Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Well, we didn't win the powerball. Too bad... Was watching Caves of Androzani off of the Netflix. Truthfully even the writing is a little meh, for what is supposed to be the best episode ever... Had to cancel a credit card today. Thanks much to the person in Texas that cloned my card... If Ambassador Rice is getting this kind of press even before a nomination just imagine what the confirmation will be like... One class left this week and then one week left before the end of the fall semester. I wish it took longer... Speaking of Netflix, why is there no FiOS "widget" for Netflix? Gonna make me buy a Roku just so I can watch movies without tying up my tablet... I'm thinking I would like to do a "Sleep No More" type installation of "The Wall" relying heavily on media. I'm also thinking this idea might be bigger than Carnegie Mellon... I saw Carnegie Mellon in a list of companies serviced by SawStop in a SawStop presentation. Funny, when I walked through the shop later it was still a Delta Unisaw... Mrs. TANBI has been thinking about running for office. Trouble is that we don't hate pretty much everyone that represents us. We'd have to move first... I should make a New Year's Resolution to write more for the blog. Lately this page has just sort of been the Greenpage Annex: Worth A Look, Weekly Podcast, & Comment of the Week. If it weren't for Ellipses there'd be nothing here at all... Without really knowing how my fantasy football team is tied for first in our league. We've won four in a row. Not too confident this week though... About to make a run through the travel industry again. Thinking about a cab from the airport in Chicago... I've been option coordinator at work for something like 8 years now. Personally I think that's maybe 3-5 years too long... The TV repairman has still not reappeared. I think it might be time to send a nasty letter. I've never been to small claims court, maybe it'd be fun... Missed my folks a lot during the holiday... I think I have a good idea for income tax reform, but every time I try to tease it out the thing just disappears, it's something about investment income versus earned income... Today I pared by a local gym and there was an ambulance crew going in with a stretcher and they were not in a hurry. I wonder if that was a good thing or a bad thing for the patient... If you see one of my graduating students make sure to say "It's so hard to find good help these days." Might be fun...

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "How 'Angels in America' changed the national conve...":

I think one of the most powerful things about Angels in America, is that the theme of the play had it's peak of relevancy 20 years ago, such a weird length of time. It's old enough to be put into history and to look with hindsight and see what the impact of the play was. Here we see that not only did it affect the people who saw it, but it "changed the national conversation". As one of the quotes said, it brought "gayness" to the front, AIDS couldn't be discussed without bringing up gay issues. America has this thing where it likes to avoid topics in an effort to avoid conflict, but problems don't ever really get solved. This play said "You can't ignore this any longer. This is an issue." That's a big deal to bring a practically taboo subject not just into the nation's peripheral view, but instead crossing front and center. The other reason this 20 year mark seems so weird, is that while it's history and hindsight and significance all rolled into one, it's also something that a majority of the population can remember. There isn't any guessing as to what the impact was, most people 35/40 years or older (especially in the theatre community) have some reason or another as to why this play is significant to them. Unlike when a teacher says "Shakespeare was relevant because...." the teacher says "I remember it was relevant because...." which adds a whole new level onto how it's performed now. This play not only has a historical significance, but a personal significance to many people in America, and it's not often that a play can be both. 
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Who’s Afraid of the Dark?":
While I agree with what everyone has said about this production being a challenge for the production and design team as well as the actors, I'm surprised no one picked up on the fact that there is no costume designer. Sure, designing a show that takes place in the dark will mean added challenges for the lighting and sound designers, and a unique opportunity for the scenic designer, I am amazed that there was no costume designer for the show. The actors are not in costume, but are in "street clothes" for every performance. While most of the show is in the dark, the article lends the reader to think that the actors will be seen. The lighting designer described prop effects such as a glowing fire or television screen. Any actor close to these objects would be able to be seen by the audience. The actors are also seen at the top of the show. Why wouldn't they be in costume? More importantly, different clothes and shoes will affect the play differently each night. If an actor wears soft-soled shoes that are practically silent one night, and high-heeled shoes that make noise the next the two audiences are getting different experiences. Cotton sounds differently than chiffon as an actor moves on stage. If the production team is focusing so much energy on the sound scape in the room and the sound effects in the play, wouldn't they also care about the extra noise in the space as well? I would be interested to know if these things came up as issues during rehearsals, techs, or performances, and I am curious as to whether the actors have any guidelines as to their wardrobe for the performances. 
Comment #3: a new comment on your post "AB Concerts presents Sleigh Bells":
"There was a circle of students running into each other, and at one point, it felt as if the audience was pushing on itself from every direction."



Comment #4: a new comment on your post "How “Right” is Right?: Conservative Voices in Thea...":
What I have to say to this kid is, if you can't find any conservative theater out there and you are so concerned about it's existence then why don't you write some. You could have Summer Awakening where instead of getting an abortion at the end the lead women has the baby and starts a club that try's to ban guns. The reason that there are not very many conservative playwrights is because we are surrounded all of the time by conservative messages and ideals and theater is and has pretty much always been a response to that. If you want to talk and think about conservative views all you have to do is turn your television to Fox news and it's right there in front of you. But to get the real liberal message, to get something edgy and unique (because that is basically how this kid is defining liberal, by using examples like Spring Awakening and Kushner) you have to go to the theater. Why would I want more conservative values in my theater? That is the one place I can escape the whole thing!
Also I agree with everything Matt says. 
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Hollywood Reporter apologises for role in McCarthy...":
Can anyone argue that black-listing people from making a living because of their political beliefs is wrong? It would be a tough sell. I do have to be the outlier here though and say that I think it's just as questionable for us now, and by us I mean Sean Penn, from the distance of time and comfort of fame, to hand down on the past, even if it did affect his family specifically. The fact is, none of us can say with certainty what we would do were we in Kazan's shoes, facing a choice between capitulation and excommunication, or worse deportation. Taking the self-righteous position is too easy here, I think, and when an apology or an outcry of injustice bears about as much authority or ability to set things right as the cheap entertainment rag on which it is printed, it seems like a waste to me, and worse, a publicity stunt to sell more cheap rags. Maybe our efforts, and Mr. Penn's, would be better spent looking out for the millions of people suffering from unfair working conditions RIGHT NOW in our country. Yes we must learn from past injustices to better guard against new ones, but we also have to learn to forgive the past and admit our own imperfections and moral frailties before judging them in others.

Put your vote in this post's comments.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Next Podcast Attempt

The holiday has me off schedule.  Here is the podcast from last week:

The topics are...

  • Tomorrow's Power Casting Directors
  • TechShop
  • Nederlanders Celebrate 100 Years in Business
  • The Path
  • Pittsburgh Playwrights' Theatre Festival in Black & White
  • Red Bull Releases Ridiculous Rube-Goldberg-esque Kluge
  • Epic lightning battle powered by old school Tesla coils
  • Time Management is a Personal Problem…
  • Pittsburgh International Children's Theater show uses darkness, light
  • Classic Costumes Go Under the Hammer
The team thinks they faltered a little.  I think they got a lousy start but once it gets going it is pretty decent.

What do you think?

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Live Sound: Hooked: Confessions Of A Gearaholic

Pro Sound Web: Hi. My name is Craig, and I’m a gearaholic. I tried to find a 12-step program, but quite frankly if I have to move gear more than six steps, I’m going to need a hand truck because my back isn’t what it used to be. It’s not just that I like gear; it’s that I’m addicted to it. I fall asleep reading equipment catalogs. I bypass articles in trade magazines, unless they’re talking specifically about gear, to look at the (gasp) advertisements of new mixers, microphones, loudspeakers – you name it. At trade shows, I revel in all of the stuff on display, new and not so new. It doesn’t matter. It’s gear.

Hollywood Reporter apologises for role in McCarthy-era blacklist US film industry magazine the Hollywood Reporter has apologised for its role in kickstarting the infamous 1947 blacklist that destroyed the careers of writers, actors and directors accused of being communist sympathisers.

The Leonard Lopate Show: "The Old Man and the Old Moon"

WNYC: Ryan Melia, who plays the lead in “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” Dan Weschler, who plays a variety of roles, the accordion, and was involved in composing the music and writing the script; and Lydia Fine, set, costume, and puppet designer, discuss the PigPen Theatre Co.’s Off-Broadway play, which features PigPen’s signature blend of original music, shadow puppetry, live action, and lighting effects. “The Old Man and the Old Moon” is playing through January 6, 2013 at The Gym at Judson.

How “Right” is Right?: Conservative Voices in Theater

HowlRound: It began with Churchill, as it so often does. Not Winston, of course—Caryl. We were discussing the politically layered script Top Girls in a playwriting class. There was a pause in the discussion, and my professor looked at the fluorescent lighting above his head. “Come to think of it, I don’t think there are many conservative playwrights at all,” he said. We all stopped for a second, considering this. Were there any theater artists we could think of who produced political work that read conservative?

What are professional reviews for?

Seth's Blog: I know what they used to be for. A decade ago, there really was no way to tell if a movie, a book or a play was worth your time before you paid up. A professional review could be a valuable signal, a way to save people time and money. Along the way, professional reviewers also decided that they could alter the culture by speaking up. Since creators of culture are often sensitive to what the critics have to say, establishing critical baselines (particularly when you are a powerful arbiter of what sells and what doesn't) became a real function of the critic.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Human Brain Is Wired for Harmony":

This has been one of the more fascinating articles that I have read. We are fragile and very sensitive beings and sound is something that we are either completely aware of or something that we choose to ignore. It's interesting that our brain craves harmony and identifies patterns in the sound. The information in this article could really help someone like a sound designer. There are different effects that you could potentially get when you play around with various sound patterns. Obviously, there are some sounds that are stronger and more disarming while others are simply pleasant. It would be good to try testing sounds and starting with a very harmonious and pleasant sound while moving to a harsher drum. There are many ways to mess with the mind, sound is just another tool. 
 Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Art and politics don’t mix":
I speak the same language as the author of this article. I believe that the arts A) should not be for economic gain and B) should not cost anything to be viewed. Arts value lies in the artists intentions. If the artist is trying to say something political then that is their right as an artist and the value of the art should be quantified by how well they tell the story or expose the truth. But if an artist just wants to make something that is beautiful then I think that that is their prerogative. With theater more than with visual art there is an impulse to have a finished piece that allows us to comment on something in the world but that does not mean that the art should be responsible for actually changing that thing. It is just a comment. Like a news paper article just in a different more accessible form. Art is about enjoyment, and thought and beauty and reflecting and morphing the world we see around us. 
 Comment #3: a new comment on your post "Autodesk 123D Design Arrives":
Well I'm not really sure how much this will teach, or really help an individual develop skills in digital design and art past 10-12 year old kids. This program appears to be incredibly simple, especially as it's free's kind of like the Paint of the 3D design/rendering world.

(Gets on soapbox)

My good friend Luke Foco once said, "Yeah, but how cool would be to as an 8 year-old to say 'Hang on a minute, I gotta go print me another G.I. Joe...'" Which I agree with, but on other hand, what 8 year-old kid has the patience to sit and wait for his Makerbot printer to extrude his G.I. Joe, and furthermore....WHAT 8 YEAR_OLD KID HAS A MAKERBOT PRINTER! GO PLAY OUTSIDE!

(Gets off soapbox) 
 Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Stage review: Twists on classics create 'A Grand N...":
Does having a male singer perform a song that, when performed in the context of the original show, is performed by a female character really truly count as a twist? Or a big enough twist to warrant a position in the title of the review? Despite having a full understanding of Rodgers and Hammerstein's significance on the world and history of musical theatre, I've never been a huge fan of their work, but was actually excited when I saw the title of this review. Perhaps this production has found a way to breathe new life into these songs! While the opposite-gender casting of the song is interesting (even though I'm nearly certain all of the gender references in the song were switched to fit the heteronormative construct), is that really enough to warrant being called a "twist?" When Patti Lupone sang "Being Alive," it wasn't a jaw-dropping, shocking theatrical twist. It was just her singing a song written for a male character. True, I haven't seen this production. But I have a feeling it's a much more traditional construction of Rodgers and Hammerstein than they'd like to advertise. 
 Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Getting “A Real Job” Thanks To Your Arts Job":
I have always thought that the skills I have learned as an arts management student could help me to gain a management position in a more convention field some day. This article has helped to confirm that, though it hasn't necessarily helped me to confirm that people outside of the arts truly understand that skills I can bring to the table from a BFA in Drama. I would love to know how the people interviewed for this article came to gain their new positions in non-arts organizations- did they have to fight to get the positions and to prove that they had the necessary skills? I can't help but think that, unfortunately, they might have had to try a little harder to prove themselves because they came from an arts background. On another note, I appreciate this article for pointing out that taking a non-arts related job can actually give you more skills to take back to the arts, and vise versa. We don't have to be locked into the arts, and there is value in both arts and non-arts work. There's a choice to be made there that many of us will have to make some day, not without much tribulation, I'm sure.

Put your votes in the comments on this post.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Worth a Look

Here are some articles from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Tomorrow's Power Casting Directors Here’s a secret: Casting directors like you. They want you to succeed. When you walk into an audition room, the CD looks at you and sees a potential answer to all of his or her problems. “I think people tend to forget we are on the actors’ side,” says casting director J.C. Cantu. “I want them to do really well. I want them to get the part. Then I can go home early and have a glass of champagne and celebrate.”


Cool Tools: TechShop is a tool shop with a gym style membership. It costs $125 a month, but they have a special right now for $1000 for the year. Their price went up recently, but I am paying $100 a month.

Nederlanders Celebrate 100 Years in Business Every industry has its dynasties. The Kennedys are synonymous with politics. The Fords are the kings of automobiles, and on Broadway the Nederlanders are royalty. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the Nederlander Organization is one of the last family-owned and operated theater and live entertainment companies in the country.

The Path

HowlRound: I am a professional playwright. I make a living writing plays. But I haven’t had a professional production in seven years. I write plays for the school market and student performers. For many years I avoided saying the above out loud, in public. “I write for the school market.” I didn’t want to admit to the kind of plays I write because I felt there was the stigma to writing for youth. For kids. It’s not real writing. It’s not writing “real” plays. It’s kiddie. It’s cute. I was embarrassed to admit that the only place I could get produced was in schools. In every social situation I dreaded the question “What do you do?” and the inevitable follow up question “Have you written anything I’ve seen?” The answer was always no. And that seemed to make me less of a playwright. It meant I wasn’t living up to the expectations of what a writer does, or who a playwright is. I wasn’t following the traditional path to success.

Pittsburgh Playwrights' Theatre Festival in Black & White

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: A decade ago, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company had a wild idea: Why not solicit short scripts from black and white dramatists, then have the plays directed by members of the "other" race? Pittsburgh gushes theatrical talent, African American and Caucasian — and these people rarely meet across color lines.

Monday, November 19, 2012


The only thing worse than last night's Steelers game might be tonights Bears game... If I had to pick the best Star Trek movie I think I would pick First Contact... My internet feeds seem to think Obama talking about the problems with other country's bombing campaigns is perhaps a little hypocritical... Week four of the podcast was up over 70 viewers today. Soon we might see the hundred... A lot of travel coming up for me: Bloomington, Chicago, and Las Vegas all before the first of the year... The project I have been working on for months just recently pretty substantively appears to have failed, or rather we're moving the goal posts and moving on... It is possible that Freya is becoming a bonafide lap cat. Never had a lap cat before... Last couple of days I watched LockUp on Netflix. You can skip it... Last couple of days I watched The Expendibles on Amazon, you could do worse... Do I really still need a truck? Inquiring minds want to know... The Crazy Scheme finished up the first project manager and just about got through the transition. So far no casualties... Definitely think the new TV rig is a little over the top... I wish the net would stop telling me about folks on congressional science committees that don't understand, or believe in science... Mrs. TANBI has declared that math is hard. I learned that in a 9am 3D Calculus class more than 25 years ago... Sandy has us looking into food stores, go bags, and generators... The two day week this week has me ultraunmotivated, as if I needed help with that... Almost gave up on Gold Rush, but I got sucked in again... Got to sit and watch an actual Ultimate game in CMU's Gesling stadium. That was cool...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "DOC Denies Shakespeare Behind Bars":

This is really sad to see. It has been proven time and time again that participating in theatre fosters a sense of belonging and responsibility that follows people throughout their lives, and yet, our government seems obsessed with taking away funding from the arts. The United States prison system is well known for totally sucking. Once someone enters the system, they rarely get out causing perpetual undesirable growth in the prison system. This failure has long been blamed on a decided lack of rehabilitative measures of the sort found much more commonly in European prisons. These more progressive prisons, such as those found in Denmark and Norway, focus on rehabilitative strategies that empower inmates to take control and have responsibility for their own lives. Participating in theatre is a good first step down this road of empowerment. Every person working on a theatrical production is critical to its success, making participants feel needed despite their crimes and societal ostracization.
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Strip-Club Fees Aren’t Tax Exempt, N.Y. Top Court ...":
Because this has been a topic of debate in multiple states lately, it seems to me that a decision needs to be made in a larger setting. I am intrigued to see if any of the defendants in these cases continue to appeal and make their way higher up into the court system. There obviously needs to be a more clear-cut definition of what constitutes a "dramatic or musical arts performance", and I think that an even higher court could provide that answer. I am glad that the Hustler analogy was made because it clarifies that the decision is not being made on a bias against the content of the entertainment provided at the juice bar. One thing I can't help but wonder is if the club would have been successful if they had presented a more informed expert who could testify to the nature of the private dances (although I'm assuming the private dances are probably not strictly choreographed and would therefore not qualify the club for the exemption anyways). I'm anxious to read more about rulings of this nature, and I hope that, as in this case, establishments such as Nite Moves are not being treated poorly because of the nature of the entertainment they provide.
Comment #3: a new comment on your post "Did Cloud Atlas' "Yellowface" problem help to sink...":
I saw Cloud Atlas last night and it was easily one of the best films I've ever seen. Rather than use this comment as a vehicle to talk about how fantastic it was, I'm just going to respond to the arguments this article poses:

1. One of the complaints listed here is that the world of Neo-Seoul is reminiscent of the western world's (mis)understanding of Asian culture - simplifying all women to be clones (in the case of Cloud Atlas - literal clones) of one another. The film, Cloud Atlas, is based off of a novel written in 2004. Therefore, the filmakers are not completely to blame for these supposed racist undertones.

2. A. Another complaint is that Cloud Atlas should've cast Korean actors to play the Korean roles. True - that could've been a good strategy. However, that would've conflicted with one of the most crucial parts of the film: that multiple actors plays multiple parts.
2. B. Let's consider that Doona Bae (a bonafide Korean) played multiple roles - including a Mexican woman and a white woman.

3. The first article discounts that the film could be trying to make a statement that "race, gender, etc are simply a thin surface layer over our universal and eternal souls." Rather than discount that angle, I prefer to believe that the Wachovski siblings and Tywker really were trying to make that statement - even if it involved delving into some risky cross-racial territory.
Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Mozart rock musical heading to Broadway and West E...":
Telling the life story of Mozart through a collection of synthesized & auto-tuned pop songs and calling it a "rock opera" is like trying to perform the works of Shakespeare through clips of dialogue from "The Jersey Shore" or giving a retrospective of Jackson Pollack's portfolio through carefully 3D-rendered CAD files.
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Michael Kaiser: Where Are the Senior Arts Managers...":
I found the fact that there's "regional-phobia" (fear of hiring managers from smaller regional theatres because of perceived lack of experience on your scale of production) most interesting in this article. According to this article, if you don't have experience with the largest companies, you will never work for those largest companies, and I really hope that's not the case. An artistic manager from a smaller theatre develops things companies with large budgets never do: shrewd, careful and calculated business sense, the driving of a successful informational and capital campaign, likely intimate work with artists and close personal relationships with donors and board members, and the ability to program the theatre with a real sense for what will sell to the public and will still fulfill their artistic vision (the first being the only way the company stays alive, the second being the way they stay engaged in the arts and begin seeking larger jobs). I am very proud to have received a lot of real-world education from a series of short-engagement regional positions and internships - I feel like there's more ability (or need) to dive right in and be really active and effective to keep the company afloat, where managers in larger companies may be worked around if they are as ineffective as these transient managers are.
Leave your vote in the comments by Thursday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

TCG Report: Nonprofit Theatres on the Rebound

LA STAGE TIMES: Released by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Theatre Facts is the only in-depth report that examines the attendance, performance and overall fiscal state of the not-for-profit professional theater industry. Theatre Facts 2011 is based on the TCG Fiscal Survey, compiling data from theaters’ fiscal years ending between October 31, 2010 and September 30, 2011. First published in 1980, the annual Theatre Facts report examines unrestricted income and expenses, balance sheets, attendance, pricing and performance details.

Bran Ferren: Storytelling in 4D Bran Ferren presented a compelling keynote on Sunday morning, October 21 at LDI2012 in Las Vegas, on the topic of "Storytelling In 4D," the theme of Live Design's new Envision conference that will be held in Monterrey, CA, in September 2013. In his talk, Ferren challenged the entertainment design and technology industry with effectively preparing itself for the future.

Racial Issues, Far From 'Invisible' On D.C. Stage

NPR: On a farm in Waitsfield, Vt., in 1945, a Merchant Marine cook named Ralph Ellison was resting after his tour of duty. "One morning scribbling, I wrote the first sentence of what later became The Invisible Man: 'I am an invisible man,' " Ellison recalled in an interview for National Educational Television. He wrote that his protagonist — a Negro, as Ellison always put it — was young, powerless and ambitious for the role of leadership, a role at which he was doomed to fail.

Ticketbud Is Fighting Greed, One Stub at a Time

Wired Business | At the beginning of my first conversation with Ticketbud founder Paul Cross, he makes sure I’m clear on his ambivalence toward the capitalist system. His online ticketing startup is primarily concerned, like Cross himself, with social progress and events and organizations that advance this progress. Taking investment dollars and turning a profit are, he explains, just means to that end.

Politics pays off for production firms By all appearances, it was another hasty stump stop, with President Barack Obama arriving in Tampa before dawn, rousing a crowd at an Ybor City park and jetting off a mere three hours later. Just don't describe Thursday's campaign event as hasty to John Scarelli. The owner of Trade Specialists Productions in Orlando had been in town since Tuesday overseeing workers who were setting up stages, risers, barricades, decorations and the other components of a successful political appearance.


It is possible, just possible, that the solution I worked out for our broken television might, just, be over the line... Still happy about the election outcome. Don't want to secede or anything... I have a tumblr now. It is a place to put photos of projects in the shop and on stage that are in process... More than ten years into teaching and I am still concerned at the beginning of class that there will be enough material to get to the end of class... The Steelers game tonight was not their very best work. I hope Ben is ok... Somehow I have become the scourge of the school. I have to remember not to volunteer to administer projects nobody wants... Next press conference I think the President should come out wearing a crash helmet and tell us how he's looking forward to going over the fiscal cliff... We're flying a performer in our current mainstage. I can remember doing show after show without flying anyone... The weather took a real turn for the wet today. Still, I would rather have rain than snow... I went looking for a resume today and the most recent one I could find was from 2006. You would think they guy that teaches the resume class would be better at keeping it updated... It is remarkable how much time my job could fill if I were to let it. I might need to come up with a course about professional boundaries for the seniors (Is thinking of adding work to help people reduce work irony?)... My video camera does not appear to have an input for a microphone. So much for that good idea... I think I want to lose a shitload of weight just so that it will be clear where the waist of dress pants should fall. Right now clothe shopping is unfortunate... I think the podcast is coming along quite nicely. I don't think this week's topics are going to be particularly good though. I might have to change up my posting regime... We've sprung the cat that has been on house restriction since we moved in. If she can't keep under reasonable control this might be a big problem for her... Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Me either...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

News From the Real World Podcast

The Podcast experiment continues…

there was a glitch with the sound this week.  It resolves itself a few minutes in, but at the top only one of the two mics appears to be working.  Otherwise I think we have another healthy discussion of current issues.

This week’s articles were:

·         College Kids Want To Make A Lot Of Money
·         Your Coworkers That Say They Work 70 Hours A Week Are Big Liars
·         5 Top College Theater Programs Outside of NY
·         Senator wants to bring copyright law to the runway
·         Must Watch: Lana Wachowski Speaks About What It Means to Be Transgendered
·         Diversity Must Not Compromise Artistic Vision, According to Artistic Directors
·         Cloud Atlas – Epic Storytelling Created Through Epic Collaboration
·         Paying a pole tax

Still working on getting to all 10 articles in the allotted time.

If you are interested, please have a look/listen.  I would still love to have notes to pass along to the group, and if you have people you think would be good participants pass the names along too!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Japanese ballet dancers embracing Pittsburgh":

"Japanese ballet students work like demons. They are completely dedicated. It's part of their heritage, their backgrounds, their schooling. They're driven. They don't do anything else. They want to be dancers."
There are some parts of this article that made me cringe. That quote was one of them. I wonder how it would have been written from the point of view of a Japanese dancer and not someone from the outside looking in. Commitment to something that you want to have as a career or that you are passionate about is called dedication. That is what these ballet dancers are, they are dedicated. Especially when you are doing it in the hopes of being able to provide for your family. It isn't that they don't do anything else. Yes they are a few children who may be like that, due to parenting styles, however it is not that way for many.

Ballet like theatre, music or any other art form really is a risk and done for either the love of it or the off chance possibility of actually being able to make a good living from it. Also like any other art forms some people make money from it and some people struggle and have to take low paying jobs just to get by. This also isn't just a scenario that occurs in Japan, it is worldwide. Most of the dancers are also in the US with the aim of being signed to a well known dance company. 
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Senator wants to bring copyright law to the runway...":
I'm on the same boat- I completely agree. At first I was kind of happy to hear that preserving and protecting a designer's fashion intent might be happening, but the more I read, the more I realized that fashion isn't exactly the same s I once considered. We are all humans and most of us prefer to wear clothes. We generally are of similar sizes, generally wearing similar articles of clothing. Its convenient that way. There is only so much knit-picking you can do, if clothes became copyrighted there are only SO many ways to cover up the human body without being illogical. It just wouldn't work, it would create more hassle than help. I understand the integrity part of not wanting to have designs copied, but sometimes theres just no way about getting around it- its al about fads, culture, time era, all of which include lots of people. It ties us together. In an ideal world, it would be cool if every single costume/ garment/ design had a crazy shape, color and texture, all completely unrelated to each other- but what would that say about the context of our world, of our time? Not much. It would be crazy and interesting in the short term, but mean little in the unity of a generation. We are all humans, and sometimes we like being dressed in great, simple, flattering ways, that might in fact be similar. I think that copyright should not be held over any designer, BUT I so believe that it is important to credit the true innovators, and thinkers of fashion, whether or not their ideas were inspired by history, the future- anything. We need to make note of the original designers, we cannot, however, do this by holding copyright over the heads of others. 

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "College Kids Want To Make A Lot Of Money":
As Amy Tennery said at the end of the article there is a "staggering lack of financial literacy among our nation’s bright new workers is not encouraging." I agree that many of the college student currently coming out of both undergraduate and graduate programs believe the propaganda from the departments in their schools that there will be jobs available for them in their field. It is extremely naive of people to think that they will have a higher paying jobs than their parents after the 2008 financial collapse. The world markets will be feeling that for at least another five years. Also with the dramatic drop of American supremacy in education and competitiveness in the global technology market I am surprised that people aren't bracing themselves to be living in European sized houses and dealing with their rampant school debt until they are retired. College is amazingly over emphasized and some people need to just go straight into the workforce but our current culture says that everyone should go to college but all that has gotten us is an amazingly over-educated group of Starbucks baristas. Colleges need to start bringing their standards for admission up and companies need to make themselves more globally competitive in order for the wages to increase. Basic economics would tell us that we as a society need to innovate and educate our way out of this rut that we have been in for the past two decades. We need to make our way back into the manufacturing business to increase wages throughout the gambit. Technology and technology production are the answer to get us back into the top wage earner spot. We also need to make an honest living and not create bubbles like so many hedge funds and money markets have done in recent years. We need accountability and sustainability before our wages can increase. 

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Behind-the-Scenes Jurassic Park Video Gives Us a L...":
This is by far one of the most intriquing articles I have seen on this blog. I am always interested to learn new things about movies I have loved from a young age and the fact that these raptors were in fact elaborate costumes is quite a spectacular feat. I am extremely impressed by the engineering ingenuity used to create them. The amount of engineering and mechanic creation that went into the simple action of arm motion on the raptor is astounding in itself, let alone the rest of the body. And as always the difference between their initial mock up and the final product is astounding. I would really love to go back and re-watch Jurassic Park and see if I can notice any characteristics of the puppetier in the movie. 

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Diversity Must Not Compromise Artistic Vision, Acc...":
I remember we had this chat on the Greenpage back when Next to Normal came through town and those who saw Alice Ripley's Asian understudy and wondered why she would be cast against fully Caucasian children. It's a delicate balance - when characters need a "look" to satisfy the director's vision for the show, then I believe along with the panel that you have to support the director. I agree with Kelly that many plays of the past are not written with racially diverse characters in them, but disagree with present whitewashing - there's a fair amount of diversity in modern plays, and older plays can always be adapted and presented differently than their original production - remember, following the director's vision for the production.

Also remember that nary a Caucasian performer is going to be cast in Motown: The Musical. All the casting breakdowns call for black performers. It's how it is. 
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