I Might Nap

Hey, guys, I took a break yesterday to dye my hair (It went to a really nice royal purple), but that fits for today’s topic: Sloth!

I’ve been using a website called deadlysins.com a lot for my research and they describe Sloth as “the avoidance of physical or spiritual work” and that those in hell will be punished by dancing in a pit of snakes forever. Ya know, cuz you slept in a lot.

Dante does address sloth, though it’s referenced in Purgatorio and known as “acedia”. These souls sinned by not loving God with “all one’s heart, all one’s mind, and all one’s soul”, the ultimate form of this being suicide. They were then forced to run continuously at top speed.

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Thank you Catholic.com

Now, I can get behind the no killing yourself but that’s just because self preservation is so natural. I know that you can’t be strong all the time (I’ve been there) and I plan on doing a post about the topic, but for now let’s just say please don’t kill yourself.

When it comes to the rest, I’m not so sure. The one half says that you were too lazy in your worship of God. Whatever. This God seems like he needs a lot of praise and money or he’ll get real pissed at you and send you to hot forever jail. But let’s define “God” as Satanists. God is ourself in that case in which the sin would be not worshipping yourself enough. Well, sometimes the god Lauren wants to spend a day watching her favorite shows!

That brings us to the second part of the Sin: Outright Laziness! I love this one because I’m a teacher and my lazy days are precious during the school year. The same goes for when I’m designing a show! I always work my booty off because I want my work to be done right and done quick, unless I’m charging by the hour.

Now, naturally, there is an extreme to this, too, and I again will tip my hat to “Indulgence not Compulsion”. When I take a day to lay on the couch all day, it’s because the weekend before I climbed over 100 flights of stairs after going up and down and up and down and up and down because lighting design takes place at the highest parts of the theatre. Sometimes school with overlap with theatre days and when I get home at 11, I literally lay on the ground when I enter the door.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve earned it. I’m not allowing my want to nap to get in the way of my want to be a teacher and a lighting designer. I also don’t want to compromise the image I present to the world. I like how I look and I don’t want to be so lazy that the image I’m presenting to the world changes. Well, except my hair color. That changes weekly.

So, like with all the sins, it comes down to balance. And with that thought, I am going to go nap because I got bad sleep.

Have a lazy day, my dearest devils!

HS!

LH

I Want to Introduce You to One of My Heroes

So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you would have probably (Hopefully) read my blog posts about Lighting Design and Teaching. Well, I didn’t end up where I am by accident. I got here by working hard and loving what I do. Technically my degree is in Creative Writing, so most people think I’m going to be an English Teacher or a starving writer, but I’m not really using it in either of my jobs.

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RUN DAVE!

As a Lighting Designer and a Drama Teacher, I am one of those few who can actually say that I make my money through theatre. I started my career in community college and had only briefly worked backstage in a high school production my freshman year. Well, Until I met Dave.

Dave was my Theatre and ASL Teacher in Community College and, the first week of class, pointed at me and informed me that I was the Stage Manager. I loved it! I ended up finding myself drawn towards the lighting aspect of the stage, though, and that’s now what I introduce myself as. I have thought about doing an SM job at some point soon… I digress.

Dave is so amazing, though, beyond just being one of my Teachers. He is Director, Actor, and Writer with titles such as Rescuing Awen, Guild of Immortal Women, and Angakok.

Oh and he likes to float around under water breathing canned air. I only make it sound strange because I am hugely jealous at what he gets to do and see when he is going scuba Diving. More amazing than that, Dave is a PADI instructor at Seattle Scuba who is gay friendly and will teach you in ASL if that’s how you prefer to learn.

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Damn you, Dave.

So, if you want to check out more about my wonderful, director, mentor, fellow actor, and friend, you can check out his website here.

For now, let’s dive into his actual brain in this entry of…

end of MY rope

with David Alan Morrison

1) What do you like to do with your free time?

I have a lot of varied interests. I wish i could chalk it up to being an interesting man, but the truth is more mundane…I’m restless and A.D.D. I spend a lot of time directing community theatre, line dancing and 2-step (country/western dancing). I used to do quite a bit of scuba diving, but a while ago, my apartment burned down and I lost my equipment. I still haven’t replaced it all.
2) Are there any creative projects you are working on right now?

I’ve been doing two things: 1) making edits to my middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN and 2) outlining a new book I’m working on. Unfortunately it’s going slowly, though. I keep getting hung up on how much (and what kind of) sex to put into a “romance”. (Thoughts, readers?)
3) Tell me about your books.
I would love to do that! I have four books out: a middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN, a memoire, TRAVELS WITH PENNY; OR, TRUE TRAVEL TALES OF A GAY GUY AND HIS MOM; a Magical Realism, GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN; and ANGAKOK, a gay-themed suspense thriller. RESCUING AWEN is one of my favorites – it’s about a sentient planet that is dying from pollution and ecological disaster. She gives a young Earthling super powers in an attempt to heal her. TRAVELS WITH PENNY is a popular one with women – especially mothers. It centers around coming to grips with the definition of “family” and how it effected my coming out process.
4) Give me the craziest drama you’ve experienced in your theatre career.

So many! Probably doing an original one-act in a local pub – we used the alley in back as our dressing room. Not only embarrassing, but the night it rained, it made for a very wet evening.
5) What is your interpretation of Satanists?

I’m not sure. I haven’t had enough exposure to know. I don’t believe in “hell” or “satan”, so I reject the idea that it is worshiping some kind of “evil spirit”. I also reject that it is akin to what some refer to as “Black Magic”. I think of realists; those who understand that for every YIN there is a YANG and every good deed, there is a bad. Which means Satanists can see the order in chaos; the sanity within the insanity of today’s world. Rather than throw personal power aside and let “Jesus Take The Wheel”, they choose to exercise their power of choice and forge their own way amongst the fucked up-ness we see around us. Am I right? What do I win? (Five Starts for Dave: 𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐)
6) Do you have a religion you subscribe to?
I follow a belief system most people call “Pagan”. It’s actually a combination of traditional Paganism and Taoism . I believe that there is a series of events that we have no control over, as life is a complex combination of the fates of all humans. That belief, mixed up a devout belief that humanity is tied to our Earth – makes for an interesting lifestyle.
7) Which celebrity (dead or alive) is your dream man?

I’m not too picky – I have quite a few of “wanna haves”: although I must admit, 1970’s Burt Reynolds was pretty hot.
8) Tell me your favorite joke.

I can’t – it’s a joke I learned in American Sign Language and has no direct English translation. Besides – jokes are so firmly rooted in culture, that while Deaf people may think it’s hysterical, Hearing people won’t get it.
9) What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen while diving?

An ancient Sea Turtle who floated just feet from me, chowing down on some underwater plants. He seemed totally unfazed by me and my fellow divers. Such grace! The creatures are amazing.
10) What in your life are you most proud of?

I am *tremendously* proud of students who I have taught who have then gone on to great success. Whether it be using their theatre education, or sign language, I fill with pride when I hear from them and they tell me how I helped kick-start their future.

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Dave is really one of the best people I’ve ever met and can either be the nicest person in the world or a total bitch, depending on if he likes you or not. Or if he’s hungry… or hasn’t had a soda for a while… LOVE YOU, DAVE!

That’s it for now, kids! I’ll see you all tomorrow, a day further down the left hand path.

HS!

LH

I’m Working a Show

It’s called Always… Patsy Cline and it’s at a really cute little venue about an hour away from where I live. It’s a very country-artistic place that has live music downstairs and puts on concerts and plays in the loft of the barn the bar calls home.

A shot of the lighting

Well, I just saw something really cool: somebody crying. This might not seem AMAZING, but it is for me because I’m the lighting designer and operator, so seeing this emotions means I’m doing my job correctly.

Basically, if my lights were bad, people wouldn’t like the show or wpuld be distracted. Plus, if I’m really bad at my job, I wpils end up making the actors look weird, which would lower the quality.

That’s all, my loves. Post on Depression coming later.

HS!

LH

I Am A Lighting Designer

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a Middle and High School Drama teacher in the Pacific Northwest, but that doesn’t really pay a lot, especially since I’m only a part-time teacher. So, on the side, I also work as a Theatrical Lighting Designer.

“What does a Theatrical Lighting Designer do, Lauren?”

I’m glad you asked.

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Me working as a Light Board Operator

Well, a Lighting Designer in a theatrical setting is responsible for, well, giving the show light in a way that is artistic, but doesn’t distract from the play; giving basic light to the show, but without making it boring or flat; trying to manage complementing all of the costumes, sets, and actors while also matching the tone of the script as well as the Director’s “vision”.

So, the first thing I do when I get a script, is read it three times. The first time, I read it to enjoy it. I just want to go through the story and read it. NEVER watch another production this early in the game because you don’t want to be influenced by another Lighting Designer’s design for a specific show.

The second time I read through a script, I read it for comprehension. I want to find out what is going on below the surface of the characters and the play itself. Something that is important is how characters relate to each other and how they feel about the environments they’re interacting with. Are they in a spooky forest with their lover? Is this character alone in their childhood home? What if that home just burned down? All of these things will inform your design.

The third time I read the script is my technical reading. I want to see where the scene changes are, where any blackouts should be. Pro Tip: Don’t use too many blackouts, because when the stage goes dark, it’s a really powerful statement. I also look at time of day, what kind of building they are in, what time of year we are set in, as well as time period. Why? Because a Denny’s in 1980’s New York City at 11:30pm is going to have different lighting that a cabin in the mid 1800’s at high noon. Dig, dog?

Well, all of this also has to match up with the Director’s “Vision”, which is their idea of how the play should look when presented opening night. This can either be very, very easy or absolute HELL to work with. It all depends on the Director. If you find a good Director, stick with them. If they like your work, or like working with you, you’ll always have a job and they’ll push to get you paid more if they can.

Why does this matter if YOU’RE the designer of the lights? Well, because you might be doing the classic Our Town, but your Director envisions it taking place in a world where humans evolved in caves. These would require two very different designs.

The nest thing you’ll do is find out what kind of lights you’re going to have, how many the theatre has, where the lights are located in the theatre, and what kind of board they have.

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Average Light Board

You need to know these things because you have to prepare to price, purchase, rent, design, focus, hang, and go into dress rehearsal. Producers and Directors will want you to go in and purchase exactly what you need so that when you get into the theatre you can use a team to move the lights where they need to be moved right away. This also includes adding gels. Gels are these very thin sheets of colored or textured plastic-y material that change the color of the light. You can also use these fun little things called gobos, which are these little metal or glass discs that are used to sculpt the light into a design that can be seen on stage.

The faster this is done, the faster you can move into writing cues. This just means you go onto the light board and tell the computer which lights it should turn on; how quickly they should rise and fall; how bright they should be; and, if you have LEDs, what color the light should be. LED lights allow for amazing color variety and this allows your design freedom that traditional lights don’t provide. Sometimes, like in the show I am currently working, you’ll have multiple light boards with no computer to write cues into.

After all of this, you’re ready for the cue to cue. This means that the actors put on their makeup and costumes and move from each scripted cue, such as entrances and exits, and technical cues, such as light, sound, and set cues. This is just a good way to make sure there aren’t any design issues in the show. It’s a good way to see how the light works with the final colors on stage; see any shadows or bright spots; and make sure your design fits with the Director’s vision.

If all of this goes smoothly, you give the cues you’ve written to your Stage Manager (Aka God of the Theatre) and then hang out until the end of Hell Week to make sure the Stage Manager is calling your cues correctly and they’re coming up at the right times. You’ll also be asked to train or manage the Spot Light Operators, telling them where you want them to focus their beams and, if you have multiple SPOs, who should take which character during scenes where they both need to have their lamps on.

Once the show opens, you’re done and can take a long break… sometimes. Other times, especially in small theatres, you’ll be asked to run the light board, too. This will be the case more often than not early on in a career. You won’t often get paid more, if you’re getting paid at all, but you’ll get a good reputation and that is far more valuable in the theatre world.

Well, there it is! I hope you have a wonderful day, Thespians!

HS!

LH