Sunday, September 07, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Comments close Friday noonish...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "‘Throwback Thursday’: 1960 Stagehands at Work":

As soon as I saw that it was 13 minutes long I grabbed myself some lunch and plopped myself down. By far the best idea I had all day. What a delightful and informative video! I feel like I actually learned so much.

Some general comments I had while watching:
1. Road cases have not changed since 1960. And really, why should they?
2. The clove hitch and the bowline really are all you need to be a stagehand.
3. Theatre crews smoke just as much today as they did in the 60’s. (no surprise here)
4. If you’re a camera guy filming someone raise a flat, don’t stand under the flat.
5. If you need to build a show you need to hire a carpenter, electrician, rigger, propmaster, etc… Or you can just hire “THE STAGEHAND”. Seriously, that guy can do it all!
6. Running a light board in the 60’s takes more coordination than brain surgery. #somanylevers
7. An average show in the 60’s used as much electricity as a small town. Todd, tell me we’ve fixed this. Please.

Overall I actually really enjoyed this video. I sat there thinking why there was nothing like this series anymore. I would love to see a day in the life of the average American worker in every industry. Then I remembered about Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "It's pretty, but is theatre any longer necessary?":
I believe Schneider's assertion that theatre has become "something merely decorative" is unfair. I think it is important to note that the value of theatre really depends upon how much one is willing to invest in it. If someone goes to see a show as a way to kill some time on a Saturday night, then yes, Schneider's assessment is true. But many people (on, off, and behind stage) actively choose to dedicate their life to theatre, and in that regard theatre today is still essentially the "ancient institution of high purpose" Schneider spoke of. Instead of discussing the absolute degradation of theatre into something purely ornamental, I think we should be discussing the broadening spectrum of how people interact with theatre. That interaction, after all, is what truly generates theatre's value and necessity. 
Student #3  has left a new comment on your post "Syrian Artists Denied Visas, And A Voice In The U....":
The last two paragraphs make a very strong point about what is being lost in this conflict between the State Department and these Syrian women. Our sources of perspective on global issues are more limited than we realize in this country and here is an opportunity for new outside perspective. From a very personal stance, I find it hard to believe that these women would abandon their families and children once they see all that the United States has to offer. Having lived in the US my entire life, I know that I cannot even begin to understand how fortunate I am to live here, especially in contrast to the horrors that these Syrian refugees have faced. But I feel that most mothers would be disinterested in a life in the United States if their children were still suffering in Jordan. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "florentijn hofman floats huge hippopotamus down th...":
Is this art? Design? Or just whimsy?

I tend to think of art as expressing a theme or asking a question or challenging a perception, but mostly fulfilling a need to express that, for the artist, is central to their way of existing in the world. It is an invitation into a conversation the artist is having with herself, and the impetus is internal.

Design, on the other hand, concerns itself with form (again, a personal definition). Here, the impetus is external: the designer solves a problem. In so doing, she engages with the defining characteristics of an object, is an alchemist toying with the underlying mysteries of geometry and color and space, manipulating these qualities to produce something worthy (or not) of admiration. Objects of design, at their best, invite us to admire how beautiful or complex or simple or chaotic or finely honed the world can be.

Whimsy is un-needed and uncalled for. It is derived from neither a need nor an admiration, but a desire, a fancy, a whim. Its value is based in its very unnecessary-ness. It need not have been born in the furnace of artistic expression, nor must it be overly-well defined. It exists for us in a moment of distraction to remind us that not everything is so serious or so necessary, which has its place too.
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Touring Life and Motherhood or How You Can’t Have ...":
I read this article a while back, and while I'm not an audio engineer, a lot of what Kerrie Keyes writes about hits home. I would like to have a family one day, not anytime soon of course, but later, and I don’t like the idea of having to end my career for my kids. While this dilemma is one that most parents (and let’s face it, mostly women) struggle with, I definitely think that the stupid hours and crazy schedules of theater make it an important issue for all practitioners in our industry. What do you do during 10 out of 12 tech days, during performances, tours? I suppose this is where teaching comes in, but what if you don’t want to become a teacher? I think that the balance and rules that Keyes and her husband established are a great solution to the problem, but I can definitely see how hard it must be at times to maintain that, to feel fulfilled at work and present at home.

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