Among the Stars

That is exactly what you thought when you entered the hall leading into the auditorium from the Fine Arts Center lobby Friday April 24th – a true transformation. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 4.59.31 PMLights that led into the back stage, and as I followed this path- I felt the onrush of memories I experiences when we used to participate in Relay for Life back in Seaford, DE. The lights, the perfectness of the moment, all led to a celebration of talent. In that respect, this evening of the Blue Moon would be no different. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 4.27.38 PM As I made my way to the back stage the set was STUNNING. Lighted bags hung from the ceilings, that set the tone for one of the best lounges/theatres/night clubs you’d ever want to see, with the high tables interspersed throughout the square stage on three sides. The sound and lights that would strobe designs amid the acts was conveniently placed, and until the show started you were stunned, I mean that to the best ability I have ever experienced anything, STUNNED.

At that moment, I experienced something I knew inside all along and was excited to see this truth was eeking out – as a group we discovered where the Tech Club belonged all along, right in our hearts and the realization that they belonged on stage, where they have always been all this time, was VERY satisfying.

The creativity that can be the stage finally took hold this very evening as the whole experience began to take hold of our hearts in a very magical place. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 5.00.49 PM In the amazing and beautiful acts that began to take place – I realized how lucky I had been up to this moment to experience these amazing talents through so many tears of Open Mic – and having them all collide and complement each other on one stage, not many opportunities or experiences or acts like that will take hold in our memories and yet, this Blue Moon of 2015 I felt would always hold a place in our memories and our hearts that that had many accolades starting with the whole essence and feeling of Blue Moon as you entered the magical theatre thanks again to The Tech Club.

With the true belief in bringing contributions to the stage through her heartfelt singing from Lara, to the exotic and impossible to stop foot tapping of Ximena and Alex De Winter, a heart-stopping place that Lucia would take you with Ricardo, to the touching and personal touch of Caroline, the surprising and yet variety of what Paola, Ana, Patricio, Andrew bringing a dynamic collaboration to everyone present, a low humming of talent that rises to a feverish pitch thanks to Minji, Maria, and Ana, the power of subtle variety thanks to Eva Salazar and Jose Juan, the still-standing beauty of Sonia and Alia that can quiet multitudes, taking in the power of Pau on guitar, Andong on piano, as well as EveryDay of EveryNight, with an amazing rendition of Rosanna – the night was magical. Student Council having the insight to be daring and take on such a change from the past Blue Moons – was exciting and great and have the desired effect on everyone.

Very few times do you get to witness what members from behind the stage can do – and yet – the Tech Club led by Hugo Cabrera shared the power of their presence on the stage, as well as the true gift, of sharing it with everyone on that very stage.  From Paloma, Javier, Jose, Hugo and Carlos that turned what we all know as a stage into the most magical arena of an evening, and doing so with gratitude and humbleness – you take everything above into consideration and you have a Friday Blue Moon that would rival the most memorable Friday nights in existence.

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No One is Alone…

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As you know, there is not much awareness in sensing the difference between seeing, versus feeling, there obviously is a distinct difference.  On that same vein, there is the fact that simply seeing, great, but what a treasure when you feel something greater than everything, anything, you’d simply be able to feel so much more than saying, “I saw it.”

You see where I am going with this- right?  Seeing every show of the production of Into the Woods, it’s not simply a marathon of ASF’s Into the Woods – though it might seem like it from the outset.  Yes, there are different casts, yes, the storyline is the same – no, the same feeling that exudes does NOT come out of every show.  Simply put, as with anything you dive into, the whole experience does not start and end with the actual show, and that goes for the many individuals that keep such a creative venture running – as well as the attendees, and those that take an interest in seeing something that might be doubted as a successful run, – it turns into something successful and become what someone can not imagine – successful being involving your heart.

At the end of the day,  the Drama club took a belief, that beyond the stage, there are feelings to be had, to be experienced. If you really really think about it, will there be ONE musical that holds the Drama Club and Tech Club together?  No, their heart and ability is in it for the long haul.  How do you know?

Example one – during this the last show – the cast of Les Miserables could be found sitting right in the row in front of me – and without even looking forward at the stage, at this, the last showing of Into the Woods, your heart rises in your throat – you see their eyes riveted to the stage – their place on that very stage not so long ago – and their hearts and very souls were up there with the very people that they had acted, planned, and worked alongside.  When you saw that very Les Miserables cast stand up and applaud without hesitation – you knew.  You leave knowing Drama Club and Tech Club are not about the moment at hand, but about laying a path of filling the audience with those that have traveled the same path, carried the same dream. 

You realize every single person that carried that dream has carried the reality of this simple fact, every line, every prop moved, every show, fortified the belief that the arts come in many forms, and if a dream is truly dreams, there are those around them that can insure this will become a reality.  “Outsiders” are those that refuse to open their eyes to everything they possible can and they are confined to see just what appears on stage.  (This is also a metaphor on life). The good news is there is another small majority of those that see much much more, and go on to inspire others to see and not just see, but to do something about that belief.  Certainly Into the Woods was able to appeal to this second fact – you heard it, you saw it, and more importantly, you see there are levels that begin to pile on that insure the certainty that what was once a dream is here as a reality.

Alexa mentioned in her speech during this last show, that at the start of a small group creating the idea of a Drama Club, that the emotional after-effect has resulted in where she stood on that very stage.  Just as an earthquake has subsequent aftershocks, I do believe the power of that very dream, that everyone that has ever participated in the past productions, that has ever believed in such a dream such as The Tech Club, the Drama Club, knowing the word “club” is understated- a weak definition of what is really under the surface, has turned into reality the emotions, creativity and dreams that have become Into the Woods.

I have always judged the success of anything, is based on what is pounding from your heart.  Eliminate all else, everything else, and what really counts is what is lying below the surface that moves you and if it is a dream, an idea, or a thought, and it can move others – that my friends is worth following, pursuing and turning into reality.  I have always believed that, and in passing this one gift that can’t be bought and found in any store, I hoped I could and would give the absolute best gift I could ever give and the future of so many – taking someone’s dream and turning into a reality.  Everyone around me that has taken that idea and run with it has turned it into something none of us could have imagined.

Example two – If you see something that plays everything back in slow reel time, and lets you celebrate it – is that priceless? Beyond words.  Hence, when you have had Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, and now Into the Woods that have claimed The Fine Arts Center as holy ground for expression, arts, emotions, and creativity – and done that they have – and grown – you have something that transcends definition.  When you have individuals from all sections of the ASF campus, the artistic, the intellectual, the athletic, the technical, that is the beauty that each person brings to the stage.  Into the Woods has brought those very people that were in the very first production, up to the current success story.  This is the funny thing, I see those people from the very first production, and I smile.  Beyond the immediate blo0d-related families, you also see what has formed, thanks to the long-haul belief from all levels, admin, parents, students, alumni, the board, you see a family has formed that, at all costs and beliefs of the families of those that dream and believe, an inspiration keeps growing.   That is the thing dreams are made of.  Into the Woods brings back moments from scenes from all the productions together and you sit there in the audience, emotions flying in all directions, and you realize, this is a home thanks to so many dreams.

Example three – Many individuals believe the success of one individual, of a show, of an event and its success relies on one single event.  I see this is very ego-driven, very singular, and truly is not a true view of what life has to offer.  Now take the belief, that one event, major or minor, is one more addition to allow those that surround you to grow, to realize something they hold inside that can be shared and spread to others, and allow them to grow – to become part of a dream they never imagined, now THAT is something worth believing, nurturing, and aching inside emotionally for.  Truly the Tech Club, the Drama Club, those that believed in that spark, this is definitely the case.  If you witnessed the numbers of students now adults, that have followed this path through what might have seemed woods, everything else fades away – status among peers, money, occupations, what remains the guiding light is that very confidence and belief that dreams come true.  I know, I have seen those that surround me go on and do amazing things that define definition.  They are inspirations to everyone around them.

Multiple Shows and seeing them only reinforces these very thoughts.  There is something magical that occurs from the very first preview to the last show.  Being able to attend every show is not a trophy, is not a contest, it is a dream come true.  I also learn how to take the countless moments of inspiration, give the ideas in other ways that the productions do for everyone in the audience, fortunate enough to see what happens on stage from show to show, and what happens beyond the stage.

I like to think with a little push and suggestion, I have helped to show others possibilities that might have been on a straight path only, and they truly have taken the unconventional path and ran with it, creating a view of life none have been able to picture at all – that is a gift that everyone carries inside and that keeps them going through life when all else falls down around you.  The former students and current students have done something with that suggestion, they take it and turn it into something even I could not imagine.  A priceless gift.

Example four – When you see a piece of laughter- have you noticed that all those emotions – the heart breaking bittersweet fond memories all come together and form a realization of how strong an experience is?  It happened in Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere’s charm), Les Miserables (Master of the House), Into the Woods (reflecting on mics not working and falling birds, Tech Staff dressed up as a Big Bird  :) and so much more!)  – and you realize it IS the bitter and the sweet.  Yet no one instills this laughter amid the bitter sweet ending of something amazing better like Into the Woods this year and a collection of dreamers – which ultimately are the initiators of changing life around us in so many other ways.

Overall this last production should not only be a work of art in your view, but a culmination of a gallery of art and expression that can be applied to every area of our lives and those we come into contact with.  For myself, Advocacy, Repentino., blogging, and doing things beyond what is expected, and receiving this question – “Why?  Why is that your job, task responsibility?” This is the beauty of those questions.  When you are fortunate enough to be around individuals, like those I have been lucky enough to meet as colleagues, families of the various casts, Advocacy students, Repentino. staff, and yes, an amazing world in the theatre – I realized, none of what I do seems like a job at all – it is just a means to build up an institution like ASF and show that ASF is a place that allows creativity, ingenuity, opportunity, and the idea that all of those have different talents, in all forms, and are more important than numbers on a paper that result is test scores.

The last night for Into the Woods?  For the physical 2015 production? – Yes.  Last night for some amazing things to occur – not even a chance.  What I hope will happen?  Taking the cast from that first Beauty and the Beast production, take every cast member since that very first production, and put them all together into one production celebrating where The Tech Club and Drama Club have come in four years. Be it just sitting and stepping up re- creating the singing the parts we all remember, like a Dream Cast production,  (everyone would attend for a month run of this!) or simply a reunion of sorts to celebrate the achievements, but know this, there is no end to the possibilities that each of these members of Into the Woods will bring to the world.

Monday, April 20 brings well-renowned authors to ASF that have tackled the ideas and creativity that moves towards changing the world – be it through recognizing ways to be better individuals to the environment, be it treating each other in the roles of women and men better, and yet, I turn to page 22 of our 2014-2015 Repentino. and behold,

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 9.26.37 AM Red Ribbon by Lucia – the first lines and words brought me back to Les Miserables but more than that, the very emotions that the above Examples 1, 2, 3 and 4 all represent- Lucia was one of many huge examples of what crossover is – being inspired on stage is one arena, wait until you see what all of our students can do in so many different venues – when given the inspiration and encouragement.

I dare you to open page 22 tomorrow at the Authors Among Us Event and premiere of the 2014-2015 Repentino. magazine and not have a stirring in your heart when you read Lucia’s Red Ribbon, and then see the contributions of so many other talented individuals, and you see – how much SO MUCH is intertwined.  Into the Woods helped everyone realize that, from the tears in the beauty when every member worked together from the first show, the quiet determination and skill of the Tech Club behind stage in the lighting booth, on stage, all the way to directing, “make – up -ing”, costuming, feeding – Lost Into Woods made sure that everyone in the audience, knew, without a doubt, No One is Alone!  Thank you Lost Into the Woods team for instilling the emotions, the experience and the foresight to let us know that for so long.  That shadowed hallway on and off stage?  You have helped show us we always have someone beside us on the walk.

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Paths Winding Between Two Worlds, On and Off Stage

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There is always a shifting inside when I am realizing the finishing touches of something amazing, that came together, are concluding.  Usher in the amazing finesse of Into the Woods and seeing a diverse group if individuals coming together, to form something not even in mid a year and a half ago, and you begin to understand why.

Having the privilege of taking in the individuals that you do not see during a performance, you realize the whole new life that exists back stage, before cast enters the stage area, the lighting booth, production details, and the fact that so much goes on, among so many people, and they definitely appreciate each other for it.  How do you put all that into words?  That is quite an impossible feat but, yet, pictures and just being there is picture perfect.

Everyone dreams of an organization or activity where diversity is celebrated, every individual is uplifted and overall, things that came together in the beginning fit every tighter by the end.  Those that do experience this feeling and are involved in such events, I truly believe touch what it means to connect heart to soul.

Being behind the lights, the stage, scene changes, being able to take in what it takes for the light crew, as well as seeing the work every night for costumes, helping between sets, etc – WHOA.  Again, a whole new world exists both on and off stage and to witness this over a span of two weeks is a dream come true.

The members that are Alejandra, Andres, Carlos, Emilio, Enrique, Isabel, Javier, Jeronimo, Jose Fernando, Mateo, Miguel, Patricia, Regina, Sebastian, Su Ji, Tyler, Renata, Victor, and the amazing amount of time that Teruhi, Hugo Rosanna, Rob, and Director Alvaro, with the even stronger support of the Communications Department – all put together the belief in those around them and you see the results.

Again, it is being welcomed into someone’s house an allowed to take part in how much this overall production has meant and continues to mean. Thanks to the quality care by a light crew such, Tech Club, stage management, supporting parents with amazing food for so many, as well as set designers, and so so many more surround a talented and diverse cast? – perfection is defined in a variety of ways through all these individuals…

IMG_2768   …and a deeply committed and caring Giovanna that tricks you by her quietness yet impresses you with her costume detail, there is a world just behind the curtain of Into the Woods that few can imagine thanks to these believers that combined with the cast, shed light into the very darkest part of any wood.

The last performance weighs heavy on everyone – and I would have never guessed how easy it was to be sucked in, and sucked in I was, and the generosity of those around me that put so much into something that uplifts and connects so many?  Some go through life never being able to say they have every had such an experience, and that gift is worth going into the woods for.  Hope to see you tonight in what has become an emotional, creative, and dynamic representation of what occurs when you strive to put heart into everything that is brought to your door  :)

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A Fairy Tale, Story Book Ending

IMG_2305        Into the Woods

Moments can be simply just that – a fairy tale – fleeting and all too fast, yet the flip side to moments are this – they hold so many valuable and memorable aspects of life – that each one is precious.  Into the Woods take three (counting the pre-show) was just that – something that truly, fairly tales are made of.

Sitting in the front with Slippery Rock students was a piece of my past that I was lucky enough to indulge in and revisit –  thanks to the information of what “the Rock” is like now and the past rushing back in – amid some amazing students from SRU that just arrived this week for student teaching.

I could think of no place I’d rather be than Into the Woods and celebrating the present, while being able to recall my past at the same time.  In addition to this, on stage there are certain moments – no matter if you have seen this ASF production once or every night – that will never fail to leave their footprint on your memory.  As soon as the musical score No One is Alone kicks in, the onrush of emotions make your way from your heart, to the tears that form – due to all the fairy-tale-ness represented in our own past present, and future.  The very essence of what has made up our past, and helping to define our future, plays out in front of you while the same does so in the attending members hearts.

Yes, this might be a fairy tale with so many elements mixed together, yet one thing is for certain.  The emotions, experiences, as well as commitment played out in the plot of Into the Woods is the very same commitment, endurance, and belief that all things will work out, with the help of those that surround you.  It is so incredibly easy to forget the contributions of The Tech Club under the stage direction of Patricia, as well as the lighting involving the direction of Jose Fernando,  the coordination of the set to continue to surprise and reel you in thanks to the insights of Javier and Emilio, the amazing details spent on the costumes (from the witch down to the prince) from Giovana and Juan, the even more fine detail that entail the makeup, not appreciated until afar under direct light thanks to Paloma, as well as the ability of the director Alvaro Cerino to put so much into the set and then be able give so much creativity take hold among the cast and those behind the scenes.

Yet, taking for granted the ASF Board and the parents, who effortlessly operate the tables, manage the lobby with Chief House Manager Enrique, then moving to the frantic back and forth actions of stage and public needs with the assistance of Renata, Su Ji, Carlos, Sebastian, Regina, Mateo, Javier, Isabel, Emilio, Alejandra (and who all become an actual part of the play too!) – enhancing the whole production with music thanks to Jeronimo, Mr. McCabe and many more to come that truly, when put together – a masterpiece becomes a fairy tale, becomes a reality.

How about seeing as a building coordinator with Teruhi Yshioka and technical director Hugo Cabrera, Music Director Rob McCabe, General Director Rosanna Cesarman, and Performing Arts Coordinator Dr. Lawrence,  see the growth of so many students, (behind the stage and on) with so many productions, and then witness the renewal that comes with new faces and new years,  as those that have become part of the history of the FAC moving on?  Yes, there are certainly fairy tales interspersed among real life every step of the way, and I do believe it takes the individual willing to set him or herself aside to let those around them experience it even more, and fortunately, the whole team responsible for Into the Woods has done just that.

Letting go has always been the hardest part to becoming so close, as hard as the days when the set takes place and begins to form – and yes, those that play a major role for it all behind the action feel it perhaps even more directly as those days slip by as in a dream.  Yet, when you have a cast that appreciates these elements that tie everything together, you certainly do receive a fairy tale that ties everything together – and so much more for the audience.  With two days left, and time running out for you to grasp onto such a powerful experience, you will walk through the doors of the Fine Arts Center with an expectation, and exit with in a state of surprise that will root inside convincing you, what seem to be fairy tales can in fact come true with the right amount of reality.  Come see Into the Woods before you let that reality slip away.

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“TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood…”

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When the interesting point was made by the Baker that perhaps the path had strayed from Little Red Riding Hood, the whole premise for seeing things differently is set.  In one’s life, you seem to only realize too late you have ONE, only one chance to do things in a unique way, and usually, this involves looking back wishing you would have done something differently to make a small, and sometimes, a large difference.  Many people I have found will criticize others, letting them know they feel they take on too much, or “Why do you do those when that is certainly NOT your job?” and yet – you do only have one chance and do over’s are difficult and rare to come by.  I have found in my own life, the tedious and countless projects (at first) I have taken on, said yes to, well in looking back, I am so glad I have done so.  Yes, hectic.  Yes, tired.  Yes, sometime endless. yet, God-willing, 40 years from now I will look back and see the individuals I have met, the experiences I have had, and the chances I have had to help others, and realize, yes – this is why and it meant something.

As a librarian, as a son, and as an educator, I felt the only way to survive, to break new ground, and never be placed in the category of obsolete and stereotyped as anything with the word “typical”, is to take the initiative and always approach everything with creativity.  (yes, even bankers can be creative if they want to be!)  In that lesson instilled in me from my father – who was, believe it or not, one of the quietest men ever, I realized, everything we do, if we approach it with the absolute best and creative means, the rewards come back ten-fold.  This lesson has never escaped me.

So what happens when you see a cast that has done the very same thing on and off stage as in Into the Woods?  You see individuals willing to take risks, preparing for the world behind high school with what they are doing now, and you see heart in the music, in the makeup, in the set, in the direction, in the acting, in the costumes, in the lighting, and yes, in the unexpected that occurs. Seeing every show is not a task and never has been, it has been the privilege of seeing a cast grow into roles, grow together as a family in one final hurrah of production, and see parents beaming not just because of this performance, but because of the amazing culmination of talent and creativity – and such is the case with Into the Woods.

Out of all the lines from Into the Woods, dropping the words, “Brother, someone is going to get fired today!” and “And take your dead ones too!” – what might be internal jokes to some, are very true to the laughter of those attending Friday’s performance, and the example of taking something, incorporating into part of your experience, and creating something even more powerful. THAT is the artist at work, and Friday April 10th’s performance sealed the fact that Into the Woods goes down the path many might initially avoid and yet, truly taking that path “…has made all the difference.”  Bravo Into the Woods team, bravo!

Juliana G. – From the very first preview show, Little Red Riding Hood appears with spunk, bravado and sense of strength that puts fear into many.  Yet, her gentleness and innocence is right there under the surface, and you are able feel that thanks to the power brought to tipis character Friday – easy to look forward to every time she steps onto the stage and ready to laugh when faced with confrontation. A huge impact on this musical while managing to suppress laughter when an improvised bird kicked the bucket  :)

Alexa – While certainly will not be just remembered for her quick thinking when birds drop  from the sky in death, Alexa’s adaptability to so much, including slippers, pitch, and all the while, the ability to maintain a voice, that causes your heart to TREMOR with emotion, and tears to rise to your eyes – that is the power Alexa brings to this role and she absolutely, positively just did in to the 100th degree Friday again.  So much that the role is not simply the princess, but the navigator of our emotions throughout the play.

Alexander D – Not only as the play progresses, but in EVERY PRODUCTION, Alex is able to get stronger as a person throughout he baker, and it is impossible to miss.  You anticipate this happening thanks to the energy, the confidence and the characteristics of becoming a father past when his child gets older, he becomes a father in the here and now by the end thanks to the strength he slowly lets rise in this character as seen Friday.  Even more so, you see the Baker become a father to Jack while awaiting a dreaded confrontation, and this seals the deal of what Alex is able to bring to this role in Into the Woods.

Sofia – Expressions are everything, and Sofia no matter if a sister or Sleeping Beauty brings the reality to her character absolute.  The tendency is to stay focused on characters right in front of you, but pay careful attention to Sofia’s role in both, and you will see why she adds such a superb contribution to Into the Woods.

Ana Paula – Ana’s ability to turn the character of  Snow White or as an evil sister – into a smug and perfect match is ideal.  She matches the demeanor of Sofa G perfectly, and yet stands on her own as an individual character. You need to pay attention to her in and out of the spotlight as it adds flavor to an great production.

Tamara – Unexpected incidents, expressions, and dialogue make what you would think a secondary or mini character become much more. Paying attention to her before during, and after the attempts to win over the prince are PRICELESS and worth their merit.  You can only imagine the roles that await in the future based on her expressions, ability to make a character complement the plot, and work so well as a team character – Friday’s performance was her best yet.

Arturo – Amazing for reasons seen and not seen.  Having the ability to strut bravado in just the right way to get an audience’s reaction, saying the right words the right away for the absolute best reactions from the audience and literally, seeing Arturo the same night, appearing in front of the JV winning team talking to his teammates right after this production, this says alot about what Arturo and can willing will do on and off stage.

Sofia – Revisiting the role of Rapunzel from the preview night, her screaming scams amid running, as well as her distress over her hair being stolen, pulled, and used as a leash sometimes by her mother – she is able to get a reaction out of the prince and the audience perfectly.  You wait for her to run across the back of the stage and anticipate it – that is how good she is able to bring this role to light.

Susanne – Initially coming off as a very passive, stay at home mother who has little backbone except with her son, Susanne times moments to slowly become more and more aggressive in her role perfectly as Jack’s mother.  Standing up to the giant, as well as passing on sage words advice to the audience after her son, Susanne easily rolls out who Jack’s mother is and who you imagine her to be.

Jorge – Slapstick comedy as well as machismo – you have it all tuned to the perfect setting. Be it a microphone looking for a tongue-lashing or an audience to win over, no problem,  Jorge is able to do so and has had that ability since the first showing, and in tune with Arturo, you are listening to stereo with his role – absolutely.

Isabel – The rhythm and pace she is able to keep up with explaining the bean saga to the baker and wife, the ability to seamlessly inflict gentleness, as well as wickedness, and then turn to exasperation – yeah all in one play. Her voice is commanding, strong, and directed to the moment at hand.  You can see and hear her confidence flow as thick as the mist on stage, and as a result, it is easy to see how Isabel is a dominant force on stage and so far in all the productions.

Lucia – Truly as the grandmother of Grandmothers, Lucia has increasingly brought this  role to life at every successive show.  She is able to truly activate the Wolf scene to its fullest and continues to remind you in consequent scenes what she brings to this role and to Into the Woods as a whole.  The attention you pay to her on and off the main stage will pay itself back as she keeps the story going when she is speaking as well as through her actions.

Ana – Unless you see multiple shows, it is difficult to appreciate the quality that lies in a character’s role.  And yet, here it is and evident in Fridays show.  The growing confidence was evident in Friday’s performance and setting the narrator as an authority in Into the Woods became the fact Friday.  Expressions, slowing the dialogue down, and the fluidity of the narrator with the other characters made this character what it is Friday!

Lucia S. – Truly a storybook role, Lucia is able to take all the elements of emotion, control, feeling neglected, being manipulated or being the manipulator, to the highest level and bring the audience with her.  Add into the mix a voice that adds a level of emotion hat can;t be registered, and you have a carrying force of the success of Into the Woods.

Natalia – Holy step mother….exactly.  Her attitude, yet a gentleness she brings to this role while being completely infuriating – it works well.  The expressions that go beyond her attire and makeup reinforce that she is a survivor and is hauling her daughters along too for the survival trip.  There is a reason she is no one of the offerings to the giant!

Nicolas– The spontaneous feeling you get from his reactions to Little Red Riding Hood, and as the Giant are done so well – and are a guarantee you will walk away with moments of hilarity, even at the end sucking in as much applause is possible.  Nicolass’ very personality on stage sets his roles to be anticipated; the salute he will issue as the giant and complementing as many characters around him appears easy due to his comfortable appearance on stage, none more evident than in Friday’s show.

Pablo – His ability to hit you sideways with talent is uncanny and powerful.  Between his presence when he is not speaking, the ability to project his voice to your very heart and ears, as well as transforming into wanting to be a man and still playing the role of a son wanting a father, then a mother, his ability to multiply his presence was very much evident in Friday’s performance.  His presence only enhances the depth of Into the Woods.

Pablo – It is easy to write off this character as a here and there narrator to push the characters along.  Pablo did not let the character do this in Friday’s performance and in the culminating scenes, he becomes the father that Alex has become, and he has done so with emphasis on the points he gets to to Alex.  His slow and methodic spirit-like movements work to accompany this role across to the audience.

Pedro – Not failing the role he has in this character, he takes charge of being in control when the prince is not around. Since the first show, he is gaining and exerting more authority as the man in charge when the “man in charge” is not around, inflicting results on Jack’s mother and serving as gate keeper to the princess. He will be so interesting to see what roles he will take in the future, from eyeing how he breathes life into his current role as steward.

Ximena V. – Again, playing Florinda, you look at the role of sister and think, okay, secondary role.  Her comments, attitude, and yes, even head rolling while having hair braided – all make this anything but a secondary role thanks to her energy and detail to every action, expression, and how she carries herself on stage.  This continues to grow and was very easy to see in Friday’s performance.

What you see on stage is a reflection, and then some, of the work the makeup led by Paloma, costumes, Tech Club, Director Alvaro Cervino, and Managers Teruhi Yoshioka, Hugo Cabrera, Rosana Cesarman, a great lighting company,  all have decided to place their lives for the last 5-6 months on hold and move foreword with letting the spotlight on so many amazing cast members, and it was truly 100% authentic in gratitude how the Into the Woods cast recognize those members and those that can’t step onto the stage at the end of the show.  Creativity abounds but it definitely abounds on the set of Into the Woods thanks to the family that was created through creativity and inspiration.  You can see all the shows of Into the Woods, and should and still will not be able to grab enough!  Grab your seat for April 16th at 5:00 PM and hold on!

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Into the Woods Gala – GIANT Realizations Brought Front Stage and Center

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Anyone attending the preview show yesterday for Into the Woods, AND the Gala on April 9th would know there was something a mist (sorry, bad joke, AMIDST really) .   Yet, as the mist did reel in, you could almost feel the confidence that yes, this was a creation that would show the cast of Into the Woods was confident, was creative, and told not only a story of what can occur in your life when you wish for something, but when you make that wish a reality, as every cast member did BOTH Wednesday and Thursday.  As I tend to do with roll call, let’s try that again and you will see the power of creativity flowing from every cast member –

Alejandra D – EVERY SINGLE TIME you thought you had her figured out as a shy Little Red Riding Hood, she turned a corner and even without brandishing a knife, you couldn’t help but love the spunk and feistiness she brought to what it meant to be defending your “hood” as she easily owned this character – and yes, she packs a plenty loud scream  :)

Alexa – I have said it before and will not be afraid to say it again, when you have a voice that flows then dives right through you, touches your heart and leaves you for more – what more could you want?  Alexa’s powerful, mesmerizing, and absolutely stunning voice does not disappoint in bringing out what you want, being able to feel this musical – and feel it you do when you let yourself grab onto every note Alexa is willing to share and enchant the audience with – a showstopper absolutely and leaving you hungry for just one more song, please.

Alexander D – He certainly transforms right in front of you and lets you journey with him on that transformation, from visiting his past, present, and future, the second half combines what you thought you knew about the baker and “mixes” it up and created a brand new character.  Alex’s ability to steer this character to increasingly become stronger is only one of many talents you will see in Into the Woods, this is what great memories are made of.

Ana P – As a young actress Ana Paula brings on the determination, the forwardness, and the perfect mixture of haughtiness to make sure this character, when reappearing, will not stop putting a smile on her face.  Wishing I could FORGET her ability to consume part of her foot (you have to see it) she is perfect as Florinda and brings this character to light in just the way you would want to see her.

Arturo  – In an old series called Happy Days, the black leather jacket made The Fonz.  Arturo’s glasses and his perfect and sometimes predicted Dukes of Hazzard jump through the structures to announce his handsomeness?  – He owns this character and as a result many bouts of laughter will ensue as he easily takes this character and shows what it means to go through bouts of agony and figure out how to deal with Rapunzel  (he does try).

Caroline – Her golden hair fits her to a “T” – and I had to laugh when she stood up to her mother when she was challenged about why she was so upset – I felt Caroline has more ability to come out bolder as this character and believe in the next shows you are going to see Rapunzel continue to take on increasingly more character and definition as Caroline, who is quite capable as what I thought was a quiet young lady, (who knew?!) gets more comfortable with how well she can represent Rapunzel to a pretty funny degree.

Ingrid – You sometimes want to reach out and shake the stepmother’s hair and attitude right out of her – Ingrid is GREAT – she started out softly then you can literally see her own this character by the end of the play and pretty much state, even through tragedy, “Yeah, I’m royalty and you are?…..”  – She was able to haul her daughters back and forth all over the place while still showing – where she walked – was where everyone needed to recognize, :)

Isabel  – Remember that comment about a voice that is able to flow right though you?  I am almost positive I saw either Isabel or her twin singing in several venues  in a place somewhere, that is the sense you receive when you hear the maturity, strength, and power Isabel, brings to her character and the stage – also leaving you for much much more for your ears.

Jorge – I promise, if this was a modern day Dukes of Hazzard, you have the brothers right here with Jorge and Arturo – feeding off each other, pushing each other in confidence that buds to just an absolute all out “I am Prince and I RULE!” – his moves, smiles, and demeanor are nothing less that absolute – a perfect complement to all you’d expect in a prince.

Lara  – A narrator is one thing, but having the confidence to be a storyteller and still be absolutely into the story around her when she is not in the spotlight, she is ON.  Watch Lara when she is not in the spotlight and you will ABSOLUTELY SEE IT TOO – I love she is one of the main ingredients for a successful tale.

Lucia E – She is able to go through many a complicated scene gracefully and turning those scenes into making us as an audience ask, “How the heck will this work?” and she makes every scene work – she is perfect in moving the actions of a very strange experience with a quilt hysterical and absolutely life-like.

Lucia S – I would absolutely be lying if I said I did not anticipate every scene I could grab onto hearing Lucia in – I immediately think of Lucia, Alexa, and Isabel C. never ever leaving the stage and always being able to turn to a new selection for us say, for three more hours? – You can easily pass three hours after hearing Lucia combine emotions, anger, and a voice that works out so many situations, and during all of this, you anticipate every next note – you will see…

Natalia– Holy mother….exactly, MOTHER.  She plays this role of mother and you feel it as if your mother is right there beside you nagging you and – loving you.  She does not hold back on making sure everyone knows she is the mother to remind, sometimes harass, and not to forget about the emotion of caring for each other.  How does she get the curls that tight by the way?

Nicolas  – Absolutely only getting better at bringing the house down since the very first show, and bringing it down from tall heights to shady corners of the woods, Nicolas is absolutely essential to that laugh that STILL is riding in your stomach from the woods to the skies  – and fits into the nontraditional roles of Into the Woods and makes then seem ABSOLUTELY the way they should be!

Pablo G- So far there has always been, in every single musical, that one young and maybe formerly unfamiliar talent that completely takes hold you you, shakes you, and leaves you asking, “Who the heck is HE and how can we see and hear more?”  This is the one, and believe me, nothing more will be needed to be said, from his expressions, stares, and sense of being comfortable – he owned this position before he even stepped on the stage.

Pablo Gu – Seeing Pablo become even more stern and important to get his sage advice across to his son since the very first production, Pablo believes in the very pat h he is on in this story, and he will easily lead you to believe there is a way to make amends.  I am not sure I could see anyone else being able to do so like Pablo does with this role.

Pedro  – Again, part of the amazing thing of seeing multiple shows is seeing the confidence that builds in characters from the beginning.  I thought Pedro was a little meek as the steward in the initial preview and BAM! – here came Pedro with the confidence of a prince in waiting in the Gala – it is exciting to see the growth in confidence of an actor like Pedro as the shows go on and you will see this for sure – showing his talent on the stage.

Sofia –  There is this element that some actresses can being on and off the stage and Sofia DOES.  Watch her when the spotlight is not on her all the time and you will see she is truly living the part as Lucinda, on and off the “camera” so to speak, and she does it was a perfect match to the personality of her character. Add in her sister and mother, and you have a role that is filled out completely thanks to her personality on stage.

Tamara – No matter, played as Lucinda or the new love of the prince, Tamara demonstrates why she is on stage.  She embodies the commitment to a stage presence and will move any character in the direction it needs to go, capable and beyond so – and an absolute pleasure to see in show after show  :)

Ximena  – Again, whether playing the prince’s new love interest or Florinda, you sense Ximena’s energy, enthusiasm and smile and auditorium easily.  She shines in any role she is given because she HAS THAT PERSONALITY – and pretty much everyone realizes they are glad she is on that stage.

Oh there is PLENTY so say about the role of the Director Alvaro Cervino, an amazing Tech Club and Makeup Staff, an AMAZING and patient costume staff, and the leadership of Teruhi Yoshioka, Rosana Cesarman, and Hugo Cabrera that put in an amazing unrecorded number of hours, all combined that make this family and theatre a place you just WANT TO BE on the off hours and of course during the shows.  Without knowing every one of them, you fall in love with the families of each and every one of these contributors, as you realize the beauty that must lie in the families after seeing the beauty in their very own sons and daughters. You realize, Into the Woods is a must.  That says everything, doesn’t it?  Good thing this is only the second post on what is will be another stage burning and heartwarming experience thanks to the above mentioned.

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Tenderness, Creativity, and Inspiration Found Into the Woods

“There is a tenderness just below the surface and the production team, cast, tech, directors, producers, all, manage to help you through it all in this production.”

Okay, I admit, it. I was afraid my own mind, emotions, and experience from Les Miserables last year would not let me see anything except a comparison. Very few times I am truly, originally surprised. My heart showed me I would be and I was so very excited to be surprised.

I am so tempted to start dropping names and standout moments, yet there is no need to do so yet. No, what I found this night, was one of the biggest and proudest moments of this preview show, for the benefit of those around me that work so hard day in and day out on our campus around everyone, was a personalized message of thanks, and received with hearts open to all who were there. No names were needed to receive the feelings everyone felt by the end of this initial preview run.

You will find the one true gift you receive from Into the Woods is discovering a little about what it means to see the world with open eyes, the good, the bad, the scary. Each member of this production team allows you a moment to reflect on that, to laugh at just the right moment to let off the pressure of coming face to face with some tough realities that is just simply life, and finding out what type of person you are as a result.

Not maybe, but definitely, I realized, through talking with some of the think tank creators for this production, yes, Les Miserables has the theme that grabs you and no matter what, it will take you to a place you can never forget. Add a cast last year that took that and multiplied that and there is no way you can set aside the emotions you felt through every production. However, with Into the Woods, you see an empty canvas painted in from of you, the interpretation being revealed character by character, scene by scene, and the whole while your heart keeps absorbing the creativity, intensity, and momentum of emotions that you do not even realize the height of, until you find yourself out of the woods among friends – all thanks to the creativity that you will witness in so many scenes, voices, emotions, and individuals.

Truly, I was skeptical and worried about how I could separate what I have expected in the past to what I would see and witness with Into the Woods. There is no need to be skeptical and definitely no need to be worry, you will walk away from the “woods” in this production truly instilled with knowing, “There is a tenderness just below the surface and the production team, cast, tech, directors, producers, all, walk with you, every step of the way, through it all in this production.”

Don’t miss this show – just don’t. See you at the Gala tomorrow!

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New Title – Internalizing Stories Amid Educational Pursuits in the 21st Century

As I made my way to a coffee area known as Joe Coffee on the corner of 12oth, I kept thinking back to seeing Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 4.26.58 PMErick Gordon, who had spoke the day I left for New York – at our own American School Foundation.   His message was clear, he used a hands-on project-based initiative to reach all of his students.  Of course I was intrigued because in this particular case it had to do with publishing, he started with a magazine, then elevated to creating a student press, but the processes that occurred in-between were exciting and modeled what No Child left Behind and Common Core has seemingly yet to do – infuse every day in the classroom as exciting for the teacher and the student.  I also muddled in my mind as I made my way through the snowy sidewalks to the front of the Columbia Science Building, it might have looked like his presentation and initiative had to deal with just publishing.  It didn’t.  We had discussed at the beginning of the year in the Upper School how we could begin to reach outside of the school and impact the community so much more based on things we studied within the school.  I thought of so many ways his initiative could occur in so many different areas.  From using math to redesign parks that badly needed it in neighboring communities, to having lower school students develop poetry that expressed what they saw and felt in areas around Mexico and their published works as part of a park, to enabling students to improve the skills of neighboring students via a summer arts workshop, writing workshop, art workshop and so much more, it just happened that Mr. Gordon’s area was writing. (Check out this RadioLab Article! – you will LOVE)   I felt this is what occurred with the Repentino. magazine, in wanting to bring a renewed sense of energy to the library, and happening at the same time, a student wanting to turn the publication into something more representative of the skills at ASF, we used the literary magazine as a vehicle to create motivation. In Mr. Gordon’s case, the chance to impact, develop, and enhance curriculums became the focus of establishing a student press, a press that dipped into various areas of the curriculum and enhanced them, all the while more learning coming out from that process.  It seemed amazing that a project like the original student-based magazine could lend itself to developing yet another branch of learning that would bud into the student press, known as SPI.

I thought, wow, every teacher, at every level, could create one project they do and make it become global if you will, something that could impact others outside of our school, and all of a sudden, a lesson becomes an interactive one that students can see how they can make a difference not only on an assignment, but using this particular project to grow and improve the word around them, be it a new way to look at things, literally dipping into projects and applying the lesson to the world, to people, to communities around them, or even making sure that what they learn is internalized and not just memorized.

I was grateful to meet with Mr. Gordon mainly because I wanted to present to him what we have done as a publication and see where it could go from there.  In taking with him, I realized the steps he made from classroom teacher to a pivotal initiator of the student press.  I could only hope my past would continue to create steps towards connected projects that would make a lasting impact on continuing the path education could take.

In listening to the RadioLab Article that ties writing to Erick Gordon, and an AMAZING – A M A Z I N G story that ties my own experience with a certain ring round my neck – and a story of finding something so incredibly valuable beside the road and wow – my inner soul that loves writing – connected with the power of words – and hence, the whole lesson of writing and how it can touch lives – is a superb lesson in learning and what paths it can take if allowed to grow, and it could all start within a classroom!

Yet, the story of the last day of Columba’s CSPA Conference, believe it or NOT – does NOT stop here – it continues to grow so stay tuned for one more post  :)

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Final Days, New Perspectives, Anita and Gold Crowns, Oh MY!

As with much, at the beginning of an adventure, you seemingly have all the time in the world.  By the passing of days that seem like minutes. the end of the week arrives and you wonder. whoa.  I missed much of it and it seemed like seconds!  Such was the feeling on Friday, knowing on Saturday I’d be headed in the late afternoon via Amtrak to Takoma Park, then the next day to Mexico.  No regrets in the least of any of it, just wonderment of how fast all had moved past me and grateful that I was able to receive so much information and meet so many amazing people.  Yet, today would also hold many surprises for me.  Being very excited to see 2013-2014 staffer Nina Sachdev, who had moved to New Jersey and was the only staff member that would be present physically to celebrate the recognition, I was looking forward to this culminating day at Columbia and a bit nervous to say the least.

I spent a portion of the time in the AM fine tuning the details needed for a 9:45 presentation we would give in (guess where?!  – 517 Hamilton Hall! )  It’s funny, almost all the workshops I had given in the last at Columbia involved this room, so I was also grateful to have the same room, as well as the same Columbia student tech representative with me the whole time, it made everything feel perfect.

I arrived at Columbia, sipping my dose of Chair from Oren’s, and lone behold spied Nina and her Dad!  YEAH!  It was so good to act as if we were still at the same school and seeing her was really a great morning.  I didn’t realize until we started looking through the program that I had missed a 8:45 session,thinking all the session actually started at 9:45.  In looking at the offerings, a few stood out to me, “CSPAA : Annual Meeting of members”, “Tips and Tricks in Photoshop and InDesign”, “Get Engaged: Social Media Beyond Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram”, “Just Hashtag It: Social Media and Your Publication”, and “45 Tips in 45 Minutes” – I was like what?  All of these – and I wondered if this allowed people to really come and stay for the last day – yet we did see schools coming for just the last day to accept the awards or to be present.  I was grateful that I had obtained an arsenal of good tips so far from some fairly good workshops up to this point.

We made our way for out last day in Hamilton Hall, room 517, and had roughly 45- 50 attendees come in which from all our workshops, we realized we had a total from four workshops, of about 150 people, maybe a little more but that was GREAT !   For the presentation titled Moving Up, we used the medium of a blog, to show how information could be presented as well as linked.   It also felt right starting with a line that one of our staff sent me, as the whole experience became internalized to her, and I feel that is the purpose of being involved with something where your heart lies.  We also strived to show how Repentino. uses PR and becomes involved in other activities that might not seem related to that of a publication, but actually widens our audience, and in turn widens the roles and the tasks that new staff will be needed for, creating new positions and moving staff up to positions that might not have existed before, and helped promote the magazine from many different skills needed.

This reminded me of the Utube Video, Did you Know?  which does state that students are receiving education and training for jobs that don’t even  exist yet, the same rings true with publications.  The workshop was great, having Nina’s Dad help capture the workshop, as well as seeing along list of emails from attendees wanting to obtain the information, we felt this week, and thanks to Nina’s time and interest – all had been a great representation of being motivated and gong the extra mile to be successful.

In looking at the 10:45 – 11:30 time slot, the workshop Wiser Adviser seemed appealing and it was a GREAT pick!  Speaker John Cutsinger was energetic and presented ideas that at first challenged the way many people always ran publications, but by looking on the flip-side made sense.  One main tenet he pointed out was this – Do not always pick the best photographer/writer/layout person/technical staff to be your editor!  He knew that was what we all did but he said, doesn’t it make sense to keep them in the verity field of expertise they are good at, instead of taking them out and then changing the position titles up to say, first chair, second chair, etc. like an orchestra, so they are doing what they do best?  Although advice like that seems minuscule, it truly changes the dynamics of how successful a team is from year to year.  I walked away with alot of positive and good approaches to staff and procedures, despite thinking I knew much of them and all that I needed!

Looking at the 11:45 time slot, I was intrigued with a workshop titled, “Branding your publication”  I trekked to the Jerome Green law School Building and began to take in this session, presented by Daniel M Haygood from Elon University. I loved the points he made about how others advertise and get us to know the difference between a logo and the quality of an item.  We associate logos but then there is a slight difference between what we associate with the brand.  I liked that.   What I also lied was the part where he provided is a Tokyo snack I have never even seen before let alone heard of named Pocky.   The ideas he had were amazingly cool and it seemed he never quite got us to the point of allowing us to test our publications with how we would brand it the best.  As I think about it now, I wonder, could we have done that in a 45 minute session?  I am thinking not, it is just that I wanted to walk away with SOMETHING, like a an example of something we haven;t tried as far as a logo, or something that solidifies even more who we are as a  magazine – that was frustrating to me, but at the same time, in reflecting on that a week later, the topic he presented is a hard sell to talk to an audience the whole time about, yet it certainly was a starting point to do something with down the road to personalize who publications are and what they strive to be.

LUNCH!

Nina, her Dad and I met in Lerner, headed out to lunch immediately, and as we did, wow, SNOW.  Lots of it, BUNCHES of snow was coming down, so much so, you could not see to the other side of campus – wow.  I am not sure I am ready to talk about THAT, so we headed a cross the street and ate at Amir’s.  I know this was the second time, however, that was AOKAY, the sweet potato fries, the schwarma, it all was THAT GOOD.  It also was nice to NOT have to fight for a place to find, in the NOW coming down and accumulating SNOW.  ;)

After lunch, we headed back to Columbia, and noticed there was almost everyone that had attended the conference, in the front of the soon-to-be-awards auditorium. I realized, I had never been to the whole awards ceremony – EVER.  I was a little excited because frankly, I did not know what to expect.  AT ALL.  Finally, doors opened and we are lucky enough to get seats close to the doors we came in, no fuss!

As the ceremony started, we began to see every publication that had won awards being called alphabetically. I was nervous, absolutely, positively.  When we finally came to the R’s we were AMAZED as how many R’s there were – mainly because we were waiting but we watched to see how this all went, name announced, award received, picture taken with Mr. Sullivan – got it  !

“Repentino. Magazine from the American School Foundation in Mexico City!” – there we were on the big screen!!  Cover, spreads, wow! We walked up and accepted a large framed award, that was to say the least AWESOME – then we proceeded to get our picture taken (We’re picture  # 46 on the page !)    with Mr. Sullivan,  and we could not stop staring at the award!    This is quite humorous, we noticed it said Silver on it, and we were like, what?  We thought we won the gold?  Now was the weird, I mean, we didn’t want to say anything because it would look like were were not grateful but – then AFTER (of course!) we brought it up to them following the ceremony, we realized, holy cow!  We won a SILVER and a GOLD award, TWO!   One for the critique of our publication and one for Overall all song publications we were like  NO WAY  – funny way to find out and kind of embarrassing, but, we won big !!!!!

In order to avoid the potential blizzard worsening, as fast as it seemed Nina came and we were reunited, they need to head back to New Jersey for obvious reasons.  It was so amazing to see such a talented young lady “back in the fold” so to say, but it seemed like we have never be apart that long, which was kind of great too!

Coming down off of cloud 9, I still have some exciting appointments, one with Erick Gordon who had spoken at our PD Workshop on the Friday I left for the states, and wow, some amazing things to explain and then, something not even Nina knew – and of course Scott Westerfeld and many other authors as well – stay tuned for the next post!

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Thursday, Dow Jones Teacher of the Year, Scott Westerfeld, and more!

Thursday morning did arrive faster than I believed in New York, however I was ready for it!  I was somehow able to get up way before 7:00 AM, around 6:30 AM, spent a good hour perfecting some details for this morning’s workshop, Moving Up, and was able to get out of the hostel, stop at Oren’s for the usual morning fix, and into Hamilton Room 517 with plenty of time to spare.  In today’s case, we were using the medium of     since we have already used Trello as a medium for presentation, then used Google docs as a tool, then moved onto today using a blog to further explain how various different tools can be used to get the information out and across to many!   I thought it was great to see familiar faces in the audience form previous workshops, and I realized, tomorrow’s workshop would have last year’s magian staffer, Nina here for our workshop – YEAH!   it had been a year since I had seen her!

The workshop breezed through without a hitch, and again, this time we had close to 55+ attendees, and tons of emails left behind for further info to be shared from the various presentations – so it seems by choosing the topic of PR this was a great choice for our magazine at this year’s workshops!

Looking for the next workshop and returning as an attendee, I spied Magazine Mania March 19 2015, Room 417 of the International Affairs Building.  Yep – across the street from the main campus and I was there!  Many cool tips of what to do start the year but also, the comparison between yearbooks and magazines helped put into perspective what we are trying to do as a magazine.  Having been a yearbook advisor, I realized always has helped to differentiate goals and attempts at what to do between two different publications.

Looking at the time leading to the 11:00, it was great to see this workshop, The Art Of Suggestion:  Visual and Literary Metaphors Working Together, which featured a student magazine, Agape, from Oyster Bay High School, and how they made decisions on the art that went into their magazine!  I think it is important that we go to as many other magazines that do workshops to get perspectives outside of ourselves, and this was truly the case and helpful.  One of the interactive workshops here (yes!) they handed out art and asked attendees to write about the picture using a choice of various forms, (Haiku or other forms) and then read aloud, having the audience decide which art piece it was about.  I was thinking this was a good exercise to do with the staff as well, in order to have the decisions be more constructive and a win win on both side, the art department gets to write their own pieces while judging a piece – I love this approach to maybe deciding on art going into the magazine!

At noon was one of my favorite parts of Columbia, the Adviser’s Luncheon.  Despite getting some great food as an advisor, the Dow Jones National Journalism Teacher of the Year is always recognized, and this year it was Chris Waugaman, whose topic was “Telling Great Stories.”  The notes from his questions, (March 19 12-00 Edmund Sullivan and Chris Dow Jones of the Year) answers, Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 3.54.41 PMand insights do let you see how much journalism, the arts, expression, and working and encouraging students towards a common goal can cover so many areas needed for students to go on and face the world and the possibilities that exist behind the classroom.

Moving into the 1:30 – 2:15 time slot, I need a small break to take in all this information, collect my notes from sessions, and just organize my thoughts!  However, at the 2:30 time slot, I did want to see the CSPA Crown Award and Overview for Magazines and Yearbooks.  I had a hunch, since we had submitted spreads for this DVD, we would be in there.  I have to say, there is something exhilarating seeing our Repentino. put up on the big screen

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 3.54.52 PMin front of so many magazines, and yes, the thrill was there for me seeing them!  Seeing the trends of the magazines as well as the things we can improve upon as well as what others do, this is everything in learning what there are doing in publication!

After quite a complete day of workshops and information, wow.  We still had one big day tomorrow, the Awards Ceremony, a morning workshop where Nina from last year’s staff in Mexico would be coming in! – and a denouement to the week experience.  As I walked off campus I just wanted to walk and see some of the local places in and around Broadway.  Also, I happened to flip through my papers and in fact did see that Friday, at Barnes & Noble, no less that SCOTT WESTERFELD would be at the Union Square Barnes & Noble – (it still amazes me how often authors come to New York and it seems so natural to just appear at bookstores).  Scott Westerfeld and more in New YorkWhat was even great was Mr. Westerfeld would be coming to ASF on March 20th!  In doing so, I thought, I HAVE TO GO SEE HIM, coincidences abound!  I would not be disappointed, and either will you when you read what occurred.  :)

I was able to spend a great rest of the day wrapping up items for the workshop tomorrow, titled, Powerful PR – and ate at a Great Diner known as the Metro Diner.  It was perfect for a getting colder evening, with the Matzoh Ball soup, hot chocolate, and the Hot Open Turkey Sandwich – whoa.  It was G R E A T.  As I was back at the hostel and knocked of another 150 pages of Afterworlds – I felt the pace, the amount of activity, the people, the overall connections that were being made – this was one heck of a New York experience!

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