Sunday, September 20, 2015

First Post: Kicking off the Year with Mike Check and Drama Club!

Hey all! After three very busy weeks here at St. Mike's, I'm all settled in and writing my first post here! My name is Chris Holloway and I'm a junior psychology and theatre double major (learn more about me here). Between move-in, first week of classes, seeing all of my friends again for the first time in months, club kick-off events, and more, it's been pretty crazy here. But, amidst all of the insanity, there have been some pretty awesome things happening here.

First of all, we had auditions for Mike Check! Mike Check is the premiere all-male a cappella group here at SMC. There are four fantastic a cappella groups in total: Mike Check, The Acabellas (all-female), Sleepless Knights (co-ed), and Soulful Harmony (the newest group on campus). As of this summer, we had fourteen guys in Mike Check. They're all really awesome and we have a blast together. (Want to see the handsome faces of Mike Check and know more about them? Click this link!)

Our group picture from the end of last year! 

We had quite a few guys come out to audition, and they certainly didn't make our selection process easy. The audition itself is super-secret, but I can tell you that it's a lot of fun and kind of famous on campus (maybe I'm biased).

A sneak peek of our enhanced audition process. 

We ended up taking two wonderfully talented gentlemen, Andrew and Owen! They're just starting to sing with us, and it's looking to be a really great year! There will be plenty of posts about them in the future, I promise you that.

The other big event going on is the annual 24 Hour Play Festival! This is the first major event put on by the SMC Drama Club each year. In the time-span of a mere twenty-four hours, plays are written, cast, rehearsed, and ready to perform. Anybody can participate, and that tends to be a lot of people! This year, I chose to only act because I've been fighting a cold, but next year I'll definitely be writing and acting again!

Here's a timeline of how it works:

Friday, 7:30 PM: All directors, writers, and actors arrive for a very relaxed audition. The actors play various improv games so that the directors can get a feel of each actor's strengths. (It's a whole lot of fun, and probably the least stressful "audition" I've ever experienced.)

The actors pre-audition!

Friday, 8:30 PM: Actors (who aren't also writing) are dismissed. Writers are split into five even groups, disperse to various areas of McCarthy Arts Center, and start brainstorming!

Friday, ~9:30 PM: Writers usually begin writing down some serious thoughts and the play begins to form.

Friday, ~11:30 PM: Insanity begins to set in.

Saturday, 12:00 AM: Pizza break!

Saturday, ~1:00 AM: Plays are starting to wrap up, and any hopes of coherent thoughts are vanquished.

Saturday, 1:30 AM: Writers break for a lighting workshop and a Shakespeare workshop to clear their minds and have some fun!

Saturday, ~3:00 AM: Plays should be just about done and edited, sent to the coordinators, and writers try to get a little bit of sleep. If participants are writing and not acting, they are free to go home to their comfy beds. Otherwise, they sleep in McCarthy.

Our lovely coordinators, Lindsey and Michelle! (Note that this is at 7:30, not at 3:00AM. nobody looks this put together after being up all night.)

Saturday, 7:30 AM: Wake-up call! Actors are called (directors get there at 6:30). Directors are assigned their plays, cast their characters, and the actors are told what group they are in!

Our directors, up bright and early!

Saturday, 8:00 AM: The rehearsal process begins! We break at 11:00 AM for lunch, and then at 5:00 PM for dinner.

My co-performers and director! We were all pretty tired.

Saturday, 6:00 PM: Actors and directors arrive for a dress rehearsal with costumes, lights, and sound.

Saturday, 7:30 PM: The show must go on! The actors perform their plays that did not even exist 24 hours ago.

The play I performed in was a piece titled "Here Comes the Sun," which was a post-apocalyptic piece. Although the 24 Hour plays are often humorous, there tends to be one play that is on the somber side, and this was it. However, we had a fantastic time and it came out beautifully!

The cast & director of "Here Comes the Sun"
L-R: Molly L., Jordan M., Joshua L., Jillian K., Rissa J., and myself!
The silly picture.
And the mandatory cast/crew selfie.

It's been a wonderful start to the year, and I'm really looking forward to all of the adventures to come! Keep an eye out for more posts, and please let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to learn about SMC! Find me using the social media links above, comment or message me on Blogger, or email!

And the adorable animal video of the week:

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