Exercise 5

November 22, 2010

I. Automatic Emblem

Street Corner Society

When you are in Trojan Country (Monroe, MI) even the street lamps have team spirit. It synches auto travel as well as give the intersection some well deserved appeal. Once you see this streetlamp you won’t be able to fight Trojan Fever and you’ll have to make a stop by the local high school on Friday night to see the Trojans shine. Buy concessions- support the Boosters!!!

(Ready-mades: Monroe High School Trojan Mascot & “Street Corner Society” by William Foote Whyte)

II. Default Moods

I look at the paper in front of me. It is a script. It is a poem entitled Ulysses, not the novel, but a poem. There are so many scribbles and notes on the page that I can hardly make out the difference between the author’s words and my own. Interesting concept. For the few seconds that I perform this poem I become sort of the author in a way. I retell the story in a way that is unique and has never been done before. I carve myself into history as being an individual- at least for the moment.

I am an actor.

I am dressed in all black.

I am performing today as a part of a project on Readers Theatre. I didn’t have to memorize my lines, so only little nerves, but the nerves still exist. I am part of a creative project for a friend- if I fail, does she fail? I don’t believe so, but the fear still resonates in my mind. I look out at the few people in the audience: her teacher, her classmates, that’s all. There is little pressure, but as a dedicated actor I still must do my job. I still must tell the story.

I depend on my voice, because there are no hand movements. I have to raise and lower my intonation and volume in order to create the character and scene.

I stand next to a friend, she is a fellow reader in the same theatre. We are a team for the moment. This is powerful stuff. I’m just an actor, but for the time being, this is not a solo. I must keep in mind my audience, my teammates, and my director.

I have to entertain, and that is exactly what I plan to do.

Too dramatic?



Following a Template

November 18, 2010

1. Things

2. Material Attributes or Properties

3. Atmosphere

4. Feeling

Sarcasm, Wit, Quiet, Discussion, Question

5. Woldview

College student, son of upper middle class educators, second child, parents are seniors

6. Morality

Listen, Understand, Morals, Laugh


November 11, 2010

Throughout the last two projects patterns have emerged.

Enough said?

No, not quite.

Unfortunately, it is much harder to find the patterns and articulate them, rather than just say that they exist. I believe that most of the patterns that exist in my projects are in the formatting and organization of the two projects. For both projects I made a point to make it as organized and as “filed” as a possibly could. Each page has its own link, and each page will lead you clearly to another. There is no guessing game when it comes to my project. There is a linear fashion that I like to follow when it comes to projects- a way for me to keep track of my thoughts and make sure the end result is in line.

When I look through my assignments and past comments I find:

This girl.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer runs through all the discourses of my popcycle:

Family– I watched this show with my dad when I was growing up, we watched it religiously.

Career– After watching an episode of Buffy, I decided that I wanted to try acting as a career.

8:34- “The Moment”

Community– Throughout life I have tried to create my own “Scooby Gang” like Buffy had in the show- I’ve also tried to match the ingenious wit found in the show. (successfully????)

Entertainment– It’s a show, I have all the seasons on DVD. I watch them when I’m on Winter Break.

The final pattern that I have always recognized in everything I have done in this class is that I am long-winded. I have a lot to say… and I say it. Possibly at the expense of the reader. I’ve had a really hard time trying to understand “haiku logic” and trying to cut down on the words. Is everything necessary? Can it be explained through media- or some other discourse? Possibly, it is something that I still have some work to do before Project 3. Maybe, for me, I have to imagine a word maximum instead of a minimum word count. That would shake things up.





Here are some tunes for your listening pleasure.

The link below opens up in a new window, so just push play and let the sweet melodies ride, man.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Part I: Lyric

This song makes me think and feel: Red. Red because of anger, red because of fire. It’s just a red song. When I don’t listen to the lyrics and simply what is evoked by the sounds of the song. I see a stark contrast.

Eminem= red (Anger, wrath, desperation)

Rhianna= baby blue that slowly turns red

I love the contrast of this song. While Eminem is rapping, when he’s hitting the beat it’s like he’s pounding his fist against the wall. You know that this is a man you is just mad as hell. And during this song, while I hear Eminem I want to hit something too. I want to just shake something (somone) and scream: “Don’t you get it?!?!?”

But Rhianna. She’s the beauty, she’s the angel. The best part of her loft chorus is that it turns from the lovely, fragile blue to a dark and deep red that matches Eminem’s. While she sings you see this celestial heavenly being turned into a pissed off vixen. I like.

When I here her, she fascinates me- makes me think of Stockholm Syndrome.


Part II: Being Singular

Where do I fit in? Where to begin…

Orality — Family & Community

My Bar:

Tim Horton’s

Everyday my dad would take me to school and get me breakfast at Tim Horton’s. I got the same thing.

Sesame seed bagel toasted w/ butter

I always had to order because if not my dad would order it with “Light Butter.” He thought I could stand to lose a little weight.

My friends and I would meet there after school. Got the same thing. Sesame seed bagel toasted w/ butter.

Whenever I go back home I have stop and get the same thing. Sesame seed bagel toasted w/ butter.

Literacy — School & Career;

Erving Goffman is my favorite sociologist

He came up with the theory of Dramaturgy. It mixes my love of sociology with my love of theatre. How cool is that?

People are actors, what we wear are costumes, were we interact- the front stage, all of our secrets- the backstage.

We do everything for the audience. We try to manage our impressions. We bring forward things that put us in a positive light and repress those things that make us look foolish. We try especially hard on occasions where we first meet people.

Ever had a bad first date?

Electracy — Entertainment — Web/Digital paradigm.

I’ve become obsessed with Pandora Radio. They call it part of the music genome project. You pick an artist. They play songs. You “like” or “dislike” the song. It finds more songs based on your preferences.

You can have many different stations.  According to your mood.

Frank Sinatra. Lady Antebellum. Howling Bells.

Heard of the Howling Bells?

I was introduced to them by Pandora. Chill-out music at it’s best. Makes me feel like a college student.

The best part of Pandora- it will tell you why it’s picked certain songs. Here’s an example from one of my many stations.

Based on what you’ve told us so far, we’re playing this track because it features pop rock qualities, punk influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation and minor key tonality.

That was for this song:

Pandora— how do you get me so well??


How do these things make me feel?

Tim Horton’s-

It always made me feel like Sunday Morning

My family would always dress up for church and before church we go and strut our stuff at Tim Horton’s. Every Sunday, without fail. So when I went their during the week, I would get that feeling. It was an informal environment, but a more formal atmosphere- they served croissants for God’s sake (notice the religious reference- this paragraph has come full circle…)!

Tim Horton’s also evoked a feeling of familiarity, ritual, and comfort. My dad would always treat me to Tim Horton’s. It was his gift. I was grateful. I always think about him when I go to Tim Horton’s, and not only him as a person but him as my dad and me as his child.

It’s a good feeling.

Erving Goffman-

When I think about Erving Goffman and using his theory of Dramaturgy I feel intellectual.

I feel lucky. It’s not often that someone can have a mixture of the two passions in their life.

Theatre + Sociology = Dramaturgy = Awesome (for me at least.)

When I actually analyze the theory it makes me introspective. It has me asking myself- “am I being fake right now?” I try to pride myself on being a genuine and truthful person, but when I think about Dramaturgy in the terms of my life it makes me nervous.

It’s a cynical theory- that’s what other people say. I agree, but I think it has a lot of truth in it too. And who doesn’t like to think of themselves as the “star” of their own life???

(Oh wait, is that just me?)


When I use Pandora I am in control. That is a great feeling. I feel like a DJ– I don’t know if I would make a good actual DJ but I love being able to mix and match the songs on my station.

I am empowered by Pandora and feel no shame when it comes to eclectic taste. It’s liberating to be able to put in a techno song with Frank Sinatra.

I just have station, after station, after station.

And when you use Pandora, you discover music. That makes me excited. Giddy even.

Before I came to college I was stuck with the same radio station.  I’d always hoped that once I got into the university my options would open up. Turned out, I actually liked pop music, and listened to the same songs anyway. But now Pandora has opened my horizons and when I use it I can only be thankful.

After reading this chapter, I can help but think of the Bar in my life. So many people, perspectives, and stories that have come together to make me who I am. When I start to try to dissect and understand the supporting players of my story I get all nostalgic inside.

As I have said (probably one too many times) before, I am on my way out of college.  I start to think about those people who have come before and have shaped who I am today. These people flash before me and I start to wonder if they will ever know how they’ve affected me…

Probably not..

But I guess that makes it all the better, we interact and change each other on daily basis: A compliment here, a joke there, and sometimes even with saying anything we can change someone’s life. My Bar is ever spinning and ever growing- people coming in and coming out.

I went through high school as a theatre nerd, which in turn started me on my current career path (possibly still part-nerd), but anyone who knew anything about theatre in the early 2000s knows about “Wicked.” The song “For Good” sums up my feelings towards my Bar. Not everyone drastically changes our course of life, but they change us for good, somehow.

Ok. I’m done with the cheese. Just watch the clip.

Never Get Spoon-fed!

October 22, 2010

Yes, yes, when we look back on the days when we were infants and toddlers having our moms and dads helping us to eat puree versions of every vegetable known to man may be fond memories. I mean, who does love to imagine eating an airplane?

But now that we are much older, and hopefully a little more self-sufficient, we should be eating on our own- and the same goes for watching movies.

A director should not have to tell us what the movie is “about”- we need to figure that out by ourselves. That is part of the value of the film. The director has something to say, something he wants to you to know, but he’s not just going to give it  to us- he’s going to make you work for it.

I love those movies were I leave the theatre and think to myself “that was great movie, but I’ll have to see again to see what it was really about.”

That’s the magic of movies.

Below is clip from a movie called “Revolutionary Road.” Now to a novice movie watcher it may just seems like a pic about the dissolution of marriage, but there is so much more. Check out the clip (and the movie in it’s entirety) and try to think  about things like cultural expectations, what’s truly “being happy,” and freedom. All things that may not be spelled out on the celluloid, but are all part of the film’s value.

Exercise 3: High Concept

October 18, 2010

The Scene: A coffee shop

It’s busy, the morning rush is on

We focus in on two females that are in the center of the hustle and bustle of the urban hot spot.

One, Allyson, has short red hair and brown and white sun dress on. She sits with a bad of paper and a pencil, smirking at the women across from her.

Allyson taps that pencil on the bad of paper and looks across at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A very fit woman, with long hair, dressed in all black leather. Buffy looks at Allyson with slight sense of uneasiness.

Allyson has a questionnaire in front of her.  She is doing social research. She could be considered a sociologist. A light Spanish guitar plays in the background. This is the sound of any stereotypical coffee shop. (Keep reading and let music play at a low level— it’s for the ambiance!!!!)

“So… you don’t sleep very well.”

“No, I wouldn’t say that” Buffy shifts in her seat with nervousness. “I…” Allyson takes a cool sip of coffee and gently puts her cup back on it’s ceramic coaster with a melodic “tink”

“I… just have to stay up late. You know, business.”

Allyson fills in a bubble on her sheet, and writes a short comment. “So, you do sleep well?”

“I sleep fine.”

“Just during the day?”

“Yeah, I sleep during the day.”

“Are you a vampire?”

“No, I am a vampire slayer”

Allyson raises her eyebrows, Buffy sweats.

“And what does that entail- the slaying of vampires.”

Allyson picks up her coffee again and takes a slow sip, her lips lingering on the rim of the cup, making Buffy more uncomfortable. She watches Allyson with the greatest of intent- “is she judging me?” she wonders.

Allyson likes it when her subjects squirm.

“Well, I go around.. at night… hunting them… and then I drive a stake through their hearts and then poof <nervous laughter> their dust.”

Allyson cocks her head and smiles wider. “A couple of things you said interest me.” She scribbles something on her paper

“You drive a steak through their hearts? Is that symbolic?”

“No. It’s literal”

“So what you’re saying is that you literally… LITERALLY.. drive a steak through the hearts of vampires.”

“Yes.” Buffy sighs thinking that Allyson has understood.

It’s not that easy.

“How do you get a piece of meat that sharp?”

It takes a moment for the comment to register and Buffy nervously cackles as she explains: “no a wooden stake”

It’s not funny to Allyson. Keeping her piercing eyes on Buffy and with a straight face, she hold out her cup for the waiter to come and give her a refill.

The waiter rushes out. He’s not your average waiter:

Without glancing at the unusual waiter Allyson stays focused on Buffy. The waiter quickly sinks back out of view.

Allyson writes vigorously, and without looking up whispers: “not afraid of grotesque violence.”

“Oh no, I’m not like that”

“Like what?”

“Like what?”

“Like that- you just said I was violent. I’m not violent. I’m…” Buffy is clearly flustered and embarrassed. Allyson is a peaceful women with quiet confidence and wisdom- but she’ll whoop you if she needs to.


“No I’m not tired. I’m peaceful– that’s what I wanted to say- I’m peaceful.”

“But you kill things for a living?”

“Yes, but… yes.. but.. you are getting the wrong idea about me.”

“Ma’am, this questionnaire is simply inquiring about your sleeping patterns and how that affects your daily activities, I’m not here to judge you.” She picks up her cup one last time and loudly slurps the last little bit of her coffee.

Buffy, still nervous, sit back in her chair. What was Allyson getting at?

“And since you have such unusual sleeping habits you are the perfect person for me to interview, we like to see, you know, the exceptions to the rule.”

“Well I am exceptional.”

“I’ll make sure to write that down.” Allyson gives a sarcastically sweet smile, and writes a quick note on her pad.

Buffy, exhausted by the questionnaire, holds her heads in her hands with her elbows on the table. “You.. are the true blood sucker.”

“No, miss, I just get enough sleep to be sharp.”

And with that we see Allyson’s toothy grin for the first time- and we see that along with the other teeth in her mouth she has a set of fangs. Allyson is a vampire.

Her teeth are sharp- get it?

Buffy gasps.

<End scene>

Cyberpidgin the Opera???

October 13, 2010

Cyberpidgin is the language we use on the internet that reaches across cultural boundaries. Using cyberpidgin allows us to tug on the heart string of a boy in China, or make an old women cry in South Africa. We all don’t have the same language, but there are certain things that simply connect with all of us.  I believe this is similar to opera. Now, I know. Opera is not for everyone, but for those that don’t find it excruciatingly boring there is great beauty to be found in opera. The amazing thing about opera though, is that there is very few operas written in (American) English. We can feel the mood, and we understand the plot without knowing a word that they are saying. That is the beauty of opera, and it is the beauty of using cyberpidgin.

Now for the media.

Below is a clip from the movie “Pretty Woman.” In this scene she goes to the opera (see the connection???), and although she may not be from the target audience of this form of art, she still enjoys it and is incredibly moved by it. This is a cyberpidgin- being able to touch someone without having to speak the same language. Enjoy.

Reflection of Project 1

October 8, 2010

My project definitely has my signature. The two parts of this assignment are clearly from the same author. It’s hard to recognize because this style of writing and composing isn’t really my forte, but I still put my own voice into this project. The same sense of sarcasm and wit run through both of the pieces. I found that I do like to have a very conversational tone to my writing; something that you could imagine your friend saying. In both pieces I feel that the writing is simple and not too complicated. That is a great connecting line between the two: simple, friendly, funny. (or at least I hope funny)

Through this project I also learned about my creating and learning process and my mood of thought. I really like to stay focus and follow a linear pattern when I write or work. In both of my pieces I tell a story that has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Although I tried to create pages that would stand on their own, I think that if you read the individual parts in a certain order then the project, as a whole, will be more powerful.

It’s hard to not imagine some audience that will be viewing the project. That is part of my mood as well. I always strive to create something that could be presented to someone more than myself. There is nothing left unfinished, all the links can be followed, and all the writing was edited enough so that none of the writing mechanics affect the reader. After looking back at this page I see that I enjoy structure and a bit of predictability, and that is a large part of my mood of thought.