The Weblogs are finally up on the Blog!
This is Keegan, your Rep Term Webmaster, and I apologize for how long it took for these to appear. There were technical difficulties with the Blog editor. However, they should be regularly updated from this point forward. Enjoy!
In this week’s Webisode, see an introduction to life in Rep Term and learn a bit about the person who schedules the daily lives of 36 people, Sam Newport.
A week before tech is such a crazy time, and we’re all experiencing about 60 emotions a minute: happiness at seeing our work coming together, frustration when we’re not moving fast enough or good enough, laughter and stress and an overwhelming feeling that I can’t even name that comes about spending every waking moment with the same 35 other people. I’ve had a lot of friends study abroad in their time at Knox, and they all say that they have such a hard time telling people about their experience. It was their life while they were wherever, and it’s incredibly hard for them to put that into words. That’s how Rep Term feels… even to the three of my apartments not in rep term (my roommate is also in the company), I don’t feel like I can accurately describe the experience. It’s hard and stressful and educational and beautiful, all at once.
What has this week been filled with anyway? In rehearsal we are at the point where we are only doing stumbles (a sort of rough rough draft of the shows) and runs (the rough drafts, without technical support). I’m starting to see great work emerge, and it’s such a cool experience to see the shows evolve. In the costume shop I get to drape a costume for the first time ever! This is a way of making a costume that involves no pattern, just placing fabric on a mannequin and making it look pretty- I’m pretty thrilled. It’s also a really great feeling to watch someone who has never sewn before finish a project- I feel as proud as a PTA parent!
Classes are keeping us pretty busy too. We just finished our last play for seminar, and I really think all ten plays we have read have been instructive in really different and valuable ways. In movement we are currently doing Laban work (incorporating movement into text) and just finished up working on the International Phonetic Alphabet. We were all surprised to learn that we all said everything wrong! =b In movement we recently did a lot of mask work, learning about following our instincts and the subtle nuances in movement. This week we have been doing contact improv, which feels like playing!
There’s much more to do, but I really believe we’ll get it all done and we’ll have fun doing it. Onward!
‘Till next time,
So yesterday was a big day in the world of props! We went shopping at Wal-mart and bought many of the things we needed on our shopping list. Some exciting things like Kleenex, cups, and glitter. There was much more and there is still more to buy.
After Nate (a guy on my crew) and I returned we had a photo shoot! Basically there is going to be this awesome prop that requires photos. I don’t want to give too much away. You’ll all just have to come to the show and figure out what it is! It’ll be really easy I promise. Here’s a hint: it will appear early on in Perestroika.
In other news, even I am not immune to illness. Last week I woke up on Friday morning feeling fine, but then I started to get dizzy in seminar. I went to the health clinic and found out I have some sinus fluid in my ears messing with the nerve that helps me to balance. It’s been going on since Friday and it’s rather distracting. I hope to get better soon so that I can keep giving 100% of myself to Rep Term.
I’ve just got to keep on chugging.
I don’t even know anymore. A couple weeks ago, Knox alumna and Jeff-Award-Nominated Costume and Makeup designer Allison Greaves came in to give us a workshop on stage makeup. I found her talk especially informative and interesting, given that I’m designing all the makeup for Angels. It’s always fun when we bring in a guest speaker whose expertise is in your field.
She taught us how to mold the face with highlight and shadow, something of which I had only hitherto had a vague idea. Highlight and shadow on the face can give depth to one’s features under the harsh stage light. I have modified several of my designs to incorporate it.
This week, I’ve started a new job: giving haircuts. Most of the men in the company currently sport stylish, yet contemporary hairdos. Your hair may look elegantly, coolly disheveled now, but I seriously doubt Roy Cohn’s 60-something WASP doctor in 1985 would ever let his hair hang past his ears. So, I’m cutting all our gentlemens’ hair. Because, let’s face it: why should the department pay $10 a head at a barber’s when they could have a rep term minion do it for free?
Until next week,
I promise I’m not a method actor. This past week I missed Rep Term because I had a tiny kidney stone torture my body. I also took wee fistfuls of Vicodin (the amount was within the range of prescription), which though not exactly like Valium, gave me a good sense of how Harper feels toward Joe, loneliness, and the world. Loneliness creates half the pain of confronting a physical trauma, especially when healing is a slow process. There were high points though: the kidney stone pain crashed as I floated clumsily through my dorm room; but, I mostly wanted to be around people. The experience made me see how desperately Harper wants human touch, not just because she loves Joe and craves sex, but also because of the Valium. She needs someone stable breathing next to her as comfort but Joe consistently runs away.
Aside from further discovering Harper’s feelings, I learned some of my own. I like Rep Term. A lot. Thirty-six people is a crazy comfort of personalities. We make more than theatre and class discussion. There were several faces I missed and hugs I looked forward to embracing at rehearsal. Rep Term is pushing us all but I think in some ways we’ve become a support system, an unconventional safety net. It’s kind of nice.
This week was fun. I really felt like I had no time to do anything, while still doing everything. I’ve been madly getting together sound clips and composing sound collages in anticipation of our paper tech on Friday. This stuff is coming together… less smoothly than I thought. There’s just so much searching required to find the right sound, and then rip it or record it.
Through trial and error, the sound collages end up taking roughly an hour to construct each one. This happens, yanno at like 3 in the morning. Then I show up to seminar the next morning feeling under prepared, BUT with a bag of the Oak Room’s finest grab-n-go breakfast in hand.
I’ve been working mostly on the cosmos wall for my crew call. The hardest part is getting this intricate lattice completely SQUARE. It is unbelievably frustrating and time consuming. SO many people have put in their two cents on this project, and because of it, there’s just no communication. BUT it’s DONE, and moved into Harbach. I really cant wait to see what magic Alix is going to cast on it!
Okay. HERE’S something exciting. I hooked up the wireless receiver to the board today and I’ve been experimenting with running the signal through my computer to create LIVE sound effects! AHHH! Imagine me walking through Harbach, by myself, with a wireless mic clipped to my shirt, as my voice booms over the speakers saying the most badass things I can think of… yanno, like “You will be the champion of warriors!” and “Let there be light!” This is all made even more effective as Neil Blackadder walks into Harbach with prospective students… as I’m doing this. FUN.
So… that’s exciting to ME at least. And what’s more… our BRAND NEW wig microphone is here! It is SO tiny! Haven’t tested it out yet, but it’s gonna be SO sweet, come showtime!
It’s already Friday again and the fact that this term is going faster than any I’ve ever encountered is scary, to be frank. After this term, I have one more before I graduate and the fact that I still haven’t decided precisely where I’m going when I leave is starting to dawn on me. I know I’m spending a summer in the Middle East again, but I’m not sure whether I want to come back and live in Chicago and begin my theatre career or live in Jerusalem for a while. Up until my senior year, I had my life planned. Now it is all of the sudden in disarray. I also had a senior moment the other day when one of our company members said something funny, and I laughed and thought about how much I am going to miss all of these people. This group is becoming very close-knit as our work continues to grow. I knew and spent time with most of these people in years before, but never in such conditions or cooperation. They have an invaluable place now in my life.
Back to my work in Rep Term, however. Today I distressed clothes for the folks playing homeless women whom I share a scene with, and let me tell you in advance that they play this part wonderfully! The scene is quite hysterical and creepy.
Half an hour of crew yesterday was devoted to learning how to smoke cigarettes for my character. Now I walk around with one all the time to get used to holding it and people look at me strangely.
I also helped write letters to the heads of different departments here at Knox to convince them our show would be interesting for them. We generated a list of points from the show we could spin to relate it to subjects such as Classics and Biochemistry. It was quite a difficult endeavour, but I think we accomplished this very well! We told the Biochemistry department about the fact that AIDS and its scientific cause (HIV) was widely unknown in the 1980s and they should come see the effects of this on society. How clever!
… when even drag is a drag. -Prior, Millennium Approaches
We have hospital beds!!! This may not be as exciting for all of you out there as it is for me, but this is great. We’ve been working on borrowing hospital beds in order to stage the hospital scenes. Not only did we find hospital beds to borrow, but we found some that were happily donated to Knox’s theatre department! This is the satisfying part of all the hard work I do as a props designer. I’m so proud of my crew and myself for accomplishing this task that seemed so daunting at the beginning of the term.
Today I really drilled my Yorkshire dialect with Liz. She was very patient with me and even recorded all my lines for me. Essentially this dialect is causing me to put everything I’m learning in voice class into practice. I’m from the Midwest so I clearly like to talk laterally, and let’s not mention the fact that I have gravel youth speak. It’s a challenge, but one I’m gladly taking up.
Our stumble through tonight went well. Hopefully Perestroika’s tomorrow goes just as well. Crunch time has started. The Great Work Continues.
When did it get to be Week Five? It seems like both a hundred years ago and just yesterday when the thirty-six of us entered CFA (Center for Fine Arts) for the first time this winter term. And yet here we are: set pieces are getting done, costumes are halfway built, all sorts of props have been procured, we are off book for all of both shows, and we act like a (albeit a crazy and dysfunctional) family.
Lately we’ve been getting reminders from Neil (Blackadder) about picking classes for next term, so life post-rep term has been on my mind. While this experience has been crazy and intense, it’s hard to image not being in CFA for hours on end with this group of people. I definitely have loved every moment of this experience thus far.
Back to reality- things have been going really well in the shop. On Monday we (myself, Margo, and the designers) went through the racks to see what we still needed to buy/rent/make/alter/bargain for. I feel like we’re in a really good place right now. Alicia and I finally finished our pajamas, and I’m working on lots of charts and lists and alterations right now. It’s really exciting to see everything start to come together!
Alright, I’ve got to go finish reading August Wilson’s King Hedley II & write a response for seminar tomorrow!
‘Till next time,