new york: i *heart* ny cup

Oh, people

CalArts has warped my perception of normal. I've been touting Borkman as a great show to bring non-CalArtians on campus for, since it's relatively normal and not as bizarre as many shows we do here.

Linear storyline? Character development? Actors fully clothed? Fairly consistent period costumes? Proscenium staging? Audience seated in chairs, in rows? Plot development in traditional four-act structure?

Really, what more could people want? So it doesn't have a living room onstage as the set, but who wants to see that kind of set design any more anyway? That hasn't been current, in any kind of theatre, in quite some time now.

However, both my dad and Mariah said that it was good, but a little strange. I think that had more to do with some of the sound design, the directorial choices, the staging, and the movement, but trust me, it's not that weird.

We also had a couple walk out of the performance one night. I have no idea who they were, if they're someone's family or invited guests, or if they came through our advertising. If they came through the advertising... well, no show will appeal to everyone, but I was really pushing the fact that this show has more of a mass appeal than most of what we do here.

Oh well. Some people can enjoy theatre (and art) that pushes their preconceived ideas of what's "normal," and some can't. If they can't appreciate the art for its own sake, as opposed to how much they enjoy it, too bad for them. Is that the kind of audience we want to be developing anyway?

(Rhetorical question. I'm not going to get on my soapbox now.)
california: beach

(no subject)

Ahhh. The show, it is open.

(And I'm not watching it tonight; I'll see it on either Monday or Tuesday next week, and also on Saturday.)

Also, as small-town-paper as it is, we've got some press coverage. There are a few mistakes--for instance, Maureen (the director) is in fact a student. This show is her thesis. Also, I'm not the assistant producer, nor am I a curator for this production. That would be the Coffeehouse. Things like that. However, it's a story, which is cool. It's publicity for the show, which is nice but not completely necessary, as we're already almost full, and it's more fodder for my portfolio.

***

I got a full set of acrylic nails for the run. I'm not impressed. The girl who did them did a shoddy job, and they don't look that great. I really don't want to have them re-done elsewhere (and pay for a second set), but these ones look really crappy, so I might have to. We'll see.

I like getting a manicure like this, that doesn't bite the dust as quickly as a regular nail-polish-only one, but it always kind of makes me sad to be able to have these longer nails for a while. It means that I'm not playing the piano regularly, which was always the reason that I kept my nails short. I keep my natural nails short these days because I really hate their shape, and the less I can draw attention to them, the better, but fake ones are different.

***

Here, have a few pictures of me all gussied up. This isn't the greatest picture of this dress, which was borrowed from Mariah's closet and is a lovely deep purple. It also has the tendency to make my legs look about 3 inches long, which is why I have to wear 4" heels with it for it to look in any way flattering to the lower half of my body.

Also, please ignore the mess in my room, so thoroughly reflected in my full-length mirror. Usually it's not that bad, I promise.

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Anyway, I'm home now. I don't have to be anywhere until the box office opens for tomorrow night's show. (Yay! No matinee! I hate matinees.) I'm going to clean, since Dad will want to sleep on my couch on Monday night, and I'm going to sleep in. Especially since it's almost 2:30 a.m. now.
ew: amy and bright / family

Yay!

So, my parents are pretty much awesome.

My dad's flying down on Monday to see my show (he'll fly in Monday morning and fly out Wednesday morning), and they're flying me to Calgary for Easter weekend as a birthday gift. Yay! I get to see Colin's show! And spend my birthday weekend with him! And Mom gets to have a family dinner! (That was what Colin told me I should use as a selling point: "Your mom likes family dinners. Tell her that she can have one for Easter and your birthday if they buy you a plane ticket.")

My mom and sister are still considering coming down for spring break, but that's still up in the air, pending my mom's permanent resident card and some decent flight prices.
random: girly pink brush

(no subject)

My prop master was laughing at me tonight when we were going down our list of things to do for the show, and my list was something like this: proof the program, send the program to be printed, follow up on ticketing for group sales, prep the box office reports for each day, write the pre-show speech, get the opening night gifts from the management team, get a haircut, get my eyebrows done, get a manicure, make sure I have 9 dressy, professional outfits ready.

Yeah. My to-do list before the show opens includes all my personal grooming and beauty stuff, since, as the producer, I'm at the show every night and I'm the face of the production to the audience. I'm the one who has to look good when it's all happening, and if I don't look pulled together, it impacts the show's presentation. Especially since we've invited a number of VIPs and bigwigs in the industry. Who knows how many will show up, but regardless of who's there, I'm the first point of contact. (Well, technically, the box office staff is, but I'm the first one that's specific to the show.)

Unfortunately, I can't expense my manicure to the show. Dang.
canada: made in

Fun with maps

Has anyone seen this game before? It's a drag-and-drop state placement game, to see how well you can guesstimate where a state belongs on an unmarked map of the U.S. Some states, of course, are easy, and the order that you get them in can determine some of your early errors, depending on what kinds of markers you get early in the game.

My first try, I got 86%, and my average misplacement was something like 70 or 80 miles. My second try, I got 94%, placing all but three states in the right spot on the first try, and making my average error margin 10 miles.

I remember having a similar game as a kid--it wasn't exactly the same, but it was a computer game where we were given the outline of a state, without the context of a map, and we had to name it. There was also one with state capitals. I can remember doing fairly well on those... better than most of my classmates would have done, although we all knew the names of the states in alphabetical order, since, for some reason, we learned "Fifty Nifty" in grade 6 music. I'm still not sure why, but we did.

Of course, these are the kinds of games that don't work nearly as well with a map of Canada, hey? It's not nearly as difficult when you only have 13 options--12 when I was a kid! Ooh--here are some Canadian geography games, though, including the same kind of game, and other games getting progressively more difficult. Apparently they do work with Canadian geography; it's just a lot easier to get 100%.
Love Actually: perfect

Brilliant Because Canceled?

I love Bryan Fuller's shows; I think he's brilliant as a show-runner.

However, I have a theory.

Part of the reason that he's so brilliant is that his shows always get canceled too early. Wonderfalls was 13 episodes, 4 aired. Dead Like Me was two short seasons and a movie. Pushing Daisies is two short seasons.

And as tragic as that is, and as much as I'd love to see his shows last longer, they never have the chance to jump the shark. The plot devices don't have time to get old; the premises don't get worn out; the original, fresh storylines that are the impetus for the beginning of the show aren't played out; the characters don't have the chance to become something different than what they were in the beginning.

In that short a time--30 episodes or less, basically--the shows can remain these encapsulated moments of brilliance, and the showrunner is never faced with the challenge of sustaining the world created in the show for a long period of time. I mean, any show that runs for more than a season faces a weak season; a show, no matter how brilliant, can't sustain the same level forever. Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Heroes, Ugly Betty, Everwood, Joan of Arcadia -- those are just the ones off the top of my head that I've watched recently, but each of them has strong seasons and weak ones, and each of them has storylines that are generally considered to be weaker than the others. (And, incidentally, each of those shows had first seasons that were widely considered to be exceptionally strong.) Individual fans' favorites may differ, of course, but the fact is, when a show runs past the initial premise, there are going to be developments that don't work as well as others.

So, as much as I think it's tragic that Pushing Daisies is being canceled early, and as much as I would have loved to see some of these shows go on and live longer, maybe it's not completely a bad thing. I'd love to see how Bryan Fuller would do as a long-term showrunner, and how he would carry a show through multiple seasons, but at the same time, the circumstances a) allow his reputation as an excellent showrunner to be preserved, and b) allow the various ideas floating around in his head to see the light of day, in one way or another.

What do you think?
love: happily ever after

It's a dance

Submission isn't something that people like to talk about much. It conjures images of being a doormat, of being weak, of abuse and domination, and of power struggles and inequality--and all those things are part of the cultural baggage that comes along with submission. And yet, submission is a biblical, godly concept that reflects an image of who God is and His relationship with humanity, and because of that--because of the inherent fact that everything that God has created is good--it has to be redeemed and understood somehow.

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ad: meg and rox / living the dream

25 Random Things

This is going viral around Facebook this week, and since I have a lack of interesting things to write about in my blog today, I'll cross-post it both there and here.

25 Random Things About Me


  1. I like to tell people that I knew I'd marry Colin the day he brought homemade chocolates to rehearsal a couple of months before we started dating. Any man who could make that kind of chocolate was someone I wanted to be with.


  2. One of my biggest pet peeves is inconsiderate audience behavior. I know that it's irrational to expect that people have an innate sense of how to act if they haven't been taught, but it bothers me anyway, and I expect better.


  3. Related to #2, Colin and I will laugh at you if you're sitting near us and you exhibit poor etiquette. We usually end up sitting near someone who makes really random, dumb comments during a play or a movie, and it provides us with endless entertainment. We're still laughing at an incident that happened in June, 2007.


  4. I love living in L.A., and I'll be sad to leave here next December, but I also love living in a city that I know inside out. I know a lot of random trivia about Calgary, and I make a great tour guide. Still, I'll miss having a reason to become more familiar with L.A.--at least until we move back here.


  5. If I had to choose, I'm not sure whether I'd choose to live in New York or L.A. There are things that I love about both, and they have such different personalities that it's almost impossible to compare them.


  6. I'm not a nervous flier. I can easily sleep through takeoff and landing, and a normal amount of turbulence doesn't bother me. I used to get mildly nauseated during landing, but even that doesn't happen any more. I also tend not to get stressed out at the airport, going through customs and security, and planning the time to make my flight. I've done it so often, I just go with the flow.


  7. My family teases me about my "soapboxes," especially relating to the arts. I get very passionate about them, and will often lecture my family at length during family dinners, even though they're not usually the ones who need to hear it. They all roll their eyes at me; Colin joins me and we tag-team lecture everyone else about the arts. This is why we're perfect for each other.


  8. I've filed taxes in both Canada and the U.S. since 2005, not having worked an entire calendar year since then in only one country. 2010 may be the first year that I only work in Canada. I've never had a year where I've only had one T4 or W-2; I've always worked for more than one employer.


  9. I watch TV differently since I started posting on TWoP. These days, I'm not involved in online fandoms the same way I was with Gilmore Girls, and I don't spend as much time in the analysis and discussion of any show, but I watch in a different way than I used to. However, that's also due to my theatre background and to dating someone who is in the television industry.


  10. I don't think that TV is an inferior, brain-rotting form of entertainment, despite my parents' opinions of it when I was growing up. I think that a balanced TV and movie intake is just as important as reading, current events, theatre and other performing arts, visual arts, and a general observation of the world around.


  11. It's vastly important to me that my future kids are very exposed to the arts. I don't know what I'll do if they don't develop a healthy, strong, passionate appreciation for the arts, even if they're not artists themselves. Guess I'll just have to learn to deal with it.


  12. When I tell an American that I'm from Calgary, without clarifying that it's in Canada, and they don't know where it is, my esteem for them drops a few points. If they can come back with something about the city (even if they only know that the Olympics were held there), it rises a few points.


  13. Colin and I will sit through the credits of every movie we watch in a theatre. It's partly because we want to start to develop familiarity with names that we may work with in some capacity someday, but it's also a professional courtesy. On the TV shows that Colin works on, his name is toward the end of the credits; it's our courtesy to the people whose names are at the end of a movie's credits to make sure someone sees them. Also, I get very irritated when people don't read the entire program of a show that I do, so it's my way of reciprocating.


  14. I enjoy doing memes like this because it feeds into my delusion that I'm fascinating and that people actually care about the minutiae of my life.


  15. I'm of the firm opinion that mayo is far superior to ketchup as a fry condiment.


  16. Having grown up near the Rockies, I have specific criteria for what constitutes a "mountain." It must have snow on the peaks all year, there must be no trees on top (because there's a lack of oxygen), it must be pointy, and it's not possible to go over or around--it had to have been blasted through with dynamite in order to have a road there. I laugh when people talk about going "over the mountain" to the next town, because that's clearly not a real mountain. It's a hill.


  17. I pick up the speech patterns and rhythms of whoever I'm talking to, but I don't pick up random accents. It's more that there are certain people I talk faster when I'm around, and certain words, phrases, and rhythms that I'll pick up.


  18. I'm passionate about faith-based theater and making it a viable art form in the mainstream, but also I'm very skeptical when other Christians tell me about their shows. My default philosophy seems to be "Cheesy Christian art until proven otherwise," and it makes me very sad that art done by Christians tends to be 30 years behind the rest of the field.


  19. Growing up, I loved being the oldest child, and I still harbor a secret belief that I was my parents' favorite. :)


  20. I was single when I applied to grad school, but I'm not entirely sure I would have gone if I'd been single by the time the decision came around. I don't know that for sure, but I do know that Colin was a big part of my decision to move down here, and I think I might have talked myself out of it.


  21. I can easily spend 8 hours or more sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop, a book, and some music. I tend to get more work done at Starbucks than I do either at home or in my school office, but there's still the potential for distraction, thanks to wireless internet. However, I'm not being distracted by a) my bed or b) other people in the office.


  22. I rarely eat at the table at home. Usually, I'll be sitting on the couch or in my bed, leaning up against the headboard. I see very little point in being more formal than that when it's just me.


  23. I talk out loud to myself constantly, and I often talk to other people when I'm alone, especially when I'm driving. I have the conversations that are coming up, thinking about what I want to say; I have conversations that I've already had, saying what I wish I'd said; and I explain things to people, trying to make it as clear and thorough as possible.


  24. The most surprising (to me) thing to come out of grad school so far is an interest in municipal public policy affecting the arts, and the way that the arts define culture within an urban area. I was never really interested in that before, but I've become very intrigued by the interplay between the cultural industries and their surroundings. That's a big part of why Colin and I will likely never live anywhere smaller than Calgary--both of our careers need a city with a thriving arts scene, and it's hard to find one that can sustain us in a small city.

  25. I actually knew within 6 weeks of when we started dating that Colin and I would get married someday. The grad school decision was made around that time, and I knew that if he was going to be a part of that journey, it wasn't casual, and it was going to result in marriage. It took him slightly longer to figure it out, but he still knew within the first 3 months or so. From that point on, there was (and still is) a lot to learn about each other and a lot of growth together, but breaking up became, and has remained, as much a non-option as divorce would ever be.