Can You Hear Me Now?

This was my first time at SETC, and I have to say I had a really great experience.  While I was there, I attended a lot of workshops that related to anything dealing with Sound Design.  Out of everything that I did at SETC, the workshops were the best things I could have attended because the information I gathered about portfolios, composition and even the art of sound designing itself was invaluable.
Sound portfolios, like costume, set and lighting portfolios are a representation of a designer’s work.  The only difference between sound portfolios and other portfolios, is that a sound designer’s work is “heard” as opposed to “seen”.  There are many ways that sound designer’s build portfolios.  Some use websites, DVD’s, and powerpoint or keynote presentations.  The form of the portfolio really depends on the designer, but any of the formats mentioned work well.  The main thing that was stressed –> to have a successful sound portfolio is pairing the sound with some kind of imagery.  Having pictures or video from shows gives the people your are presenting your portfolio to an idea of what the overall feel of the show was like.  It essentially adds another layer to the work you are presenting.
Most of the time, sound designing means finding music and sound effects that pair really well with the show.  Collaborating with the director, other designers and even actors is very helpful when trying to find music that fits the theme/mood of the show. Generally, sound designers pull music from various artists, a lot of designers however, also compose their own music for the shows.  It was stressed very heavily that the sound designers that get hired the most for different companies are the ones that have composition skills.  Therefore, if you are going to be a sound designer, you really need to be able to compose your own music.
Lots of information, lots of great ideas, and lots of fun! SETC was awesome, and I can’t wait for next year! 🙂

SETC First Timer

I have lost track of how many “firsts” I have had the chance to experience in this department; however, it is hard to forget four days at the Hilton in Atlanta, attending workshops that put you in the role of a trickster, and teach you that you have been breathing wrong your entire life. To cap it all, you are surrounded by thousands of people numbered like lemmings, wearing outfits that range from business-casual, to evening gown, to what is she wearing on her head???

If you haven’t had this same experience, then allow me to introduce you to it. It is the South Eastern Theatre Conference, held annually in various south-eastern cities. This was my FIRST excursion at SETC, and here are is what I learned:
First: I had better be ready for the world I am entering, (I speak of the theatre world….I am, in fact aware that I’m on planet Earth…)
Now think about it…this was ONE conference, in ONE section, of ONE country in the entire world. And I know for a fact that not everyone attended, who COULD HAVE attended. Moral of the story? I had better be in this 100 percent. It is both intimidating and incredibly exciting, seeing this fraction of humanity who have the same vocational hopes and dreams as myself.
Also, as a missionary kid, I take language to heart….speaking the same language is a hugely intimate thing to me. So when complete strangers speak to me of monologues, tech-positions, and ‘broken legs’, there is an unspoken bond that connects us, even if we will never see each other again. It is also is so encouraging to me to realize how much I have learned in the past two years, and to know how much more I will learn in the next two.

Knowledge in Hiding

I have to admit that SETC was very intimidating. I am no less intimidated by it now as I was before I went. Being around so many professionals and really good amateurs made me see that it doesn’t hurt to have higher expectations for myself. I learned a lot in the workshops that I went to. Some things were things I could apply immediately, such as some makeup techniques, while other things were interesting enough but I will not be able to use them at this point in time. One workshop, “Lighting for the Camera,” I went to because I liked the name of it. I realized that it was very different from what I thought the subject matter was going to be. I hadn’t given much thought to the name. At first I thought since it was in a totally different area of the theater that I hadn’t been going to workshops for, that I would get nothing out of it. But actually in that workshop I learned more than all of my other workshops put together. Just a few things I had never known: that daylight is the coolest light, how to light a person’s face effectively, Fuji film is good for photographing greens while Kodak is good for photographing reds, and the importance of white balancing a camera. I never would have dreamed that my “oops” workshop would be the one that I would enjoy the most.


Bicycle Rickshaw Theatre (the World’s First…)

Click here to learn about the “World’s First Bicycle Rickshaw Theatre”, a ministry of Imagine the Word, an arts ministry organization founded by Hunter Barnes.  This ministry would create a portable theatre stage on the back of a New York City bicycle rickshaw, easily transportable through the city streets, which would fold out for performances that would share the Gospel to the NYC public.  The informational video is on a website built to accept donations to help fund the project.

World Theatre Day video

TCG – World Theatre Day

This link will take you to a video put out by TCG (the Theatre Communications Group) regarding World Theatre Day which is March 27th every year.  In it, actor Jeffrrey Wright shares a story from his experience visiting Sierra Leone, and the importance and power of the art of listening in the theatrical process.

C. McNair Wilson – guest artist

McNair WilsonWe are glad to be hosting guest artist C. McNair Wilson during the second weekend of this year’s Belhaven Theatre Festival, for a performance of his one-man show From Up Here on Friday, April 15 at 7 pm.  Wilson is a sought-after speaker and performer, a director and author; a former Disney Imagineer and is the co-founder of IMAGINU!TY Unlimited.  He will be visiting our classes and sharing with the theatre students during our weekly departmental meeting, as well as leading a creativity seminar open to the Belhaven community on Saturday the 16th.  For more info on McNair (and to check out his books and videos) visit his website or his blog.

Commencement speaker – Makoto Fujimura

Our university president, Dr. Roger Parrott announced on his blog that the 2011 Spring Commencement speaker for Belhaven University will be renowned artist Makoto Fujimura, head of the International Arts Movement headquartered in New York City.  We are excited to have such a distinguished speaker on campus and look forward to the opportunity to hear his address on April 30.


SETC logo

Approximately 20 Belhaven University faculty and students will be attending this year’s Southeastern Theatre Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 2-5.  For the students, most of them will be participating in either the Professional and Graduate School Auditions, or involved with the Job Contact forum – looking for opportunities for summer work or their first post-graduation position.  Our faculty members will be participating in various committees, workshops, recruitment opportunities, networking and professional development.  We hope to be able to post some pictures and stories from this year’s conference – so stay tuned over the next few days for Belhaven Theatre updates from the SETC annual convention 2011!