Mary shares her story in a blog post here:
Mary shares her story in a blog post here:
Hello! My name is Braeden Ingersoll and I’m a Junior Theatre major at Simpson College. With the help of my advisors, departmental faculty, and the administration and research committees at Simpson, I was able to present my projections design at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Everything about the conference was incredible, informative, and awe-inspiring for a young professional in my field.
A little about the USITT conference: Each year, theatre technicians from around the world attend the USITT conference to share their work, learn or teach new skills, and meet new professionals in their field. Of the multiple facets of theatre, USITT is geared for lighting, sound, sets, costumes, makeup, technical direction, and education! The conference lasts for 5 days which are jammed full with events! Each morning we got to listen to a keynote speaker who made us feel like we could conquer the world. Throughout the day there were typically lecture-based panels on various topics in theatre technology. Personally, I attended panels over the following topics:
All of these panels left me with new tips and tricks or entirely new skills that I got to learn in a very unique environment. I was also able to use some of the free time available to check out the expo floor and visit with graduate schools and find out what information I could.
Finally, my presentation for the conference was my Projections design for Theatre Simpson’s 2016 fall production of These Shining Lives. I presented my design work to a room of approximately 40 people and shared with them what my objectives were, obstacles I faced, and how I overcame those obstacles. After all eight presenters were finished, the floor was open for questions from the audience as they could walk around the room and meet with us individually if they liked. Four jurors were amongst the audience members and asked us questions about our designs to test out understanding of the trials and the technology we used.
Don’t you hate technology sometimes? Well, you obviously don’t hate it, but you have to admit it’s definitely a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing in the sense that we are able to effectively do our homework, research and find all kinds of information and hand in our assignments on time to our professors. It’s a curse because every time we have intentions of being focused and productive, there is always that notification that pops up on our phone screaming, “GIVE ME ATTENTION!”
Almost always giving in to this notification, we find ourselves being less productive and wasting time on our devices rather than getting what we need to get done.
With finals coming up and seniors moving on to the next big stage of their lives, it’s going to be a very stressful time for everyone. Have no fear, we have 4 apps that will help you remain on task and focused during the most stressful time of your existence, probably.
The Any.do app is a way for individuals to organize their tasks without the annoyance of going back and forth with a calendar. It’s simple enough to create a to-do list and it syncs up with all of your devices so your list can be accessed from anywhere.
Another great feature is being able to check off or remove all completed tasks from it.
College students are notorious for wanting access to all kinds of information and news. Especially being within a journalism and political field you need to be in the ‘know’ at all times. Feed.ly was created to address this specific problem by creating a way to consolidate all of your news into one feed.
Just open your feed.ly app and you will see everything all in one place rather than clicking on multiple applications.
Are you someone who is frequently forgetful? No need to worry because once you download Studious, all you have to do is enter in the deadline of your homework, the time of your next lecture or time of your next time and this app will remind you about it in a sufficient amount of time.
Would you look at that? An app to help you stay focused and free of distractions. SelfControl blocks certain websites that can distract you from studying and it does it for the set amount of time you determine.
Once you complete all of your necessary tasks or studying, you are free to get back to your favorite social media sites!
Last week, we featured Olivia Baxter who is a senior music and public relations double major. This week, we feature her partner in crime, Grace Peck, a junior double major in music and public relations with a minor in arts management.
Peck has also spent a majority of her time at Simpson nestled in the Amy Robertson music building perfecting her ability to hit the high notes and find success within the music major to fulfill her passions.
Grace found that the arts and public relations go hand-in-hand and it has fueled her passion and ambition to pursue a career in arts administration or break into the non-profit sector of this niche industry.
Just another example of how versatile the public relations and journalism industries you are. You can virtually take whatever your passionate about or whatever you’ve found your niche to be and take your extensive knowledge from either major and make something great from it. The opportunities are endless.
Read more about junior Grace Peck and how she has found success through the Simpson College multimedia communications major.
What is your favorite memory studying within the multimedia communications department?
I think my favorite memory is when The Simpsonian picked up a story I wrote for my Edit and Design class. That story was my first ever to be published.
What do you feel the Multimedia Communications department has done for your professional growth and academic growth that you don’t believe you would have elsewhere?
The multimedia communications department has helped me not only grow as a writer, but it’s helped me find something else I care about. I’ve also learned more about myself as a person.
I have a good relationship with the professors. Each of which are all very willing to give me constructive criticism on my work and push to do things I never thought I could. Coming in as a freshman, if someone would have told me I’d be writing for a school newspaper or a blog post for PRSSA, I never would’ve believed them.
What internship experience have you gained?
I will actually be doing my first internships this summer. One of the internships will be with the Hutchinson Health Foundation and the second one is with the Minnesota Opera Company.
I know with the foundation I will be doing a little bit of everything; writing press releases, updates for donors, event planning, data entry and so much more.
With Minnesota Opera, I’m not completely sure what I will be doing with them yet, but I’m hoping to start off by job shadowing and learning what it’s like to work in arts communications.
Where do you want to end up after graduation next year?
I am looking at graduate school for opera performance, but I would also love to find more opportunities in arts administration or some other form of non-profit. Eventually, I want to find a way to combine my passion for music and the arts with a career in communications or public relations.
USITT: These Shining Lives Costume Design
by Britteny Johnson
From March 7 through March 11, six Theatre Simpson students attended the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) Convention. These were days of workshops covering lighting design, sound design, costume design, hair and makeup design, ways to become more transgender-friendly, new ways to teach design at schools, and so much more. On the Thursday of the convention, the Expo Floor opened up; this was a place where new technologies could be showcased, companies could promote their products andgive people a sample of new make up, and people could just have fun learning about theatre technologies. On the Expo Floor, Grad school also had stands; this gave students like me and some other Theatre Simpson students the opportunity to market ourselves to these schools and for them to explain what their program has to offer us. Overall, this conference was fun, educational, and a great networking opportunity.
The Thursday of the convention, I presented my work on These Shining Lives costumes in a poster session where people could walk around and ask us questions about our work. For These Shining Lives, I had the challenges of making the show appear to span nine years without the ability to change the girls’ costumes, having eight male characters with two male actors, and — the most difficult challenge of them all — making the costumes NOT glow under black light.
My solutions for the first two challenges were the easier of the three. For the appearance of a time change, I was able to put two of the women in 1920’s attire and two of the women in 1930’s attire to look as though they are making the transition into another decade. I strategically placed the two more youthful sounding and acting women in the 1930’s attire, and wife and the mother in the 1920’s attire. In my mind, it made sense that the two more youthful women would be willing to spend money on the latest trends, while the wife and mother would take longer to transition for a desire to provide for their families.
For the challenge of the eight male characters with the two male actors, I did a lot of subtle changes in costume. For example, Simpson senior Brandon Herring had one full three-piece suit that was never worn all together. For one character he was in the jacket, the pants, a white shirt, and a black tie, for another he would be in the black pants, the white shirt, suspenders, and a bright green tie. With the changing of the pieces, and the different colored ties, my hope was that the audience would get a sense of difference in character. Thankfully, the hair and makeup designer Brianna Stoever was able to help with the changing of appearance.
For my final challenge, trying to make sure that the costumes would not glow under a black light. The hair and makeup designer needed to make the girls glow during the show at specific points. Her solution was to use different makeups for their hair, face, palms, and backs of hands. All of the makeup options needed black light to work to the best of their ability. The problem for me is that we didn’t want it to look like we just put black light on everything.
The mission was set, I did a lot of research into what kinds of detergents would take out fluoride on clothing, but was met with very little positive feedback. My advisor, Jess Guthrie, was sending emails to chemistry professors on campus and was sent to Adam Brustkern.
Weirdly enough, it wasn’t his work in chemistry, but his hobby of hunting that helped us. He suggested to us a product called U-V Killer. Deer can see U-V rays, so if camo clothing has been washing with optical brighteners and fluoride dense waters deer will be able to spot the hunter. U-V Killer takes out the brighteners and prevents the clothing from glowing. The product works miracles and our problem was solved.
At USITT, people were extremely interested in hearing about the U-V Killer and how it worked, if it was safe, and where they could buy it. It was really nice to be able to offer this information to other people who might need to prevent glowing in the future.
Let’s face it – it’s hard to find your niche when you first are deciding on pursuing a particular major or minor.
Students like senior Olivia Baxter, a music and public relations double-major, came all the way from Spencer, Iowa to Simpson College solely to get involved with the nationally-known music department. However, upon arrival she realized being a music major meant more than all the voice lessons and recitals – she had to learn to create a brand for herself and get her music to reach the right public’s. Cue Olivia to enter the public relations major where branding and public outreach is a primary focus of the curriculum.
Anyone and everyone who goes to Simpson College knows how talented and dedicated the students who enter in the Amy Robertson music building on a daily basis. And it’s like they rarely come out (PSA: they don’t). They have their own little community within the building and all the individuals who walk those very halls fill the building with personalized sounds and harmonies.
Read this weeks student feature Friday on Olivia Baxter and how her passion and success within Simpson College’s outstanding music department brought her to the public relations major and all the unbeatable opportunities she has received because of it.
What’s been your favorite memory studying within the multimedia communications department?
One of the most entertaining memories I have is from a PRSSA event earlier this year. A bunch of us members were on an agency tour in one of the Simpson “dad” vans trying to find our way around Des Moines and ended up getting completely lost.
We drove around downtown four or five times all yelling different things until we finally realized we had the wrong address and got everything figured out. It was great because as a music major, I don’t really get much exposure to other people on campus, and getting lost turned out to be a great way to get to know the other PR majors.
What do you feel the multimedia communications department has done for your professional and academic growth that you believe you wouldn’t have elsewhere?
One thing I couldn’t have received elsewhere is the attention from professors. With my busy schedule, sometimes I feel not as involved within the communications department as I should be. However, every professor I’ve had is willing to reach out to me. They all make an effort to get to know you on a personal level and that makes the learning much more fun.
Could you elaborate on your internship experiences?
I currently have two internship positions. I’m the public relations and social media intern at the Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance where I help develop content for our annual events and create media to be seen by the public.
I also work at the Des Moines Social Club as an education intern. There I helped create the concepts for summer camps, design content and I also assist my boss in maintaining all the classes and workshops that go on there.
Where do you plan to end up after graduation?
I have a lot of varying interests, so after graduation my plans are still a little unclear. At this point, I would love to work at some sort of arts organization where I can use my PR skills but in an area that I can really connect with and make a difference.
INDIANOLA, IA – The weekend of Feb. 18 – 19 our Simpson College Speech & Debate team were diligently competing at the Missouri State Championship tournament.
Several of the Speech & Debate team members snagged some hardware to bring back home to Simpson College and add to their resumes.
See the results from or Speech & Debate members from the weekend of Feb. 18 – 19:
Congratulations for yet another outstanding performance from Simpson College’s outstanding Speech & Debate team.
Just another reason why the Multimedia Communications department offers students the best of the best not only within the classroom, but within different clubs and organizations offered throughout the department.