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Archive for November, 2011

Halloween wasn’t a very spook-tacular holiday around my house growing up, so I don’t really have a very memorable lighting moment that sticks out to me. However, drawing form another example, I will analyze Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which was my favorite Halloween music video (slash all-time favorite video!!).

If I said I wasn’t scared the first time I watched “Thriller,” I’d be lying. Rumor has it that the first time my older sister saw it on MTV (circa the 80’s), it sent her running scared from the living room. From the special effects, to the costumes, to the lights…It was a scary thing to watch. At the same time, though, it was magical.

I’m sure the technical aspects, especially the lighting, for the music video is very different than it is for a stage production. However, I’m sure the same principles still apply.

If I were to try to reproduce the lighting from “Thriller” for the stage, I would try to replicate the long shadows and spooky lighting by using several Fresnel lights at long angles in ambers, reds, purples, and deep blues to give the stage an eerie look. Footlights would also add an extra “creep” factor. These used to be the main lights used in the early days of theatre and the light from the bottom would cast weird shadows. Throwing in a fog machine and a scrim (which would create a dimming effect across the whole stage) wouldn’t hurt either.

If all these things were in place, it would make for one spooky show…

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College. What a…what? Experience? Joy? Challenge? A royal pain in the rear end? How about all of the above.

As the semester draws to a close and I tuck another semester under my belt, I think (slash, it’s sort of required for class) that it’s a good time to reflect on the things that I’ve been through over the past year and a half. As any other college student can vouch, there have been the fair share of all-nighters and mental breakdowns, but there have also been many, to borrow the term from wise ol’ Oprah, “A ha!” moments.

When I started Elon a very  long (not really) year ago, I thought I was certain that I would be reporting as a broadcast journalist. I got involved right away with the student media organization that would allow me to pursue that path. However, sometimes I wonder whether I ruled out things to study too early.

There were many things that I was interested in and involved in, and still interested in, that would have possible careers for my future. For example, through taking this technical theatre production class, I found out that there are many more positions and people than just the actors and directors that make a show successful. Props people, for example (and this is not me sucking up to my professor, who happens to be a props gal herself, HONEST!), have to be creative, detail oriented and understand how to be resourceful and inventive when it comes to making props work in a particular way.

As I have said before, I LOVE to craft. I think it’s absolutely cool creating beautiful, new things out of ordinary objects you have lying around the house. And I can sit in one spot for HOURS trying to perfect whatever it is I’m making until I am happy with the outcome. I also have the tendency to rig things to serve a purpose for me. I always find myself saying “I wonder what would happen if I used this for that,” or “I bet this works like that, so I could use it for this.” Now if that doesn’t sound like a props master’s brain, I don’t know what does!

Then there is the case of astronomy. Last semester in the spring, I took a basic introduction to astronomy course that included a roof lab in which we used telescopes to find and identify galaxies and stars and clusters. I have always been fascinated with outer space and how it came into existence and I often caught myself wondering what it would be like to be an astronomer or an astrophysicist.

Enter my biggest frustration in college – WHERE DO I FIT IN?? It’s very obvious that making props and studying the heavens are polar opposites as far as interests go. One’s very heavy fine arts, the other, very science-y. With so many interests from every which way, how can I possibly know what I want to do with my life? It’s hard, as a college student and a young adult, to have to whittle away some of your favorite pass-times and extra-curriculars – for me it was acting – and focus solely on one field of study.

Right now, I am still trying to find the right place for me in the broad world of communications, and I know there will be some rough patches every now and then, but that’s expected. They will help me figure out my limits and give my guidance and direction. I know that eventually I’ll find the right place for me, because it’s like they saying goes “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

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