This week was very fun and productive.
We set up our two pieces for the Juried Undergrad exhibition. It was a bit of a technical mess, getting the projectors and the video files to function properly, but I suppose that's good practice for what's to come in the next couple of months. And in the end, I think we were all happy with how the videos looked in the space!
We spent the majority of this week setting up our installation for our final critique at Anya's Residency, The Hosting. At one point, a day or so before the crit, we hit our stride. Since then, we have been making things, and coming to creative solutions, with the kind of flexibility and investment that we experienced before the original Call Your Mom and THIS CLOSE. Our ability to make decisions and compromise together is something to basque in. Anya was extremely complimentary about the way we worked together in these final days. Much of her critique was about making that process relevant and present in the performance. Since the critique, we've started to implement her feedback and put the teamwork elements into the household space. The other voices at the crit were Mark Jacobson from UMS, Charlie Reischel from The Neutral Zone, STAMPS MFA Carolyn Generie, Interarts student Camille Johnson, our videographer (and videography major at Washtenaw Community College) Matt Wiliken, our sound technician/masters of composition Doug Hertz, and SMTD alumn Rebecca Rosen. Their perspectives were fresh and supportive. There wasn't a lot of pressure. Anya facilitated the conversation with grace, such that the panel was encouraged to voice their initial reactions to the work at certain points, voice questions at other points, and then finally provide constructive solutions. This gave us a few different opportunities to explain the work, how it will live on Sunset Road and again in the gallery. We realized that reactions to the content were distinctly tied into the viewer's own upbringing. We loved that. People suggested creative interactive solutions to incorporate audience emotion even more. The crit gave us a newfound motivation and a jumping off point in many areas.
On Saturday we went back to the house. We met with our lighting designer, Sage, and made the decision to purchase many new color changing, remote controlled LED lights. This will give the house an even spookier ambience. After the meeting, we spent some time talking about our ticketing system. We didn't come to any concrete conclusion yet, but we decided to use common household objects as tickets or placeholders, so we know exactly how many people are in the house at once. We also rearranged the flow of things so that audience members will enter and exit through the back room (at the beginning and end of each performance loop). This will allow us to fit more people into each performance without crowding the house in the down time.
We also spent some time memorizing and rehearsing Real Talk contortions. These were received really well at the critique, so we decided to move forward with rehearsing them. They are almost all memorized and in position. We reconstructed several of the positions as well. We will perform these with Interarts in Chicago next weekend, so we will have another opportunity to show them to people before the real show in March!
After our rehearsal, we went to the Moore building to watch Spencer Shaefer's junior recital. He plays the french horn and he will be performing in Household alongside us. He is an amazing performer. The sound of the french horn makes me so nostalgic and a little scared, so I think it's a perfect sound for our precious, haunted household.
We are also in the process of making a spring break schedule and writing the methodology before our next meeting with Allie. These two tasks seem intertwined. Maybe we can put a schedule into the written thesis. Who knows. I think those are the two big "to do's" for Monday morning. We still have many things to do, but it seems more and more manageable by the day. I'm so proud of our hard work. We are gaining a sort of momentum with every meeting. It feels so real. It's all so soon. It seems like an appropriate time to get more curious/excited about the gallery show, so I'm looking forward to our meeting with Holly and Howard.