i have a question...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

sometimes it's nice to do what you want to do

Today, Emerson College hosted part of the Massachusetts High School Drama Festival. Actually, Massachusetts has a pretty prominent and competitive High School Drama Fest. The one that happened at school today, however, was mostly just for local high schools to be seen by their peers and get responses from some of our faculty.

I signed up to be an improvisation workshop leader with a couple classmates. We were to run two 45-minute long workshops, and they both went swimmingly. It never ceases to amaze me how bright and hilarious young people are. Somehow, the two other facilitators and I were all able to successfully and efficiently run part of the short period--we started with an offer and acceptance line, where each kid offered another a relationship and a problem, and the two then improvised a "scenelet." Then, I ran a short physical warm-up, in which the kids were asked to walk through the space and exaggerate their normal physical movements. Finally, I asked them to transport themselves to Hollywood and to walk like several celebrity stereotypes (the actress who's had botched plastic surgery, the new kid in town, the grizzly old musician, etc.). They did beautifully with all the physical prompts.

We ended the workshop with an activity called Press Conference. We had each kid pick another celebrity stereotype out of a hat (Old Diva, English Priss, Flamboyant Costume Designer, 11-Year-Old Oscar Winner, etc.) and to draft a brief history. Then, we called them up to the front, in pairs, as if they had just won Oscars. I was impressed with all of the commitment to their types and even with the rest of the group who were able to engage in the activity as part of the press. All in all, both workshops went really well, and I was so pleased to have been a part of the day for the students I met.

The rest of the day was taken up by each school presenting 20-30 minute pieces, getting feedback from two of our faculty, and then a brief award ceremony at the end of the day. Actually, this part was particularly nice because each high school was assigned ANOTHER to present an award to and to present three tableaux of the work they'd seen by that other school. Plus, the two Emerson faculty presented stand-out actors, writers, directors, and ensembles with certificates.

One of my professors had assigned that we attend at least one presentation and act as "adjudicators," who are usually a big part of the HS Drama Festival competitions. Basically, I watched a piece and had only the 20 minutes between pieces to write a specific and constructive review of it. It was a challenge but one I enjoyed, especially because the presentation I reviewed was full of students who had been at my workshop. And they wrote it themselves.

Mostly, it was just satisfying to get my hands a little dirty with kids again. They're pretty magical.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

He's the coolest President ever!

First of all, how cool is it that all these celebs are just hanging out, like regular people, all excited about the new president?

Secondly, watch from 6:30 on, and check out 7:15, particularly. Best. Ever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

brief update

Sorry it's been so long. I'm settling back into the spring semester, juggling schoolwork and curriculum planning for my summer job. While I don't imagine any semester could be as personally taxing as last semester was, I'm pretty certain that this semester is just going to be Much. More. Work. Eek. Grad school is hard sometimes.

Lots of reading, lots of little papers here and there, and a few gigantic projects. The good thing is our semester is over in late April. Then I'll have two months to kill before heading to New Haven.

And also, hurray for our new president! Sometimes I can't believe he's really It.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

proof that dancers should get paid more

I mean, Beyonce couldn't even do this in one take.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 10th has come and gone...

But I should have written a "Happy 2nd Birthday, Dear Blog" post.

Two years is a long time to write.

Thanks to all of you for reading!

Oh, and we need to have a talk. I have class on Tuesday nights again this semester, which means...no American Idol blog. Don't cry. We'll all make it through somehow.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Back in the OG

As my train entered New York City yesterday afternoon, I anticipated being overwhelmed with nostalgia, returning to my hometown, leaving Boston for the first time all semester. Viewing the New York City skyline left me feeling decidedly nothing. Struggling through Herald Square with my luggage in the cold left me frustrated. Walking down my old street, I was glad I wasn't emotional. My old apartment even looks different, which I think is helpful in keeping me emotionally distant. (Although my muscle memory keeps making me want to walk into the bedroom that used to be mine.)

It took me seeing the neon green spatula that's still in the cluttered drawer for me to feel anything.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I am a Pop Culture Genius, Vol. VII: the Free Stuff Edition

Since we've been without internet in my apartment for almost 3 weeks (a situation that will be amended for once and for all next Thursday), I have been frequenting the local wifi cafe. Luckily, it's also a pleasant, warm place with a lovely staff and pretty good food.

Everyday, they have a trivia game where you can win a small coffee if you get the question right. I always check the questions out and pretend I know the answers and sometimes I know part of it, but I've never won anything.

Today, the question is "In 1990, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to...?" and I GOT IT RIGHT! I don't drink coffee, but I did get a free tea with my breakfast bagel.

The answer is here.

Now, be honest. How many of you knew that?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hey! It's my 300th Post! (S's Sad Times Edition)

S: It needs to be March...
No, August...
I hate every month.