My Closet Door

February 25, 2013

My Closet Door

Due to the effect of Michigan weather, we Richlandites won’t see Spring take over our environment for a while, but Spring is certainly approaching…rapidly.

Spring is a busy time for an Idiot like me. Spring means Track…Spring means One Acts…And Spring means Glitter. Glitter auditions have already come and past, the Call Board was posted just last week. This year will be my fourth as a Master of Ceremony. There’s a opening Track meeting tomorrow. And just today, Mr. Nott updated the Call Board with information on One Acts.

So, I’m very aware that my final season of High School will soon be upon me.

Just the other day, I was looking at My Closet Door and it hit me just how close we are to the end. See, my closet door has these four panels. On each panel, I’ve placed a poster and a playbill from that year’s PAC events. The problem with this decoration is that once it’s finally finished…I won’t be around long enough to appreciate it. With One Acts on the way, My Closet Door will soon be complete.

Well, shoot.

Anyway, the non-morbid part of Spring is that it’s always fun. Busy…But fun. And I can’t wait to try my hand at Directing my very own show.

I haven’t talked about it for a while, but The Pan Complex will soon be presented for the community to see. While Erica and I may have been slacking slightly in our author-ly duties, we’ll have the play done before it’s due…this Thursday.

I think the most exciting thing about The Pan Complex is that it’s being invented 100% by Erica and I. We wrote the play, we’ll cast the players, we’ll decide the movements, we’ll design the set, and I’ve even asked a good friend of mine, Brady, to make the music. For four years, I’ve been under the direction of Mr. Nott or Mrs. Stahr or some Senior…But this year, I get to grab my megaphone and see what I can do with the right side of my brain.

It’s the compilation of everything I’ve learned in four years of PAC and High School packed into one 15 minute show.

Spring means a lot of things that I can look at morosely…my last Track season, my last trimester of High School, my last Glitter, my last PAC Show…Or I can realize that I’ve been blessed to have these opportunities given to me. And I’m lucky to still have a little bit of time to make a splash at Gull Lake High School.

So, here’s to the completion of My Closet Door. Here’s to Spring. Here’s to Track. Here’s to Glitter. Here’s to One Acts. And here’s to Peter Pan.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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When Gull Lake Glitters

February 19, 2013

When Gull Lake Glitters

There are two times a year that Gull Lake Glitters. The first is during the Summer when the sun reflects off the lake…But that’s not the time I’m interested in talking about.

The second is during the murky period between Winter and Spring when all the Gull Lake High Schoolers harboring secret talents come out of the woodwork to show their stuff at the annual talent show: Glitter.

Glitter is a parent created and organized talent show that is generated once a year and performed one night at Comstock Auditorium. Auditions happened over the past two weeks and the Call Board will be updated later this week with information on what acts were accepted.

For the past three years, I’ve been a Glitter MC. And for the past three years, Glitter has been an absolutely brilliant highlight to every Spring. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be accepted for a fourth year of MCing.

While being a Master of Ceremony is an absolute blast…I don’t think it’s the best part of Glitter. I think the best part of Glitter is discovering that the quiet kid sitting next to you in Plane Geometry has a set of pipes that would make Adele cry. Glitter is all about the students of Gull Lake High School stepping up and saying: “Guys. Guys look what I can do!”

My Sophomore Year, this Senior named Garrison sang Folsom Prison Blues in a bass that I couldn’t believe. Or last year, Ben sang Lonely Boy and I still remember the first rehearsal I watched him and my jaw absolutely dropped. Or Caiti! She sang Sailor Song last year and her voice was so present, so full. It was awesome. (Granted, maybe there were a few people who know of these “hidden” talents. But I sure didn’t have a clue until they opened their mouths.)

On the other end of the spectrum, there are kids that sing often and therefore most people know they’ve got a throat of gold. This Junior, Grace, comes to mind. And this girl that graduated my Sophomore Year, Sarah.

Glitter is this amazing opportunity for Gull Lake High Schoolers to realize that the hallways are filled with talent. They’re filled with singers, dancers, songwriters, DJs. musicians…hula-hoopers. And that’s something to be proud of.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Shameless Self Promotion

January 31, 2013

Shameless Self Promotion

 

Just a quick post for those Gull Lakers out there enjoying their Snow Day. Or it can be for anyone willing to listen.

I’m calling all Idiots out to the Gull Lake High School Performing Arts Company’s production of…

Twelve Angry Jurors

The show times are as follows:

Friday at 8:00 PM

Saturday at 8:00 PM

Sunday at 2:00 PM

And all of them are in the Cafetorium of the Gull Lake Middle School

At the start of this PAC season, lord knows I was afraid of what PAC would be like this year. No tour, no Mr. Nott, so many changes. Here we are, two months later, and I’m happy with the show. I’m proud of Twelve Angry Jurors and I think the cast is ready to do their best to knock the socks off of anyone who attends.

It’s time to be someone else.

It’s time to become a Juror.

It’s time to…get a little angry.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training, Juror No. 8)

Twelve Angry Jurors

The Rapid Approach of Opening Night

In the year 2013…On February 1st…At 8:00 PM…In the Gull Lake Middle School Cafetorium…The Gull Lake Performing Arts Company will perform their rendition of Twelve Angry Jurors for the first time. It’ll be our Opening Night.

In the year 2013. On February 2nd. At 8:00 PM. In the Gull Lake Middle School Cafetorium. The Gull Lake Performing Arts Company will perform their rendition of Twelve Angry Jurors for the second time.

In the year 2013. On February 3rd. At 2:00. In the Gull Lake Middle School Cafetorium. The Gull Lake Performing Arts Company will perform their rendition of Twelve Angry Jurors for the last time.

For three nights, we’ll perform Twelve Angry Jurors. For three nights, we’ll show the community what we’ve been working on for the past couple weeks.

And then it’ll be over.

Senior Year is a Year of Lasts. I’ve already experienced my last Cross Country Season. Soon, I’ll be performing in my last PAC show. Of course, this kind of event makes me think about my past years of PAC. I still remember Freshman Year when we performed Smoking Lesson. My very first year of PAC. I was a scared Props Crew member that looked with awe upon the big Senior Kendall Jennings. She was like a celebrity. Oh, Kendall Jennings! The lead! The Senior!

Then, in my Sophomore Year, we performed Small Actors and it was my first time ever performing in a play. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. I still remember the first thing I said to Sarah (the “Big Senior Lead” that year) when we stepped on stage. See, the opening scene was this busy High School hallway, so Sarah and I had a moment where we would just talk casually to each other as other students noisily walked past.

“I feel like I’m gonna throw up,” I chuckled.

“Don’t do that,” Sarah smiled.

Luckily, I didn’t.

And then there was my Junior Year, with Mr. Nott’s play: Dune Shadow. The Home Shows that year had a lot of weight placed on them. Seeing as it was Mr. Nott’s last year Directing a PAC show, there was a huge gathering of alumni in the audience. They were all there to celebrate a man who had touched the Lives of countless budding thespians. Well…that was a fair amount of pressure. But, like the year before, I did not throw up. In all seriousness, it was a great show weekend and I had a blast honoring Mr. Nott with his very own play.

And now there’s this year. We’ve only got a handful of rehearsals left…And then it’ll be Opening Night. It’s getting pretty close to the wire and there’s still certainly a lot of work that needs to be done on our play if it’s going to be successful. But if there’s one thing that Mr Nott taught us, it was that theatre is a problem solving exercise. It wouldn’t be live theatre if everything went off without a hitch.

So, it’s time to buckle down. It’s time to work hard to make something that we’re all proud of.

It’s time to…get a little angry.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

VIII

December 17, 2012

VIII

Last Wednesday, at 7:00, the Cast List was posted by the new PAC director, Mrs. Stahr. As you can imagine…this was pretty exciting. It read as follows:

Judge/Guard: Charisse T.

Foreman: Kelcee R.

#2: Shelby H.

#3: Samantha K.

#4: Leighanne B.

#5: Karly K.

#6: Jonah G.

#7: Jack L.

#8: Brian W.

#9: Juli G.

#10: Jossie C.

#11: Alana F.

#12: Shelby C.

There was a mad rush to see the Call Board from all who auditioned. Of course, this involved equal amounts of joy and sorrow. But, in the end, the Cast List is what it is. Mrs. Stahr made her choices and I can’t wait to see what the Gull Lake Performing Arts Company will make of Twelve Angry Jurors.

Just this afternoon, the Tech List was posted and it was packed with placements that made me smile.

For starters, Mary and Kristen got Associate Directors…And that makes me happy. I asked Mary a few months back what she’d want to do in PAC this year and she said she certainly wouldn’t mind Associate Director. And I’m glad that she is. I think she’s a creative mind that will really help make the play something special.

And a good friend of mine, Rachel, got Stage Manager. A position I know she’s had her heart set on. Rachel’s a little girl with a very, very big heart and I know she’s up to the task of managing us PAC Rats and whipping us into shape.

Oh, and another good friend, Claire, got Sound Chief. I’ve always thought that was a cool aspect of PAC. Everybody starts out in minor positions, learning the ropes. It’s not very sensible to make a newbie a Chief so, in general, people start out on the bottom rung and work their way up as they display their talents. And it’s really special to see that sort of thing happen to friends of yours.

I can’t remember everything the Tech List said…it was a lot longer than the Cast List and therefore a bit harder to remember. But, overall, I’m just so…unbelievably and uncontrollably excited to start working on this show.

That desire was slightly curbed today. Today was our very first rehearsal. The 13 actors and actresses went and met in Mrs. Stahr’s room for our first read-through of Twelve Angry Jurors. And I thought it went exceptionally well, especially for a first read-through. I mean, it didn’t go perfect…But I don’t think there’s been a single first read-through in the history of theatre that went perfect.

It’s satisfying to finally get our hands on the scripts and to highlight our lines and to read the show that we’ll be performing. I feel good…now that I’m finally doing PAC again.

Even if there’s the grim reality that it will be my last year…

I’m happy to be working on a play.

And I’m thrilled to be Juror No. 8.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Bucket List

I’ve always thought Bucket Lists were kind of a cool concept.

But people always make these extreme Bucket Lists full of things like: Skydiving and rock climbing. Bucket Lists often consist of Life threatening situations that could very possibly cause you to kick the bucket before you finish the list…which I suppose is probably the point, right? It’s all about dying in some crazy, awesome way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not critiquing Bucket Lists comprised of those activities nor am I scoffing at those who write them. I am merely perceiving a curious phenomena.

Anyway, I suppose in some ways those lists are appealing. Sometimes I think the success of a Life could be measured by how excited you would be to tell someone about it on your death bed. If you’re on your death bed and you’re itchin’ to tell someone you’re whole Life story because you know deep down that it’s worth hearing…that’s a good, successful Life. If you’re laying there like: “Meh…They don’t wanna hear about that…” Well, that’s a scary thought. Hopefully most of us will experience the first of the two options. And I suppose that’s the point of a Bucket List.

But! For anyone out there that just needs to get their toes wet first…anyone who wants to start with a mild Bucket List…I’ve created A Bucket List for the Tame One…

Let’s begin now…

1.) Buy A Pair Of Shoes From Gazelle Sports

Gazelle Bag

Unfortunately, this is sort of a Western Michigan thing…You’d be hard pressed to find a Gazelle Sports anywhere else…Seeing as they don’t exist anywhere else. But if you ever get the chance to buy a pair of shoes from Gazelle Sports, jump on it. Being a Cross Country and Track runner for 5 years now, I can tell you that the service at Gazelle’s is the best. The workers there…put the shoes on for you. Honestly, I’ve never felt more like a king than when a Gazelle Sports worker puts the shoe on for me and then does up my laces. It’s like I’m frickin’ King of the Gazelles.

2.) Get Your Hair Shampooed

This is a pretty common thing to have done. Most people have probably had their hair shampooed. But if you haven’t…you should. Again, it’s this feeling of being pampered. Like, you’re just laying there and this person is massaging your head and cleaning your hair at the same time. It’s the best part of any haircut.

3.) Light Floating Lanterns

I think I’ve mentioned last Summer a few times. Basically, I had this group of friends that was determined to have the best Summer ever because there were a few experiencing their last Summer before college and Carly was leaving for Interlochen in the Fall. So, we sort of had a Summer Bucket List. Anyway, one item on there was to light floating lanterns (just like in Tangled.) And so, at the end of Summer, we did. It was a blast…Especially when mine floated right into a tree and caught on fire…In general, however, I would highly recommend it.

Here’s a photo of Claire sending hers off…at least hers didn’t hit a tree…

Claire and Her Lantern

4.) Eat a Sanders Hot Fudge Sundae And/Or Brown Sugar Toast

Sanders and Brown Sugar

These are two things that I’ve mentioned before. But I wholeheartedly believe they are the best treats on this planet. When I wake up to some sweet brown sugar toast to contrast with the tart bite of some grapefruit juice…I know it’s gonna be a good day. And then when I finish off the night with a big ol’ bowl of ice cream covered in Sanders hot fudge…I know that Life is good.

5.) Lick a Streamer

I can’t tell you why…I can only tell you that if you find yourself at a party with those really cheap paper streamers…you should just take a little piece and give it a lick.

6.) Make a S’More On A Candle Flame

Perfect Marshmallow

I get that roasting s’mores over a fire might be more fun. I do. And I would advise, in general, that you roast most of your marshmallows over a bonfire…However, a candle opens you up to this whole other world of marshmallow done-ness perfection. See, with the small flame created by a candle, you have a lot more control over how cooked the marshmallow is getting. It’s almost too easy to make a perfectly golden-brown marshmallow in every regard if you use a candle.

7.) See a Double-Feature

I love movies. Who doesn’t? And what’s better than one movie? Two. There was this span of a few years where my family didn’t really plan anything for Thanksgiving, so we just went out to go see some movies. We’d see one movie in the afternoon, go eat dinner downtown, and then go see another movie. Amazingly, I didn’t get tired of sitting in a theatre. Movies are kind of cool in that regard. Sometimes I sit down in a theatre and I’m like: “Shoot…I gotta sit here for two hours?” And then the movie starts and I completely forget those complaints. Really, even if a movie is bad, they’re usually still immersive. Anyway, a double-feature day is a good day. (Speaking of a double-feature…seeing a live performance of Rocky Horror should really be on this list. There is a big difference between seeing the movie and watching as a grown man struts about the stage in drag. (If you don’t see how “double-feature” reminds me of Rocky, it’s because the opening song is Science Fiction Double-Feature.))

8.) Drink Pop Through a Twizzler

Twizzlers

This is another one that you’ve probably done already…If you haven’t, get on this bandwagon. Twizzlers are probably my favorite candy and they’re even better after I use them to suck up a big gulp of Sprite. The cool drink chills the Twizzler and makes the gummy elasticity of the licorice sort of tough, which I kinda enjoy. And then, if some Sprite coats the inside of the Twizzler…that’s alright with me. I like a little bite of fizzy pop with my sweet strawberry candy.

9.) Sleep in the Buff

Again, this isn’t an extremely uncommon thing. But of course it would make it on a Bucket List for the Tame One. An intense Bucket List might say something like: Skinny Dip…But who would ever do that? Hooligans, probably. Anyway, it’s rather self-explanatory and I’m beginning to blush. Next item on the list!

10.) Write…Something

The Journal of an Idiot

Anything. A journal. A diary. A blog. I hate to sound horribly cliché (although I do in every single post) but writing this blog has probably been one of the more fulfilling hobbies I’ve taken up. As I write each post, I learn more about myself and I find myself making connections where I’d never seen any before. Reflection upon my Life has made it more rich than I ever thought possible.

Anyway, that’s a Bucket List for the Tame One. The last one is especially important because we’re all the exact sum of our experiences and what we draw from them, we are all ourselves because of the obstacles we’ve faced in Life and how we chose to overcome them. Bucket Lists are a cool way of outlining: “I will be the kind of person that challenges themselves. I will be the kind of person who goes out and experiences so I can become a better me. I will be the kind of person who has an interesting story to tell on their deathbed.”

Unfortunately…you probably won’t find that kind of enrichment in a Bucket List for the Tame One. But it’s a place to start. Someday I’ll make a real Bucket List…just for me…

A Bucket List for Idiots…

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

West Side Story

November 14, 2012

Yesterday, thanks to one very generous red-haired girl, I went to a performance of West Side Story at Miller Auditorium, a theatre on Western Michigan University’s campus. Honestly, I couldn’t thank Carly enough…because West Side Story is my favorite musical of all time. In my opinion, (Which, to be honest, doesn’t count for a whole lot. I’m not strictly speaking a “critic.” The most experience I have as a critic is the few review articles I’ve written for the school newspaper…) of the few musicals I’ve seen, West Side Story is by far the best.

Anyway, Carly got me tickets to the show as a Christmas gift. Unfortunately, because she’s up at Interlochen, she wasn’t able to come with me…but I got to have one of those mother-son dates. Mom and I had a quick dinner last night, hopped in the car, and sped off to Western’s campus to catch the best show I’ve ever seen at Miller.

West Side Story, for those of you that may not know, is a modern (well…modern when it was originally written) version of Romeo & Juliet. It follows the story of two star-crossed lovers from two separate gangs in the upper-west side of Manhattan. (Of course, this musical is set in my favorite city on the planet.) The two gangs are the Jets and the Sharks. The Jets are white American boys who were born and raised in the city. The Sharks are Puerto Rican immigrants who recently moved to New York and attempted to take over the Jets territory. Of course, the two gangs conflicts relate primarily to issues of race.

Anyway, Tony (Romeo) is an old member of the Jets who’s slowly releasing his grasp on the gang. One night at a dance, Tony sees Maria (Juliet) across the room…and time stops for them. The two are instantly in love. For those of you who even remotely paid attention in Freshman English, (when we read Romeo & Juliet) you’re probably noticing some similarities. Unfortunately for the lovers, Maria’s brother is the leader of the Sharks.

So, the rest of Romeo & Juliet unfolds in a modern Manhattan setting. Tony confesses his love while Maria stands on her balcony. They fall deeper in love. They think their love will be understood by their peers. They’re sorely mistaken. A fight breaks out. People die. Long story short, it’s a tragedy. The most classic tragedy of all time. The tragedy that shows how, sometimes, it takes the death of an innocent man caught in the crossfire for people to see the flaws in war. West Side Story and Romeo & Juliet is a story of peace. It’s a call for neutrality. It works to prove that violence is never the answer.

And that’s why I love it.

The beginning of the musical is filled with so much love. The love that Tony and Maria feel for each other. This is when we hear classic love songs like “Tonight” and “Maria” and “One Hand, One Heart.” The end of the musical is filled with the destruction of that love by the forces of violent ignorance.

Generally, I think of myself as more of a comedy man. I just don’t really find as much enjoyment in tragedies. West Side Story is probably the one exception. In the long list of my favorite books, movies, TV shows, songs, plays, and musicals…you’d find a lot of comedy and lightheartedness. West Side Story, though, will always be the outlier. It will always be the tragedy in a long list of comedies. And I have so many reasons for that…

It follows the greatest love story of all time. It has one of my favorite songs ever (“Something’s Coming”). It delivers one of the most powerful lessons in peace ever written. It’s set in Manhattan. It has one of the most noble heroes I’ve ever seen. It has some of the coolest dancing/fighting scenes ever coreographed. It…it’s what I was looking for in a musical without realizing that’s what I wanted. If that makes sense?

Anyway…thank God  for the red-haired girl. Thank God she got me tickets. I got the chance to see my favorite musical brought to Life on stage. I got the chance to experience my one favorite tragedy.

My one tragedy in a list of comedies.

I got to experience a West Side Story.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)