Browsing articles in "Creative Discontent"

Through the wardrobe

Nov 20, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Reviews, Theatre  //  No Comments

Last week, I went to see PCPA’s production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was a decent production — technically very good, relatively strong acting overall — and while there were things that I nitpicked about it and directing choices that I would have made differently, I really did enjoy the show.

I’ve talked before about adaptations and maintaining the integrity of the work, and there are certain movies or adaptations that I won’t see because I enjoyed the original too much to risk being disappointed by an adaptation that falls short. If the story is misinterpreted or characters don’t look the way I think they should or the overarching themes are viewed differently than I’ve always seen them (not to mention the disturbing propensity for adaptations to change the endings of the original work), it can turn the experience of a beloved story into a bittersweet (perhaps more bitter than sweet) shadow of what it should be.

I realized last weekend, though, that while that may be my immediate reaction to many adaptations, it’s actually the middle ground for me. On the one side, there are adaptations where I have little or no attachment to the original. Most comic book movies, for instance. I have virtually no attachment to the generative works, and while I fully recognize that I am experiencing the work on a very limited level, I’m enjoying it on its own merits and I am happily ensconced in my ignorance of the work. Read more >>

A story with dubious source material

Nov 4, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Faith, Television  //  2 Comments

I work with a lot of really talented people.

I have classmates, colleagues, and peers (and organizations, for that matter) with impressive lists of accomplishments and accolades. I could make a very long list of people who have received awards and honors; been the first whatever-it-is in their school, field, or industry; participated in world premieres; been accepted to prestigious programs — and the list could go on.

Which has gotten me to thinking lately about humility, pride, false humility, and arrogance.

It can be a little unnerving to listen to someone spout off a list of accomplishments, or to hear someone say, point-blank, “I am the best in my field.” It can be uncomfortable to listen to someone speak of their own achievements, especially without a self-deprecating tone or a “humble,” aw-shucks overtone to the information.

And yet… Read more >>

6 weeks!

Oct 29, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, School  //  No Comments

First, go take a look at my recently-updated portfolio page. I’ve finally got a good chunk of the documentation from this summer up there — and I must be really on the ball, because Waiting for Lefty, which only closed two days ago, is already up! Read more >>

Dinner and a movie

Oct 20, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, School, Theatre, Weekly Round-up  //  No Comments

Ah, this was the kind of weekend that makes my heart sing.

I saw the West Coast premiere of Eclipsed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre on Friday night. Saturday, I saw Medea at UCLA Live — two very intense, very brilliant nights of theatre. Which, of course, meant that I needed a comedic break, so Sunday, I saw Whip It. Read more >>

Five years later

Oct 16, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Ministry, Real Life, School, The Arts  //  1 Comment

The one “real” class that I’m taking this semester is an Entrepreneurship class, which is really kind of a goal-setting and career-planning class — you know, the kind that almost every school offers in the last year or semester before graduation. In some programs, it’s a mandatory class; this one isn’t, but it’s a great class anyway.

This week’s assignment is to outline goals, starting with long-term, and then breaking it down into 5- and 10-year steps. Now, in my opinion, setting goals like this is good for two things. One is, of course, the (stated) intended purpose: to be able to look ahead at where I want to be, and then to figure out how to get there and what the steps are along the way. Break it down into manageable steps that are, in a sense, accomplishments in themselves, as well as being milestones along the way to a larger goal.

The second is having a record to look back at and see how life changes. The best thing about setting goals is being able to watch them shift and fluctuate as life changes, watching priorities and important moments change along with them. Read more >>

First of many steps

Oct 13, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Ministry, Theatre  //  No Comments

I got my start in the arts in church. I sang in the kids’ choir (which my mom directed), got my first speaking parts in musicals, and did special music on Sunday mornings, all starting from the time I was 5 years old. My first full-length script was produced there; I started directing plays when I was in high school; I did shows where I simultaneously wore the hats of director, producer, production manager, and designer; and I even got my first taste of arts administration and producing in the church. I wouldn’t have called it that at the time, but I instinctively knew that something had to make the show go. Someone needed to create the infrastructure for the work to happen, and there was no one else doing it, so I did.

I’ve gone on and done a lot of work outside of a church environment, of course, and I’ve never wanted to build my entire career within the church, but I’ve always had a very clear view of its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the arts. I know how important the arts are within the church. I know the kind of growth and support that a church can give to an arts program. I also know how incredibly frustrating it can be at times to work primarily with volunteers, or to work in an organization whose mandate is not, first and foremost, arts-centered — where the arts fit into the fabric of the rest of the community, and not the other way around.

However. Read more >>

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oct 13, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Real Life, School  //  No Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

Alas, I didn’t fly back to Calgary for the weekend this year, so I’m missing out on the turkey dinners — one yesterday with Colin’s family (which he cooked, so I’m extra-disappointed to have missed it!) and one today with my family. I suppose that’s the way it goes when I’ve only been back here for just over 2 weeks as it is; or, at least, that was the rationale behind the decision.

In any case, I hope you had some delicious turkey and a great weekend with family and friends. Read more >>

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Oct 7, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Culture  //  No Comments

Earlier this summer, I wrote about why I love producing and how I got to the place where I knew I wanted to be a producer.

One thing that I didn’t mention in that entry, however, is my surprise at realizing that I have an interest in municipal public policy as it relates to the arts. Somehow, somewhere along the way, I realized that the interplay between a city and its arts and artists is a fascinating dynamic. They have such a symbiotic relationship — most cities are defined, in some way, by their arts; and at the same time, the arts in that city are shaped by the city’s treatment of them. They impact each other in all kinds of crazy, wonderful, frustrating ways, and neither can really thrive without the other. Read more >>

And now, for a slight change of pace…

Oct 3, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

This doesn’t have much to do with most of what I typically write about, but it’s interesting, I think.

This week, Mashable posted a poll asking people what their favorite Firefox extensions are. And since everyone knows that the best thing about Firefox is its ability to be customized, I thought I’d share my list of favorite extensions: Read more >>

Gray

Sep 30, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Faith, Ministry, Real Life  //  2 Comments

Colin and I live in a strange gray area when it comes to our relationship. Really, it boils down to the fact that we’re not “normal” according to anyone’s standards. Some people wonder why we’re not married yet, after 2 1/2 years; others wonder why we’re not at least living together, after 2 1/2 years.

We’re not single. Our decisions are made together, and in all of those ways, we think like a married couple, even though we’re not yet. We’re completely financially interdependent, and have been for most of our relationship (our first major purchase together was a car at 5 months). We’ve known since 6 weeks into our relationship that we were going to get married, and our major life decisions since then have all been made jointly, including everything to do with my schooling.

And yet, we’re not married, either (in fact, we’re not even engaged, since we don’t like the idea of being engaged indefinitely, so we’re waiting for the ring until we know we can set the date). We don’t pretend to be, and we don’t try to get around it or “play house” with our lives. We believe in not having sex before marriage, and we’re waiting until we’re married to build a household and a home together. The “gray area” in which we live is a different kind of gray than the morally ambiguous gray areas of couples who are living together or sleeping together before marriage. We’re in a gray area that still falls into obedience to God’s call on our lives and his plan for marriage. We use the label “betrothed,” but that doesn’t even begin to cover the nuances within a one-word description.

There are people who have a difficult time understanding this sometimes. We’ve had many conversations trying to explain this state of being together but not married; not married but also not single; and in all of it, not being disobedient to God’s will.

I think that sometimes there’s that same sort of confusion as it relates to the arts within the church — or work done by Christians outside of a specifically “church” setting. Either the work is “Christian” or it’s not. Either the artist is proclaiming the Gospel (clearly and without ambiguity), or he’s not. People sometimes have a hard time understanding — and accepting — the fact that not all work that glorifies God is specifically about the cross or the manger. Read more >>

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