Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for NIGHTMARES


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

The first fellow to give me nightmares was -


the wolf from Peter and the Wolf. 
Prokofiev's music was the icing on the terror cake. I was sure Mr. Wolf lived under my bed. As a kid, I would leap off my bed into the center of my room if I had to get up at night so a wolfish paw wouldn't drag me to my doom.

When I was twelve, I read LORD OF THE RINGS and the wolf was usurped by -


the Nazgul.

Thanks, JRR Tolkien, my nightlight stayed on until I went to college.

TAKE AWAY - 
An effective villain creeps off the page smack dab into your nightmares.

Who scared the bejeepers out of you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for MARVEL UNIVERSE


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.


The Marvel Universe is my Oz.

Love these peeps...
  

 And don't forget these guys...


And here's the part where you "boo" and "hiss" 


Apologies to the many, I've left out.

Shout out to -  

Astrophysicist Jane Foster! 
Hello positive female role model. Mensa material, and she's got great taste in guys.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention - 



Stan Lee + Joss Whedon = Brilliance

The Marvel Universe is an intricate, wacky, adrenaline-inducing blast!

I am so intrigued by the way the Avenger movies and the Agents of Shield television show intertwine. 

Coulson's team cleaned up after the Dark Elves from Thor 2, and you never know when an Asgardian is going to show up in your neck of the woods. 

And who doesn't want that kickin' plane on the Agents of Shield or Tony Stark's tech.

My son will disown me if I don't raise the roof for the comic book versions and graphic novels that bring the Marvel universe to your fingertips. Marvel comics were the conduit that turned my reluctant reader into a reader.

Should I mention...

Probably not.

My son did see it and said the scenery and special effects were off the charts amazing. Too bad the show never really found itself -

BUT WAIT
It's coming to LAS VEGAS!

I admit to owning (one version - there are many) music from the show. And YES, I will be traveling to Vegas via bifrost to see it.

If you're not into any of this - you can still enjoy a delicious beverage.


Geek out complete...for now.

TAKE AWAY - Why write a single story when you can build a universe?

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for LIGHTING DESIGN


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

In my previous life, I was a theatrical lighting designer. Lighting design is expected to fulfill multiple goals onstage, such as:

MOOD - How do you want the audience to feel?


Sense of fun - Singin' in the Rain from the  Bon Voyage Shipboard Review - Queen Mary





Dramatic foreshadowing - In the Sweet Bye and Bye - Back Alley Theater









Nightmare sequence - An Original Jimmy Shine - UCLA





VISIBILITY and FOCUS - What and how much do you want to reveal to the audience? Where do you want them to look?



Found a Peanut - Back Alley Theater 






DIMENSIONALITY - Define the shape of the actors and the scenery. At times light becomes part of the scenery.





St. Joan - UCLA








Hawk - UCLA










Hawk - UCLA








TAKE AWAY:
Even though lighting was my visual form of storytelling in the pictures above, the same elements and purposes must resonate to create depth in the stories I tell with words.

Have you brought elements from other art forms into your writing?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for KINDLE


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

I'm a crazy reader. Always have been. I was the kid under the covers with the flashlight.

I love the feel of a print book in my hands, but e-books have a special place in my heart.

Why?

FLEXIBILITY AND INSTANT ACCESS
The book I'm reading never leaves my side. Besides my Kindle, I have the app on my phone, my computer at home, and my computer at school, and my tablet.

TEACHING TOOL
I can project the Kindle app from my computer onto my Smartboard in the class room. This allows my students to follow text and pictures when I read aloud wonderful graphic novels like Alan Silberberg's, MILO, STICKY NOTES AND BRAIN FREEZE or his THE AWESOME ALMOST 100% TRUE ADVENTURES OF MATT AND CRAZ.

ADJUSTABLE FONT SIZE
If you're over 40 - enough said. If you're under 40 - just wait.

COOL COVERS
Just got this super fun cover from Disneyland.


TAKE AWAY:
My Kindle means more reading time and instant purchases of all those wonderful e-books being written by so many of you out there in Bloglandia. For someone like me who's all about instant gratification - that's solid gold.

I still buy multiple hard cover books every month for myself and my classroom. Huzzah for print books.  

Are you an e-reader person?

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for JUKEBOX MUSICALS


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

Want to have a hand-clapping, toe-tapping blast in the theatre? 

Head for the nearest Jukebox Musical. 

These are shows that take the music of a single artist or artists and invent a storyline based on a group of songs.

My three faves are:

Playing in Vegas, Broadway, and various tours.



Touring - Coming to Los Angeles - Pantages Theatre in May


Broadway, touring, soon BACK to Vegas
and of course THE MOVIE!

I've seen both Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys on stage. 
SO-MUCH-FUN!

I'm aiming to see American Idiot when it hits LA.

Here are some other Jukebox Musicals:
We Will Rock You (Queen), Rock of Ages (Metal bands from the 1980s), Movin' Out (Billy Joel)

TAKE AWAY: A song tells a story. A string of songs makes a musical!

Have you seen a Jukebox Musical on stage? 
Do you have a fave?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for IT'S ABOUT TIME


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

I blame F Troop and this kooky series for starting my TV sitcom addiction. Not to mention my first actor crushes on those handsome astronauts.



I was completely taken with the premise of a space mission going awry and the astronauts ending up in prehistoric times.

Um - it could happen, right?



Ah, to go back in time to the glory days of high concept 1960's sitcoms. Hello, Gilligan.

The opening credits below are a trip - pun intended.



TAKE AWAY: 
Time travel stories are the ultimate mash ups.

What was your favorite sitcom as a kid?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for HERO JOURNEY



I regret that I never got to take a class from the amazing Joseph Campbell. 





His hero journey is my "go to" structure when I plot a story. 







If you're not familiar with this template - think Luke Skywalker. 

Ordinary chap finds he has a special gift - the force.

Wise mentor, Obi Wan, sends him on a quest - save the princess (really to embrace his Jedi-ness)

Ordeals are faced - Star Wars Episodes 4 through 6 - culminating in a supreme ordeal - Luke defeats Emperor Palpatine and redeems Vader.

Return home - or Ewok Village where the spirits of Luke's past rock out to the "Lub Nub" song. 


Graphics for my fellow chart folks:



I was delighted to discover the Power of Myths Programs. This is a series of discussions between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell on a myriad of topics including the hero journey, ritual, and mythology.  

“Mythology to him (Campbell) was the song of the universe, music so deeply embedded in our collective unconscious that we dance to it even when we can’t name the tune.” 
Bill Moyers

"Artists are the myth-makers of today." Joseph Campbell


TAKE AWAY:
Campbell’s mythic journey template continues to be an invaluable tool for creating story structure. 

Joseph Campbell will forever be my Obi Wan Kenobi. 

Who is your Obi Wan?

BONUS TRACK: More Campbell quotes

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for GAME OF THRONES


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

Winter is coming.

The books - the HBO Series - 

George R. R. Martin how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.


Characters - 

Fully realized. Unpredictable. 
People I want in my life, either to befriend or battle.


World Building - 

Unique. Fantastic. 
Places I go in my dreams.


Story - 
Uber-conflict. Passion. Despair. Hope.
An emotional landscape I'm completely devoted to.

TAKE AWAY - 
Complexity is the foundation of storytelling upon which layers upon layers build until the story seeps into your soul.

Who is in their happy place since the new season of Game of Thrones is upon us?

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for FLOYD COLLINS


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from various creative sources. Scroll down this link link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.


Floyd who?


Last Saturday night, at the La Mirada Performing Arts Center, just a touch south of Los Angeles, I had a wholly unique experience with the musical, Floyd Collins. 

Most musicals follow a somewhat predictable format - but in Floyd Collins EVERYTHING was unexpected. It was an original, engaging, absorbing, and heart-wrenching gem of storytelling. Real vs. surreal. Comedy vs. tragedy. A soul-stirring score with bluegrass flavor.

The musical is presented in an intimate setting "Onstage" of the La Mirada Theatre's playhouse. The nooks, passageways, and mysteries of Rich Rose's set make the show a visceral experience for the audience. The design traps you in the cave with Floyd as well as barricading you from him on the outside along with the other characters. 



The musical is based on a true event.





Here's the synopsis from the La Mirada Theatre's website:
In 1925, while chasing a dream of fame and fortune by turning a Kentucky cave into a tourist attraction, Floyd Collins himself became the attraction when he got trapped 200 feet underground. Alone but for sporadic contact with the outside world, Floyd fought for his sanity and ultimately his life as the rescue effort above exploded into the first genuine media circus. Reporters and gawkers from across the country descended on the property, fueling the hysteria and manipulating the nations into holding its collective breath.


 

A young reporter from the Louisville Courier-Journal William "Skeets" Burke Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Floyd's plight.

This production of Floyd Collins is an LA Times critics choice for its excellence. Here is the LA Times review. It is only one rave among many for this brilliant piece of theatre.

If you are anywhere within traveling distance to the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (near Disneyland), you owe it to yourself to experience this show. It truly is a master class on storytelling. Click the theatre link for tickets. It's playing through April 13th - dark on Monday.

TAKE AWAY - 
Juxtaposition of real vs. surreal elements, with a layering of the right music turns an historical event into captivating art. 

Is there a moment in history that is nudging you to tell its story?