Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And Roll Credits

In my final week here at BSC, not only am I thinking about what the future holds for me, but I also think back upon where I've been, what I've done, and who I've met. When Michael Flowers asked me to write one more blog I knew immediately what I would write about. This is a sum it up...a history of my journey from my first day to now. The point of this post is simply this: you never know what life will bring you. Be open and go after what you want. So, in chronological order from August 2006 to May 2010, this is my contribution to BSC Theatre.

1. Urinetown: The Musical - Ensemble: My first ever college show. This was also the first opportunity I've ever had to take a show on tour. This show was entered in The KCACTF and we were passed on at the state level to the regional competition where we came so close to winning the chance to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

2. As You Like It - William: The first time I ever experienced Jan Term, or Interim, at BSC. The month of January in the theatre really shows you what it's like to work in professional theatre environment where you don't have the luxury of 6-8 weeks of rehearsal...you only get 3! It's a crazy ride, but somehow it always works.

3. Ah, Wilderness! - Richard: I never would have expected to get a leading role my freshman year of college. This was quite a rewarding experience for me becuase it is a play by my favorite playwright, Eugene O'Neill. It also goes to show that it is possible to go far in your first year at BSC, where you might not get as far in a larger university setting.

4. Taming of the Shrew - Gremio: A psychedelic, 1960's interpretation of Shakespeare's classic. This show featured one of the most colorful sets I've ever seen as well as a motorcycle and a closing dance number set to the song "I'm a Believer."

5. For Interim this year, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Italy to study at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo. A group of theatre and music students spent two weeks in Arezzo living in a 15th century gothic villa and studied with world renowned artists who taught us philosophy of art and performance, Alexander Technique, Italian, movement, and many other things. We also traveled to Rome and Florence.

6. Merrily We Roll Along - Ensemble and Props Crew Head: For this Sondheim show, we spent the semester "in class" putting the entire show together. There were about 12 students who spent three hours on Monday and Friday afternoon rehearsing, learning music, finding props, hanging lights, painting the floor. We literally did everything ourselves. It worked almost as an independent production company might put something together. This was also the first time ever that Theatre One was transformed into theatre in-the-round.

A FORK IN THE ROAD: At this point in my college career I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to be a performer. I had begun thinking about how much I enjoyed technical work, especially sound and live music. As a matter of fact, I even began thinking of how I could take my theatre knowledge and apply it to the live music industry. This was a critical turning point in my life as I was about to start making decisions that would truly affect the rest of my life.

7. West Side Story - Baby John: To celebrate the theatre's 40th Anniversary, we put on an epic version of this classic musical. Michael Flowers' interpretation of this show was a bit out of the ordinary compared to typical productions. It was a dark portrayal of gang life in the 1950's. This only added to the cultural implications and tragic ending of the show. We also had the opportunity to perform with a 25 piece orchestra...and there's only one word for that...amazing.

8. Dead Man Walking - Sound Designer: So here's where I started stretching my legs in terms of what I wanted to start doing with my life. This unique opportunity allowed me to look at this Tim Robbins play from the angle that someone might look at scoring a film. The arena style set up of the theatre created an environment perfectly conducive to allowing the aural world of the play contribute greatly to the story being told. Not to blow my own horn, but I really felt that my sound design was almost another character in the play.

9. You Can't Take It With You - Ed: This charming 1930's comedy was such a joy to work on considering the dark, heavy material of the season's previous two shows. The set for this production was easily one of the most complex and detailed of any that I have ever worked on. In this case, the set itself was as interesting as the characters on the stage.

10. In the summer before my senior year, I was fortunate enough to intern at WorkPlay. I won't go into detail about what I did becuase there is whole other post I've written that gives a detailed account of that. Basically, this was one of the best things that can happen to a student in college...an opportunity to work with real world industry professoinals. BSC is very supportive of getting their students out into the world by allowing them to create their own class to credit for the work they do. The moral of the story here is: GET AN INTERNSHIP. You won't believe what a difference it makes. It greatly contributes to your overall education.

11. Striking 12 - Stage Manager: I've been wanting to stage manage for a long time and I finally got the opportunity to do it. I like taking on a lot of responsibility and being in a leadership position. I found this to perfectly complement the direction I was wanting to go with my career.

12. Hamlet - Polonius: This post-modern interpretation of the most famous play in history was quite an experience, as we put the whole thing together in the month of January. I have to say that it was a rewarding experience because of the opportunity to perform with John McGinnis as Hamlet. His energy was infectious and he truly made this a production to remember.

13. The Woods - Director: For part of my senior project, I directed this disturbing and dark piece by David Mamet. Even though it was just a two person show, it took an enormous amount of work to put together. And we only had the month of February to do it all. Kind of crazy, I know, but it worked.

14. Hair - Claude: Not really expecting to be cast as the lead in the big Spring musical, I have to admit that I was a little worried about how my final semester was going to end. With such a massive responsibility to the production, I wondered how I was going to find the time to find a job, find an apartment, both in Los Angeles, and still have time for me. I underestimated myself, though. I was able to find an internship, finish my classes with all A's, and put on a good performance, if I do say so myself.

And there it is. It's been a wild ride, but it has led me to where I am now. Where am I now, you ask? I'm moving to Los Angeles at the end of the month of May to begin an internship with a music publishing company. Looking at all the entries listed above, you might wonder how I ended up where I am. It just goes to show, though, that you really never know what's going to come your way. The only thing you can do is work toward what you want. It may not work out exactly like you thought, or it may be a dream come true. I hope my journey can inspire some of you future college students to reach, reach, and reach for what you want. Don't settle. Don't back down.

That's all from me. Here's to the past four years. This is Matt Adams...signing out.

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