queen Evanne's good humor and bubbly enthusiasm for conversation, learning and new experiences came long before her crown.

Throughout our interview, Friedmann took every chance to speak of others' positive qualities before her own, though she is no stranger to accomplishment.

Aspiring to study film at USC, Friedmann is handling a load of three advanced-placement (college level) courses while also participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including choir, National Charity League and National Honors Society. She modeled briefly as a child after recovering from a dog attack and honed her public-speaking skills with the improv troupe Comedy Sportz.


With eyes and a voice that are always dancing, Friedmann's friendly demeanor is as natural as can be.

"All my girls are free to be themselves," said mother Gayle Friedmann of her personal Royal Court — Evanne and sisters Lynn, 19, and 21-year old Haley, a student at the California College of the Arts who sports a ferocious fauxhawk (like a mohawk, but without shaving the sides).

"She's a strong girl," Haley said of Evanne, "and I know being queen is something she'll excel at."


The Valley Sun: You looked absolutely stunned when it was announced you'd be queen. What were you feeling?

A: Last year Queen Natalie said in an interview that she didn't really remember what happened. It was a blur. And that's exactly what it feels like. The reason I was so surprised is because there are so many leaders in the [Royal Court] group that I really thought one of the other girls would have gotten it. They're all very smart, all involved in community service even more than I am, so it's really on honor. When I turned my head and saw all the girls with their mouths smiling but wide-open, I started to smile because I saw them smiling, and then I was like, 'Hugs!'

Q. Why did you want to try out for the Royal Court?

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