'Comm 208'

News Comment (November 2nd)

This week in pop culture news The New York Times reports that the Lion King live action remake has a full cast!

What I find interesting about how this is being reported though is that all the headlines have been a variation on “BEYONCE IS STARRING IN THIS MOVIE!!!! (and also these people are here).” This falls in line with the news values we have learned. This is news worthy because Beyonce is involved.

But what I find really interesting is that the story isn’t even really about Beyonce. That is a part of the news here but the story is that they announced the full cast. There are also a number of celebrities in this cast that could call for as much attention. I would have had just as much interest had the headline focused on James Earl Jones returning to the movie. I would have been even more interested had it focused on John Oliver or Billy Eichner (but thats just me). I have some friends who went nuts when I told them Donald Glover was in the movie. I assume this headline is trying to attract a younger audience but I don’t know if that is really in line with the people who read the New York times. Most millennials probably got this news from Buzzfeed before it even hit the Times.


News Comment 10? (October 26)

This week someone was caught pulling a “Producers.

Roland Scahill was sentenced to six months in prison for taking money from investors to back a fake play. This occurred between October 2014 and August 2015.

This story is probably one of the most interesting pieces of news I have read in the NY Times theatre section recently. It definitely falls under the “unusual” news value. Something like this doesn’t happen everyday and I found it very unique because it does follow (vaguely) the plot of The Producers.

I feel like this story could have benefited from being longer. The one time I would be interested to read a NY Times length story, its a short article. I want to know more about this. I want to know how, exactly, he got caught. From what I have gleaned about investing in a Broadway show you don’t speak to the stars or the organization that owns the theatre, you just talk to the person you give the money. I want to know what he did wrong in his planning.



Broadcast Story 2



Article #2 – Final

A group of students came together to present Morningside’s first ever student produced theatrical production. They hope that this will become a tradition after they and the theatre department are gone.

Earlier this year it was announced that Morningside would be phasing out the Theatre major and minors due to budget cuts. Despite this fact, the Morningside College Department of Performing Arts wants to present at least one student produced production a year.

The department has paired with Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society on campus, to create the office of Student Produced Liaison. This position is dedicated to teaching new students how to put together a production team and present a show to the department. This position is currently held by Amy Carothers. “My plan is to answer any questions that students could have about proposing a student produced and putting together a production team.” She is working with Professor Taylor Clemens to put together a manual about how to put a proposal together.

The first of these student produced productions was presented October 12th-15th. The production team consisted five Theatre students and a student from the Biology department. They have worked since last year to put this production together.

When Professor Taylor Clemens’ first Applied Theatre class met in the fall of 2016 he asked the class of six students to decide the focus of the class that semester. “There was not a set syllabus for this class so I figured I could ask the students what they wanted to do,” Clemens said. They decided learning how to work on a production team which would result in the presentation of a completely student produced play the following fall.

After the first day of class the group worked together to assign the responsibilities of a production team, choose a play, and put together a proposal to present to the department. Once that was all ready they made a presentation to members of the theatre department in the hopes to present the show during the fall 2017 semester. The department accepted their proposal and work began on the show.

The production they decided to present was Love, Sex and the I.R.S. by Bill Van Zandt and Jane Milmore. The show centers around a pair of male roommates, Jon and Leslie, who run into trouble when the I.R.S. notices that Jon has been claiming that he and Leslie are married. Hilarity ensues when Leslie is forced to dress like a woman to throw Mr. Spinner off of their tracks.

The production was directed by Brock Bourek. Brock said that “directing was something I never thought I would enjoy but I really do.” He was able to try his hand at directing during the spring semester of 2017 when he directed a one-act.

News Comment #8

A story that has been developing this week is the firing of Harvey Weinstein for sexually harassing at least 8 women, more than likely more, over his career. Weinstein is a prominent figure in Hollywood who is credited with having launched or furthered the careers of Judi Dench, Glen Close, and Kevin Smith. He has also worked with Meryl Streep. This article includes all of these people, plus a few others, who have spoken out against the producer. The Weinstein Company has been around since 2005 and has produced some very successful movies such as The Kings Speech, The Artist, and The Iron Lady. It was reported that this was open knowledge in Hollywood and everyone just ignored it but in the statements it is obvious that not everyone knew. I think that the actresses that they quoted in this article made very articulate and appropriate statements on the situation.

Now what I find interesting, and this isn’t a comment on the news as much as the state of the world, is that these comments are enough to get someone fired in Hollywood, but not enough to get booted from the White House. I mean, yes, there are far more instances and they are far more disturbing in this story but sexual harassment is sexual harassment. There are court cases and video evidence of our President making claims of similar behaviors. Even in a recent interview with the president (see I got back to the news) he was asked about the Weinstein case and he, rightfully, said it was disgusting. That was followed up with asking about his comments and he said “that’s locker room” and brushed it off. I just don’t get the difference here….


Print/Video Comparison (News Comment #7)

It’s October which means it Halloween time, my favorite time of year! This means that there is now a slew of haunted attractions that are popping up all over the country and oddly enough the news is reporting on that. I realize that these are a bit more to an advertising side than straight reporting but they were on “legit” news outlets so I figured I would compare them.

The first piece appeared on the NY Times website but it looks like it originated on the Associated Press. It was called “Can Halloween Freak You Out Any More Than the Real World?” and it reports on the different Halloween attractions around the entire country.

The second link is to a video I saw on Facebook from Fox 11 in Los Angeles (I don’t know why this was on my Facebook page but it was) where they sent a reporter to an IT themed haunted house and followed her as she went through the attraction.

As we discussed in class the two pieces differed greatly due to the medium on which they were reported. The video was far more entertaining and the NY Times piece was a lot more straight forward with the facts. The video focused on one specific attraction and the article could highlight a number of attractions.

In my opinion, the print piece seemed a lot more like a news piece than the video did. The video seemed to play on a trend that has been going on on a number of afternoon talk shows, mostly Ellen, where you watch someone go through a haunted house and make a fool of themselves as a thinly veiled promotion from said haunted attraction. That being said the other piece is also a form of promotion from a couple of companies but it seems more like a news story because there is this guise of a story hanging over it. This idea of “Are these any scarier than the real world” is carried throughout the piece and could be conceived as an actual report and not just a shameless promo.

Personally I enjoyed the video more because I love watching people make fools of themselves in haunted houses. Thats why I love to work them during this season. I personally love watching people be scared, the schadenfreude is real. I don’t think I actually learned anything about this house (where it is, when its open, etc.) from this piece though so I don’t know why they even put it under the guise of “news.” I learned more pertinent information from the print piece.






http://www.foxla.com/news/local-news/scary-it-haunted-house-pops-up-in-hollywood (link to the Fox 11 LA website the video at the top of the page is what I am writing about)



(Writers note: I realize that there was a strong suggestion that this assignment would be easier if we discussed the shooting but I personally have a hard time dealing with stories surrounding tragedies like this therefore I had to find some semblance of a story reported on two different outlets that did not deal with that. So I know I used “news” in a BROAD term here…)



Room Observation/Sensory Detail Assignment

The cafeteria is a usual hang out for Morningside students. As I entered “The Caf” I was greeted by the familiar beep of students swiping their cards to enter the establishment. I took my usual spot in the first booth inside the dining hall where I could observe the entire room. I took a quick glance out the window. It was a particularly cool day with temperatures in the lower sixties but the sun streaming in and the flowers would lead you to believe it was a summer day. The all to usual smell of pasta bar was permeating the air and the general hum of the many conversations going was the music of the day. I was not planning on writing an observation about this room but then I heard the phrase that made my entire day. I caught the tail end of a conversation that I wish I had been a part of. “I like it when it’s cold outside because it matches the temperature of my heart,” he said. I had to use all of my restraint to not turn around and say “SAME!!” From there the room went back to normal until someone decided to turn on the song “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars which sparked a sing-a-long. The song then ended and the murmurs returned.

News Comment #6

Interesting technology news this week as Slate reports that Twitter is testing out a new, longer character limit. If this test works out they plan on giving a 240-character limit to their users except for those in China, Japan, and Korea. I actually looked for someone to be talking about this specifically because I had been seeing freakishly long tweets this week and was wondering what that was all about. I am excited about this news. I’m not a grammar nazi per say but as a former yearbook editor I don’t enjoy the way Twitter makes me use language that was very obviously wrong.

The story reports that this change is meant to help people in countries that use more characters in their language express themselves more fully. The reason it isn’t being rolled out in China, Japan, and Korea is because their language uses fewer characters to express the same thing.

As the story points out there is sure to be backlash over this change. People don’t like changes on social media. I remember just recently when Facebook changed to circular profile pictures everyone I knew freaked out because it was odd and different and now the banners don’t work well! I am interested to see if this change gets rolled out to everyone. I really want to have 240 characters in the future!


Description Exercises

The last person I spoke to before class was my roommate. We were walking to the library together because her work shift starts at the same time as this class. She is much taller than me already at 5’7″ and she was wearing heels today that were at least 4 inches tall which made me look extremely short. She was also wearing an oversized green hoodie over her Morningside T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Her hair is very short so it is always styled in the same way but today it was a little more disheveled looking as neither of us got up early enough to do our usual morning routines.

Before we even left the room we discussed my choice of music for the morning. This happens pretty often but today was a more in depth conversation because I was listening to a song from the musical John & Jen which features the lyric “Dad says you’re a Communist” which was she found hilarious as she had never heard this song before. The conversation on the way to class involved the weather as it usually does. She is from Florida and any time it dips below 70 degrees we all hear about how cold it is. We also talked about how our first finalized acting scene has to be performed today in advanced acting class. Fun fact: neither of our groups are ready for that to happen. The conversation ended as we reached the library when I went to class and she went to work.

I took a Pirouline and a donut from the table. I first grabbed one of the vaguely circular donuts. It smelled of chocolate and was covered in sugar that felt like sand. The donut instantly started shedding it’s sugar coating as soon as I picked it up and, like sand, it got everywhere. I initially did not have a plate so to avoid setting it on the table I put it on my laptop and it left a trace of something when I moved it.

The Pirouline was a tube-like wafer stick filled with chocolate cream. It had a rough exterior with ridges made by horizontal rings that were invisible to the eye. Part of the outer shell broke off immediately as it was set on my laptop and again when it was put on the plate.  It looked like a barber pole thats color’s had been replaced by a gradient of beige and browns. The outer coating had no taste on its own. The chocolate had a darker flavor than I anticipated which completely overtook the barely there flavor of the wafer. It vaguely reminded me of an E. L. Fudge cookie. It makes a loud crunching sound when you bite it which made me very anxious about eating it in class.

Joey’s Worst Nightmare (AKA Scavenger Hunt Assignment)

As an actor you have to talk a lot in front of a lot of people however asking questions that you make up yourself is not really part of the job. Therefore going around asking questions of people I don’t know is, indeed, my worst nightmare.

For this assignment I got one easy task and one hard task. I had to get an autograph and have a conversation about current news events.

My first stop on my hunt was the Krone Advising Center because I figured since my first year advisor no longer works here I would be able to talk to people I didn’t necessarily know. When I walked in Shari Benson was not at her desk and there was no one in the lobby so I turned to leave when Lilian Lopez, who was with a student, asked who I was looking for. When I said no one in particular just someone free she said “Oh! You’re doing one of those scavenger hunts!” At that moment two of the first year advisors and Stacie Hays came out of their offices ready to help with what I was looking for. There was one other person from the class also in the KAC so two went to work helping her and I asked the third, Katie Miltenberger, for her autograph which was my item. She looked a little shocked when I asked her because its not every day that you are asked for your autograph. As she was signing my paper she asked more about the assignment stating that this seemed like a “good way to get students out of their comfort zones.”

As there were three people in the KAC I could have just gotten my second task done there but if I was playing this game I was playing on hard mode so I decided to go to a different building. This proved challenging as most other buildings had people in class or in meetings. To add to the problem of finding people was the fact that I needed to talk about current events in the news and when you ask people about news they glaze over. Eventually I decided to try my hand in the music building. I am involved in the music department to an extent which is why I avoided it until a last resort.

I want to go in to musical theatre so, of course, I take vocal lessons so I decided not to talk to any vocal instructors because I know all of them to some extent. What I realized was I had never really set foot in the music department office. Therefore I had never talked to Deb Protexter. She was sitting at her desk when I came in so I approached her and said “Hi! I’m doing a scavenger hunt for class and I was wondering if you had time to help me by talking about current news events with me.” She looked a little skeptical that this was an actual assignment so I showed her my paper and she said “Well, have you heard about that hurricane in Puerto Rico. It’s terrible. Is that all you need to know?” We talked a little about the hurricane and other hurricanes that had been happening. As I was leaving I asked for her autograph as well because I am an overachiever and figured it was an easy way to prove that this conversation actually happened and I didn’t make it all up.



« Previous PageNext Page »