Larger-Than-Life: Making Murals in Professor Gregory Thielker’s Advanced Painting Class by Scott Samuels

Junior Art Education major Scott Samuels wraps up the Spring 2014 semester in his latest blog post on the process behind his and his classmates’ 10-foot murals created in Professor Thielker’s Advanced Painting course. The TCNJ student exhibition Young Galaxy is currently on display at ARTWORKS Trenton now through Saturday, May 3, 2014

ArtworksMurals1smIn Professor Gregory Thielker’s Advanced Painting class, we have spent the last month creating four 10-foot murals for the side of the ARTWORKS Visual Arts Center in downtown Trenton, NJ. Bringing these large-scale paintings into existence meant engaging in activities absent from traditional painting classes but integral to the creation of public art, like meeting with members of the local community and asking area businesses for donations. The mission of ARTWORKS is to “promote artistic diversity by fostering creativity, learning, and appreciation of the arts.” Essentially, ARTWORKS builds community by offering art classes, exhibitions, and events, making art accessible to everyone.

ArtworksMurals3The first phase of our intellectual process was meeting with various local figures at TCNJ’s Trenton classroom. Included in the forum were Lauren Otis and Addison Vincent, two artists working at ARTWORKS, as well as Trenton-based Derrick Branch and Michael Kember. Organized by Professor Thielker, this meeting of minds was designed to give us an idea of the pulse of Trenton, inspire our artmaking, and kick-start the design process. Over the following week, each member of the class produced seven mural designs that would be critiqued and nominated for placement on the wall.

artworksmurals4My group chose a digitally-rendered design produced by Ashley Garguilo, which depicts local muralist and activist Will “Kasso” Condry gazing down a Trenton street. The buildings are illustrated in bright, rainbow hues, suggesting that where others simply see a dilapidated structure, Kasso sees a blank canvas. With our design chosen, we wrote a printed proposal that would serve as an introduction to and overview of our mural. Included in this document were the date and location of installation, a small image of the artwork, and a brief background on what a mural is. We also explained a bit about ARTWORKS Trenton, and listed exactly what supplies we needed so we could distribute the proposal to local stores. With several copies of the proposal in hand, we visited the Jerry’s Artarama of Princeton to explain our project and ask for donations, whereupon the Outreach Director Lisa Thomas was generous enough to let us have eight large tubs of acrylic paint.

Our artistic process commenced with a trip to Home Depot, where each group purchased four 5’x3’ cement boards, for a final dimension of 10’x6’. We primed the front, back, and sides of the boards, then used a digital projector to trace each quarter of the design onto the panels. We printed each quadrant of the design in color on large paper to use as a color reference, and began mixing paint, filling in the shapes like a paint-by-number. In two short yet very busy weeks, the mural was complete, and we painted our names and sponsor at the bottom, then coated the panels with a thick layer of glossy varnish to protect against weathering and ultraviolet light.

Kasso muralWhen it came to installation, our dedicated professor attached wood frames to the ARTWORKS building’s brick façade, into which we screwed the mural panels. This was by far the most unnerving stage of the process, as a crew of five people lifted the heavy cement boards one at a time on a tall ladder and screwed them in amidst a steady wind. Besides the weight of the boards, the most difficult task was lining the panels up precisely so that the paintings flowed seamlessly from one to the next. Needless to say, our mural project was a unique and fascinating learning experience, which exposed us to topics and activities we would not have seen in a normal painting class. The murals are part of the Young Galaxy exhibition currently up at ARTWORKS, which features fresh works from TCNJ’s advanced students, including drawings, videos, sculptures, and installations. The show will be up through May 3rd, and I strongly encourage all who can to stop in and visit. You will know you are in the right place when you see four vibrant murals jump out at you.

Advertisements

Theater as the Integrated Performing Arts by Shannon McGovern

Have you heard about the School of the Arts and Communication’s new Integrated Performing Arts minor? Find out everything you need to know from Shannon McGovern in her latest blog post below! For more information about the minor, please visit www.tcnj.edu/ipa.

Shannon McGovern is a junior Music student, with minors in Integrated Performing Arts and Management. She is a member of All College Theatre, Alpha Psi Omega, the TCNJ Chorale, and The Mixed Signals Improv troupe. She is looking forward to baking soufflés and cookies with her younger siblings over Spring Break.

At the end of last semester, I changed my major and added on 2 minors. As a Junior at TCNJ, this was one of the scariest decisions I have ever made. I switched from the Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree to a Bachelor of Arts in Music with minors in Management and Integrated Performing Arts. Though it was a terrifying decision to make, I am so excited to be studying things that I’m really, truly interested in — the main subject of which is theater.

When I first found out there wasn’t a specific route for studying theater at TCNJ, I was a little disappointed. However, after becoming a part of the Integrated Performing Arts minor (henceforth known as IPA), I realize this interdisciplinary minor is more valuable than a theater minor would ever be.

The IPA minor resulted when the Theatre and Drama Interdisciplinary minor was updated and renamed in Spring 2012. The goal of the IPA program “is to offer students an expanded experience in performance techniques using the various disciplines in the School and in the College.” There are requirements for Theory/History/Literature, Applied Music, Visual Arts/Interactive Multimedia, and Applied Theatre, Dance, and Production. Within the IPA minor, I have taken voice lessons, studied a little bit of computer programming, learned about art history, made a fool of myself in my hip-hop dance class, and have had more fun than I ever thought possible. I have a new appreciation for all of these realms of art and performance, and have realized that I can do most of these things to a passable degree.

The amazing part, is that all of these “different” arts inform and grow off of each other. When I’m learning a new song for my voice studio, I find symbols in the text that are commonly discussed in art history. During my dance class, I find myself applying my knowledge of music history to that of the development of ballet. Everything is interrelated in the arts, and you can’t truly master one without the knowledge of the others.

When you think about it, theater is the ultimate product of all that knowledge — it combines all aspects of art into one cohesive experience. In that case, doesn’t it make sense that I study the visual arts, music, acting, literature, and dance if my final goal is to continue creating theater? I know that the knowledge I am discovering in the classroom is improving my skills as a performer/collaborator/audience member in the theater. I feel very at home studying the Integrated Performing Arts, and I bet that if you love art in any form, you will as well. So if you’re trying to figure out what to do for those elective classes, why not talk to your advisor and think about taking up the minor? I promise it’ll be a lot of fun.

If you’re interested in any of the TCNJ student-run theater organizations, theater, switching your major, or the IPA minor or have any questions, feel free to email me at mcgoves1@tcnj.edu. Students may also contact any of the coordinators for the program: Terry Byrne (Associate Professor of Communication Studies, byrneter@tcnj.edu), James Day (Assistant Dean of The School of the Arts & Communication, day@tcnj.edu) or Robert McMahan (Professor of Music, mcmahan@tcnj.edu) for academic advisement regarding the minor.

For more information about the IPA minor, please visit www.tcnj.edu/ipa.

Leaving the Nest by Stephanie Schoppe, Graduating Senior

Stephanie Schoppe, Communication Studies major, will graduate from TCNJ at the end of this Fall semester. We thank Stephanie for sharing advice, her experiences, and her study abroad trip to South Africa with us! Please read her farewell post for The School of the Arts & Communication blog. Congratulations to Stephanie and all TCNJ students graduating this December!

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” This is a quote that my generation is very familiar with. It invokes a feeling that, even when you leave a place that holds so many memories for you, when you come back it feels like you never left. Leaving that place may be a little bit scary, of course. But while you’re gone, it’ll be there, filled with people ready to hug you and say, “Welcome back.”

This feeling is all too real for me at the moment. This is my final semester as a TCNJ student. I didn’t feel the despair and dread that comes with the registration period. I won’t be here to experience coming back from winter break in January and catching up on how everyone’s break was. Next semester someone else will be living in my room at my house. These things and more, whether I like it or not, are happening, and they’re happening faster than I really want them too.

I’m currently in the process of applying to grad schools. Whenever I work on my applications, I’m taken back to four years ago when I was applying to undergrad schools. The process was so exciting then. “I get to go to college and meet people from all over the state and I get to experience the typical college life and I’ll be away from my parents and it’ll be great!” And it was. It absolutely was. Fast-forward to today, and I still feel that way about applying to grad schools. Only now it’s a teensy bit bittersweet.

These four and a half years, I’ve done things I never thought I’d get to do. I got to act in plays. I got to sit front row to see some of my favorite comedians perform. I got to study in another country not once but twice; I’m going to London in January, which I’ve neglected to mention in my posts until now (sorry). I got to sing with people from Japan. I made a difference in the world just by baking really cool-looking cupcakes. And I got to witness the initial outrage over our now beloved, shiny, and colorful balls.

Do I have advice for my friends who are graduating in May? I do. Don’t worry about it. I have to tell myself that at least once every single day. The more you panic about getting a good grade on the GREs or the LSATs or getting a job right out of school, the more you’ll stress and burn yourself out, and trust me, you don’t want to do that. Don’t overstress yourself so much that you forget to enjoy your final semester as a TCNJ Lion. Go to the C-Store, buy a lot of ice cream, and watch a bad movie with your friends. Listen to your iPod and take a walk by the lakes. Then go sit by the lakes and just be in that moment. Do something as simple as taking a nice, two-hour nap one day. You’ve worked so hard the last four years, and you deserve to enjoy every moment before you leave here.

To the freshmen coming up on completing their first semester of college, you don’t need to have anything figured out now. I’ve heard some of my friends who are freshmen worry about graduating in four years and about what they want to do with your life. It’s okay to not have that figured out now. If you worry about what’s after college, you won’t enjoy what’s going on in college now. Explore a little. Join a club you’d never think to join. Take classes in a variety of departments if you can. Don’t spend all your time worrying about what to do after graduation. You’ve got four years to do that. Also, not graduating on time isn’t as bad as it sounds. Speaking from personal experience, it’s really, totally fine.

To conclude my final blog post as a TCNJ student, TCNJ has been my second home for 4 1/2 years. It feels weird to leave; you’re not supposed to leave your home, right? Some of my best friends are here, and will still be here when I leave. I’m not ready to leave now, and I probably won’t be ready to leave in December. But I know if I need to, I can always come back to TCNJ, where there will be students and professors here ready to welcome me home.

Adventures in Pittsburgh: The Annual Meeting of the American Musicology Society by Andrew Unger

Senior Music major Andrew Unger recounts his recent trip to Pittsburgh for the American Musicological Society’s annual conference. Find out more about his experience, and how TCNJ’s Department of Music was represented at the conference!

On November 7-10 at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, the American Musicological Society held its annual conference.

The AMS is an organization comprised of scholars and musicians from all over the country, ranging from ambitious graduate students in historical musicology and ethnomusicology to seasoned veterans of the field who teach at high-caliber universities. At the annual conference, over 100 papers are given by noted scholars and advanced graduate students alike, on topics ranging from 13th century motets, to Debussy, to the music of Star Trek.

I woke up at 4am, dreary-eyed and impossibly tired, on the morning of the 9th to catch a flight to the City of Bridges with my colleague Kevin Whitman. Post-arrival, the two of us enjoyed getting the most that we could out of our attendance at the conference.

Our main activity was hearing papers throughout Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, one of which being “Slonimsky’s Held,” given by TCNJ’s own Dr. Wayne Heisler as part of the panel, “Music, Jews, and Other.” Dr. Heisler also chaired the panel “Ballet and the Modern” and finished the final year of his term as a member of the Board of Directors. I was disappointed to miss a paper given by former TCNJ adjunct professor of music, Dr. Jessica Chisholm, as part of the “Sources and Scribes” panel.

Kevin and I were lucky enough to speak with professors and students from various universities and schools of music. We especially enjoyed having dinner with two TCNJ alumni, Jeremy Frusco and Tom Hanslowe from Florida University and Tufts University, respectively. Both Kevin and I happen to be pursuing graduate school for historical musicology, so these experiences were highly valuable for us in the midst of application season. Overall, this was a wonderful, eye-opening experience that I would recommend to anyone who has a keen interest – professional, academic, or otherwise – in any musicological or historiographical subject. I’m already looking forward to Milwaukee 2014!

Review of TCNJ Art Gallery’s Featured Exhibition: Video Cubano, by Scott Samuels

Please welcome Scott Samuels, a junior studying Art Education and Spanish, to the TCNJ School of the Arts & Communication blog! Scott reviewed the TCNJ Art Gallery’s featured exhibition, Video Cubano, which is on display now through December 15, 2013. See what Scott’s reactions were, and be sure to check out this free exhibition for yourself before the end of the semester!

Scott Samuels

Scott Samuels, Junior, Art Education and Spanish

Scott Samuels is a junior studying Art Education and Spanish.  His hobbies include painting, playing drums, tennis, and creative writing, and he is currently coaching the speech and debate team at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

 Video Cubano:
What: Video Cubano, a collection of 22 videos from 18 Cuban artists
When: October 23 – December 15, 2013 (Gallery hours: Tues, Wed, & Thurs 12pm-7pm, Sun 1pm-3pm)
Where: TCNJ Art Gallery, AIMM Building, First Floor, Space 115
www.tcnj.edu/artgallery

Hamlet Lavastida (b. 1983), Reflexión, 2009. DVD 3:05, courtesy the artist and The 8th Floor.

Hamlet Lavastida (b. 1983), Reflexión, 2009. DVD 3:05, courtesy the artist and The 8th Floor.

The current exhibit in The College of New Jersey’s Art Gallery features videos by artists from our island neighbor to the south.  The goal of the show is to let Cuban art permeate the sometimes impenetrable wall that exists between Cuba and the United States, giving us a glimpse at life within the socialist state, and providing Cuban visionaries the opportunity to share their stories.

The exhibition’s official pamphlet contains a brief interview with one of the artists, Geandy Pavón, which sheds light on the power of art and anti-government sentiment in Cuba.  Pavón recalls that on the opening night of his first exhibition in 1988, a multitude of people showed up, including many who had no particular interest in art, simply because they had heard that the works “portrayed Castro and some of the issues that were taboo in the country at the time.”  But before the doors could open, the state authorities intervened, prohibiting the controversial works from being shown.  In response, the artists extricated their pieces and displayed them in a well-lit storefront, an act which became “a public catharsis” for scores of frustrated Cuban citizens who could not freely and openly express their political views.

Geandy Pavón’s contribution to Video Cubano is a piece called “Timing Revolutions,” in which we see a pair of hands folding a photograph of a fatally wounded Ché Guevara into an origami elephant, perhaps signifying a Hinduism-inspired reincarnation of ideals.  Sandra Ramos gives us a heart-pounding relay race, or “Carrera de Relevo” in which hand-drawn, cartoony figures pass a green baton inside a cavernous stadium filled with roaring fans.  The baton starts off in the hands of a Renaissance prince, who runs it to Uncle Sam, who passes it to Hitler, then to Lenin, and then to Fidel Castro, who, being shot by an unseen bullet, collapses and tosses the baton precariously to a young girl dressed in pink.  Ramos’s animation suggests the notion that, after an age of shifting political ideologies, the power of the idea is finally in the hands of the people.

Jeosviel Abstengo-Chaviano’s “Prendas Corpus” is a series of clips where various individuals (whose faces are off-screen) strap slabs of raw meat onto different parts of their bodies, trying to assimilate the extra flesh in order to smuggle it to their destination.  “Concierto” by Analía Amaya is a beautiful rendition of nighttime scenes in Cuban neighborhoods, in which the vistas are built piece-by-piece to a moving classical score reminiscent of the climax of a dramatic film.  And Alexandre Arrechea’s “Making Room” features a split screen: on the right a wrecking ball demolishes a historical building in black and white, while simultaneously on the left, a dark-skinned man dons multiple pairs of pants in an ambience of electronic trance music.

One of the more powerful videos is “La Ronda” by Adonis Flores, in which a Cuban soldier dressed in camouflage prowls the streets of an affluent city on all fours, wearing five-fingered black rubber boots on his hands to match the conventional boots on his feet.  Onlookers cautiously move out of the way as he struggles by, some staring with curiosity and others aghast.  A symbolically loaded piece comes from Amilkar Feria Flores, whose work “Tengo una idea” shows a hand lighting a match against a black background.  The match then ignites a row of tiny human figures standing arm in arm, whose heads are themselves made of matches which promptly burst into flames, signifying the incendiary spread of ideas and the potentially destructive aftermath.

“Invencible” by Ricardo Miguel Hernandez is a frantic scene of shaky handycam footage showing a man darting behind barricades, tossing Molotov cocktails at an unseen enemy.  We are immersed in the din of explosions, helicopters, gunfire, and sirens, yet when the character finally gazes out from behind a rusty barrel, we see that there is no assault, just an empty field in front of him.  Finally, “Diglosia” by Ernesto Leal is a compilation of words filmed from different billboards, signs, and advertisements, which form the sentences of a political discourse.  The words come from different public places throughout Cuba; some seem old and withered, some are new, some zoom in or out, others are out of focus.  At the outset of the video, Leal provides a definition of the term “diglosia,” which represents the divergence of the two forms of a language, one written and one spoken.  When we interpret this definition in the context of the piece, we realize that a duality is set up between the language of pro-government propaganda, and the actual conversations that take place in Cuban homes regarding the country’s social and political situation.  One of the (translated) phrases reads, “Today’s Cuban no longer believes in the happy utopia of a supreme and immortal socialism.”  We see that a widening disparity exists between the communist party’s constructed public image and the living opinions floating in the minds of the Cuban people.

The works of Video Cubano are the vehicles of dissemination for a generation of artists acting as the leaders of a new ideological movement.  Through their images and sound, these artists aim to illuminate diverse perspectives, influence the world’s perception of Cuban society, and fight for the right of the Cuban people to be global citizens.

Video Cubano Opening

Opening reception of Video Cubano, a collection of 22 videos from 18 Cuban artists

Blogging the Brown Bag Series: Round Two by Katharine Callahan

Katharine Callahan, freshman Communication Studies major, reports on the variety of this semester’s Brown Bag Series. Find out more about these special guest presentations, and be sure to catch the last two of the semester in the Mayo Concert Hall, Friday, Nov. 15 and 22, 11:30am to 12:20pm! Bring your lunch and relax!

Dr. Lucas Blair, Little Bird Games

Dr. Lucas Blair, Little Bird Games

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the brown bag on October eleventh, Little Bird Games, which was presented by Dr. Lucas Blair, as I had a schedule conflict with an event I had to attend. However, if you would like to learn more about Dr. Blair’s company, Little Bird Games, which specializes in making educational and therapeutic video, board, and card games, I have attached a link to the company’s website here.

Jeffry Cudlin, Imposters, Interlocutors, and Dilettantes

Jeffry Cudlin, “Imposters, Interlocutors, and Dilettantes”

Finishing up the Brown Bags for the month of October was Jeffry Cudlin with his presentation entitled, Imposters, Interlocutors, and Dilettantes.  Mr. Cudlin is an art curator, art critic, and artist himself. He has written art critiques for the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and Sculpture Magazine, and worked previously as a curator for the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia. Mr. Cudlin is the first artist we have had present at TCNJ’s Brown Bag Series, and you can view his artwork and read about his process on his website. Mr. Cudlin’s work as an artist relies heavily on collaboration from other trusted artists, and generally takes the form of a parody that takes an awkward turn; especially in his works such as “The Request.”

TCNJ Wind Ensemble performing Dr. Stephen Gorbos's "Bounce"

TCNJ Wind Ensemble performing Dr. Stephen Gorbos’s “Bounce”

Another significant work discussed during TCNJ’s Brown Bag Series was Dr. Stephen Gorbos’s “Bounce,” a traditional string-instrumental piece selected by two separate New York City orchestras to be preformed. In his presentation entitled Inside a Composer’s Studio: The Process of Revising a Piece, Dr. Gorbos explains that a traditional string ensemble has a homogeneous sound, while wind ensembles have a heterogeneous sound; for that reason, Dr. Gorbos decided to adapt his work to be played by a wind ensemble. Dr. Gorbos stated that wind ensembles are “a newly emerging orchestral style,” and he transformed his work with the help of TCNJ’s very own Professor David Vickerman. Professor Vickerman led the TCNJ Wind Ensemble in performing excerpts of Gorbos’s wind ensemble-adapted piece “Bounce” while Gorbos outlined the reconstructive process of adapting a string ensemble to a wind ensemble. The entire piece was performed later that night by the TCNJ Wind Ensemble for an audience in the Kendall Main Stage Theatre.

Geandy Pavón, Flying Che, oil on canvas

Geandy Pavón, Flying Che, oil on canvas

The next Brown Bag presentation was given by Geandy Pavón, and was entitled, Vanitas: The Political Still Life.  Pavón was born on the eastern half of the island of Cuba, and began his work as an artist very early in life. After he and his art troupe were expelled from every art university on the island, they took their controversial work to the streets of Cuba. When Pavón came to the United States, it was because Amnesty International granted him a visa on account of his artwork. Pavón focused mainly on his hyper-realistic oil on canvas paintings in his collection called “Wrinkled,” in which Pavón uses the symbolism of his art as a political statement. His collection “Vanitas” is reminiscent of the vanitas style artwork of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that uses skulls to symbolize the shortness of life.

Next week’s Brown Bag on Friday, November 15, This Trenton Life: Screening and Discussion, will be given by Dr. Susan Ryan, TCNJ Associate Professor of Communication Studies who collaborated with TCNJ students on this short documentary. The final Brown Bag on Friday, November 22, Constructing the Past and Shaping the Present in Appalachia Through Dance, will be presented by professors of dance from Radford Univeristy. For more information, please visit www.tcnj.edu/bbs.

Improv(ing) Your Life by Shannon McGovern, Junior Music Education Major

We’d like to welcome new student blogger Shannon McGovern, a junior Music Education major with a Vocal Concentration. In her first blog post below, Shannon explains the LARCH rule and how it’s been “impov(ing)” her improvisation skills, and how you can use it to improve your daily life, too!

Shannon McGovern, Junior Music Education Major, Vocal Concentration

Shannon McGovern, Junior Music Education Major, Vocal Concentration

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first blog post for the School of the Arts & Communication blog! Glad you could make it. My name is Shannon McGovern, and I am a junior Music Education major with a Vocal concentration. I am currently involved with the TCNJ Chorale, All College Theatre, The Mixed Signals Improv troupe, and Alpha Psi Omega. In my spare time I enjoy yoga, riding my bike, photography, and peanut butter.

I feel obligated to excel in many areas, which seems to be a commonality amongst most people. But in trying to “have it all” I usually end up hurting myself the most. Why is it that I am willing to sacrifice my own happiness and well-being for things that I am less than passionate about? I’ve been asking myself this question more and more, and the only answer I come to is that I shouldn’t be. So this semester, I’ve been trying to change the way I approach day-to-day life so that I can be successful without derailing my sanity.

I am a member of the Mixed Signals Improv Comedy Troupe on campus. We practice twice a week and have shows once every month (you should definitely check out our November 2nd show!). My Dad is always very interested in how we “just know what to do,” and the truth is, we practice playing games a lot. It’s never the same scene, but you use “rules” in every game to help guide you to create a strong scene. One of the rules is called LARCH and it stands for “Location, Action, Relationship, Character, and History.”

While these terms are applied a little differently in improv, I find the terms can also be applied for success in everyday life as well.

Location : Place yourself in an environment where you can succeed.  I am incapable of doing my homework around people I am friends with. I have tried many times, and have handed in incomplete or poorly done work because of it. So now, I go to the library by myself or work in my room with the door shut. And that’s okay. Finding/creating a place where you can excel is important.

Action : Work for yourself. When deciding what new projects I want to take on, I now reevaluate whether or not it is for something I like/care about/am interested in/will help me to grow. If the answer to those questions is no, I won’t do it. A low value (Value = Perceived Benefits / Cost) may not be worth it to my overall well-being. When you start looking out for your own interests, you become your own best advocate.

Relationship : Find people. Preferably ones who will support you, and laugh with you, and will share their experiences with you. TCNJ is full of exceptional humans who are high achievers in all different areas — don’t neglect them just because you’re involved with different activities. Friends can come from anywhere, so never forget to keep looking.

Character : Discover what you care about. Once you determine what is important to you as an individual, it is much easier to do everything else. Without a strong character in improv, it is much harder to make choices in your scene. The same goes for life. If you have strong ideas or passions, knowing what you need to do next is already laid out.

History : Learn from your past mistakes. The most cliché of all, but the most true. Knowledge comes from mistakes, and success can come from knowledge (and some luck). College is a great place to make mistakes — we are in a safe environment where everyone around us wants us to succeed. People will be there to dust you off and set you on the right path. Don’t be afraid to mess-up, so long as you’re willing to try and fix it.

The ideas behind LARCH are helping to keep me focused and well-aligned this semester, and I’m very grateful for it. The concepts are basic, but the constant repetition and reminders are keeping me sane, steady, and mostly stress-free.

If you often feel overworked/overwhelmed, I’d suggest trying to apply LARCH to your own life. But if you only jive with one of the LARCH ideas, run with-it and ignore the others. One of the greatest “rules” in improv is that the “rules” are meant to be broken, so don’t be afraid to change things up when you need to. What else is keeping you balanced?

If you have any questions about Improv Comedy, The Mixed Signals, or being busy, feel free to email me at mcgoves1@tcnj.edu.