Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rolling Stone calls it a "Game Changer..."

  So, now that all of the film projects are over, here comes the moment of truth.

  As for the assignment, I had one objection: a prompt. Whenever I write a story, I really don't like getting a prompt. It seems that a prompt for the sake of an assignment really only yields trite stories about winning a soccer game with one's friends (a fact for which I have made no attempt to hide my hatred; there's few things more irritating than when someone tells me what to write). When given a prompt that could be mistaken for a fortune cookie or a cutesy platitude to be found etched on a pice of wood, hanging in the kitchen of a Mexican family, I suddenly lock up. Many of the ideas I get for stories/short films/what have you don't really adhere to things like "Write about a time that you worked together with a group of people to accomplish a goal," or "write about a time that you learned a lesson." It's very annoying when a story has a clear-cut moral that reads as though its creator is pointing to you and saying "THIS IS A MORAL AND IF YOU DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE IT AND FOLLOW IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WITHOUT QUESTION THEN YOU WILL BE A BAD PERSON."

"Good things come to those who wait...if your definition of  'good thing' is  a lame life lesson."
   And now onto the film in question: I think that our group did w pretty good job of getting the point across. There were moments where I watched it again and thought "We could have made that a little clearer," or "Did we really need that?" As with any artistic endeavor, I think that if we had a bit more time and a much more rigid itinerary, then we could have made it a lot tighter than it was.

[Joke about Roger Ebert not having a lower jaw]

Friday, November 4, 2011

Well, uhm...

Filming for our most recent project in Nu-Works is coming along well, considering the fact that we don't have a lot of time for working. I feel as though if we had only a little bit more time we could really do something cool. Of course, that isn't to say that I think the project is poor quality (actually quite the opposite), there's just this sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that we could make a really good project if time weren't an issue.

I've noticed that ever since I started coming to Booker T Washington, I've become a bit more of a surrealist. Last year I outright refused to do much in the way of socializing, whereas now I do participate in light conversation, but I make comments whose topic is on the periphery nearly one-hundred percent of the time.  

Such is the life of an artist; my genius and tangential, hubristic manner of speaking is (deservedly) unappreciated.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WELP 2: WELP Harder

  I've already given my view on my own space project (see blog post: "WELP..."), so I'll cut straight ahead to my view on one other person's. My favorite project would have be the project in which my class mate Haley stepped inside of a waist-high cardboard box labeled "Haley Cook's Magical Box" and gave multiple examples of different kinds of space (personal, outer, inner, etc.). What I enjoyed about it is that out of all the other projects, it was the least vague (to me, at least. I understood what the others were saying, but it still felt as though the idea of space- a nebulous, abstract concept more pertaining to the lack of something- was a bit lost on some people. I want to emphasize, though, that this doesn't mean they were bad. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Have Found A New Way to Spend Time

...sending ridiculous emails to companies. For example, here's an email I just sent to the Gatorade Corporation:


Dear Gatorade Corporation,
      First off, I want to say that I have absolutely no complaints with your product (other than the fact that I think you need to make a Rainbow Torrent flavor, but that's besides the point). I personally feel that the experience of drinking Gatorade can only be improved with a double beer hat, substituting beer with Gatorade.
  Which brings me to my question: I understand the ad campaign is long gone, but ever since I officially became a Gatorade Aficionado (at least, according to the Gatorade Fan Club: Dallas Chapter), I've studied your ads and have begun to ponder the exact amount of Gatorade consumption needed to make my sweat turn blue (blue being my favorite iteration of your refreshing beverage).
  So, how much of your delicious, satiating product do I need to drink to make my sweat turn blue? Please answer at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time.


P.S.- My school sells Gatorade in the cafeteria. However, the cafeteria closes at 1:55pm, and the only time I can really buy a Gatorade is after school (which is at 4:00pm). I want you to know that in spite of the fact that we have a Powerade machine in the halls, I have never once betrayed you and settled for poor substitutes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WELP...

  I'm always really nervous about sharing my writing with people at school. I have absolutely no shame with what I write, yet I'm still hesitant to present what I consider to be very intimate and personal. Amongst a myriad of (very good) projects dealing with space as an object or an idea, I was honestly a bit afraid to share this surrealist horror story I wrote for my project...and it went better than expected.

Although considering the expectation, that's not saying much.
  There were a number of the typical "Space is _______" projects (which isn't to say that typical = bad. All of them were very good). I very much enjoyed the variety in all the different projects.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I shouldn't be allowed to take advice from anyone ever.

  I'm referring to everyone who tells me about how I will learn to appreciate the few measly moments of sleep I get in my four years at Booker T. I understand they are just imparting wisdom upon the new generation of BTW students, but it gets to a point where I begin to overanalyze ponder the question of "Is Booker T. Washington the antithesis of sleep?" "Does art subtract from sleep and dreams? Or do dreams add to art/ vice versa?"

"Does Chewbacca have a beard? Or is he a beard himself?"

  What a lot of the people who tell me this don't realize (namely because I don't tell them) is that sleep and I aren't exactly buddy-buddy with each other. I'm not an insomniac or anything, it's just that I'm not one of those teenagers who rambles on about how I wish I were able to sleep constantly; quite the opposite, in fact. I sleep for about six to seven hours, and then I'm done. It's nigh impossible for me to fall asleep after I wake up. I actually become disappointed in myself if I can't be up by 9:30 at the latest. I've never really been able to wrap my head around the idea of willingly sleeping for 12 hours. But then again, It's important to remember that I didn't know what Jersey Shore is until about a year after it came out, I didn't know who the hell Adele was until quite a while after she became super popular, I cannot stand Glee, etc. It would stand to reason that my way of thinking is vastly different from those around me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Billy Shakespeare Wrote a Whole Bunch 'a' Sonnets

  Earlier today, I did a workshop at Dallas Theatre Center about Shakespeare (given that they're currently doing The Tempest). Naturally, most of the other people there were Booker T. students. The contents of the workshop were essentially:

  • A quick discussion on Shakespeare 
  • An explanation of iambic pentameter
  • An explanation of the three D's.
  For all two of my readers, the three D's are a way of working with Shakespearean text (or any play, for that matter). They stand for discover, declare, disclose. They're three different ways to deliver your lines. Discover means "say your lines as though you're learning something for the first time." Declare means "say your lines as though they are just a statement." Disclose means "say your lines as though you are telling a secret or giving intimate information."
  In spite of the fact that Shakespearean language comes to me kind of naturally (u jealous bro?), I understand where people come from. I sometimes have trouble understanding the text.

What the hell is a "Juliet?"

   I think this is because Shakespeare isn't something that you can just read and understand. You have to get it in your voice and body.
 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Words Words Words

 I've been thinking about the concept of space, and I've noticed that everytime I think of the word space, I automatically think of some dark, foggy location; something out of an Edward Gorey book. I always jump straight to thinking of either Silent Hill 2 or Limbo.

Like this, but with fewer sexy emotional manifestations and more emo poetry.
 
  In addition, in recent times, I've been really curious about what other people think of when they think of space. I always think of it as more of a vehicle for storytelling than I do a visual aspect.
  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog Post 3: The Revenge: The Return in 3D

  I find myself in a very strange spot with this whole "space" project. I'm not saying that I'm having some lame emotional epiphany or anything like that. What I mean is now that I think about it, I can't really pin down the concept of just space.

Seriously, bro. What the hell?
  I mean...I'm getting a stronger grasp on it as time goes on, but the idea of using the lack of something as something is alien (but nonetheless exciting) to me. Perhaps I'm over-thinking, but I tend to tense up and fall over when I'm presented with the opportunity to do absolutely anything. When I'm given an opportunity like this, I always feel bogged down by how much choice I have. When given the chance to do everything, I have a propensity to do nothing. I understand that this is to allow me to stretch my creative muscles, but I can't help but feel like I'm being attacked in a passive-aggressive way. Although, I have managed to get past myself and narrow down this project to simply a written piece.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nu- Works: Class Rotation

  There's something a bit surreal about making a post about a class in which you had to make a blog on that very same blog you created.

[Pretentious and esoteric joke]
   In Mrs. Jalilvand's class, we had the to create blogs, one of which is the very same one you are reading. As established in my previous post, blogs aren't exactly my area of expertise. There was a running theme of "Paul Baker's Examples of Form." The one we had to learn this time around was space, and how it pertains to either music, dance, visual arts, or theatre. My Nu-Works teacher, Mrs. Edmonson, had us explore space in a more theatrical manner, in that we had to use either comedy or tragedy to explore physical space. One of the other Nu-Works teachers, Mrs. Ward, had us explore space within the context of dance (in that we had to use different dancing and movement techniques to explore physical space). But perhaps the most interesting one would probably have to be the class by Mrs. McWilliams, a singing teacher. We went through this strange transcendental meditation exercise. I guess we were exploring creative/imaginative space(?). McWilliams put on ambient music and told us that we were in a field. We went into a forest and found a cabin with many delicious items in it. We then leave the cabin with a box that was given to us by someone in said cabin. We were taken out of the scenario when we were told to open the box. After that little expedition, we were instructed to draw what we saw in the box, or draw the path we took through the whole scenario. I chose the box.

You have no idea how tempted I was.
  In said box, I saw a dead bird, a key with the number 843 on it, and a polaroid photo with the following written on it:
"THIS DIDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN. THIS WAS YOUR FAULT. 843"


 Of course, none of this is to imply that we're just cycling through the examples of form without any specific end in mind. Now we're doing individual projects based on space in Mrs. Edmonson's class.
As of this writing, I plan to either write a monologue or do a (inevitably poor) drawing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh look, another teen blog.

  To say that I'm disdainful of the idea of a blog is an exaggeration. I really have nothing against bloggers and the "blogosphere." It's just that I'm disdainful of the idea that I'm sharing a platform with a bunch of suburban 14-year old white girls who write their emo poetry while listening to My Chemical Romance (I do all my emo-writing while listening to Mudvayne, thank you very much).

"You know, sometimes I'm sad about stuff."


  I'm also a bit hesitant to share a platform with the legions of fan-girls/boys (No sexism here. I judge everyone equally) who write their Harry Potter/Twilight fan-fiction (word of advice: Don't look it up. You will regret it very deeply). But whatever. I'll step off of my soapbox, swallow my pride, and actually talk about something actually worthwhile: my school (yeah I said it. Wanna fight about it?)
  If you didn't take the time to read my bio (for which I don't blame you. Walls of text are annoying), then I'll say it right here: I'm a theatre Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (practically rolls off the tongue).

Here's where a lesser person would post a picture of themselves doing a lame pose in front of the mirror with the words "Bee Tee Dubs 4 lyfe!!!!11!" We don't do that here. Instead, enjoy this kitten with a sweater.

  And just to be clear: This log of the web isn't going to be me gushing "oh my gawsh, you guyz, btw is liek, the best school ever. fresh fo life!" No. I want to establish that I am extremely grateful that I made it into BTW, and that I can't imagine myself anywhere else (well, maybe Starfleet), but my goal with this log of webs is really to chart my progress as a playwright/actor. And this isn't me acting like Jude Law in Contagion. I know blogging doesn't count as writing or journalism. I don't think I'm going to change the world or anything. This is for my purposes (mainly a grade for a class). I'm just putting my thoughts and personal revelations about art down.