I totally dropped the ball, here~! San Jacinto College Central presented A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum last month, and I didn’t post an announcement 0_o. Oops! In my defense, I’ve been busy like crazy. I’ve got 5 3-credit classes this semester (more than 70 midterms to grade last week! With essay questions~! It was an adventure), I bought a house (actually during the rehearsal process for A Funny Thing), I was required to take a 6-week online course about teaching online courses that ate my already scant free time for breakfast, and I’m still doing shows pretty regularly for Mad Science of Houston.
And so, WOOSH! It’s March. How on Earth did that happen? I’ll try not to miss future show-notices, and I hope you’ll excuse my lapse. Aaaand I need to run and teach a class now… WOOSH! -E.G.D.
So, I spent a day rocking Finale Notepad, and I wrote the opening song for my proposed new musical. It’s an understated solo, like “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” rather than a production number like “Belle,” “The Happiest Town in Town,” or “Little Shop of Horrors,” and I sort of went for a distant echo of “I’m Just a Bill” (the song has a similar rhythm). This is the only straight-up spoof/parody song I’m planning.
The lyrics are as follows:
I’m a degree.
You can bet you’ll need me
To get ahead in modern society.
High School, you get a diploma,
And sometimes that’s enough.
But in modern times
Finding the right job can be tough.
Yeah, for most people, that means GET A DEGREE!
Or maybe two or three, if you find
That you want a job using your mind.
(Light up on students in the dorm building lounge.)
Student 1: Hey, I could write novels without a degree, and you only need an Associates if you want to be a Licensed Practical Nurse. You can be a schoolteacher with just a BA and a teaching certification.
Degree: You have a valid point, but I’m afraid that if you want to be a medical doctor, a professor, a lawyer, or even an engineer or a scientist in the higher paying jobs, you’re going to need at least two degrees, and even if you have two, you’ll have a hard time competing with the people who have three. Employers really trust me when I tell them that someone is an expert in their field.
Student 2: Yeah, but watch out! If you list a master’s degree on an application for a lot of jobs, they’ll label you “over qualified,” and that can be a real deal breaker.
Student 1: A bachelor’s degree should be enough for me. I’m an actor.
Degree: You’re probably right. There are a good number of professions for which a Bachelor’s is useful and higher degrees aren’t really necessary. Still, more than 40% of Americans over the age of 25 have degrees. Not having at least one could really put you at a job-finding disadvantage.
I’m a degree,
And I hope you can see
That the way the cards are stacked recently
I can give you the advantage
When you try to advance.
In work, life, finance,
Come on, give yourself a chance!
You can go farther if you get a degree.
So come on, go to college. You’ll see
That with me, you’re in great company.
I know the recording quality is low (my recording equipment is in storage at the moment), but I hope you enjoy it, anyway! I expect more is forthcoming ^_^ -E.G.D.
I made a cool thing! It is a cool, cool thing! I desperately want to write this musical, now. I claim this concept (seriously, I just stuck a flag in it. Nobody else can have it!) What do you think?
This seriously tickles me pink, and I am totally hitting Finale Notepad A.S.A.P. Rock on, everyone! -E.G.D.
As most of you well know, every year I send out at least one crazy, hand-made e-card to my friends and family. When there’s only one, it’s always at Christmas. This year, I chewed on a number of different card topics (I actually performed in a Chanukah show for Mad Science this year that included some quite spectacular explosions, which would have made a fun card topic, and I have a TON of interesting stuff going on in my life to fuel a card like last year’s), but what cinched this year’s card for what it is was that I had a photograph taken with three of my San Jacinto College students after a production of Santa’s Christmas Magic while they were still on set and in costume. I hadn’t used a photo in a card since the year I was in a production of Miracle on 34th Street, and it seemed high time. Without further ado:
Tada! To explain further: one of my major struggles as a music director for Santa’s Christmas Magic was my attempt to help the cast kick their bad pronunciation habits (it’s easy for people to slip into pronunciation laziness in songs they’ve been singing since they could produce sound!), and my response to repeat offenses was to raise my fist and cry out “FIST SHAKE!” before, once again, pointing out the problem. Yes, I actually verbalized my physical action, and when my students opt to imitate me, that’s the gesture and phrase they almost always choose. As you can see, for the sake of the photo, my students were in on the fist-shake action! Anyhow, I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe holiday season. Incidentally, next up at San Jacinto College Central this theatrical season is Beauty and the Beast Jr. I’ll keep you posted!
Holiday Hugs- E.G.D.
As we plow into tech rehearsal, it seemed as good a time as any to proclaim to the world at large that Santa’s Christmas Magic opens this Thursday (12/4) at San Jacinto College Central! It feels like this semester has rocketed by, and it wasn’t that long ago that we were wrapping up Little Shop of Horrors. Anyhow, the Christmas show (for which I am serving in my usual capacity as music director) is open for two weekends, and many of the shows sell out, I’ve been told. If you happen to be in the area, I encourage you to come, and I expect you won’t be disappointed! -E.G.D.
It is officially that time of year again: that time of year when I design, render, and build six Ren Fest costumes and keep my costuming skills alive! This year, in case you couldn’t tell, we went as the Merry Folk of Fulshear. The story behind this is as follows: right after last year’s Ren Fest, I asked my little nephew, “what do you want to be next year, Liam?” to which he responded, “an archer!” to which I responded, “an elf archer?” to which he responded, “no, just an archer,” to which I responded, “how about a faerie archer?” to which he again responded, “no, just a normal archer. Just an archer, Aunt Elisa.” Well, when I asked him again in August, when I had a week between summer and fall classes to work on costumes, he said exactly the same thing as last fall. I was amazed he actually remembered! At that point, Kristie (my big sister, and Liam’s mom) proposed we pick that up as a theme and go as the Merry Folk of Fulshear. Kristie is delightfully clever with wording, and I quite fancied the idea, so we went with that. While I was doing my initial sketch renderings, it became very apparent that the costumes I was planning did not fit into the medieval-England technology box (the kids had specifically asked for shiny buttons and no laces, this year), so in the end, we were a sort of Dungeons and Dragons/Robin Hood group of three archers, one crossbow-wielding scout, a quarterstaff wielding quartermaster (Little Joan?), and “Cleric Tuck.” My friend Travis (you’ve seen pictures of him from previous years, if you’ve seen my previous costume posts) was slated to be Cleric Tuck, but he couldn’t make it to the fair on the same day as the rest of us, so I don’t have pictures of that costume to include in this post. I may show you pictures of that costume at a later date, but today, I’ll give you the rundown of those of us who were there. First of all, if you look on the far left of the above picture, you will see my brother-in-law’s cousin Jonathan, who went as a Knight Templar. I did not build his costume, but Kristie and I decided he was our King Richard the Lion Hearted. He did not like the idea at all, but the idea stands in my imagination.
Next! Here’s me:
The quarter-staff is actually one of my weapons from my Tae-Kwon-Do days, and you may recognize the dagger from last year’s costume, though I re-embellished it for this costume. The boots are from a sketchers outlet, but I embellished them myself. Everything else in that costume was hand-made by me. Yes, I actually made myself pants this year from the same faux-suede with which I lined the bodice. I would like to point out the gigantic pocket-bag I had hanging off of my belt this year. That was among the best ideas I’ve ever had! It was super-handy, and I couldn’t possibly lose the thing as we wandered the fair. Finally, did you notice the hat detail? I made 4 Robin Hood style hats out of wool/polyester blend felt for our costumes this year, and that was a bit of a process! Like most of the things I design, I made up the pattern as I went along, and I’m pleased with how well those hats turned out in the end.
Next! Kristie, the leader of our merry band:
You may want to click into that image for the full-sized version. Anyhow, I love the pockets on Kristie’s vest this year, though they were surprisingly hard to make. You may recognize the pouch, riding tunic, and archer gloves from Kritter’s previous Ren Fest costumes, but they were just as hand-made-by-me as the new elements (granted, last year and the year before respectively). I thought her idea to affix the pouch to the strap of her quiver was genius! Also, she is significantly more photogenic than I am!
Next is Ryan, who made my costume-making-year by agreeing to let me build him a costume and join in on the family fun!
Bearing in mind that the sunglasses and the wristwatch are not part of the costume, Ryan is sporting the “forward scout and crossbow wielder” costume I designed and built for him this year! WOOHOO! Did you notice that he’s the only person in our Robin Hood group who is actually wearing a hood? Originally, the quiver was designed to buckle to his thigh, but he found that uncomfortable, so we moved it to his waist-belt. The waist belt is actually from Kristie’s 2012 ranger costume, but everything else is new to this year’s set, including the boot-caps. This was actually my first year making adult-sized boot caps, and I think they turned out quite well.
Here’s Liam, the origin of the archer idea:
WHAT A CUTIE! Liam’s costume this year is pretty much all-new, though you may have noticed that he used the backpack I built for his costume last year. It actually contains the kids’ cloaks, which they never had to wear this year, because it was actually quite hot the whole time we were there. Sooo… this marks the second year in a row that I don’t have pictures to show you of the outerwear I built for them. Anyhow, Liam and Oona picked their own costume buttons and chose their own costume cloth. They also both requested “castle sleeves,” which were BEASTLY difficult to manage with the fabric Oona chose for her costume (which was, incidentally the same fabric I used for the Cleric Tuck costume). Speaking of…
Oona! Our final costume for the day:
I’ve got to say, she wears it well, and she was just as super-cute as Liam. She is actually wearing the boot caps I made for Liam two years ago, because they fit her now! Funny how kids grow like that. She was getting pretty good at using that toy bow by the end of the day, thanks to the help of her cousin Jonathan, the Knight Templar.
To round off the post, here are a couple of nice family shots, though I have no idea what Ryan was looking at…
Until next year! -E.G.D.
GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I… sort of forgot I had a website there for a while. I’ve been very, very busy, but it’s been the sort of busy that should lead to posts, not stop them! San Jacinto College Central’s department of Theater and Film presents Little Shop of Horrors this very weekend! In fact, as of posting this, we’ve already had three shows >_>. Come on down and see one of the three remaining! Friday: 7:30PM (yes, that’s in 20 minutes), Saturday: 7:30PM, Sunday 2:30PM. It’s a great ol’ musical with a homicidal plant~! What’s not to love, right? Also, I’m the music director, even though it doesn’t say so in the program. Thanks, and I hope you can still make it! -E.G.D.