Acting Workout: When can I “do” something?

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Today I had my first acting class downtown with Dolores Drake. I am in her class called “The Professional Acting Workout”. I got to be downtown at night which I love, but not the late kind of night (though I got to do that too) but the sunset time of night. The twilight. When the orange (the pretty kind, not like the CMYK kind) kissed the pavilions and the streetlights and the building’s edges.

I learned so much and I really had a positive experience! So many questions and answers.

 I was wondering about how to know when you “can do” something. For example, an accent. Or a special skill. Like playing guitar. When am I competent enough and proficient enough and confident enough to put something on my resume. I suppose I could think of acting as similar to other types of jobs this way. If I don’t want to be hired for 3D Modeling, then I won’t put it on my resumé. If I don’t feel comfortable playing clarinet for a casting director, I probably shouldn’t advertise that either. My teacher brought up some good point too about getting feedback and confidence. Do [insert skill here] for people and if your peers, friends, classmates, teachers, etc. compliment you on your work, then it is something you should promote. Do you believe yourself and feel confident?

COMEDIC SIDE NOTE:

That reminds me… during the winter break this year I went on the trip to Whistler with some friends and for some reason (I can’t recall if this was before or after the alcohol but neither would surprise me) I spent a large portion of the evening pretending to be Australian (because SO MANY people we met up there were from down under). I went to a cafe with an accent (where the owners were legit Australian), I bought lift passes, I went to a bar… I drank more alcohol. LOL.

I got to read three parts today in class:

  1. A short bit from Brent Butt’s CBC show “Hiccups”
  2. A scene from a TV movie where I worked at an eyeglass store.
  3. I am now working on the role of “Lynda” from Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley

I really enjoyed the class for a few reasons. Everyone is very talented. People are working. One of the guys from the last class I attended was in a commercial I saw on TV  recently! Cool! (I still get a bit starstruck : P).

Also, I really like working with Film and Television material. I was reflecting on my time so far in the SFU Theatre Program and I noticed that often with self-directed scenes from plays I couldn’t “figure it out”. What does this line mean? How do we make the scene interesting? I needed a director or outside eye to help me put things together. Perhaps it is because of all the short film work I have done from a Director and DOP standpoint, but I really “got” the scene today. There were a couple times when the rest of the class was confused but I “got” it. That felt good, to be in on the joke. To understand.

I started to see myself in roles while rehearsing in class today. This has been a struggle with me in my ongoing journey wondering if/how I should pursue acting. I am a character. I fit into role. THAT COULD BE ME.

Overall, beautiful, wonderful day. Job well done. Mission accomplished. YES.

Today…

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Today I…

  • Posted stuff on craigslist
  • Thought about Russell Brand
  • Did Laundry
  • Ate Banana Maca Smoothie
  • Went to school
  • Had Class with Dancers and Theatre Students at SFU where I
    • Did improvisation
    • Made improvisation overly sexualized because I figured Russell Brand would approve
    • Decided that pleasure is in fact merely the absence of pain
    • Realized that everyone looks like a star in the right lighting
    • Affirmed my recent commitment to become famous
  • Wondered if my nectarine had some sort of mould
  • Took photo of aforementioned potential mould
  • Pondered keeping it to perform experiments on
  • Decided I should write about my thoughts and musings for the day to entertain other and practice my comedy.

Cheers.

Alternative Education

Education

There are some really innovative program offered at my university, many of which I have/will take part in. My initial major, Interactive Arts + Technology, involves a trip to Seattle for one course and most course use group projects and hand on applications instead of exams and mid-terms. I just auditioned for the acting program (aka: BFA Major in Theatre Performance) which is also highly immersive. I love that when I go to an acting class I learn so much about life and humanity just by observing other people and reflecting on my own experience. Yay!

Outside of these “special” programs there are also some courses which are quite innovative. Next semester I am taking SFU’s Semester in DialogueAccording to their site…

The Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue addresses what we believe is the principal challenge for contemporary education: to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility, encourage their passion to improve Canadian society, and develop innovative intellectual tools for effective problem solving. Each semester we develop an original and intensive learning experience that uses dialogue to focus student education on public issues.

Our topic is Sustainable Food Systems and after my studies in permaculture I am quite excited to explore this topic. We have already planned a camping trip for our first week to visit a farm on Vancouver Island! Cool!

SFU also has some really cool geography courses that go on trips for learning, in addition to field studies (such as ItaliaDesign) and exchange opportunities. And I have a couple friends that did an experiential learning course called The Change Lab. I am so lucky to attend a school with so many opportunities!

Thinking back on it, I have had a number of alternative education experiences in my lifetime. In elementary school I was identified as “gifted” and received special support throughout my education as a result. In grade three I got to be part of the “challenge” program which basically meant I got to skip class once a week and the principal would drive me to another school where I got to learn about a special topic with other kids in the program. My topic was circus! In grade 6 I did some special testing and was accepted into Surrey’s first ever MAC class where I stayed for a few months before returning to my “home” school. It was really cool to connect with other kids who learned the same way I did. I am still friends with some of them today! Then in high school I considered joining Inter-A (a largely self-paced learning environment with independent research opportunities) when I entered high school, but I had already established friends and volunteer commitments at my home school so I chose to stay where I was. At my home school we had a gifted coordinator and about once a semester we would meet with her, and the other gifted students in our year to discuss our “issues”. I really valued the opportunity to meet with other kids who were “like me” and I always thought we had a special bond. We all got to make Independent Education Plans (IEPs) and the coordinator tried to put us in classes with other gifted kids, and tried to support us in doing special projects and other initiatives. I got to skip one year of high school social studies through this method. I was also a year ahead in Math. Online courses were another opportunity I took advantage of. I took English 11 online and some other courses later on (Math 12 and Chem 12 to upgrade my marks) through Surrey Connect. I also recall a district Gifted Education Coordinator (staff person). She supported me in joining a gifted environmental conference planning committee. I got trained to be an SFU Philosopher’s Cafe facilitator as a grade 10 student which was pretty cool. I am realizing that I always felt really connected to other “gifted” students and educators. I think it was my idea that we were somehow the same and had something in common if only through or labelling.

Moving forward

In my own city we have the discovery school

Discovery School is a unique program of choice within the Surrey School District. The school draws students from around Surrey and other parts of the Lower Mainland.  Approximately sixty percent of the students come to Discovery from outside the Whalley area.  This is a public school, and there are no tuition fees.

Classrooms are free of clutter.  There are no desks, tables or chairs.   Toys, books, manipulatives and other equipment are stored on shelves lining the rooms.   This uncluttered environment allows for maximum flexibility in arranging small groups for a variety of activities and, most importantly, allows the whole group to sit in a circle, which encourages inclusiveness. Students’ artwork, and other art related to the themes being studied, is treated with respect; mounted and hung on the walls of the classrooms and in the front hall.  Otherwise, walls are generally clear and free from distractions. Even the playground reflects the ideas of cooperation, imagination and tradition. Along with the common adventure playground, Discovery has ‘logs and rocks’, string games, hand games and other areas where children learn to play timeless games with their peers.

I have also heard of Windsor House School, a democratic school in BC! Cool! I am sure I will continue to discover alternative education mediums. Vancouver has a whole brochure of them!

These Kids Wear Crowns: A Personal Invitation to SFU LipDub

Dear These Kids Wear Crowns,

My name is Jenni Rempel and I am an Assistant Director on the SFU LipDub project. I am personally writing this letter to you to invite you to participate in the SFU LipDub – tomorrow, March 14th in the evening.

I know this is fairly short notice, however I until a few hours ago I was under the impression that you were still in Australia on tour. Given that you are just a hop, skip (or a jump?) away from Burnaby Mountain I think it would be super cool if you would come out and support our event. I have been involved in this project for two years now and it would really be a dream come true to see it come to life in the most amazing way possible.

I understand that SFU LipDub has legally acquired the rights to use the song “Jumpstart” by These Kids Wear Crowns in our LipDub Music Video. One of our producers has just informed me that previous requests for you to attend the SFU LipDub were denied because you thought it was unfair to other groups that have used your songs in their videos.

I think you should attend the SFU LipDub for a few reasons. Unlike other projects, I have been working on the SFU LipDub for two years. This substantial time commitment speaks to the amount of effort and the large scale of this project, run entirely by unpaid volunteers. Also, the whole thing is a fundraiser for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and it would be really amazing if we could raise the profile of this event benefitting the community. Furthermore, unlike many other groups who make online videos, SFU LipDub has actually gone through all the ropes to legally acquire the rights to the song instead of stealing it or using it without permission.

Apart from the huge benefits to SFU Students and the Food Bank, you may be wondering how this will benefit you personally. The SFU LipDub is great opportunity for you to get exposure to a huge audience. There will be hundreds of students, well connected university students, with hundreds of friends who would be ready and willing to promote These Kids Wear Crowns. These students could “like” the band’s Facebook page, follow the band on twitter, request them on the radio, buy their songs and more! As if that isn’t enough, I volunteer to personally call all the radio stations in BC to request they play These Kids Wear Crowns! I will bake you cupcakes! You can even be invited to our after party!

Anywho, if you happen to receive this request it would be wonderful if you could contact myself or any other member of the lipdub team. My personal cell phone number is 604.230.4936 and my e-mail is jenni.rempel@gmail.com. You can also contact our Associate Producer Manjot Badesha by phone at 778.859.6074 or by e-mail at manjot@sfulipdub.com

Thank you very much, Alex, Alan, Matt, Joe, Josh and “Gypsy”.

 

With Hopeful Optimism,

Jenni Rempel

Assistant Director

SFU LipDub

604.230.4936

jennir@sfu.ca

 

Today I…

Photo by Andrei of Wintercoast

Photo by Andrei of Wintercoast

  • Made fresh squeezed orange juice!
  • Made a Kale Salad!
  • Had a clearing conversation!
  • Bumped into a friend at the Bus Stop!
  • Went to the top of a mountain!
  • Gave a gift!
  • Printed posters!
  • Attended a student dialogue about experiential learning!
  • Went to a meeting!
  • Supported a student initiative!
  • Planned a trip to Victoria! YAY SO EXCITED!
  • Applied for and was granted funding for an event!
  • Had a life realization!
  • Fell asleep on a bus – literally! haha!
  • Saw Captain Charles Moore – credited with discovering the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!
  • Learned about the ocean!
  • Thought about how I can help the ocean!
  • Bought bananas!
  • Danced ballet!
  • Sweat!
  • Put up posters at SFU Vancouver and SFU Surrey!
  • Was featured in a newspaper!
  • Helped someone plan a Valentines Surprise for their partner!
  • Bought vegan food!
  • Made a vegan cucumber sandwich!
  • Finished a proposal!
  • Was inspired by people online!
  • Wrote this list!

BAM! 3 Campuses. 1 Day. 1 class. ROCKSTAR! The state of mind, not the energy drink! Life is amazing : )

Night! Dream pretty : )

What’s New in Jenni-Land

It’s been a while! I am so excited and inspired at this present moment! I want to write and share and dance and sing and jump and love and pet a cat!

So now I bring you… UPDATE ON WHAT I AM DOING!

My New Falling Whistle Came Today

My New Falling Whistle Came Today!

I have adapted and expanded my online presence. I currently maintain my Facebook Page, Twitter account, Rainbow Blog, Tumblr, THIS BLOG, Professional Website and I AM AN OFFICIAL SUPERFORESTER NOW (love it when my dreams come true).

At school this semester I am taking Acting II, Dance (we are doing Contemporary/Modern Ballet) and “Writing for Design, Media and Informatics” which I need to graduate. What an amazing semester! I am at all three campuses and downtown at the new Woodwards campus 4 days per week! Love it! I am close to Gorilla Foods too hehe

I am still running The LOVE Club (Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation) at SFU and am an active member of the SFU Improv Club. My big projects at the moment include the LEAD Project I am mentoring and some stuff for the Student Society. And I’m working with the MOB to raise funds to build a school in Berna this year. Oh! And the media collective I am starting with some awesome people! Good things to come : )

I am still contemplating my next year… the semester in dialogue? an internship? citystudio? Graduate on time? So many options! I love living in possibility.

Oh and as usual I have been spending a great deal of time pondering how I can… bring more love into the world, reduce the trash I produce, eat more raw organic food and sillyness! Yay sillyness : P

But enough about me… (Or in the words of the theatrical adaptation I saw of “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoevsky recently… “I’ve talked way too much but it’s because I liked you all immediately”)

What are you up to? What is inspiring you today?

Yay! Love!

Jenni

IAT 443: Laban Notation Notes

Dance (1)

Laban Notation:

Pressing: Direct, Sustained, Strong

Flicking: Flexible Sudden, Light,

Wringing: Flexible Sustained, Strong

Dabbing: Direct, Sudden, Light

Slashing: Flexible, Sudden, Strong

Gliding: Direct Sustained, Light

thrusting: direct, sudden, strong

floating: flexible, sustained, light

(posx2 – posx1)2 – (posy2 – posx1)2 = motion2

Cheap Massage!

This Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage’s Student Clinic. Right near Waterfront Sky train! It was only $31 for an hour of massage which I thought was well worth it. I had never had a professional massage before, but years of doing theatre gets you a nice rub here and there. At the end I went into a dream like half-sleep and got lost in my subconscious for a while, which I enjoyed very much. At the end I had to fill out a survey about my experience. It was kind of funny to think of “healing hands” and the different definitions they had on the survey, but I really do think that some people have a special gift for giving care to others. Some people are just good touchers haha!

NOTE OF CAUTION: It was hard to find the elevator in the building and the stairs were locked, but once I located it things were peachy. It was in the middle of the building, around the bend.

Lessons from this semester

Lessons from this semester: (or at least I hope they are lessons and I don’t repeat the same things over again)

  1. Getting what you ask for and getting what you want are not the same thing.
  2. To figure out what you like, you need to experience what you don’t like.
  3. Some things in life are scary. They are often the most rewarding things. Don’t be a pussy.
  4. Failing = Learning (and if life is about learning, then failure is success)
  5. There is a time and a place for everything.
  6. Follow your heart and you intuition. If something feels like a bad idea, it probably is… don’t be stupid (but if you fail see #4).
  7. Don’t walk in the mud with nice shoes. Metaphorically and literally.
  8. DIPLOMACY is an amazing skill to have. (Must. Work. On. This.)
  9. 720p and 1080p are NOT the same quality. (see #2).
  10. Positivity and gratitude are always the answer.
  11. When other people disappoint you, it is an opportunity for you to not disappoint others. (see #2).
  12. Criticism is awesome, it helps you learn. (however see #5).
  13. When challenges come up: recognize them (do not dismiss or ignore them), accept them, find the opportunity they present, and practice gratitude.

That is all. For now.

Oh! and don’t forget to dance! : )