Monday, September 30, 2013

Vote for Comment of the Week

Voting closes Thursday night.  Here are this week's contenders:

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "The Cultural Trust versus Joe Wos. It’s on.":

Ok, can I just say, that as a member of the community who as actually gone and seen the duck, that this article just makes me really mad? Who the heck cares about the money or politics or and of that other bureaucratic crap. I went to see it with my parents yesterday and it was an all out amazing experience. There were literally thousands of people there, ranging from the age of infant to elderly, and every single person there, my family and my self included, had the biggest smile on their face and was either so exited, or in complete awe, or both. I don't care what people say. Nothing, even words, should try to take that away from any city. Even just seeing all of those happy little kids clothing their very own duck just completely made my day. So anyone who as any of the slightest negative feelings about the duck, should just go see it and that should sufficiently shut them up. 
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Generation Y, Leave Your Parents At Home!":
First of all, I don't think Gen Y is any different than any other generation in regards to using their parents' networks to get jobs... In fact, I'd wager that Gen X and Gen Y are abnormal in how few of us aren't doing similar things to what our parents are doing. There's a reason that a lot of the stereotypical "American Dream" includes a "blankity blank & sons" sign in front of some business.

It's also really frustrating to hear people, particularly those my parents' age, talk about how dependent Millennials are on their parents. When my dad was in college, he was able to make enough money in the summer to cover tuition, room and board at his private liberal arts school in New England. My mom was able to buy a business her senior year. I'm going to graduate with some significant debt, a choice I made with my eyes wide open, but one which will unquestionably impact some choices I'll be able to make in the next 10 years.

I have been operating completely independently for a couple of years now, and the most difficult part hasn't been the lack of support or anything like that, but all of the legislation that makes it unrealistically difficult for an 18 year old, a legal adult, to operate independently from her family. It's virtually impossible to file as an independent on your FAFSA without meeting certain very specific conditions. Without that, you can only take out loans and are ineligible for (federal) grants.

What I'm trying to say is it's not that easy to just cut the apron strings and go on your way. It's taken me a long time to figure out the most advantageous way to do so and I'm finally, after two and half years, getting there. It behooves the previous generations to keep us in "minor status" for as long as possible and until we can change some of these institutionalized problems, it's unrealistic to expect us to simply suck it up.  
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "The power of failure: making 'The Last of Us'":
As someone without video game experience, I was surprised by how interesting that aspect of the article was to me. I chose to read this one because of the title "The power of failure" but when I saw that it was about the process behind a video game, I wasn't sure if I should read on. I'm glad I did though, because it was actually really interesting to learn about this game as well as the efforts that went into its realization. I was aware of the argument that there is a lot more art and story-telling to video games than many people realize, and this article definitely helped me see that.
The attitude towards failing in this article could apply to any project. I really like the quote about how failing as many times as you can at the beginning of the process will make a better final outcome. I think we sometimes try to make things to perfect at the beginning of the process and then get too attached to certain ideas and are not able to develop them for the better. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Filmmakers Choose Sides in Transition from Film to...":
First of all, I must say that I don't know much about film and digital moving pictures; however, I do know a bit about photography. My dad does large format photography in his spare time, and I always see him spending hours in the dark room. Using film is truly an art form. It takes time, patience, and experience. If you take a look at photographers like Minor White and Jerry Uelsmann, you can see how artists can create the same effects of a digital/photoshopped image on film. The only difference is it takes longer and more skill. I think with digital, you lose the time and patience, and overall it creates a different experience. I definitely appreciate film more than digital because of all the time and effort that goes into it. Now, everyone is using Instagram and their iPhones, and pretend they are real photographers. Photography is not just about clicking a button. You have to measure the light, distance, focus, etc. I think people definitely take the easy way out instead of learning the art of things. Of course, there are fantastic examples of digital media, but I have seen more childish/bad digital media than professional/good media. I think this can be fixed with time and progress. I'm not saying I hate Digital. I thought Hugo was beautifully done. Do I like 3D animation? Absolutely not. I agree with the guy in the video: 3D animation is just a marketing scheme. I too put on those glasses and get sick to my stomach after paying $18. I would like to see digital become more of an art form rather than the easy-way out. And I don't believe their should be a debate about either film or digital. Just because digital will grow doesn't mean we need to bury film. I am hoping that both art forms continue to live on.  
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "9 Ways a Theatre Degree Trumps a Business Degree":
I love this article. I want to send this article to every person who scoffed at me for not studying something "real" in college. Theater is real. Theater is very real, and the perfect preparation for any other profession (aside from maybe medicine). I was actually having a conversation with a friend about this the other day and she said something that struck me. She said, "Maybe I should minor in something real... my parents wanted me to minor in business." But after reading this article I remember that majoring in theater IS minoring in business. It's also minoring in marketing. And history. And English (and Avenue Q taught us that English is an absolutely useless degree), and engineering, and physics, and math, and pretty much anything. Theater is used as a metaphor for most things for a reason. All the world's a stage, right? If that's true then I guess us drama majors are on top of the world. There are so many skills that we learn in drama school that no one else knows. particularly how to meet deadlines, how to be a team player, and how to network. People can tell me that the arts are dying all they want, but we are learning so much more than that and I wouldn't change a single thing about my education.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

News From the Real World 9-27-2013 (playlist)

Worth a Look

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

The Cultural Trust versus Joe Wos. It’s on.

That's Church: For an issue that shouldn’t have really had a clear winner or loser, The Cultural Trust has done a bang-up job of mucking up its little tiff with the Toonseum’s Joe Wos to the point that guess what? The Toonseum is coming out the winner. Good job good effort, Cultural Trust. Back to the beginning.

Saturn and the Arts: A Challenge

The Clyde Fitch Report: Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of having lunch in Bakersville’s popular diner Helen’s with a dynamic young director who sought me out to talk about some of the things I have written here and elsewhere. He was intelligent, articulate, and clearly well-read, and as we talked, he spoke passionately about his desire to do plays that would speak to small communities. Ironically, he was on a short vacation before heading off to do a freelance gig in another state, where he had been hired to do a contemporary play telling the oft-told story of an upper-middle-class NYC family. He wondered aloud about what relevance that play had for the people who lived in the place where he was going, and he regretted the fact that he would not be there long enough to actually attempt to engage the community in a discussion of the issues raised in the play. He was just a hired gun brought in to get the play on its feet and then move on, and he had taken the gig because he was in the early part of his career and needed to take any paying opportunity that came along.

What Shakespeare Sounded Like: Exploring the Original Pronunciation (And Why It Matters)

How to Think Like Shakespeare | Big Think: Why does the original pronunciation (OP) of Shakespeare's words matter? For one thing, two-thirds of Shakespeare's sonnets have rhymes that don't work in modern English.

The power of failure: making 'The Last of Us'

The Verge: In 2004, when he was still a student at Carnegie Mellon University, Neil Druckmann participated in an exciting group project. One of his professors just happened to be friends with George Romero, widely regarded as the father of modern zombie movies, and he tasked his students with creating a game concept that would be pitched to the venerable director. Romero would then pick his favorite and the team behind it would build a prototype. Druckmann's idea was to merge three of the works that most influenced him as a creator: the game would feature the gameplay of PlayStation 2 classic Ico, a lead character much like John Hartigan from Sin City, and would be set during the zombie apocalypse of Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

Should You Have A Video Resume?

Come Recommended: In this age of technology, tech-savvy job seekers wonder if a well-done video resume might assist them in their attempts to find employment. The answer to that question is sure, a video resume can help you if it’s done well, but it can also hinder you big time if it’s not done well or can’t be opened.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Four Point Favorite

I'm not all that confident.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The new shows are starting to show up on the DVR.  Here's hoping I picked good ones...  We've started correcting grammar and spelling on Greenpage comments.  It's a bigger job than I thought it would be...  Last weekend I added an exterior light special to our front facade.  Might be able to see the address numbers at night now...  The Steelers, not too much to say about the Steelers...  My spring schedule seems like it will be more like work.  Nothing wrong with that...  I have three cats available for adoption.  Please take my three cats...  Still no Slingplayer for the Roku.  That's too bad...  First show of the season is into tech and the next couple are starting in the shop...  If you ask me, the designer always wins on Love it or List it...  I'd really like it if the MSNBC people would stop letting people say "American's don't want Obamacare" on air.  It just isn't true...  So far the fantasy football season isn't what it could be...  The Gib5on trailer is getting a good public response...  I caught "The Numbers Station" off of Netflix last night.  Quality streamer...  It seems like just three days ago we were trying to decide if we were going to turn on the air.  Today I turned on the heat...  There didn't seem to be anything new in the President's UN speech.  I wonder how he thinks he can solve the problems he's prioritized...  The world was probably a better place when pharmaceuticals couldn't advertise on TV.  "Some people experience adverse outcomes including death."  Swell...  Ted Cruz, not too much to say about Ted Cruz...  Not sure the CA government can legislate a "minor eraser" into existence...  The hubbub over the Russia Olympics seems to have died down pretty quickly... 

Vote for Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "NFL Players Association Freaks Out About Tattoo Co...":

As a person with tattoos, and huge sports fan - I find this topic to be both fascinating and incredibly infuriating. Pirating music and other digital media, reproducing printed materials and artwork without a license all seem like logical copyright infringements, but never would I have expected tattoos to be brought into the mix. Tattooing - yes, is a valid art form, however it's also a service that you pay for. In addition to that, the artwork isn't always the intellectual property of the artist performing the tattoo, often the client provides the artwork or concept for the tattoo and requests a service from the artist. Sooo....if Colin Kaepernick presented the artwork to his tattoo artist, then isn't he the owner of those images and doesn't he have the right to determine if they are part of his brand and included in renderings of him on video games? And even if the tattoo artist took some artistic liberty in order to improve or develop on Kaepernick's concept for his tattoos...Kaepernick still paid a for the services of the artist. So where is line drawn? It think it's be interesting to see have this issue pursued in a court of law - but the idea that my tattoo artist could take me to court for royalties to my tattoos if they were part of brand and attributed to my income after I paid him hundreds of dollars for their creation is a little unnerving. 
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "(Re)Search: Dramaturgical Catharsis":
This is the second blog post of Bree's that I have read; I appreciate her approach to the work of dramaturgy. There are many people in the theatre community who are confused about the importance of dramaturgs and could benefit greatly from reading Bree's blog. I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in a few rehearsal processes in which the dramaturg was present in rehearsal and was an invaluable resource. As Bree describes in this article, there's no doubt that someone who has put that kind of work into the show has made an impact on what the audience sees. It may not be immediately evident to an audience member that someone had to help the actors with pronunciations, teach them about the play's time period, etc. It's certain, though, that some audience members would notice errors in accuracy. (Audiences are smarter than a lot of people give them credit for.)

Anyways, I'd like to touch on the idea of "Analog Sundays". I admire Bree for being able to do this. She mentions sometimes not being able to fully honor the occasion because she has pressing emails about a production she's working on, but I believe that there's nothing on a production that can't wait until Monday. Personally, I wouldn't be able to participate in "Analog Sundays" for other reasons, but emails from people about a production wouldn't stop me. Part of the curse of having email on our phones is that we constantly feel that people are nagging us and needs answers right away, but that often isn't true. Most of the time, it can wait until Monday.
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Stagehand Goes Above and Beyond to Help Disabled M...":
The reason that I am in the arts is to make people happy. This article and video make me so proud that the entertainment industry can give so much to this person just to make his experience special. I also like that this practice of giving to this disabled man has been passed on to each person that works for the theater. No matter when they go to the theater they know they will get the access they need and then some.

I worked in house management one summer and I was told by my boss to check tickets but if someone didn't have one or tried to get by without one that I should just let them go because it was more important that they see the show than that the theater got the money. This theater had the luxury not to need the money but it seems to me that they would have had this policy even if they did. I also think that at many other places this sentiment holds true that the individual guests experience is more important than making money or selling merchandize. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "25 Questions That Will Guide You To Find and Follo...":
The man who wrote this article is in his late twenties, making him a little bit older than me, but even at the age of twenty, I feel like I no longer have time to figure out who I want to be. Society pressures us so much into knowing a plan for our life even before we graduate from high school. It's quite frightening and intimidating, but everyone goes through it. In high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I loved writing, art, science, and theater, but I knew that I couldn't study everything, If I wanted to be successful at anything. When I applied to college I decided to study architecture, and although I was happy with my choice, after time I realized that was not where my true passion lied. Now that I'm in the school of drama, I feel better than I ever have about what I'm studying and spending my time doing at college. It really is important to pinpoint your passions and follow them , especially when you are still young.
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "In Small Spaces, Theater-Makers Are Telling Big St...":
I really like this concept of doing multiple plays or performances that can stand alone and yet link together. It allows the audience to enter as deeply as they wish into the play, but without pressure to see all of them if it is not possible. However, the one problem I see with this is the time and monetary commitment it demands of the audience. Seeing one play is generally affordable. It doesn't take too long, and even though tickets are expensive they are generally pretty reasonable. However, seeing multiple performances in a short space of time would be expensive and demands a lot of an audience member's schedule. I would be cautious of alienating people who could only afford one show or one night, and so would think "oh what's the point of going to one of these if I'm going to miss all the rest?"
This is not an inevitable result, but it is possible. Overall I think the concept is great, just that it should continue to be stand-alone performances that can be linked together if desired, but don't demand multiple nights and multiple tickets of audience members. 

Sad Trombone

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Worth a Look

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

What Is Your Mission?

HowlRound: I made an error in the last article I wrote on color blind/conscience casting. Not in the position that I took that the practice is antithetical to full inclusion. I stand by that assertion. The error was in not reiterating the framework in which I am attempting to have this conversation about diversity in the American theater. So let’s go back to the beginning of the conversation…the definition of the word diversity.

Making Safety of Women in the Construction Industry a Priority

Occupational Health & Safety: Due to the unique challenges that women face in the construction industry, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has signed a two-year alliance with OSHA, according to The alliance will create targeted training materials and resources for companies to use with their female employees.

NFL Players Association Freaks Out About Tattoo Copyrights

Techdirt: You'd think with all the threats facing the NFL and American football, such as Twitter-spoliers on draft picks and the impending SkyNET takeover, the powers that be in America's most-watched game wouldn't have time to deal with more minor threats from non-sentient-destructo-machines, but here's the stupidity of copyright on tattoos to prove me wrong yet again. You may recall that former athlete/tattoo issues have included Mike Tyson's face being visible in The Hangover 2, as well as UFC fighter Carlos Condit being depicted accurately in a THQ game.

South Africa's 'theatre of struggle' appoints first black artistic director

World news | When he was cutting his teeth as an actor, the only place James Ngcobo knew equality was on stage. "Towards opening night you sit with the director, getting notes, and then you look at your watch and you just know, 'My last bus has gone, I can't get back home,'" he recalls. "I had moments where you finish rehearsals at night and you go with the white actors and have a glass of wine or two and go and sleep in the park because I didn't drive then, there were no buses going back to the township and sometimes it was dangerous to go back to the township."

In Small Spaces, Theater-Makers Are Telling Big Stories

NPR: Monologist Mike Daisey has a new story to tell, and if you want to hear it, then you'd better settle in. It's going to take a month to get through it. In one sense, All the Faces of the Moon, starting Sept. 5 at the Public Theater in New York, is a collection of 29 different monologues, which Daisey will perform consecutively and for one night only. Each piece has its own narrative, so even if they see just one installment, audiences can have a complete experience. Pull back, though, and the project becomes a single massive opus — one that runs about 44 hours.

Lazy Post? Yes. Wrong? No.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do You Know What This Means?

Yes?  Well that makes you at least that much more PC savvy than some of my coworkers.

Last week I was at a meeting where attendees are often required to look at online content during the course of business.  I got there on time and plugged my machine into the brand spanking new power grommet in the center of our conference table.  Once I started up I got the lovely update screen and remembered that the computer had downloaded a bunch of updates when I shut down the night before.

All of which is fine.

Fine until one of my esteemed colleagues decided that they were also going to plug into the same power grommet and that their plug wouldn't fit with mine plugged in.  And so with a concurrent "I have to unplug you" my power was cut.

See how above part of the instruction is not to unplug?  Turns out they mean it.  My machine immediately executed a shut down and when I tried to restart it would dump into a DOS screen.

Thanks for that.

The cocked up OS meant I had no working machine, which in this particular case meant I had no Teacher's Machine for the next day's CAD class which I wound up cancelling.  But I didn't cancel until I had maybe 3 hours into trouble shooting the thing.  It seemed like after a while that booting in safe mode and then going back to a restore point would do the trick.

Unfortunately it wasn't the trick I was hoping for.  For a minute it looked like it worked, but then after windows did successfully boot the machine dumped into a Blue Screen of Despair.  That was the moment I decided I was going home and that class wasn't going to happen.

The next day with the help of our IT guy we figured out what the new problem was, and with some fairly good troubleshooting found the correct procedure to repair things.  We had to re-register part of Windows and then change the boot mode to delete the virus software.  That took around half a day to accomplish.

I learned not to unplug things without asking first when I was in high school.  I unplugged a bass players amp without telling him.  He gave me a proper chewing out and I haven't forgotten.  Someone ought to chew out my colleague.

So do your friends a favor.  If you need to unplug their computer, give them a few seconds heads-up first - and maybe glance at their screen in case there are crystal clear and totally unambiguous instructions to follow.

A Little Closer This Week

Six point favorite over my Father-in-law.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

#NFTRW Podcast

Year Number Three

A couple of years ago friends asked me to build them a Sukkah for their porch.  I grabbed a couple of students to help out and on one long Sunday we cranked out a structure.  It was built to break down and store, using 10 panels that bolt together.  I was going to use 1x3, but it turned out that 2x3 was less than half the cost of 1x6, so the framing feels a little beefy.

My favorite detail was the sunset windows.  It was a totally on the fly design decision and it really came out neat.  My friend and her kids covered the middle windows with tissue paper to create a stained glass feel - way cool.

This is year three for this assembly.  After all that time and two winters storing outside under a tarp there's really been minimal degradation.  I'm really amazed the plastic tarps have held up, and the fact that the tissue paper has lasted that long is amazing.  If you look at the righthand roof panel you can see the one damaged piece.  Last year one of the rafters cracked so we had to scab on an extension this time.  Also, some of the pieces seemed like they didn't manage to stay dry and so we've got a little mold on a couple of pieces.  We're hoping a little bleach will walk that back.

I wonder how many more years it'll last.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vote for Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Student #1: has left a new comment on your post "In Memoriam: Tayneshia Jefferson":

I remember first reading this article a couple of weeks ago and really appreciating this lovely tribute to Tayneshia. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Stage Management Mentoring Project with Tayneshia during the USITT conference in Milwaukee earlier this year. It was so amazing to be able to meet her friends and current and former colleagues from all over the country. That week was when it became clear to me just how much of an impact Tayneshia had made on the personal and professional lives of so many people in our industry. I will never forget the night when she introduced me to all of her friends and was so excited that we were all in one place that she had to take a picture of all of us together. Tayneshia's involvement with USITT has really inspired me and I hope to continue my involvement with the organization, this year and beyond, in her honor. 
Student #2: has left a new comment on your post "Stagehands Union, State Settle Indiana Fair Fines":
It's interesting to see this issue come to light over a year after it happened. I'm glad that the news did not ignore this as its important these issues are not taken lightly and swept under the rug. That being said there is no excuse that this tragic event happened in the first place. In order for this to happen someone did not do their job properly! Whether this was faulty engineering, faulty rigging, or even the wrong management call not to evacuate in time, there really is no excuse for this type of thing to happen. As the people who design and build this kind of stuff we are responsible for making sure EVERYTHING is on point. Managers should be making calls to cancel or evacuate with safety as the number one priority, NOT trying to see that the show goes on! Clearly many things went wrong at the Indiana state fair and I wish the article reported more specifics. Despite this tragedy we can learn from it and I think more training is certainly the way to go in this situation. This is simply the only way to prevent this type of thing from happening again.  
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "MOOCs and the Future of Arts Education":
MOOCs! I think that philosophically MOOCs can be fantastic -- for someone who wants to learn something for the pure joy of learning, this is a perfect opportunity. For more regulated courses for credit…It think there are a lot of problems that need to be worked out. An online course like that just doesn't have the weight that a physically attended course has. You also don't get the same mental stimulation that comes with interacting with others personally in the course. On the other hand, if it's taken seriously it seems like it could be just as effective. It really depends on the student. Making education available to anyone and everyone, for free, is absolutely fantastic. I think it's good to challenge our current educational system and really make people think about what we're doing, what works, and what needs to be done. Arts on a new platform? Definitely something that needs to happen in order to keep up with changing times. Nothing can ever replace meeting with people in person and interacting creatively with one another…but, there are some positive outcomes of living and working in the digital world too. I think a great example is YouTube -- so much amazing art, particularly in entertainment and music, comes out of collaborations on YouTube. One is able to play in a band with folks from all corners of the world, sharing ideas and art, without ever meeting in real life. However, you still need to play music with people in real life -- there's just something there that can't be emulated with technology and it's so important. I think there is huge potential for the arts in MOOCs, but we have to be careful not to loose other facets of it, rather just enhance it with this new platform.

The "flipped classroom" is a fantastic idea. We need to keep trying new things in education, keep pushing, and keep being creative. I love the idea of teachers as partners in learning; I think this has huge potential. I could see this being incredibly effective for all sorts of learners as well -- instead of forcing a child who learns better visually instead of aurally to learn aurally, a child can really learn by the best method for them, creating more effective and productive school time and letting kids just plain learn rather than learn the system. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Study: Poets, Painters, Performers Report High Job...":
The term "artist" is arguably ubiquitous at this point, but it's hard to argue that the pursuit of making your art your life career is one chosen out of passion and the pursuit of happiness, not one of monetary greed and parental piety. Some artists do pursue the industry for fame and fortune, but they'd be foolish if they believed they would undoubtedly succeed in their ventures and base their lives on said premise. Most artists look upon their craft as something that makes them happy. And with the time we spend on our jobs, a happy job will be incredibly important to a happy life. (Ask any of the 8-to-7 guys in their fancy 4x4x4 cubicles over there!) But back to the ubiquity- I think many people can argue that their job is an art in and of itself, whether it's their theatrical devotion or their passion for technological presentation. A guy programming video games is an artist, in a different way from a film actor, but their both contributing their knowledge in a way that they deem is artistic. But they're happy doing what they do, and maybe that's what matters to them.

I'd also argue that happiness can't be measured on a one-dimensional, linear scale. Sure, this guy says he's an 8, but that's dependent on his upbringing and experiences. Perhaps childhoods in the UK for those surveyed were spectacularly artistic, and as adults their lives cannot compare. Maybe the Swiss had the worst, most stressful primary school experiences ever so as adults they found their lives rich and full of happiness. Who knows? (I don't.) Additionally, the article seems to presume that many artists have more of a choice in what they want to do, often meaning they are self-employed. Artistic endeavors are hard to control, so that makes sense, but what about the artists that do work for a large company, with rules and strict deadlines? And what about the IT guys who are freelances and determine their own schedules and duties?  
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Wobbling on the Political Lines (in six inch heels...":
This article pinpoints a very important fact about feminism: it is not a unique, one-mind body of angry, ugly, men-hating, bitter lesbians (that's how the stereotype goes, right?). Feminism is composed of as many facets and aspects as there are women. There are feminists in bikinis and heels and other in hijabs, some in hot pink and others in all black. The article does a great job of explaining how those different factions interact, sometimes with some conflict, but often with the same interests in mind. I find it sad when women are afraid to say that they are feminists because of the nasty connotation associated with the word.

What matters is the actual goal of feminism: establishing equality between men and women in every aspect of our lives. The keyword here is equality. Too often I read articles calling for female superiority; that makes me uncomfortable because they claim to be feminists, when really they are disillusioned and misguided. Making men the enemies of feminism is just about the best way to perpetuate gender inequality. This article focuses on body issues and societal expectations, and there is a lot to be said about that on the men’s side of the picture too, but I won’t go into detail about this right now. All I will say is that men and women must work together to give women a status equal to that of men all over the world as well as to get rid of the unfair societal pressure set upon both genders.

Initiatives like the one described in this article are great; getting young girls to talk about their femininity, sexuality, and the conflict in their lives that stems from those two things is a brave, beautiful endeavor. Theater and the arts in general are the perfect vehicle for crafting and carrying a powerful message like this one.

I think that Edell was wrong and shouldn’t have changed the girls’ costume, but I respect her decision, because I understand that feminism comes in so many different shapes and colors, and if mine isn’t quite like hers, that’s ok. What is important is that the girls took away from the experience a sense of empowerment, of respect for (all) others and greater knowledge about what they like and who they want to be. Because that, to me, is what feminism is about.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Worth a Look

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

Stagehands Union, State Settle Indiana Fair Fines

ABC News: A stagehands union that was fined $11,500 after seven people were killed when rigging collapsed onto a crowd at the Indiana State Fair has reached a settlement with the state absolving it of the penalty. The union must implement a new safety training program as part of the agreement, which was signed Monday by Indiana's deputy labor commissioner and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 30's business manager.

Wobbling on the Political Lines (in six inch heels): Creating Feminist Theater with Girls

HowlRound: Does a feminist activist theater performance automatically imply a left-leaning, patriarchy-smashing, liberal, “bra-burning” political event? What happens when teenage girls and adult women collaborate and discover that their political beliefs about feminism today teeter precariously on a squiggly line? In response to the HowlRound thread investigating the if and how artists of different political beliefs make and experience theater, I present a case study of a troupe of women who entered a theater process seemingly sharing ideals and political values under a banner of “feminism.” I share the creation process of BodyVOX!, a feminist-activist production written and performed by nine teenage girls, and co-directed by Fordham professor Aimee Cox and myself in New York in May 2013. We discovered through our process that a unified, feminist call to action might be as challenging (and painful) as running a marathon in six-inch heels. - See more at:

MOOCs and the Future of Arts Education

Createquity.: In the simplest of terms, a MOOC is an online mechanism for teaching and learning that (metaphorically) blows the walls off the traditional classroom, and the gates off the traditional campus. In a MOOC, the instructor still stands at “the front of the room” and delivers content, but the audience has expanded to hundreds of thousands of people. And most of those people haven’t had to go through an arduous admissions process or, better yet, pay a nickel to get in the (virtual) door. It’s important to pause here and stress what a MOOC is not. The online course you took for credit three years ago? Not open to everyone and probably didn’t have enrollment surpassing 100; not a MOOC. The free webinar your local funder hosted about a new grant program? While informative, it was not a sequential, structured course offering, therefore not a MOOC. The free course material, including videotaped lectures, course notes and reading lists you happily lap up on MIT Open CourseWare or Open Yale Courses? The content may be fascinating, but as it is posted in bulk without a registration process, live instructor, or formal assessment systems, it is also not a MOOC.

Too Much Theater? The New Marathons

HowlRound: At a time when commercial theater is moving increasingly toward productions of ninety minutes with no intermission, adventurous theater artists seem to be experimenting with elaborate works of moment and circumstance, requiring endurance. “They’re a badge of courage,” said director Whit McLaughlin, artistic director of New Paradise Laboratories, a theater company based in Philadelphia known for its noodling.

Unpaid Internships Must Be Destroyed

The Nib — Medium

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Custom Theatre Scenery Fabrication

This year's crop from the Google search above...

  1. Showman Fabricators
  2. Big Vision
  3. Stage House
  4. Just For Show
  5. United Scenic
  6. SGA Production Services
  7. The Shop @ ShowReady
  8. Dynamic Drape & Decor
  9. Cinema Verde/Flat-Washer, Inc.
  10. FG|PG
  11. DaVinci Fusion
  12. Veritas Scenic
  13. Destinations by Design
  14. Ravenswood Studio, Inc.
  15. Mystic Scenic Studios, Inc.
  16. Pizzazz Scenic
  17. John Murray Productions
  18. Blueprint Studios
  19. Hudson Scenic Studio
  20. Southwest Scenic Group
  21. CBS Design and Fabrication Services
  22. Tribal Scenery
  23. Creative Engineering
  24. Barnacle Bros.
  25. Chicago Scenic Studios
  26. Global Scenic Services
  27. The Work Room
  28. StageRight, Inc.
  29. Vision Scenery
  30. Geneva Productions
  31. Rocket Science
  32. Michigan Scenic Studio
  33. Dynamic Scenery & Supply
  34. Production Design Associates
  35. Bartha
  36. Vinegar Hill Studios
  37. Upstaging
  38. 717 Designs
  39. IDF Studio Scenery
  40. Mendenhall Productions
  41. Blue Skies Consulting LLC
  42. Daedalus Design & Production Inc.
  43. Stage II Design & Production
  44. 1220 Exhibits, Inc.
  45. ACME Scenery Company
  46. Danko Productions
  47. Aries Custom Works, Inc.
  48. Malone Design/Fabrication
  49. Chisel 3D
  50. Attraction & Entertainment Solutions, Inc.

Week Two - 21 Point Favorite

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Mrs. TANBI turned on the air.  Let's all thank Mrs. TANBI...  Just as the Presidential address started tonight I found myself thinking of Rosanne Rosannadanna...  The infographic resumes do seem to be getting better each year...  Today I said "trying to discover the resonant frequency of my apathy."  That might be the single navel-gazingiest phrase ever uttered by anyone, anywhere...  Every night I wait until 11:30 for the daily shop report.  Every night it doesn't come...  I think I'm putting "Blacklist" on the watch list for the fall.  It's looking more and more likely that Ray Donovan is dropping to a future binge.  Now I just need to decide what to do with the last batch of "Leverage" on the DVR...  Social media should have parent/physician accounts where someone can see everything but you can't see them...  So far, not being Option Coordinator has been fairly relaxing...  I've become a regular patron of smoothies with spinach, carrots, banana, strawberry, and yogurt...  The kindle app seemed to download a new book all on its own today.  Guess I've got something new to read...  Not every international disaster that winds up having the Russians come to the rescue.  Talk about a new world order...  First week of Fantasy Football was disappointing.  First week of actual football pretty disappointing too...  Got a nice surprise check in the mail today.  Surprise checks are the best checks...  It occurs to me that I'm gonna wind up on another search committee this year...  As someone who has been into Doctor Who for more than 30 years I am surprisingly unexcited by the 50th anniversary...  Should I be a fair weather Pirates fan?  Not sure my inner Cub fan will stand for that...  A little bit I think Congress ought to authorize action anyway, even with a diplomatic solution underway.  Got to keep the pressure on...  If I upgrade my phone it would totally be a vanity thing.  My current phone does more than what I need just fine...  I ran out of Spiderman, about to run out of Transformers...

Monday, September 09, 2013

Comment of the Week

Vote for comment of the week...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implicat...":

"About how they can expect to be exploited by even their supposed sisters-in-arms. You wanna be down with black folk? With black women? Start by treating us like human beings, not like fucking pokemon"

This is a very compelling point, often we see caucasian performers trying to take on the "urban vibe" with their performance trying to fit in with the black community by attempting to mimic their performance practices. What they should be doing is trying to collaborate. Look at the rock and roll band Jackyl. They frequently perform with rapper DMX neither of them attempt to mimic the other they just combine their two styles for a unique performance and they both have a ball with it.
There seems to be this misconception that if your going to rap or perform Hip Hop you need to sag your pants, have golden teeth and have plenty of loose women around you all the time. Linkin park has integrated rap and even hip hop but still kept their punk rock feel.

I am not going to touch on the feminism side of this argument because I feel I can not give an appropriate opinion to the manner but as a counter argument I will say this. Hip hop is a style and for a person to take on the hip hop style does not necessarily mean they are trying to mimic or mock the black community and style. Its just a matter of taking a style like hip hop and making it your own.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Arianna Huffington: Burnout- The Disease of our Ge...":
I think part of the problem is, as the article points out, for so many people now their main source of diversion or "personal time" is also screen based. Pocket technology has become the main recreational activity in our culture. I had an office job for the first time in my life this summer. I've never spent so much time sitting in front of a screen in my life (seriously, I think I doubled my per-vita screen time in three months), nor do I want to again. What was most shocking to me, however, was that when the break bell rang, most of my co-workers spent their 15 minutes of freedom on Facebook, either on their phones or their computers. As David Roberts is quoted in the article, "It's doing things to [our] brain[s]." Finding other ways to engage your body and mind are not only essential to personal health, but to discovering new ways to be better at your job. If all we do, every day, at and away from work, is fuss with the minor accomplishments that technology can offer, we are doomed to mediocrity. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Why you won’t see or hear the ‘I have a dream’ spe...":
I appreciate the respect with which this article was written. I completely agree with the author in that King's wishes for his words and likeness to be protected are legitimate and understandable, but that not being able to access records of such an important moment in history is detrimental to future generations being able to recognize and appreciate the gravity of the event. It seems like "Fair Use" allows for the speech to be shown and read in full in classrooms, which is great, but what about those of us who aren't in grade school anymore? There's a line between protecting the work and its author while allowing the public to access the work, and restricting access to the work so much that it can't be remembered and appreciated in full by all who wish to. I understand King's estate wanting to protect his work and likeness, but I am appalled by the fact that the estate received $700,000 for a memorial to be built in King's honor. It seems like the strict copyright rules and the fees charged by the estate are making it extremely difficult for King's life and work to be fully appreciated and shared with the public.
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Changing the Narrative on Gun Control: Is Theater ...":
Like most people, I can go either way on gun control. Before this summer, I would have been completely against it. If you look at almost every situation in which a gun was discharged, there is a story behind the person carrying the gun. Perhaps there are mental issues, drugs, alcohol, etc. I wrote a paper on school shootings in high school, and my point was that in every situation, there were various factors at play. Art, music, video games, movies, drugs, bullying, etc were all involved in almost every occasion. In the Sandy Hook massacre, the perpetrator was noted to have personality disorders and rarely interacted with other students. There were most likely warning signs, such as his obsession with violent video games (Call of Duty) or his 500-name hit list. But no one pays attention to warning signs until after something happens. Instead, everyone focuses on the obvious. Guns can kill people; however, that is still false. The people behind the guns kill people. There is always a motive, and there are always warning signs. This summer, I learned of a family friend who killed two people. I started to question my beliefs on guns, but looking back on it, there were the same warning signs: suicide letters, alcohol, mental instability. Everyone just turned a blind eye. As for producing shows about gun control, I find it very ironic. The same industry that glorifies killings (action, shoot-em-up movies) is now trying to support gun control? I just don't understand. Even if there were plays about gun control, I doubt anyone will listen. As artists, we tend to believe that we create for the good of the world. We understand what is wrong, and we try to make it right through art. That doesn't mean audiences will want to listen. Some audiences might listen, but will they act? I have seen several people shield their eyes or leave rooms because an image on a computer or the television screen showed graphic images of rapes in the Congo, or of the Rwandan genocide, or of the Invisible Children in Sudan. Even if we show these things to people, I don't believe they will have the courage to stand up against these issues because they do not directly relate to our lives. I guess gun control can relate to many people in the United States, but again, we forget that man can do as much damage with a knife, his fists, and his feet. Personally, I don't think violence will ever stop. I think humans actually secretly enjoy it. If there was no violence, there would be nothing to protest/nothing to rally behind. There would be no one to deem wrong or right. No matter what we say, we live off of conflicts and violence. Peace is for the dreamers. 
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Starting a Small Business after College Graduation...":
This article is really frustrating for a number of reasons.

A) There's more to starting a business than simply obtaining credit. If they had framed it as "How to obtain credit for you small business" or as part of a larger series, then fine, but it doesn't even BEGIN to talk about a whole host of other issues, such as filing with the state, writing a business plan, various tax issues etc. Even if your small business is a freelance consulting firm of one, you still need to file with the state as an LLC (or S Corp or whatever), create a DBA name etc...

B) I'm not sure how many of us have checked our credit scores lately, but mine's not particularly fabulous, despite my 100% paid on time credit history. My debt-to-credit ratio is jacked because of student loans, and my average account history is a whopping 4 years (thanks to one 20 year old account I inherited..). It's not as easy as "proactively managing your credit."

B.1) They don't go into any other forms of funding but the traditional business loan route (except for the breezy, "it's EASY to get funding for your small business!!"). A typical college grad with $xx,xxx (at least) in student loan debt (which is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy fyi) can't just waltz into a bank and be like "can I have a couple hundred thousand dollars as a loan?" Where's the collateral!?

I'm not saying it's impossible for people to get funding without these things, but at least go into alternative methods of funding if you're going to target a demographic that is most likely coming out of school with a net worth significantly in the red. A lot of the people this article is geared towards probably (because of age, experience whatever) have very little of an idea about the nuts-and-bolts steps to actually getting a business off the ground.