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Lucky Pen

While walking home from APO meeting tonight, I dropped one of my absolute favorite pens (my blue pen from Island ETC in Galveston) while crossing busy Dayton Street.

I didn’t realize I wasn’t holding it anymore until I had crossed the road, turned around, and saw about seven cars drive over it.

When the light turned red, I strolled to the middle of the intersection, expecting to pick up the sad plastic remains…only to see that not only was the pen still intact but the ETC logo and address was still visible. I tested it, and it still wrote.

I hope this is a good luck sign from God, or that Island ETC will be around forever.

Or maybe they just have awesomely durable pens.

Also, I must mention, yay for a six continent day! Greetings to North America (Canada, USA, and Jamaica), South America (Brazil), Europe (UK and Slovakia), Asia (Israel, Philippines, and UAE), Africa (South Africa and Mayotte) and Oceania (Australia and Papua New Guinea)!

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Decorating Coffins in Galveston – Tales from the World of Dramaturgy

Dramaturgy is my chosen field, and even though dramaturgs are amazing and magical people, we’re often under-used. That is, until I have my way with it.

The role of the dramaturg in the production is the complete opposite of the rules of hair care according to Elle Woods, in that they are “complicated and infinite.” It is on this very topic which I am speaking in Florida in a few weeks, and provides me with a continuous challenge. Usually when my friends, my parents, and my parents’ friends ask me what I do/what I want to do with my life.

My relationship with this particular show, Young Frankenstein, at Island Theatre ETC in Galveston, Texas, began with an email of interest that I sent to the theatre’s director, Kim. When she asked me what I could do, this is what I said:

The role of a dramaturg within the production is something that has been hotly debated about in our field and in the real world, because it really depends on the production, the director, and the vision for the show. What I like to be is:

a) a representative of the playwright and the integrity of the script (especially when playwright is absent)
b) a communicator between director/actors/production
c) someone who always has the director’s vision and ideas in mind to help keep the production moving forward
d) a resource and educational tool for actors and directors, answering the questions so that the director can focus on directing and the actors on acting
e) a facilitator between show and audience, by writing for the theatre, doing talkbacks, etc.
In my tenure, I have been everything from basically being assistant director of the show to being a silent partner, and everywhere in between. And I mean EVERYWHERE…choreographer, costume and set design advisor, replacement actor in rehearsals, educator, activity/workshop leader, lobby display maker, makeshift therapist, mediator between quarreling actors/quarreling actor and director, production problem-solver, acting coach, warmup leader….you get the picture.

 

That was how our relationship started.

Since then, I’ve made an actor packet, spoken at 2 rehearsals, and seen 1 rehearsal to completion. It’s been a great experience so far, and they go up tomorrow night so broken legs to them.

Last week, someone either donated or found a prop coffin, and it ended up in the theatre’s lobby. Since the show doesn’t call for a coffin, Kim had no use for it. I suggested that I use it to make a lobby display, and she let me, so I did.

I drove to Galveston this afternoon armed with 27 pages of history on Frankenstein and several glossy images. I put the coffin in the middle of the upper lobby and artfully arranged the text and pictures into an artistic timeline entitled, “Walk This Way.” I did it in about an hour, and Chelsea, the ASM, helped me out with the finishing touches. Before I drove back to Houston, I took some pictures, but they’re blurry and awful so new ones will be taken when I go see the show. I didn’t get Kim’s reaction immediately, but I emailed her letting her know that it was done, and asking her to mount it on a table and put a tablecloth underneath it to look like an operating table. She said she really liked it. All because of a completely useless prop coffin.

And this is why we need dramaturgs.

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Today in the Life of Jacob

The last 24 hours (or so) in the life of Jacob:

12:30 AM: arrive back at Jacob-South. Exhausted but take meds anyway. Proceed to tool around on the Internet as always while binging on Wisconsin cheese and bread until sleep takes over.

Next 11 hours: land of crazy dreams. At one point, I actually remember being out of dreams.

1 PM. Wake up, realize time, feel horrible about self. Resolve to get something done today. Proceed to the Internet to catch up on buzzfeed and celeb gossip.

5 PM. Leave (late) for gym time. Arrive (late) but manage to get a good workout in before I realize…

6 PM. I have one hour to get to Galveston for rehearsal. And I’m still in traffic, in sweaty and grimy gym clothes, with not a real meal under my belt.

6:15 PM. Leave for Galveston showered, dressed, and late, of course. Battle traffic and actually succeed somewhat, arriving at rehearsal at 7:23 PM.

8 PM. Deliver approximately 25 minute dramaturgy lecture focusing on Frankenstein on film. Feel even more like a high schooler delivering an oral report on Animal Farm. Get good feedback in general. I did do a bit of preparation but all things considered I did ok. Proud of myself.

Present moment: 10:10 PM. Eating chipotle salmon for dinner at Yaga’s cafe on the Strand in Galveston because if I drive home now, it’ll be over an hour before I eat my first real meal of the day. Also have no food at home so god knows what said meal would’ve been. Will probably tool around on the Internet the rest of the night even though I need to unpack, do laundry, and finish reading Performance Theory.

More on dramaturgy magic later. Also, Facebook status pet peeves.