A Very Ecstatic Semester (Timeline College Series #12)

Third-year college, second semester… Begin!

There were some interesting activities this semester, and I’m sure some of it is memorable. But we’re also doing a re-run of the stage play “Schiz Green” for the Theater Night (along with the senior class’ “Little Women”), and I don’t feel like reprising my role as a lion in the said re-run. But I did it anyway. We just memorized our lines and actions, and we’re off.

We had another tour, this time at another TV station and a newspaper company. Not only we get to tour the entire TV station, but we were also part of the studio audience for a morning show. It was fun. We then headed to a newspaper company and witness the process of newspaper publishing. The tour ends with a visit to the government weather agency for a short educational film about weather and the effects of drought and too much rainfall.

A few days later, we watched another stage play. It’s amazing how I manage to wear the same outfit I had on the school tour’s, the only difference is the dark blue shirt. Oh well… I did get to spend some time with myself and spend the entire afternoon at these two malls in the north.

Around this time, I was frequenting every book stores near my place, and I did buy a lot of books (mostly YA hardcovers). I’m so glad that I had bought some interesting titles, including Ned Vizzini’s “Be More Chill” (I haven’t read the book until now, but eventually). Well, that’s where the money goes… it was kind of impulsive.

This semester also includes helping out to the community, but it’s not NSTP. It is Public Relations and Community Integration, and it focuses on reaching out to the community through spreading awareness on issues concerning the general public and participating in community activities for the purpose of rehabilitation and research. We’re also dealing with Anglo-American Literature, Film and Literature (comparing the film and literary versions of a written work), Feature Writing (writing articles in a creative manner), TV and Radio Announcing, Office Procedures (more of preparation for the On The Job Training) and News Writing. And yes, there’s also Mythology, which is an academic program exclusive course.

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So it appears that the MP3 player I bought months ago had battery problems. I kind of noticed that. Oh well, nothing lasts forever… thanks for the MP3-filled memories. I’m planning to buy another one soon…

Some of my classmates from Junior High School are having a reunion. Of course, I haven’t had a reunion featuring my classmates in years (except maybe for the BFF group), and they keep asking me to come. I decided to give in, despite the fact that I’m not feeling well that day (I had a persistent cough caused by phlegm, and I also had a sore throat which affects my voice temporarily). Everything went well, and this is the first time I ever see them after the high school graduation so I’m more than glad. Still, I feel a bit awkward… (blame it on my shyness).

Spending time in the province during the holiday season, and discovering a lot of great things (music, books, anime… anything) is what makes me happy during these times. And to think I’ll be able to live with it for the next few months, life is really that great. What happens next after that? Details on the next TCS post.

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Act, Dance, Watch, Perform: The Class Activities And More (Timeline College Series #11)

All right, let’s continue.

A lot of activities soon follow (the ones I mentioned in the previous Timeline College post), and all of these keep us busy for the rest of the semester. That includes a few class activities, a stage play, and some presentations.

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Let’s begin with the annual team building, which is my third [and second to the last] for the entire 4-year course. Since most of us third-years are this year’s officers for our organization (Group Of English Majors) and some of us become volunteers for the team building, the rest of us (me included) are the ones participating in the games and challenges. Everything went well, and I was (kind of) active throughout the event. It was fun.

We’re still rehearsing our lines for a class presentation, which is an adaptation of a chosen classic African literature. And while we’re at it, we decided to make and design our props to be used in the presentation. We did get to perform in front of the class after about three weeks, two weeks after the first group’s presentation. After that, we also have an interpretative dance (Humanities class) in which I need to lip sync and cross dress as the girl’s reflection. Oh well, that sure was a challenging role but I was able to pull up such a performance.

I remember that Slurpee moment before and after watching a stage play, this time at a mall in Monumento. While on the road, I saw an upcoming mall being built. I believe that mall opened a few months after… but anyway, the stage play comes first. Since two of my classmates are in the stage play, we need to support them. That was a good performance, which is all about Filipino music, I believe.

A couple of activities followed soon after. There was a project wherein we need to capture the face of reality using a camera and adding some caption to it. We did have a lot of snapshots, but one of them made a slight news–it was a photo featuring a headless student, caught on cam. Though my classmate did send the picture to a TV station (and was briefly featured in a teaser), there were some doubts about the pic as it was assumed to be edited.

For our Humanities class (again), we’re focusing on making food art using fruits. All right, that was an easy task. And finally, for the Creative Writing class, we’re focusing on an interpretative storytelling, complete with music. That ends the set of activities for this semester.

Of course, for my 20th birthday, I bought myself a book as a gift–a memoir by a child poet, Mattie Stepanek. Well, for the celebration, I only gave chocolate bars to my closest classmates, at a much later time. I was thinking, I might have upset the others. If only I bought enough chocolate bars for everyone in my class, then everybody will be happy. That was my mistake…

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So a lot of things happened this semester. Expect a lot of fun moments in these last three semesters of my college life. And guess what, things are getting even more interesting as I moved on to the next semester.

The Stage Play And The Start Of Another Summer (Timeline College Series #9)

March 19, 2010. It’s our moment on stage.

A few preparations were done prior to the actual day of the stage play. There was a dress rehearsal, the stage setup, and a few more reminders (which is more of an orientation). Since we’re all set, we’re confident that we’ll be able to deliver a spectacular performance.

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The 2-show stage play is held at the UP Aldaba Hall. And yes, it’s only a few hours before the start of the first of two shows, and I’m going to face the audience! I have to do my best. After all, it is our moment in stage!

On the way, some of the cast were already putting makeup and all that, and in my case, my face was painted orange and black (using poster paint, I think). Upon reaching the venue, there were last minute preparations.

So here I was, waiting at the backstage. I was kind of anticipating that their eyes are on me, so I need to make sure that I deliver my lines carefully and clearly. Good thing I was able to do it just right. Being on the stage facing the audience can be a little frightening, especially if you’re not used to performing in front of others.

After two successful shows, we received a lot of praises from the audiences, and there were lots of picture taking with us casts. It was an exhausting day for us, and it feels great to be on stage, at least for a day.

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There were a few things I learned from theater arts. Performing on stage is entirely different from performing in front of a camera. In a theater/stage play, there’s no such thing as “take two” or “cut” so you need to act and deliver your lines carefully. Improvise if you have to. If ever you make a slight mistake, then act as if it is a part of the script. Every act should be larger than life. And most importantly, make sure that you connect to your audience and not just acting right in front of them.

Sometimes, I think acting on stage is more difficult than acting in front of the camera. But then, it is what I call experience. And if you can manage to act your way through a very successful production, then you might enjoy what you’re doing.

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Summer is fast approaching. With a few books I finished, I’m sure that I’m looking forward to a brighter day ahead. But then, that was the time I started worrying about failing in one of the major subjects, and it is kind of depressing too. Luckily, I passed… and hopefully, there won’t be another repeat of this worrisome episode.

So much discovery for this summer. From books to movies. From music to fashion… and a lot more. I always remember sitting in front of the computer screen and watching movies, as well as listening to a wide variety of smooth jazz recently discovered (and previously heard on radio). And yes, I finally finished my first novella after eight months… but of course, that was only available through my old blog. It was pretty hardcore too.

I’m already halfway through finishing college, and there are a lot more things to happen. Soon!

More Fun, More Activities: Part Two (Timeline College Series #8)

With only two months before the stage play, I’m sure all of us know the meaning of time management. But then, we were able to make it through this very hectic semester.

So, rehearsals have just started. It’s like challenging your mind to remember every line you’re going to say in the actual stage play. Almost all of us artists are busy with memorizing our lines and acts. On one side, they’re practicing this particular scene in the stage play. On the other side, a different scene. And at times, a bit farther from the rest of us, some of the actors are doing some choreography for a few dance numbers in the stage play as well. I guess it’s very hard for the director (who also happens to be one of the main characters for the stage play) and his assistant to supervise two or three scenes/acts at the same time. It’s really time management for the entire cast. Very efficient.

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In addition to the rehearsals, we also have a lot of activities as well.

Well, there’s the photo shoot, the catwalk, and the fine dining… as part of social arts class. Both the catwalk and the fine dining needs to be rehearsed, while the photo shoot needs to be planned. Our looks are also important in all aspects of refinement and fashion.

We also had a school tour in one of the major television networks (with a tour and a little seminar), and another acting workshop later in the afternoon. It didn’t turn out as interesting as expected, but it’s a school tour anyway. Hopefully, the next one would be more interesting.

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Despite the hectic schedule due to rehearsals and other activities, I somehow find time to relax and enjoy life without having to worry about tomorrow. Hence, I spend time writing stories, as well as Facebook and Farmville (where I maintained a somewhat large farm named Carlville). At times, during rehearsal breaks, I also find time to read my favorite book.

Around that time, I feel like reinventing myself… at least through my hairstyle. But what I did was putting a lot of hair styling wax and styled it like a wolf’s, and that got me some attention. I don’t do this often, only when I feel like it.

And I bought myself an orange clear book since I find myself drawing and sketching a lot. Since then, that’s where I keep my drawings, printed literary works, and some important printouts (like the lyrics to the song “One Short Day” from the musical Wicked). I still have the clear book and it’s inside my room, and still in good condition.

Well, we really have fun in between rehearsals. While we’re not doing anything, some of my fellow casts were at the school corridor posing for what would I call as “The Wild Pictorial”, a pictorial of all sorts. Since I’m the photographer, I don’t appear in any of the photos… but hey, that was a fun moment indeed!

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And now, going back to the stage play. It seems that I have a few problems regarding my costume but that was taken care of by the production staff. I initially tried to create my own costume, but I couldn’t finish it by myself. A classmate of mine asked me if I could rent a lion costume but I told him that would be expensive. Besides, I don’t know where I could rent that lion costume. It was eventually finished by some of the production staff assigned with props and costumes.

I believe that we had a couple of dress rehearsals, with the lights and sounds and all that. And with everything prepared (the tickets, the venue at the recital hall of a prestigious university, the props, and the others), we’re all set for the much awaited day… the day of the stage play.

All right! So for the next post, I’m going to highlight the stage play and what happened afterwards. Bet you wouldn’t believe how I felt after playing the role of a lion, I sure did.

More Fun, More Activities: Part One (Timeline College Series #7)

Off to second-year, second semester. I believe a lot of great things will happen.

I feel weird right by the beginning of this year’s second semester. But then, it was shrugged off by an announcement that we’ll be producing our own stage play. Yes, our very own stage play. And it’s going to be real exhausting too.

We decided on an adaptation of “Wicked”, with a different title. Prior to that, we had a hard time deciding between an original creation or an adaptation of a popular stage play/movie (we almost decided on Moulin Rouge, but was scrapped in favor of Wicked).

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What I remember exactly about the whole process is that there’s an audition where we’ll have to showcase our [somewhat hidden] talents. Since it’s a musical adaptation, we need talents who are good in acting (very important), singing (it’s a musical), and/or dancing (for some scenes). Whoever passes the audition will be a part of the cast. As for those who didn’t pass the audition, they will be a part of the production. In other words, everyone from our class (the entire English Major batch) had involvement in the stage play.

Of course, we also have a small acting workshop with an English Major alumni. How can we do a stage play if all of us have little knowledge about acting, right? Besides we have to take it very seriously since it’s not only the students and the alumni are watching, but also some of the faculty members and the parents of the actors/actresses/production staff. Besides, it’s an honor to be a part of it, even if it’s just for this semester. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to invite someone to watch the stage play.

Now, for the last part of the casting, the director will now decide who’s going to play the particular role. Well, I get to play the role of a cowardly lion and I believe that was a big challenge for me… with my voice, my script, my costume, my look, and everything. But somehow, I managed to do it.

I’m not sure, but it looks like we only practiced the theme (opening) song, as well as reviewing our script and making changes to it. For now, we’re not having acting rehearsals just yet.

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Aside from the stage play, there were lots of interesting events too.

We did watch another stage play at the same mall, and I had the entire afternoon to myself. And we already ditched our prepaid plug-it for a broadband connection the following day. And that’s how I began spending at least an hour being online a day (for almost every day). We also have our very own English Major’s Christmas Party, and it was great, considering that it was the only Christmas party in my entire college life.

Well, Christmas is just around the corner and there are the usual feast and a visit to my mom to celebrate the day. Of course, there goes the traffic, making the roads even more congested than ever. As for the New Year, I believe that was the time we made a Graham cake on our own. Despite the fact that Graham crackers quickly run out in supermarkets and stores, we somehow make do with the sugar-sprinkled one.

Somehow, reading time becomes more fun when you read it aloud (but not too loud). A perfect example is when I finished a novel by James Howe’s “Eat Your Poison Dear” within a week (roughly about two or three days). Back then, I was a slow reader and would normally finish a book within a few weeks/months, sometimes over a year.

All right, I believe I should continue this some other time. That includes the actual day, the much-awaited stage play!