Suck the Marrow Out of Life

“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of
life” from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

If you are a fan of the Dead Poets Society, you know that Mr. Keating and his students strove to break the embrace of conformity in order to take life and get all they could out of it. We are in 2019, a new year. It is an opportunity to turn towards optimism for you and your fellow-man. I am currently taking a class called “Women in the World” and we have been discussing women’s place in the world and how women have shaped history and society. In the beginning of the semester, we had an open-class discussion about what it’s like to be a woman in the world today and it was one of the most empowering conversations I have ever had. I felt so connected to everyone in the class, even the people I don’t even know. It makes me feel so strong and confident knowing that there are other strong, smart, and determined women in my life who value being a woman and want to continue to fight for equality amongst all humand despite gender, race, sexuality, social status, etc. This class has made me realize that I have the power to forge a path for myself and future generations as a woman who wants to strive for respect and partnership between men and women.

Lately, I have been having a lot of thoughts and conversations about life after college and how it is my job to make opportunities for myself and get the most I can out of life. One of the best things I can do for myself is to make things happen for myself. If you aren’t going out to get jobs and pursue your passions, then what are you doing? Are you waiting for the phone to ring and just assume that people will randomly happen upon you? That’s not realistic. To quote Hannah Montana, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.” You are in charge of the life you lead and it is up to you to bring it to its fullest potential. You are the CEO of your life and no CEO has ever been successful without putting everything out on the line and taking a chance on what makes them happy. Whether you are in theatre, film, dance, nursing, communication, finance, etc., it is up to you to put everything out there and take a chance on yourself.

Watch Dead Poet’s Society and let the words of this wonderful film fuel your inspiration. Fill yourself with self-love and appreciation that will propel you forward. Find your passions in life and achieve greatness.

Looming Anxious Thoughts – My Senior Project

There are often times where I feel a small pang of anxiety looming over me because of thoughts of what I can’t control. For me, this is mainly the thought of everything that I have yet to do or the future that awaits me beyond college. One of the biggest things on my mind is this big senior project I have going on. It’s called Act 3 (technically it’s Integrating Experience) and for this class, the senior theatre majors must form a company put on an entire children’s show. This includes picking the show, electing people to positions, designing the show’s lights, sound, costumes, sets, and props, casting the show, and putting everything on its feet. I am the production manager for our show, which is called The Princess King. It is a charming tale about defying expectations and stereotypes regarding gender and status.

I have a big job, making sure that everythings stays organized, and it’s the first time I’ve had an opportunity to do this. To make matters worse, the faculty usually expects students to learn from their predecessors so I’ll have to rely on people who don’t even go to school any more to help me with odd questions… Or I’ll have to figure them out for my own. I am interested in production management as another career path but this role is of not the typical production manager so it is unfortunately not teaching me much in terms of what I should expect should I hope to take on more responsibilities in this type of role in a professional setting.  It scares me knowing that I’m not confident in how I should do my job and I worry I’ll let people down. All I want in the world is to help put on a show that we will all be proud of and be a leader that my class can rely on and trust throughout the entire process. I want to be confident and I think to get me there, I must make a list of everything I can expect so that I don’t get overwhelmed when things come up. Making lists is a good way for me to get my anxiety together and I hope that will help with this.

I have an incredible support system within my senior class and outside and I know that I will have help. I just need to trust myself.

Things Stage Management Has Taught Me

Being a stage manager is a really cool job. It allows me to be heavily involved in productions without having to be onstage. There’s a bit of a stigma for theatre majors because people say that we need something to fall back on since it isn’t the most stable field. But there are so many important that this job has taught me that I know I am extremely prepared for my future.

Communication

As a stage manager, I am expected to be in constant communication with my actors, assistants, designers, technicians, the director, front of house, management, administration, and run crew. It is important that I am in good communication with all of these fields because it keeps a production organized and it ensures safety. This is something that is important in any field, and stage management has really given me a crash course in this.

Organization

One of the main duties of a stage manager is to keep the entire production organized from rehearsals throughout the performances. Stage managers keep extensive amounts of paperwork detailing prop lists, prop tracking, scene shifts, entrances and exits, blocking, scene breakdowns, and so much more depending on the needs of the production. If a stage manager is disorganized, the entire production falls apart. If I’m not two steps ahead of the director during rehearsal, then we aren’t running according to schedule. Organization is key to this job, as it is for many other fields.

Patience

Patience really is a virtue that is so important to uphold for anyone, and especially for me in my role as a stage manager. Actors aren’t always the easiest people to work with. They have a lot of memorizing and research to do when getting into character and working in rehearsal and for some, this puts them on edge. I have had my fair share of unpleasant encounters with people at work but I have learned that being patient and rising above any bad encounters, it makes you a stronger person and better person to work with.

The art of multitasking

Multitasking is something that I have become a pro at, especially during college. I have learned how to tackle multiple tasks at once to save time and my sanity. This is really great because it allows me to become more organized and check more things off my to-do list at once.

It’s okay to ask for help

This is something that I struggled with for a long time. I always wanted to be wonder woman but that isn’t always possible. This last year especially has taught me that I don’t need to be a super hero all the time. I have people around me who love me and care about me and would help me if I ask. If you ask for help when you need it, it shows that you’re comfortable bringing more hands onto your project to make sure that it gets done right.

Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are important for any person with any job or life. as a stage manager, I am a leader. And as a leader, it is my responsibility to set a good example for myself and the people around me and practive being the best person I can be. Not only has practicing this been beneficial to my career, it has been beneficial to my personal life as well.

My College Exerience

I want to take some time to talk about my alma mater, and the place that has helped make me the person I am today, DeSales University. I am about to go into the second semester of my senior year and will graduate in May with my bachelors in Theatre Design/Technology with a focus in stage management.

I chose this program because it has a very inclusive curriculum and challenges the students akin to a graduate theatre program at another college/university. It was only one of a few schools of the many I researched that offered a great program for a theatre technician in addition to the a great acting program. For the DT (design/tech) major at DSU, we are given great opportunities to fulfill major positions in our small company, working alongside our professors and faculty putting on quality theatre and really getting the most out of our education. As a stage manager at school, I work on one show a semester as a stage manager and I work on costuming for the other show each semester. I have found a great passion in costuming, which is something I never believed would happen. This program has pushed me to be smarter and think faster and trust that I can do great things. I have a lot to thank this school for. I have made lasting friends, I met the love of my life, and I have made connections that will help me as I grow beyond school. Being a DT has been very challenging but it is the challenges that we all face which make us ready and eager for the “real world”.

Another positive aspect about my school is that the person who started the theatre program also started the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, which is closely affiliated with the theatre program. Working for the festival has helped me learn to be professional in a setting I am already comfortable in and I am so grateful to have this advantage for my career.

Never in my life did I think that I would be working in such a fun and exciting field with so many people who make everything worth it. That being said, things aren’t always wonderful and magical. I have had a lot of ups and downs in college. I’ve struggled with anxiety, pressure to succeed, weight gain, and the reality that a life exists beyond going to school. Lately, it’s been hard for me to accept that I will not be in school this time next year, since I’ve been going to school year after year for 18 years. The thought of graduating and the pressure I put on myself has added to a lot of the anxiety I have had at school. I am coping with it and some days are better than others, but remembering that I’m doing what I love helps me to overcome my fears. College has also taught me a lot about collaboragion with others, as theatre is a major collaborative art. Sometimes I struggle to get along with some of the students and professors at my school. You’re never going to get along with everyone you work with  and that can be hard but it’s something you’ll have to deal with no matter what job you have. It’s a good lesson to learn, especially in a learning environment.

College isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something you’re serious about, make sure you put lots of thought into what you want from your program. That’s what I did and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Stage Management

This was a defining moment in my stage management career. I’ve always felt that stage managers are the “batmen” of theatre. We wear all black, have gadgets at our disposal, and the audience never sees us unless something goes wrong. It can be a thankless job but I get to do so many cool and important things that the audience never sees. At this point in the play, characters were playing croquet and were hitting croquet balls offstage and I had to be there to catch them. My knees may have been a bit bruised from being smacked by heavy croquet balls but it was so worth it. I have never felt more content with a job than I do with stage management.

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DeSales University – Me and My Girl 2016

I have always loved Theatre and never knew that it would be such an exciting and crazy career to pursue. Stage managent has become my life and I couldn’t be happier!

 

If you don’t take a headset selfie, are you really a stage manager? Continue reading “Stage Management”

Costuming

A 1760s inspired gown built primarily by myself with a few others helping along the way.

Designer: Amy Best

First Hand: Caroline Sylvia

Actress: Mackenzie Moyer

If you had me sit down at a sewing machine 4 years ago, I would’ve had no idea where to start. Halfway through my junior year of college, I was tasked with creating this gown. It took a lot of patience and slow, stead work but I came through and I will always be proud of this piece.

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The Devil’s Disciple DeSales University 2018

 

Happy Halloween 2016!

My friends and I were talking for a while about how we wanted to cosplay as these characters and one day we threw caution into the wind and created these three costumes from scratch! My outfit includes a red cloak, bodice, orange flowing top, a plaid skirt and an apron over the skirt.

Winnie, I smell children!
Halloween 2016
MJ Bird as Winnifred Sanderson, myself as Mary Sanderson, and Alex DuBeck as Sarah Sanderson
Featured

Good Times Never Seem So Good

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Welcome to my blog!

This is a place where I want to share my take on three of the most important things in my life: theatre, body positivity, and creativity. It’s named after a lyric in “Sweet Caroline”: “Good times never seem so good” because I want to share the good times in my life with all of you.

About me: My name is Caroline and I’m a collage student at DeSales University currently earning my bachelors in Theatre Design/Technology with a focus in stage management. I love theatre, body positivity, and being creative which is what I’m here to share.