Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Mr. TERRIFIC

Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.
Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

This is where it all began for me -

A lifelong devotion to being a pop culture nerd.


I was smitten with Stanley Beamish, the Everyman who became a really geeky superhero.


I even wrote a letter to Mattel suggesting they make an action figure of Mr. Terrific. 

I received a very polite letter explaining that a show with a run of 17 episodes didn't warrant merchandising.

I was crushed. My Ken doll had to role play.

TAKE AWAY - Amazing abs and mythic lineage are not mandatory for super heroes.

Who was your first super hero?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for SPRING AWAKENING

Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.
Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

I've oft heard LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott written in 1868, is credited as being the first YA lit. 

I have no quibble with that. 

For me, the piece of literature I encountered that deals most bluntly and honestly with the issues of adolescence is Frank Wedekind's play from 1891, SPRING AWAKENING.

The subtitle for the play is A CHILDREN'S TRAGEDY.  Wedekind's story criticizes the sexual repression of 19th century Germany. He brings to light just about every issue that causes teens to hit the proverbial wall of adolescence. 

Puberty, sexuality, rape, abuse, homosexuality, abortion, and suicide are all addressed in this powerful story. 

Ignorance is the enemy.

Cut to 2006.


Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater gave Wedekind's story new life in the rock musical version of SPRING AWAKENING. The musical takes place in dual worlds. The scenes take place in realistic period world using the language of the late 1800's with all its repressed sensibilities. 


Pictures from Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts production - 2014

The songs however; take place in rock world with modern language and a score that seeps into your marrow.


Pictures from Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts production - 2014

On Broadway SPRING AWAKENING won a long list of awards and launched the careers of Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and John Gallagher Jr.

Picture from Broadway Production - 2006

The duality of the worlds expresses the mirrored relevance of teen issues both then and now. The show has a strong following, with devotees calling themselves "The Guilty Ones," after one of the shows pivotal songs of the same name.

Lyrics to The Guilty Ones

Something started crazy
Sweet and unknown
Something you keep in a box on the street
Now it's longing for a home

And who can say what dreams are
Wake me in time to be lonely and sad
Who could say what we are
This is the season for dreaming

But now our bodies are the guilty ones
Who touch and color the hours
Night won't breathe, oh, how we
Fall in silence from the sky
Then whisper some silver reply

Pulses gone and racing
All fits and starts
Window by window you try and look into
This brave new you, that you are

And who can say what dreams are
Wake me in time to be out in the cold
And who can say what we are
This is the reason for dreaming

And now our bodies are the guilty ones
Our touch will fill every hour
Huge and dark, oh our hearts
Will murmur the blues from on high
Then whisper some silver reply

And now our bodies are the guilty ones
Our touch will color the hours
Night won't breathe, oh, how we
Fall in silence from the sky
Then whisper some silver reply

And now our bodies are the guilty ones
 

TAKE AWAY - YA issues are universal and timeless.

Have you seen SPRING AWAKENING? What piece of YA literature do you feel depicts the journey out of childhood in a way that sticks with you? 


Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

 In Act V, Scene II of Hamlet, an ambassador from England arrives to report "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead." 

These were Hamlet's two school chums who betrayed him to his stepfather/uncle in Shakespeare's play.

Tom Stoppard took those two inconsequential characters and gave them their own absurdist, existential story in 



The Hamlet timeline is going on concurrently with the journey of these two hapless philosophers with their twisted, yet truthful logic.

You may know Tom Stoppard as the author of the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE.

Here are a few tidbits from 
ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD:

"The colours red, blue, and green are real. The color yellow is a mystical experience shared by everybody."

"A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense not to himself."

"Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else."

Rosencrantz - I don't believe it anyway.
Guildenstern - What?
Rosencrantz - England.
Guildenstern - Just a conspiracy of cartographers then?

TAKE AWAY - 
Characters who show up as a blip in one story may have their own tale worth telling.

Has anyone seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on stage or the movie version?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for QUARRIES


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.



I'm a big fat cheater today. This is a repeat post from a former A to Z. When I was trying to come up with a fresh Q, my mind locked on quinoa or Queen Victoria and wouldn't budge. 

In the musical Floyd Collins, which I recently enjoyed (My F post), The Riddle Song uses quarry as one of its challenges. It reminded me of my fascination for quarries. So enjoy an oldie, but a goodie post.



I need visuals when I world build. It doesn't matter if it's a real place or one in a galaxy far far away.

My number one "go to" is the annual National Geographic week by week calendar. I have used their amazing photos as springboards not just for settings, but also details. There are some strange and wonderful flowers, plants, and animals in this world.


My second "go to" is the playground, Google Images. That's where I caught quarry fever while randomly searching odd locations. Quarries are the places where anything from salt to marble is dug from the earth. The magic comes when the digging is finished and an altered landscape is born.


As a kid I swam in quarries that had been converted to public pools. They always had an "other worldly" quality to them, and were quite beautiful.

TAKE AWAY:
Sometimes a whole new world is right under your nose.

Where is your "go to" when you are looking for visual inspiration in your writing?

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for PETER PAN


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

Favorite story of all time - PETER PAN.

My first intro was the Disney movie and I was smitten. I would wait by my window for Peter to take me to Neverland.

I have stayed faithful to Peter over the years.

I read the book very early on and was scandalized that Tinkerbell used the word "ass."






I memorized every song from the Mary Martin version of the musical.






I played "Tootles'" one of the Lost Boys, in a production of Peter Pan. Yes, I shot the Wendy bird, rocking
 a bow and arrow years before Katniss. 
(That's me on the right.)
Okay, you can stop laughing now.


Over the years, I've sought the Peter Pan story in every way, shape, and form.

This was a lovely musical bunraku puppet version (where you see the puppeteers dressed in black with hoods manipulating the puppets) with a gorgeous original score of Irish music.




If you haven't gotten into the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, you are really missing out. (Jim Dale reads the audiobooks - worth every minute.)




Going on even as we speak, there's a stage version of Peter and the Starcatchers called Peter and the Starcatcher that is a blast and a half.


I can't get enough of the boy who never grew up.

I'm still waiting by the window.

TAKE AWAY: When a story is beloved, it becomes part of your life.

Is there a story that has followed you through the years?


Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for ONCE UPON A TIME and ONCE


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

I love fairy tales and their many incarnations and adaptations. I was raised on Disney movies, but I also love the original gritty Grimm's versions.

Yes, I'm hooked on the television show 


It fascinates me to see the mash up of fairy tale characters from Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, JM Barrie, L Frank Baum etc.. I'd move to -

in a sec.



I'm totally invested in the Lunar Chronicles, CINDER, SCARLETT, and CRESS by Marissa Meyer.









My favorite fairy tale riff of late is ONCE.
First it was a wonderful movie from Ireland written and directed by John Carney.


The guy musician is the "Cinderella" character and the girl is the "Fairy Godmother."

Then it went to Broadway and won the Tony.


I had the privilege to see the original cast.


Yep, it was magic.

TAKE AWAY: There's more than one way to skin a cat, or tell a fairy tale.

Do you have a favorite fairy tale retell?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for NIGHTMARES


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

The first fellow to give me nightmares was -


the wolf from Peter and the Wolf. 
Prokofiev's music was the icing on the terror cake. I was sure Mr. Wolf lived under my bed. As a kid, I would leap off my bed into the center of my room if I had to get up at night so a wolfish paw wouldn't drag me to my doom.

When I was twelve, I read LORD OF THE RINGS and the wolf was usurped by -


the Nazgul.

Thanks, JRR Tolkien, my nightlight stayed on until I went to college.

TAKE AWAY - 
An effective villain creeps off the page smack dab into your nightmares.

Who scared the bejeepers out of you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for MARVEL UNIVERSE


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.


The Marvel Universe is my Oz.

Love these peeps...
  

 And don't forget these guys...


And here's the part where you "boo" and "hiss" 


Apologies to the many, I've left out.

Shout out to -  

Astrophysicist Jane Foster! 
Hello positive female role model. Mensa material, and she's got great taste in guys.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention - 



Stan Lee + Joss Whedon = Brilliance

The Marvel Universe is an intricate, wacky, adrenaline-inducing blast!

I am so intrigued by the way the Avenger movies and the Agents of Shield television show intertwine. 

Coulson's team cleaned up after the Dark Elves from Thor 2, and you never know when an Asgardian is going to show up in your neck of the woods. 

And who doesn't want that kickin' plane on the Agents of Shield or Tony Stark's tech.

My son will disown me if I don't raise the roof for the comic book versions and graphic novels that bring the Marvel universe to your fingertips. Marvel comics were the conduit that turned my reluctant reader into a reader.

Should I mention...

Probably not.

My son did see it and said the scenery and special effects were off the charts amazing. Too bad the show never really found itself -

BUT WAIT
It's coming to LAS VEGAS!

I admit to owning (one version - there are many) music from the show. And YES, I will be traveling to Vegas via bifrost to see it.

If you're not into any of this - you can still enjoy a delicious beverage.


Geek out complete...for now.

TAKE AWAY - Why write a single story when you can build a universe?

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for LIGHTING DESIGN


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Scroll down this link to find other wonderful A to Z participants.

In my previous life, I was a theatrical lighting designer. Lighting design is expected to fulfill multiple goals onstage, such as:

MOOD - How do you want the audience to feel?


Sense of fun - Singin' in the Rain from the  Bon Voyage Shipboard Review - Queen Mary





Dramatic foreshadowing - In the Sweet Bye and Bye - Back Alley Theater









Nightmare sequence - An Original Jimmy Shine - UCLA





VISIBILITY and FOCUS - What and how much do you want to reveal to the audience? Where do you want them to look?



Found a Peanut - Back Alley Theater 






DIMENSIONALITY - Define the shape of the actors and the scenery. At times light becomes part of the scenery.





St. Joan - UCLA








Hawk - UCLA










Hawk - UCLA








TAKE AWAY:
Even though lighting was my visual form of storytelling in the pictures above, the same elements and purposes must resonate to create depth in the stories I tell with words.

Have you brought elements from other art forms into your writing?