Video Highlights From a Drama/Theatre School Program in China

Directing, Performance, Teaching, Theatre

I’ve actually launched two separate theatre programs here in China, the most recent being for Alcanta International College (High School) in Guangzhou, which is an IB World school for years 9-12 in preparation for university abroad. Although we do have a number of foreign students, most of them are from mainland China.

The Drama program I started was for grades 9&10 as well as the “Intensive English Program” (IEP). Next year, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Theatre program will begin for elective students.

I’ve uploaded highlights from my students’ final performance project to Youtube. This project which was the culmination of work done throughout the year on fundamentals of acting: voice, speech, movement, breaking a scene into steps, actor’s focus, basic staging for an audience, textual analysis, plot structure and original narrative writing, Realism as a style, and drawing from personal passion and interests in order to select and develop a original text for performance.

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Launching My First Product on Kickstarter

Design, Manufacturing, The Bag Idea

The past few months have been hectic.

I lost my apartment in late April and then was hopping between hotels for about a month and a half until the school year ended and I relocated to Nansha, in southern Guangzhou… closer to Shenzhen, Macau, and Hong Kong. So now, manufacture, roulette wheels, and dim sum are closer than ever. And I have some proper space and quiet to work, rest, and adjust the derailleurs on my mountain bikes… as well as design.

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Studio

The new home studio

In these past months I’ve spent many a late night up working on three independent bag-related designs for manufacture. Now that my summer break has begun, I have more free time which actually means more work! But I’m not complaining. I really love it and I know I will look back at this period in the future with some special kind of fondness.

I will launch my first Kickstarter campaign within one or two weeks. I’m pretty excited about finally putting this first little product out there to a wider audience after so many months of work and secrecy. I think I’ve had every emotion in the range between elated self-confidence and crushing self-doubt in the process.

There was at least one thing Teddy Roosevelt got right when he said:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

As a bit of a teaser, here are three related images that together describe the form of and purpose for the product. See if you can guess what it might be!

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factory tour

Manufacturing a Plastic Hydroponic Planter in China

Design, Hydroponic Planter, Manufacturing

I’m currently on a week-long break from school for the Qingming (“Tomb Sweeping”) holiday, and have been using a good portion of that time to design. Yesterday, I hopped a train out to Dongguan to meet with my business partners Swen and Kelvin to discuss a new product for manufacture that I redesigned just this past weekend.

Zhangmutou station

Zhangmutou train station in Dongguan

Retro schoolbag color scheme

What’s the Bag Idea?

Design, Manufacturing, The Bag Idea

I’ve had this idea for a bag for about five or six years now.

Back in Sydney I started to research an essential element to the design and found I would need to work around an existing patent or wait for it to expire, which it did this past year. So, I’m taking the opportunity here in China to get this thing going.

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

This Year of Passion

Design, My Year Without Violence

Well, my year without violence is not the big news I thought it might be. Life got bigger instead.

I was planning on giving an update on MYWV within a week of committing to it– instead I got caught up in some inspiring design projects that might go better under the title “This Year of Passion”, so here’s my preface.

My Year Without Violence

Film, My Year Without Violence, Theatre

Over the past two months I’ve been considering my decision to abstain from violence in 2017.

The thought first came to me when I was writing to my older brother about HBO’s new television series, Westworld. Like so many others, I was really kind of thrilled about the show. I love sci-fi, puzzles, and philosophy. And there’s this great list of contributors to the whole: Michael Crichton, Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, J.J. Abrams, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, and many more.

Collaborative Writing Online

Gaming, Uncategorized, Writing

As an undergraduate art major, I used to enjoy writing collaboratively on addventure. It was an early site for authoring hypertext (click-through) fiction where users could add to a story from the character decisions that were left open at the end of a paragraph/chapter. Pretty much like writing a Choose Your Own Adventure book collaboratively.

A few years ago, an online acquaintance of mine named Joakim Johansson started a website called Story Wars. In SW, users are able to author the first chapter of a story which then is open for drafts on the next chapter. Anyone can submit a draft for the next chapter. Once at least two new drafts have been submitted, they are revealed anonymously for the community to vote on. The chapter with the most votes wins and goes on to be the fixed next chapter of the story. And so on.

I also recently found Storium. Storium blends elements of collaborative writing with tabletop roleplaying games, using a card system to develop characters and narrative. Pretty fun stuff.

I was for some time the top writer (in terms of points) on SW, though I’ve dropped off in my presence on the site these days, and I’m beginning to build up some content on Storium.

Join me!

 

 

In Defense of Text

Gaming, Writing

I believe I’ve previously mentioned the terrific documentary Get Lamp by Jason Scott. It looks at the past, present, and future of interactive fiction and text adventure games through interviews with many prominent figures in the history of IF. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in literacy, interactive fiction, puzzles, escape rooms, gaming (tabletop, video, and anything else) and philosophy.

Go ahead and watch 45:50-51:55 and then come back. Go on. Git!

‘Til Death Do Us Bind

Horror, Humor, Writing

So… I’ve never seen any of The Twilight “Saga” movies (don’t you be calling it a saga without hulking Norsemen.) And though I did watch some of its first season, I don’t have much interest in The Walking Dead or its fairly exhausted sub-genre.

I do, however, enjoy speculation and parody, and about four years ago I sat down with an old friend from college and his wife around a kitchen table in Philly, PA and created a hybrid genre I will now call eroto-horror.

I think it’s a lucrative and yet untapped market. Combine elements of the dime-store romance novel and the gore of the zombie apocalypse, and Bob’s yer uncle. We’re just gonna crank the Twilight “aesthetic” up to eleven.

Here’s a ludicrous piece the three of us came up with over some brewskis and alot of chuckles. Strangely, I think there are some folks out there who might be turned on by this kind of thing.

You’ve been warned. It’s so bad it’s good.