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jfutral

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Everything posted by jfutral

  1. Hey brie! Welcome to A&F. Glad to have you around and hope you hang around awhile. Joe
  2. I understand this. For instance, I have developed a huge lack of respect for Gauguin after learning how (supposedly) disrespectful he was of Van Gogh. Those stories have since tainted my viewing of his work. To a certain degree, isn't that part of what makes a great work great, there is always something more to get? If a work can be completely "gotten" then it potentially becomes kitsch, right? Or an extreme example would be pronography. The meaning is already spelled out, there is nothing more to get. So what works of art (of any discipline) have moved you guys to cry, if any? Joe
  3. I can't speak for all artists, but I think in general an artist is very gratified when a critic or "consumer" "gets" what the artist was trying for; an artist is also somewhat disappointed when it's clear that no one "gets it"; and outright incensed when it's clear that a critic wasn't even interested in "getting it," but rather more interested in his or her own agenda. Art is a personal expression of ideas, and when we lose the "person" in "personal" we do the art an injustice. At the same time, as one critic said, a work of art can accomplish certain things whether the artist intended them or not. Yes. In that same way that the original Artist draws us to Him through His creation. What I fear as an artist is being unnoticed or disinterest. I dislike that more than being "disagreed" with, hated, or ignored. I suppose each individual work of an artist is not unlike, maybe, each book of the bible. There is much each has to say on its own, but when taken together gives us a greater story to be revealed. So every artist has three stories to tell. First is the story of the one work. Then there is the story of their body of work. Then there is the story of their life. And to ignore how each story affects the other, while possible and possibly still fruitful, is to only know part of a greater story. And as Francis Schaeffer (and porbably others) have said, our greatest work of art should be our lives. And maybe by extension, our greatest work of art as the body of Christ should be our lives as a community. Sometimes it seems we are not doing so well with that one. Joe
  4. I recently read an article in the Atlanta edition of Creative Loafing called "Sudden Impact" (http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A145492) (sorry I don't know how to make this a link. If one of the moderators can, I would appreciate the help). The topic of the article is what is it that makes someone cry or otherwise react emotionally to a work of art (the syndrome actually has a name). I started to think about different works that have affected me. I remember visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and crying when I walked up the stairs and saw the 4 protraits of Van Gogh at the top. I felt like crying as I viewed most of the work there. I do think one of the things that affected this was my intense interest over recent years in Van Gogh personally. I've always like his work, but I don't think I would have had the same reaction if I hadn't studied his life as much. Contrastingly, I never thought much of Pollock's work until I saw Ed Harris portray him in _Pollock_. So I studied Pollock's life some more and since have been drawn more and more to his work. However, I loved Rothko's work first and now am drawn to learn more of him as a person. While I enjoy art without knowing the artist, I am finding it more and more difficult to view work without wanting to know the artist behind the work. From one perspective I think this is contrary to how art should be approached. I've felt for a long time if art is valid it should be able to stand outside of the artist on its own. But now I feel more and more that this is not enough for me. I used to tell students (and still do, though I am not affiliated with a school) that they should not confuse who they are with what they do. Art is what they do. Art should come from who they are, but they are not their art. I felt this was particularly relevant to them since they were mostly studying to be actors. Pretending to be other people for most of your life can start to confuse you about who _you_ are after a while. I would also tell them if art is about life, then get a life! How can you have art if you don't have a life? Should art be able to be separated from the artist and to what extent? Or am I simply experienceing what we were created for and this is simply a natural progression of appreciating art, wanting to have a relationship with the artist? Joe Futral
  5. I agree (with both paragraphs.) I know I'm a little late to this short discussion, but I have been thinking on this even before the post. My opinion? The age of the artist genius needs to die (or finish dying), and quickly. The only thing this mentality has done is create an elitist class and exclude the community from art. We have artists who believe they deserve to be supported simply because they exist and a community that cannot relate to art because they do not feel they can participate in the art experience. Is it any wonder why general support for the arts has been dwindling? I have been reading Rothko's book (The Artist's Reality) and I like how he describes art as a biological function and necessity. Art is too important to all of humanity--individually, societally and spiritually--to relegate it to a select few, either implicitly or explicitly. The age of reason/enlightenment/modernity has failed to encompass the whole human. And this grant simply perpetuates the failures, if not exacerbates them. But hey, what do I know? Joe
  6. I'm reading Mark Rothko's book _The Artist's Reality, Philosophies of Art_ and I am having trouble understanding his term "plastic process". I know in lighting we refer to "plasticity" when we talk about using light to enhance or affect the appearance of three dimensionality of what is being lit. But this "plastic process" is really stumping my brain. I can usually eventually figure out a term by context at some point, but I am failing miserable here. Is this a term, archaic or otherwise, that someone else here might be familiar with? Has anyone else read this book? Thanks, Joe Futral
  7. I'm sorry, but this is all just TOO HIP! (I mean that in a good way) Sweet! Very Sweet. Now for that orange or lime green shag carpet. OK, well, maybe a solid white, glossy linoleum floor. I did like the green grass background. Joe Futral
  8. I heard back from one friend. The first two are Christian schools, the third is a para-church performing/visual arts org, the last, well, even I've heard of them! Here is what she has to say: "Hello mate, Not really come across much in terms of christian orientated colleges - other than theology or bible colleges. Here's a couple i stumbled across: http://www.thegraceproject.com/creative.htm http://www.rspa.org.uk/ I would check out Artisan though as they may be able to point you in the right direction: http://www.artisaninitiatives.org But if its regular acting then you need to go to RADA: http://www.rada.org/ Hope that helps" Joe
  9. I can't even tell you what Christian run schools here offer a drama program (although there may still be much drama occurring outside the program!) and recent thread notwithstanding. I have a couple of friends from the UK. I'll see if they know of any offerings. Joe
  10. Don't give up yet. Sounds like even more reason to go to something like URTA. At least apply to several places. You won't really find out what financial incentives they will offer until then. This is part of my reasoning for finding faculty who work outside of the school, because they understand this and sometimes use their students as assistants. If the school is really interested in preparing students to _work_ in this field, they will help. Also schools with professional theatres associated with them, like A.R.T. or Hunttington, sometimes work that angle. Wait until you have all the information in front of you before letting yourself get discouraged. About the point mrmando brought up. Your real credibility as a communicator in the eyes of others in theatre will be your accomplishments, who you worked for/with, and work ethic, not your degree. There is a heavy "prove yourself" mentality in theatre and no one thinks getting an MFA proves anything. As for communicating to the Church, I'm still trying to figure out what or who they are willing to listen to, if anything or anyone. It's a battle I've waged for 20 years with only minimal successes to show for it, from what I can tell. I think this also says as much about me as them, but that is another topic. I say all that not to _further_ discourage you, but to help make sure your head is on straight about this MFA. I like what you gave for reasons earlier. I think we need (and I desire) more Christians like you in the performing arts. From that perspective I think your motivation is sound. Chose the school that is best for your career. If that is the one God wants you at, it will work out. I'd also suggest talking with Tom Key, artistic director with the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta. He is a Christian and you both, if you don't know this already, have a point of commonality through Art Within. He has done some work with them. And I'm pretty sure I've seen your picture there, too. (I still need to give them a call myself being in Atlanta these days and all.) Work through the discouragement by not giving up, at least not yet! It's too early in the process I'm praying for you brother! Joe Futral
  11. There is a lot of truth in what you say. There are many talented, respected people in theatre who have no degree whatsoever. But with what Dan mentioned as what he wants out of the MFA, I can certainly commiserate. At the college where I was an adjunct, I have to admit I was more able to freely experiment as an artist. That is a luxury which doesn't exist all to plentiful in the real world. I've worked in some really creative environments and with some really creative, talented people who challenged me artistically. But when "butts in seats" becomes important, priorities do shift. In school one can fail in a project and still pass the course. In life, if you fail, you go hungry! But I will say there is a difference between working (as in a job) with other people who love what they do and working with people who are _learning_ what they love in an academic environment. Which is why I think it is important that the faculty of a chosen school should be _working_ in their field and not just teaching. Learning more of one's craft and art _can_ (though, as you say, not necessarily _does_) contribute to greater flexibility in communicating with both artists and the church. It won't hurt. And many schools consider an MFA a terminal degree for collegiate teaching. At least that is what their job postings say. Joe
  12. I feel ya! Great reasons! Looking forward to having more Christians in the business. God be with you, man. Joe
  13. A question I have, and not to question or doubt the value or validity of an MFA, is what do you think achieving an MFA will do for you that not having one doesn't? What is your purpose behind having an MFA in Theatre? Joe Futral
  14. The way one person described it, I got kind of a picture of that commercial where all the lenders are competing for your loan! She felt she was able to balance academic offerings and financial incentives as a result. According to the folks I was hangin out with yesterday they were saying it was mostly/originally performer types, but more design and production, and other people were also using the service. I never heard of it myself. But I'm an old fogey. When I went to school we pushed scenery up hill both ways in ten feet of snow and lekos were steam powered. And we liked it! Joe
  15. I brought this up with some friends while we were loading in a show today. UConn apparently has 6 theatres these days and recently got a huge grant. A couple of Yalees teach there and really involve their students in their outside projects. Carnegie Mellon (sp?) came up as did Emerson, Boston College, Brandice, and UCLA (which is where my friend teaches, I was corrected). Someone also brought up attending an URTA (http://www.urta.com/ I think). Apparently they hold a "conference" where you set up and the schools come around to you. She had high regard for the process. Also, The Huttington and American Rep Theatre in Boston are each affiliated with a college, but both escape me right now. Don't be afraid to dream big! If God is with you (I can't imagine he isn't as this is what we need right now!) He'll take care of the rest! I'll be praying for you! Joe
  16. Have you looked into the big three? Yale, NYU/Tisch, or NCSA? I mean if you are going for an MFA, why not make it from a school that counts? Their networking is pretty much second to none. They don't calll it the Yale/NYU/NCSA syndicate for nothing. I know they will be expensive, but they have a higher probablity of roi. Just a thought. Otherwise, I know FSU has a good and respected theatre and dance program. And I have a friend that teaches at Cal/Berkley. At least I'm pretty sure it is Berkley. I had a friend get into Ohio State, but after he started one of his profs recommended he go to Yale. Go figure. As for how good a school is academically, it will all boil down to you anyway. So "contacts, contacts, contacts". Again, look at if the faculty is working in the real world (a must) and where. MFAs aren't cheap. Make it count. It seems to never fail on the theatre newsgroups. Around March or April someone gets on and says "Hi! I'm about to get my MFA in theatre_(fill in the blank)_ and I thought I'd check and see what work there is out there!" All I can think of is "What the heck have you been doing for the last 6+ years?" Find other people who are doing what you want to do and doing it well and ask them, too. Learn from the best, I always say. Joe
  17. Where do you want to work? What I always tell design students is to go to school where the profs are _working_ where you want to work. If they want to work in New York, they need to go to a school where the teachers and profs are actively working in NYC. If they want to work in LA, then they need to go to a school where the profs are working in LA. An MFA in Theatre is as much about networking as it is about the diploma. If the profs aren't working other than teaching, then they at least need to have the resume that says they don't need to work any more, as in everyone who _is_ working learned from them. That's my thoughts, Joe Futral
  18. jfutral

    Puppetry

    Show, play or opera with "puppet" as a prefix seems to work. At Spoleto, USA, last year (not this past summer) there was a puppet opera. I can't remember what it was called. But it was visually stunning. All I saw were some rehearsals and a few shots on a TV special, but not the whole show. They also did Doll House with puppets, I believe. The Puppetry Center in Atlanta does amazing shows, too. Worth checking into. They do a full season of performances. So if you ever find your way in Atlanta, I would highly recommend seeing if the have a performance happening. Joe Futral
  19. Oh my! Sure they would find employment somewhere else, more than likely a different city entirely. The point is not that such activities and employees may find economic potential elsewhere, but that they are already realized at MoMA. On a smaller scale and a slightly different genre, in the city I just moved from, the Ballet company has closed its doors, it says, for a season. When polled the locals think almost 3 to 2 that the Ballet does not add to the culture of the city. Of course two immediate effects being felt now is that (remember this is a small town) neither the musical theatre company nor the opera have a pool of dancers to pull from any more and there aren't enough talented dancers of a professional calibre in the area to pull off some of the work expected. Plus the local dance schools are suffering by not having additional teachers to teach their classes. I hate that we live in a time that art has to justify itself regulalrly and isn't just understood as a matter of course. But sometimes this is good. I'm not one who believes that art _must_ be governement subsidized (other than in education), but failing that the political, community, and church leaders need to step up to the plate and lead. The benefits of the arts really do transcend monetary, but that has less of a rational impact and after all we are all about rationalism these days, "I have to see it to believe it". I visited the MoMA when I was recently in New York. I had a blast. I missed Starry Night when I was in Amsterdam and felt the Van Gogh Museum experience somewhat incomplete without it. It was good to see it there. If life is only about making a living and economics, what's the point? If Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly, I surely believe art plays a great part in that. I would rather eat poorly and have art available than eat well and struggle to find (or create) art, if at all. That said, with the subsidies, a price tag of less than $20 should be conceiveable. But I would still pay it again. Joe Futral
  20. Hey cool! I was just in New York City for four weeks and got to participate in the IAM-NY Wednesday Tribakery Fellowship and they were using this book (for 15 weeks so far!) as the focus of the discussion. That drove a lot of my comments on kitsch in the "Transcendence in art" thread (or whatever it was called). While I wouldn't go so far as this author did and call all kitsch lying, I do find something dishonest about Kinkade's work, or at least his later stuff. Other than some postings here I haven't seen much of his early stuff. I can't put my finger on it, but at least pornography doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. I heard someone else in another forum talking about a recent conversation in a Christian school concering art to be taught in the arts teaching spot to be filled. The point was brought up that they should only teach Christian art. When the person asked what is Christian art three teachers and a principal voiced almost in unison, Kinkade. A year later, sure enough the class room was producing mini-Kinkades. This worries me. As a Christian working in the arts I was just beginning to have hope, then to hear this. It's almost enough to drive me to discouragement and depression again. I would have liked to at least heard them say something like, oh I don't know, Vermeer. Good grief, even Charles Schultz. All the same, the book makes some good points from the pull quotes we used in the discussions. My notes from the meetings went something like this: Of the questions asked these two I found the most intriguing [at the first meeting I made it to]: Is this sentimentality in the church only or in all of culture? and How do we bring the hunger for beauty back into our culture and therefore back into the Gospel? I find the first question interesting because this is the first direct acknowledgement of "kitsch" and sentimentality in church that I have heard. I have heard the potential discussed, but never the direct accusation of the church participating in kitsch. And the second question is interesting to me because of the premise that beauty, even possibly intrinsically, belongs in the culture and is connected to and affects the Gospel. Joe
  21. What are you involved in that you do so much drafting??? Light plots and set designs/drawings for theatre, dance, corporate events, presentations, and other productions. Joe Futral
  22. No doubt. But the process is still mind boggling. I do a lot of drafting myself. It's all I can do to think in terms of squares and cubes. On a good day I can render a cantilevered construct and it may actually work! I also like the strong sense of motion, not just direction. And the sense of enormity without the need to go straight up to achieve that. All things I try to achieve with lighting with varying degrees of success. I love it when people achieve that with static media. I think lighting designers cheat (and even cheapen) when we have a light that moves to create movement. Joe
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