Event Story #1 (Draft)

The sound of hushed whispered intermingles with the rustle of bodies rushing back and forth, while figures dressed all in black pace the floor as they spit out anxious directions into their headsets. The tension seems almost palpable tonight; months of sleepless nights, sweat, tears and injuries have brought everyone to this moment; Opening Night.

 

“Shhhh! The house is open.”, hisses the stage manager, Kelly, as the actors rush to their

places, trying to finish up their earlier conversations, and mumbling their apologies as

they go. “And stay out of sight lines!”

 

The actors file into their places behind the black curtains, often called legs or teasers, that line the side edges of the stage. It is important for the actors to stay close to these curtains in order to remain hidden from the view of the audience. This is standard procedure in the theater, but a particular pet peeve of the director, who has been hassling the actors about is for weeks now.

 

The walk back through the wing is like navigating a maze filled with various pieces of furniture and members of cast and crew, and doing so by the glow of a solitary blue lightbulb. The atmosphere seems to inspire the rise in heart rate beating inside everyone’s chest. Everything must go perfectly tonight; there is no room for error, no time for mistakes.

An audible gasp echoes down through the wing, followed by exclamations of shock and surprise from the bystanders in the wings.

 

“Shit!” whispers Matt, watching as the wardrobe fails to open apart on stage.

 

“What happened?” Kelly shouts into her headset, from which Evan’s reply can be heard.

“The clasp on the inside of the one wall was still locked. Whoever was supposed to unlock it must have forgotten.”

 

“Well that’s just perfect,” Kelly clips back, her response dripping with sarcasm.

 

Backstage the green room is already buzzing with the news as clusters of people throughout the room talked excitedly in hushed tones. Harrison, Rachel, RJ and Leigh Anna, who play the Pevensie children, hurriedly rush through the green room obviously frazzled by the mishap out on stage.

 

Later on Sydney asks Rachel, “Hey, so what was it like out there when that all happened?”

 

Rachel recounts the the feelings of anxiety that ensued inside the wardrobe saying, “It was nerve wracking because none of us knew what was going on, but the crew moving the wardrobe was obviously freaking out because something had gone wrong.”

 

While the stress from onstage was starting to get to everyone, the offstage stresses weren’t helpful either. The atmosphere of the green room was suffocating; jam packed with people filling every open space; chairs squeezed in between tables and into corners, a couch piled high with actors in furry costumes, and blankets, backpacks and the bodies of sleepy seatless individuals filling the floor.

 

Everyone has been instructed to remain as quiet as possible throughout the show, however, silence can only be kept for so long, especially when two particularly rambunctious ten year olds are involved.  

 

“Harrison! Stop poking me!” Leigh Anna squeals amid her giggles. Harrison continues

poking at her, laughing all the while. “I’m going to get you.” she cries, turning around to

chase after him.

 

“Never!” Harrison shouts back, scampering away, barely missing her grasp.

 

Suddenly the all heads turn towards the two as a third, and far less enthusiastic, member joins the party. Hannah, a costumer, who works alongside the crew;  leans towards the children. “You two need to shut up!” she shouts, seethingly , “I have told you a million times to be quiet. I am not your babysitter. I am not your mom. I will not tell you again. Stop talking!”

 

At that the volume of the room plummets to complete silence. No one dares to speak out of shock to what has all taken place, and fear that they too might incite the wrathful reprimanding of Hannah. Some in the cast, however, sought solitude upstairs; away from the madness, in the dressing rooms. Between these four, tiny mirrored walls many interesting, and potentially offensive conversations began.

 

“I swear if I hear her talk about feakin’ Manga one more time I’m going to lose it.” Marion

whines, “I just cannot even stand to be around all these people.”

 

“Yeah, seriously.” Kristin replies, “And also, being around these little kids is driving me crazy. I’ve never really wanted to kids, but this just makes me sure that I don’t want them.”

 

“Hey can someone zip me up?” Sydney hollers from across the room.

 

“Sure thing.” says Marion as she strides towards her.

 

The intercom system that runs from the stage to the green room and dressing rooms crackles on. The fuzzy sounds of the actors talking on stage echoes through the speaker. “Ration books if you please.” demands Annette, who portrays Mrs. McCready, in a strained British accent.

 

“Oh gosh, we’re up soon.” gasps Sydney as she looks towards Kristin. The two turn quickly on their heels and scurry out the door.

 

Back in the wings Emily, who plays the White Witch, prepares to make her grand entrance on stage on a impressive black sleigh, covered in hot glue drippings that mimic icicles. Hidden in a secret compartment on the sleigh are a tray of Turkish Delight and a goblet filled with dry ice, which will look quite cool from the perspective of the audience.

 

It is nearly time to go out on stage, but a crucial piece is missing; Trey, the actor who plays the role of the Witch’s dwarf, Grumpskin. The panic is evident in Emily’s voice as she tries desperately to get the attention of one of the crew members.

 

“Kelly! Gabby!” she whispers as loudly as possibly, “Go find Trey. He’s not here and we’re about to go on!”

 

“He does this every time,” moans Kelly in frustration, “I swear if he does this one more time I’m going to beat his ass.”

 

Meanwhile Gabby had run backstage, and was returning with Trey, a Narnian dwarf with a long beard, speckled grey like salt and pepper, dressed in leather pants and boots, with a blue shirt belted with a thick piece of leather strung with mink pelts. He hurriedly waddles along towards the sleigh, while tugging at his pants trying to keep them from falling down.

 

“Trey, you cannot keep doing that.” Emily scolds, “You need to be here in time. You’re stressing me out.”

 

“I’m sorry. I will.” he replies solemnly

 

“It’s all good dude, just pay attention,” she says, then the tone in her voice heightens “Get ready, we need to be out on stage.”

 

Onstage there is a strange sense of adrenaline. The monotony of lines rehearsed and repeated for weeks is suddenly sparked by the responsiveness of the audience. The sweat, tears and exhaustion that led up to this point are now purposeful as they helped to achieve something far greater. Feeding off the energy of the audience the actor’s passion for their craft is reignited.

 

“Crack!” The sound impact between hand and cheek as the White Witch brings a slap across Edmund’s face. An audible gasp echoes through the audience mingled with several shrieks of surprise and murmurings of awe. Hearing the crowd react so noticeably to a cleverly crafted optical illusion nearly brings a smile of satisfaction to Emily’s face. However, she quickly regains her composure, tightening her facial muscles and tensing her jaw; snapping back into character, hopefully before anyone will notice her slip-up.

 

Mistakes are being hidden both onstage and off. In the girls dressing room the topics of conversation are the altercations of last night’s “unofficial cast party.” Two particular stories are circulating throughout the entire cast.

 

“Marion did you hear about Evan?” giggles Sydney.

 

“No. What happened?” she asks curiously.

 

“Well, let’s just say he was caught tongue in cheek with the French TA Marie, you know the one with the long, copper colored hair, who works with the costumes?”

 

“Oh my gosh, really? That’s so gross.”

 

“I guess you could say she was teaching him how to French kiss,” snickers Kristin.

 

“Ew!” They all squeal.

 

The door hinges creak as the heavy solid wood door is slowly opened, and then out from behind it peeks Kelly’s head, covered in richly colored red and strawberry blond. She steps into the room quietly pressing the door shut behind her.

 

“Are you guys talking about the party last night?”

 

“Yeah, we were,” chuckles Sydney, “Why, what’s up?”

 

“Is anyone in there?” Asks Kelly, motioning towards the bathroom. Sydney walks over and peers inside.

 

“Nope, no one in here just us.”

 

“Okay, I’ve gotta tell you guys this then. So you know how Matt and Kendall were out of it.”

 

“Yeah, but Matt is always wasted, and high.” Marion chimes in.

 

“Well that’s not all they were. Matt took ecstasy too, and Kendall did coke.”

 

“Oh my god, are you serious?” Shouts Kristin, “That’s freakin’ stupid. Why the hell would they do that?”

 

“I have no idea. Just don’t say anything to anyone else.” And with that Kelly turns on her heels and strides back out through the door.

 

“Gosh, I can’t believe that they would do something so dumb. I mean maybe Matt, but Kendall doing coke…that’s crazy.” Sydney sighs. The other girls murmur in agreement. The intercom system crackles to life again carrying the sounds from downstairs through the room. “We’ve got to be down there for the next scene.” The clicking of high heels taps across the cement floor as the three girls shuffle down the hallway.

Interview Story #2

“7% of people look forwards to going to work, and I count myself lucky to be among them.”

These are the words of Dr. Tom Jones, who is currently the Associate Dean of the Honors Program, as well as a Biology professor, at Gardner-Webb University.

Jones started at GWU in 1980 working as a part time instructor for a General Biology lab. Since then “I’ve been a member of most of the committees in the faculty handbook,” recounted Jones, who was also VIce Chair of Faculty and Chair of the Dept. of Natural Sciences. He has also been the Director of the Honors Program for almost 20 years.

The Honors Students Association started in 1988 at GWU. The first class to graduate honors students was in 1992, and there were a total of five students.” Around this time I began to be asked to take on the roll of Honors Director,” said Jones, who, at the time, was tremendously busy, and he refused the job for several years. In 1996, however, he consented to join up.

In the beginning it was about finding a balance. According to Jones, “the previous directors of the honors program had leaned towards one of two possible extremes: social and academic.” The challenge was to try and create a proper ratio between those two in the program. Another struggle was budget, originally $2,000.00, it grew to $6,000.00 and stayed there for many years.

Many positive changes and additions have been made over the last eighteen year, such as: Honors classes, honors conferences, a bound thesis (graduation requirement), a faculty committee (responsible for reading theses), spring break trips, HSA t-shirts and Try Something Different (TSD) dinners. Jones stated, “Travel and food make a successful honors program.”

Jones expressed thanks to the faculty and staff, who “have been supportive, more dedicated and more involved,” throughout the years. Most of the faculty have been educated about the Honors program through the students, who have taken a sense of ownership. For the last five years or so, members of administration began attending conferences as well, which has proved to be a worthwhile experience.

Over the of 34 years that Jones has spent at GWU he has experienced some trials. He defined three of the hardest moments at the University he’s experienced  as: The Era of Great Unpleasantness; when the University president was let go, as well as a car accident in 1983, in which three faculty members were killed. The last tragedy, said Jones, “was when students would show up at my door telling me they’d just lost a family member.”

But there have also been many moments of triumph. Jones is really passionate about Honors and the students in it. “I love watching what Honors students can do,” he said, “I like to push people’s buttons and force them into new experiences, and then watch as they grow because of it.”

One of the difficulties to be overcome is finding a way to let new students know about Honors, remarked Jones, “we have people wanting to join…later.” We want incoming students to understand what Honors really is, versus their preconceived ideas. Another issue is the lack of students ages 21+ who can drive a van; this can make travel for trips more difficult to accommodate.

In reference to difficulties and highlights of his time here, Jones stated, “graduation is both in one.” He shared a letter he wrote to former students of his on their graduation several years ago, which he concluded by saying, “I count myself among the luckiest individuals on the planet…To me you’ll always be much more than students-you’ll be friends.”

The unique, and genuine relationships fostered between professors and honors students is one facet that sets the honors program apart. Other benefits, as concluded by a survey conducted by Honors members, include: extra activities and excursions, honors classes, honors conferences, early registration and most importantly, according to survey results, the people.

I like what I see.

Everyone knows that your sight is an incredibly important sense. It not only determines what you can see, but also effects how you perceive them. In the business of real estate, it is crucial for customers to see, and perceive the properties well. Another important is the list of contacts within your network. These connections determine how much your business will grow. This use for Instagram is acknowledged by those on the blog, Canyon Title; and it is just another one of the many beneficial outlets that flow out of Instagram. It allows real estate agents to make connections while promoting their business, all in one convenient and creative process.

On a different note; tonight will conclude my time as a blogger, at least for now. I have enjoyed all that I have learned from this experience. My hope is that you enjoyed following along and being part of the adventure. 

 

The People Behind the Panties.

Tonight is the acclaimed Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Regardless of what your opinion might be in relation to this event, there is no denying that it draws much attention from both men and women. Beautiful women model extravagant, and often over-the-top lingerie on the runway. In honor of the Angels, who will represent the Victoria Secret line, Style Bistro has written a feature on some of their favorite fashion models. While some enjoy the flashy attire they will don tonight, if you would like to see them in their day to day life: Style Bistro has provided the models Instagram info, so you can follow them for yourself.

Bustin’ Out the Can: Spam.

It’s an un-avoidable issue. Wherever you are on the internet, whatever you’re doing…spam will always find its way in. In the past, while Instagram has dealt with spam, it has never been overwhelming. However, recently the amount of spam on Instagram has spiked dramatically. According to the site, All Instagram, this recent increase is a result of the jump to over 100 million users on Instagram.The hope is that the tech team at Instagram will be able to quickly remedy this issue and reduce the surplus of spam.

Fancy Photo Filter Face-Off.

Twitter is learning that if you can’t beat ’em, then you’re better of joining ’em…at least in a sense. With all the excitement as a result of Instagram, in which Facebook has also found success, Twitter is slowly sinking on the totem pole of popularity. When people tweet, they can also attach an image. However, these images hardly compare the fancy photos that are based from Instagram, that are the foundation for the appeal that the app holds. But Twitter refuses to fade into the background, so they’ve decided to step up their game. In the coming months Twitter will make photo filters available to their users, this will bypass Instagram, and eliminate the need for it. Twitter’s V.I.T.s share their excitement over this very real possibility.

Sharing his story. Appealing to the eyes and the mind.

James Whatley writes a blog: Whatleydude. The site features many stories pertaining to science fiction, comics and other “geeky” points of interest. While these sort of topics do not particularly appeal to me and my interests, a recent post of his caught my attention. Whatley has been using Instagram for a creative outlet, for which, perhaps, it was not intended. When he posts on Instagram, Whatley writes a short story that relates to the picture displayed above. These tiny tales are fiction, often with a science fiction/futuristic feel to it. Whatley claims that his inspiration came from the writings of Philip K. Dick and Warren Ellis. Maybe this is simply a phase or possibly, it is the beginning of new-fangled trend. Only time for tell. For now let us simply enjoy the wonderful words, which Whatley writes. 

Insta-print

How many of you have ever wished for a quick and easy way to print the pictures that fill your Instagram profile? For those of you with Androids the Printicular app is already on the market! For those with iPhones/iPads, it is not yet available…but it is predicted to be released in the near future. The media blog site, Mashable, features the story, which shares details about this new app and its cooperation with Walgreens. By using the app, you can send pictures from Instagram, as well as your Gallery (Camera Roll on Apple products), straight from your phone to Walgreens. There it is printed and can be picked up promptly.

The Darkest Day of the Shopping Year: Black Friday

As the crazy day begins to wind down and shoppers return home with their purchases, I wonder what the madness looked like across the country today. Since I spent the day at home relaxing, and at the gym attempting to work off the weight gained yesterday, I have no way of knowing first-hand. However, through today’s technology, images of the shopping extravaganza are only a few clicks away. One way to view pictures from Black Friday is by logging onto your Instagram account and searching for all images with the hashtag #blackfriday. Another option is to go the PBS News Hour and check out their article from this morning about Black Friday and Instagram, it features a stream of #blackfriday photos.

Instagram is “stuffed” with Thanksgiving photos.

While families across the country are sitting down to enjoy a delicious feast, many will also feast their eyes on the glorious display of Thanksgiving delicacies that grace the news feeds of Instagram. ABC wrote a story this morning featuring the mass amounts of photos uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #thanksgiving. As of this morning the count was 100 photos per second, 6,000 photos every minute. This report was posted around 4pm this afternoon and numbers are projected to grow as the evening continues.