And we all float on...

01/29/09 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: The Life, Improv Comedy, Yale Daily News, Theater, Classes

Well my last couple posts have been rather specific so I thought I'd update you on what's been going on in my life around Yale. There's so much going on, which of course is just how I like it :)

First off though, I should mention the new Yale Drama Coalition website. The look and feel are almost identical to the old one, but I gutted the whole thing over break and rewrote it. So now it's all database driven, meaning there's lots more versatility to be had. It's still a work in progress, more features will get added soon, but for now all the normal functionality is there.

Speaking of the YDC, we just finished applications for the next board year. So there will be a whole new group of people to work with on there. It's a really great organization that ties together the various Sudler (Yale funded) shows, actors, and techies on campus. I've been thrilled with the work they do. For instance, I have to attend one of the periodic workshops about theater so I can get "ladder certified" for my shows.

Oh! My shows! This semester's lineup features a variety of shows for me. First up is Equus, you know, the one with the horses and Harry Potter naked...that's the one. I'm doing Lighting Design for that. I just drew up my initial ideas yesterday and will talk that over with the director later this week.

Next there's Laughing Stock. This is a comedy about a theater company. It's put on by the Dramat meaning it's one of the larger shows this semester. But what makes this one special is that it's done entirely by Freshman. Each year the Dramat puts on a spring show run entirely put up by Freshman (Oddly called the Freshman Show). I'm Master Electrician for this one, so I'll be handling the load-in, hanging, gelling, focusing of the lights, etc.

Finally, there is a play I'm intimately involved in called Romance by David Mamet. I haven't read that many plays, but I'm told David Mamet has a certain...style. It's entirely Male, and the F-word is the most prominent word through out the play. Anyways, we just finished casting the play, having had auditions last weekend. It's a great group of guys and we're excited to get started. The other two guys working on it (so far) worked on Speech and Debate with me, so I'm glad to be working with them!

My own acting career is getting busy as well. The freshman from all of the improv groups are doing a show this Friday. We've been practicing for a couple months now and I think it's going to be a really fun show. Exactly one week after that show, is the VQ's Valentine's Day show, which is always fun.

Photography's been going great as well. I *finally* got all my flash equipment and batteries together today. I've been reading the Strobist Blog for a couple weeks now learning about different ways to use a flash. I even went and made my own cardboard gobos and snoot (like a bazooka you stick on the flash). Plus I have some gels from an old show I use to color the flash. I got ready to go do my first portrait today only to find that my wireless battery had died. Naturally it's an obscure 3v photo battery so I wasn't able to replace it in time. Nevertheless, look for some samples of my new flash look on the photoblog soon! YDN has been great, they wanted to send me to the Presidential Inauguration, but the transportation schedule just didn't work for me. Looking forward to another good semester there though, I've already had a few photos in there, including this nice portrait I did for a friend upstairs.

EDIT: I almost forgot...there's three new header images for the blog...see if you can find them all! (And use all my bandwidth in the process)

There's been plenty of activities on the social scene as well; Parties and dances to boot. We've had the Silliman and Freshman Screw this month (your roommates "screw" you with a blind date) plus lots of other gatherings.

Oh right, then there's schoolwork. That's all good too. Data Structures and Algorithms, German (I might be fluent next year!), Psyc and Stats. Nothing too exciting, but all good classes. On that note, C is a worthless and stupid programming language and I'm mad at it.

Well that's a pretty good life summary at this point in time. I am REALLY excited about this semester, if you know me, you know I love to work on contributing to things, and opportunity abounds this semester. The reception to the new Drama Coalition site has been positive, and I'm looking forward to converting the entire YDN photo desk to flash photography (yea, right) but hey maybe I'll at least convert myself. If anyone gets a chance, please come out some weekend, there's lots of shows I will at least have helped with, tons of great concerts, and of course improv. You never know what you'll get.

Great time to be at Yale, welcome to the new semester!

The dangers of over-education, and a panlist

01/19/09 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: Music, The Mind

This one's a reader. My improv group enjoys profuse abuse of our panlist (email group list). Over tour, there were a few songs that caught our attention. One was "Cooking by the Book, Lil bigger remix", you can look that one up on your own. The other was an old song by LFO (Lyte Funky Ones, yeah the people who sang "Every Other Time)...singing "Summer Girls". First, the video:

Now without further adue, I present the email which set off this unfortunate chain of critiques, and critiques of critiques and so forth.

The Grammatical Essentialization of the Other:

ya'll,

shouldn't it be "I like girls WHO wear Abercrombie & Fitch" instead of "I like girls THAT wear Abercrombie & Fitch"?

Surely objectification of women abounds on the lyrical level in "Summer Girls", but far more insidious is the grammatical objectification of the girls in question. A seemingly harmless song is, in fact, a nuanced assault not only on the personhood of young girls but also the English language itself.

-S

See the followup after the jump, sure to get anyone in academia excited about the VQ's next show:

Full story »

Back in the Swing

01/13/09 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: The Life, Photography, Theater, Classes

After a fantastic hiatus, I'm back. More blog, more pictures, and more blah! That's right this weeks buzzword is "Blah" in honor of my disdain for the amount of commitments I have managed to acquire this semester. As is time-honored tradition for me, my first day back (Sunday) I managed to not arrive back in my room until after midnight due to theater meetings. But let me handle the various fronts one at a time.

School: Classes started up again yesterday, and I am just now in the middle of picking ("Shopping") classes for this semester. I think I am down to 5, with a simple decision between stats classes to be made. My schedule is in some respects better this semester, and worse in some. I rather enjoyed having all my classes back-to-back in the morning last semester, now they are more spread out. I'm excited to check out my other two classes this afternoon as they are the two I am most excited about.

Theater: Over-committed might be an understatement. It's really not as bad as it sounds, but it comes in waves. I am Lighting Designer for Equus and then Master Electrician for the Freshman Show the week after. Those are the February shows and then there are April shows after that. I was hoping ot leave more time for YDN work (and class work for that matter), but it should be very fun working on those shows.

Photos: Oh is photo going to be exciting this semester. One of my editors got a 12-24 lens for Christmas which I hope to play around with some. In addition, I now have a tripod and flash (Wireless flash), so look for some shot playing around with that this semester.

Photos and VQ: To summarize our winter tour I have presented two "Prom" photos on my photoblog. The first is one I had a lot of fun with in Photoshop. When we shot it, we were just playing around having fun. But the spot color seemed like an appropriate way to take it in photoshop. The second one is very cool as well. A very simple, endearing picture which is simply awesome because of their expressions.

For the full album you can go to facebook!

Well that's the news from Yale. I look forward to another great semester here, lots to do (I haven't even started IM Basketball yet!). If anyone's looking for an intern, let me know :) Otherwise, till next time.

Finals Week

12/18/08 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: Classes

After the fun of reading week comes the pain and agony that is finals week. Of course there is some relief from the non-stop studying: Naked runs, impromptu A capella concerts, and midnight breakfasts. However, this is the week when Yale looks like Yale. Meaning that every spot in every Library is taken. I haven't seen some people for a week who have been camping in the Silliman Library, on the other hand I've seen many people I never see because they've actually come back to study.

There's really not much more to say about finals really, so I have decided to post two more photos on the photoblog for your pleasure. The Tony Blair photos aren't great since I was a mile away and it was dark, but it seemed noteworthy. Finally I stepped outside one night to see a glowing sky and took some pictures of that. I've included one, it seemed appropriate to include Bass Library in the picture to show that everyone really is studying non-stop (except to update their blogs). This will be my last post of the semester, so enjoy the break. I might post some good photos from break, or painful stories of trying to fly home through a snow storm. Otherwise, till next semester!

Tags: finals

Boston Legal and Gossip Girl

12/09/08 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: Movies

Last night brought the end of Gossip Girl and the true end of Boston Legal. It seems like TV just does not like me. I start watching Las Vegas, it ends (Eventually started up again). I discover Star Trek: Voyager (My perfect show), it dies. Finally, Joan of Arcadia died without so much as a sensible ending.

Back to the present, Gossip Girl (A Yale Tradition), wraped up this season. The episode was worse than an ADD 5-year-old in a candy store. It literally worked a sweat trying to pack in as many awkward, melodramatic, cliche-packed moments as possible. I suppose it was the reason we all watch Gossip Girl, but still. How many people need to die, get married, elope, have abortions and breakup in one episode to make it good?

As for Boston Legal, nothing could do justice to the show (or what I've seen of it) better than that finale. Alan's monologue was stunningly indicative of the show's style. Preposterous, but 100% founded. As Jerry says of Alan, "there will never be anyone like him." I read an article about the last episode that confirmed my beliefs, that Alan and Denny are perhaps the best duo ever created by a television series. It is simply fitting that they try to get married, and in full Boston Legal style, make a courtroom-public-statement about the potential ramifications of what their doing. But to top it all off, to be married by a man in a fishing vest on the supreme on a dock in the middle of nowhere, is the only way to end that show.

Tags: tv

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A collection of musings from my time at Yale along with some thoughts about my "Freshman year of life" in San Francisco.

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