Devised Theater: A Venn Diagram

Devised Theater: A Venn Diagram
This diagram was created by the co-producing artistic directors of Rude Mechs to depict the complexity of creating and crediting collaboratively devised work for theatrical performance.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

This I Believe #4

You know what to do!


  1. I believe

    I believe in soul mates
    not in the since of a lover
    but in someone who is you
    not in the same body.

    A soul mate reads the lines on your face like a book
    because they share the same ones
    their mind as twisted and messed up as yours
    the wolf to your fox.

    The one who fixes you when no one else understands
    because they feel the pain
    their hands as bloody and dirty as yours
    the needle to your thread.

    The one who doesn't just hear your scream but screams with you
    because they know
    their life as dark and haunted as yours
    the fire to your earth.

    I believe in soul mates
    not in the realm of love
    but in someone who has lived your life
    not in the same body.

  2. Even though some days are harder than others, and I more than most understand the need to cry, I believe that there are often more reasons to smile than not. There are days when you feel like the foundation you’ve built under yourself has crumbled to the ground. You cannot find your footing as everything seems uncertain. The plans you had made suddenly change and none of the the other options feel right. You’re lost in a fog, voices calling out to you in all directions and none seem recognizable anymore. Your senses are stunted by your emotions, your rationality isn’t even remotely available to you. Nothing is comforting.
    However, it is important to recognize the possibilities the beaten path provides you. It is important to remember that staying comfortable stunts something even more important than your previous plans. Being comfortable stunts your endurance. If you never face obstacles you will never learn what it feels like to fight. If you never have that challenge then you will never truly understand what is important to you and why it holds such a dear place in your heart. It allows for an opportunity to re-evaluate, reanalyze and feel everything around you inside and out all over again. While this at least drives me crazy, it’s amazing to see the world of possibilities. They are waiting, and all you can do is run after them again and again until you make it. If you want something bad enough, even when things don’t work out exactly as planned. Just that journey to the desired destination is valuable, sometimes even more than the destination itself.
    I believe in dreaming. Like Hercules, I can go the distance and for the first time I feel infinite. The storm is gone.

  3. As I'm sitting in the library studying for my accounting test that's a mere 8 hours away, I just realized something that I believe in a lot. I believe in sunshine, and in rain. I believe in sweet tea. I believe in always doing what you promise to someone. I'm always the last one to finish something, just because I'm too lazy to do it right away.
    I'm worried about my accounting test, but I'm not doing anything about it, because although I believe in making good grades, I also believe in procrastinating. I bet you didn't even realize this whole essay is a result of procrastinating until just now, but I knew all along. And this essay is a prime example of just how much I believe in procrastinating.

  4. There is something to be said about being alone. You don’t have to answer to anyone. You can spend your time exactly how you want to and not feel bad about it. In college it is almost impossible to get time to yourself. Living on campus means you are no further than ten feet from someone at any given moment. There is literally always someone around. After weeks and weeks of being in such close proximity to the same people all the time you go crazy. The smallest things they do will annoy you. The way they leave the lights on. The way they eat. It’s maddening to the point that you think you can’t take another second. On top of all of that you barely have time to breathe. Everyone is overbooked. They run from class to the gym to class to work to meetings and then spend the rest of the night doing homework. Most people barely have time to eat meals between all the madness. It’s no wonder that most college students feel run down or burned out. They don’t have time to just be.

    If there is one thing I believe in more than anything, it is that everyone needs their own time. Time where they aren’t being bombarded with questions about their classes or their future. Time where they can get away from all the stressors in their life and just be. So, take your own time. Get off campus for a few days. Turn off your cell phone. Log off social media. Put down the list of applications and papers and deadlines. Just breathe. Take time to do what you want to do. Watch Netflix all day. Cook your favorite meal. Go for a drive or a walk or a hike. A weekend by yourself is all you really need sometimes. This I believe.

    1. I am totally with you on this, Ellen. But you should know it's hard to make alone time even after college :)

  5. Because it is cold and because at times I tire of my t-shirt-over-long-sleeved-t-shirt wardrobe, I am wearing a woolen vest. And I am sitting pressed-tight-to-the-table in front of a mirror so that I can see clearly as I plunge index fingers repeatedly into each of my eyes. And if you push on them just right, eyeballs make a sound similar to the sound that happens when air sneaks out of a ketchup bottle squeezed to get the last drops.

    Because it is winter and because I seasonally tire of working to keep my face clear of the shadow that appears at 5:00 on the sixth or seventh day after shaving, I am growing a beard. And I am standing pressed-tight-to-the-vanity in front of a mirror so I can see clearly as I trim stray hairs from my beard with a small handheld device that sounds like an early morning lawnmower.

    Because it is Kentucky and because my skin cracks in this climate—one hundred miles closer to the sun than where I was born—I moisturize my tattoo. And I have learned, first from Cosmo and now from listicles about how to care for the skin of an alligator, that moisturizing only works immediately after a shower. This is also, and unfortunately, immediately before I put my contacts in.

    Because I want to like them and because they will make it easier for me to photograph, to go sled-riding, to fall asleep and wake again many times in an hour without needing to clear skin smudges from each lens of my glasses, I am wearing contacts. And the shed fibers of a woolen vest hurt greatly when trapped beneath them. And the short hairs of my beard—cut, sharpened, and scattered about the room by my wireless trimmer—hurt immensely when caught beneath them. And the pomegranate lotion—which softens and moisturizes with aloe, borage, & shea butter in a way that cannot easily be removed with soap and water—hurts tremendously when it gathers beneath them.

    I want to, I do, but I am not sure that I can believe in contacts.

  6. I believe I am a complete nerd – of the unsavory sort

    Not like a nerd in the now-socially acceptable fashion where one is obsessed with chemistry or has calculus principles tattooed on their butt – they make poorly written TBS shows about that now – I, on the other hand, like all the shit that will still get you laughed at publically.

    For instance, I have no less than 15 volumes on various aspects of music theory, and only about 4 of them were used for class. In real time, I pick apart harmonic language of pop songs like most people chew gum, and when the occasional non-diatonic surprise floats through the air, my ears perk up like a golden retriever you just whispered: “beggin’ strips” to.

    When I hang out with other people like me (there are a few), one might quickly assume we are on shrooms, or fighting dragons: we sit very quietly until the loudest moment of a piece (which if the composer is doing it right: exactly follows the golden ratio of about 1.618, and, preferably sounds in a homogenous timbre) and as soon as the chord settles in we start pointing in the air at nothing exclaiming: “THERE!” “The 9! Right there!” referring of course to the overtone we predicted would be there or not be there depending on the chord quality and range.

    And musical physics are only one of many interests I cannot openly share in a conversation with someone from the administration. For instance I spent a solid hour this morning watching a new Gundam anime that showcased a strange meta-view of the real world cultural phenomena of the franchise, and incorporated that into the classic genre with all of its wonderful mecha-tropes; a piece of true conceptual art on the same plane as “the office” breaking the 4th wall.

    Or, I could talk about how I just ordered a series of graphic novels that revolve around the life of Buddha Shakyamuni – or how I’ve read nearly every word written by Vietnamese Zen philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh, or the late American, and self proclaimed “slick fiction writer,” Kurt Vonnegut because I find them more similar than I do different.

    Those are the types of nerdy things that they fail to discuss on shitty TBS shows like “Big Bang Theory,” because if they did, my parents wouldn’t watch it.

    1. You might be a self-announced nerd but you are very funny too (are the two at odds?)

  7. I believe in—the very occasional—splurging. There is no doubt I can be a materialistic person. I grew up in a house where I had four older siblings and started liking “nice” things far before most kids did. And boy do you learn to be thrifty when you your mind wants nice things and your budget wants nothing. Me being materialistic no doubt made me like Transy as a school better than Berea, and my decision to come here forced me to be the first to admit that I am materialistic.

    But I still try not to spend money. I work to pay tuition and other bills, and my parents help out with money for items like food and such. So while there is money in my account I have been trained my whole life to not spend it on silly things—perhaps things like getting your nails done and getting your ears pierced. These things are silly you see because you don’t, on any level, need them. So when I go shopping with my friends I don’t buy things—I shop almost exclusively with my mom, mainly because she will tell me when something is blatantly ugly or stupid. So when I got a few weeks into the semester and decided I would spend my Christmas money on getting my nails done and my ears pierced, the plan was acceptable—Christmas money is a gift, I didn’t feel compelled to buy necessities with it. Until I lost my $50 bill. I can tell you I have no idea where I lost it or even if someone stole it, but I “mildly” freaked out. I still went and got everything done, and freaked out that I had just spend that much of my parent’s money on silly things. Luckily they have yet to notice the fact I splurged.

    But I stand by my splurging. It made me happy if only for a couple weeks. It kept me sane through a couple tests and papers, and allowed me to even I was having a terrible day feel a little better. As I said, I’m the first to admit I’m materialistic and to prove that I just wrote that I believe in splurging. I believe that the occasional splurging, be it with shopping or eating whatever you damn well feel like, has the ability to keep us all sane. I also believe that splurging is available to everyone—whatever you’re used to, I believe there is always a way to sit back for a day and splurge on something.

  8. I wore glasses for 10 years: thick pink frames like an oversized butterfly covering half my face when no 7-year-old in Bulgaria passed for a hipster. I hated my glasses. And I wore them only when absolute need prevailed: only within the 4 walls of my classroom. I took them off even when I left class to go to the bathroom. So I learned to recognize people through body shape, posture, or walk. I identified my best friend in 1st grade because of her closely cropped hair. In high school I recognized Vladimir, the boy with whom we were all smitten, through his slouching gait, his legs too short for his well-toned body.

    My first pair of contacts brought the world into sharp focus. I could see into people’s eyes and discover truths no one had told me. I found that people smiled back when approached with a smile (years later, I would discover the same holds true for young infants). This did not change how I appear in pictures (Bulgarians don’t smile for cameras), but it did result in my smiling more often. I also observed that Vladimir’s eyes lingered over my classmates’ bodies as if he was weighing them on an old-fashioned balanced-beam scale. Vladimir’s eyes—not his too-short legs—were the reason I decided to keep far from him.

    By the time I arrived in college, I trusted my contacts to guide me. I needed them when I took my first American boyfriend-to-be to a monastery in the nearby mountains. Two bus rides and a kilometer-long walk away, the cloister promised a cross-cultural exchange laced with private emotions. I needed them when I made my way through Midsummer Night’s Dream: thick clouds obscured my vision. I blinked often to push aside the heavenly matter and make my way through Act II. I worried I might be asked to read a passage in class and I tried to make myself cry. I hoped the tears would clear my vision. Then my eye doctor pronounced an infection and I was back to my near-blind and unsmiling self, a self I disliked.

    I happened upon Vladimir on the second day of my trip to Bulgaria last summer. Sixteen years after I had last seen him, Vladimir still looks at women as if he is about to buy one. And I still believe in contacts, making the world snap into focus.

  9. I have never enjoyed myself more than the time my cousins and I drove up north to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. We had been planning this trip for a little over a year now and I remember being very excited when the date finally arrived. I was 16 and it was my first time ever going out to see true nature. It took us about 6 hours to get to the campsite and unlike my cousins, I was not bothered from the long drive because I was so thrilled that I was getting away from the city and going out to the wilderness. We packed enough food for four days and three nights and packed the truck with our camping gear and tons of firewood. After we finally arrived to the campsite, we unloaded all of our gear and set up camp. Once we were all unpacked and set up, I took a step back and when I looked around me, it was as if I was in a completely different world because everything around me was so different and so fascinating. Never have I seen a Redwood tree in my life, and when I finally got the chance to be next to hundreds of them, it felt surreal and I felt so tiny compared to all of them. The next day, we prepared for our trek and began hiking up a mountain for about five miles on a trail exploring nature and just enjoying the scenery. Never have I inhaled such pure air, in such a high altitude. During our hike we passed by furious rapids and enormous waterfalls that would keep us refreshed from all of the mist that hit us. This trip was almost life changing because it made me realize all of the beautiful wonders that this world has to offer, and it saddens me because urban life ruins these environments. People destroy these environments all around the world and chop down these enormous trees for materials that they apparently “need.” I believe that everyone who has not been outdoors should go explore these wonders and see how beautiful nature actually is. Not only would it probably relieve stress from urban life, it will also force you to walk around the woods and that might help shed some pounds on those who are overweight and never exercise. I believe in nature. I believe in fresh air. I believe in staying healthy. I believe in keeping this world intact and not destroying it.

  10. I believe you should do your homework as soon as your professor assigns it to you. I believe this because when I fail to do it everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Sure it’s not due till Monday or Wednesday. You’ve got the whole weekend to do it! Wrong! Just because it’s not due till the end of the week or whatever doesn’t mean you have all the time in the world. Why you might ask? For one thing, you do not have the ability to predict the future. If you do then you obviously haven’t being using your powers right. Also you’re free Sunday could turn into the busiest day in your life! Your friend you haven’t seen in forever could suddenly appear! Sunday happens to be the only day they can hang out with you. Then perhaps you realize you’ve run out of groceries and need to stop by the store to pick some up. However when you get there the store is packed due to people shopping for their Super Bowl parties. You can’t just leave though you don’t have any food at home. What the hell is your friend suppose to eat? So you have to attempt to get what you need and get out. It’s not just a simple as that though. The lines are endlessly long! You’ll wait there for what seems like forever as you listen to middle age white people complain about the youth. When you do finally check out and get in the car you’ve now found that you’re car is almost running on empty. So it’s time to make a stop at the gas station! All the pumps are in use so it looks like you’ll have to wait for someone to move. After you’ve finally managed to fill up your car you head home. It’s already late and your friend so far has had a terrible time. So you bring out some video games and or movie to entertain them while you fix them something to eat. Your friend will then insist on inviting a few other friends that they haven’t seen in some time. So you oblige them by calling a few friends up and inviting them over. You now have a party going on that you didn’t originally have planned. It’s late and you haven’t worked on a single piece of homework. You say to yourself “well I’ll just get up early tomorrow and work on it!” Suddenly a bear burst into your home and mauls you to death. Well not to death, but you are now in the hospital. You are completely unable to do your homework. Sure your teacher will probably excuse you and give you some extra days to work on it seeing as how a bear attacked you. However that adds to all your future homework that will be building up as you wait in the hospital. Thus causing an even more stressful semester then the one you began with. You might say that doing your homework earlier wouldn’t have stopped the bear attack. This is very true. Nevertheless it would still be one less piece of homework to work on when you got out of the hospital. So I believe you should always do your homework. You never know when a bear will attack you and leave you in the hospital where you can’t do homework.

  11. With so many exams, papers, projects, presentations, and shows for Cabaret coming up, I thank god for reruns. Those classic television shows that I was shown at a young age and easily learned to love, continuously turning back to for a piece of utopia in my darkest hour. They were pure (at least at the time they seemed to be) and they were something that helped me relate to the people that mattered to me.
    I was raised as an old soul by all of my family members. Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, Fred Astaire, and Red Skeleton were regular household names for me. My VHS collection had a large hole where my Pokemon movies should have been, but were replaced by seasons of Andy Griffith Show, Good Times, Betty Boop cartoons, Classic Who, Twilight Zone, and, above all, my I Love Lucy collection.
    When I was sick, sad, bored, or just needed a laugh, my reruns were my refuge. While I stayed with my Grandparents or other family members, I would always bring my collection along and we would marathon through the same seasons we had already watched six or seven times. My mother thought I was funny, my Aunt didn’t understand why I was so strange, my Grandmother thought I would be the brightest of my age, my father couldn’t wait until I turned it off. It didn’t matter what my friends thought of me when I would make references to names they have never heard of or movie scenes that they have never seen before. I missed my chances on watching Lizzie McGuire, Spongebob, and Courage the Cowardly Dog, but replaced them with memories of living the way my mother did, of sitting around the television with my family and laughing at another one of Lucy’s schemes. My strange upbringing has made me unique as an individual, one that could win the title for senior superlative as “Person Born in the Wrong Decade”.

  12. As soon as I received my syllabus for Women’s Health, I knew when the date of our first exam would be. Wednesday, February 5th at 1:30. Somehow, that date seemed so far away at the time. Now, that date is tomorrow. This past week I’ve made a point each day to scan through my notes in an attempt to prepare myself. However, I know much more is needed of my time and focus in my endeavor to do well on that first exam.

    My go to whenever I need to write a paper, study for an exam, or any type of homework for that matter is baroque music. I’m not sure if it’s the multiple proven studies that have been shown to improve concentration that have me convinced, the calming focus I immediately sense, or a combination of the two. Either way, baroque music is something that I discovered my freshman year of college to develop better studying habits that I have used to this day. I believe in baroque music. I believe in its uncanny ability to help me focus and give me the motivation to complete whatever academic tasks are thrown my way.

  13. School, grades, and life can all be pretty stressful for everyone. I know I can get so overwhelmed with everything going on in my life that it becomes difficult for me to just relax and enjoy anything. I worry about my grades a lot and trying to keep up with my schoolwork, which can make me very anxious at times. I always try to do my schoolwork and, but there are times when I’m just too overwhelmed and I need a break. As important as schoolwork is, I believe that you should always try to find some time for yourself to relax and to stop worrying. I believe that you should try to accomplish homework and make good grades, but I also believe that you should take breaks from studying and do something you enjoy for a little while.

  14. When I was in junior high, I had somehow convinced myself that in order be mature, one had to never play or enjoy oneself. I spent my time sitting in my room, pretending to study (because that would be the adult thing to do) while I was actually reading a fantasy novel or playing with my stuffed animals. My sister constantly tried to get me to play, but I refused. When she started begging, I would shout at her and tell her that she was being an immature little girl (she was eight). I never saw the irony.

    Eventually, she stopped trying. She pretended not to care that I never played and I pretended that I did not miss her. We became roommates instead of sisters. It took me too long to realize that being a responsible adult does not mean cutting out the fun things in life, and it certainly does not mean that one should ignore younger siblings.

    I knew that I needed to change my relationship with my sister, but feared that by ignoring her for so long, she would act like how I did or reject my attempts to be the big sister she deserved. However, my greatest fear was that this mature young lady, my sister, had outgrown me. I may have been who she wanted as a girl, but it was a possibility that I was no longer of any value.

    Over the past year, I have tried to heal our relationship. She was very suspicious at first, and constantly reminded me of the years I spent dismissing her. Things are better now, better than they ever were. She accepts my apologies--I can never say sorry enough times--and even understands why I acted the way I did. I know that sometimes it is too late to fix a relationship, but I believe in the bond of siblings. That type of bond cannot be completely severed.

  15. The Walking Dead, Scandal, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, and many more; all of which are some of my favorite TV shows. I believe in television shows. They help me get through the week because I am always looking forward to their specified time and day of the week.

    I grew up watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy every night with my Nana. I still watch those shows when I actually have the time because watching them helps me remember my Nana and the good times we had while watching these shows and other TV shows together. Some of our best times were when we were in the kitchen sitting at the table watching on our little 12 inch TV. Oh how I miss those days.

    I feel like certain shows can create and continue relationships. I know that I watch certain TV shows with certain groups of people which forms or progresses a friendship. I also believe that the TV shows that a person likes, says something about them because if they are invested in following whichever series they’re into then they must enjoy a certain aspect which may relate to their life in some shape or form. For example watching television shows allows somebody to take time out of their own life to enjoy something like somebody else’s life, an interesting subject on the National Geographic channel, a sporting event, whichever chosen program.
    Having many options is another reason why I believe in TV shows. I am not very limited to what types of programs there are for me to view. I have the liberty to choose which ones I like and do not like which is nice. In society we do not always have this option. The number of channels, DVR options, and providers is outrageous but I love it.

    TV shows come with options and I like that about them; having options pertains to many parts of life. Choosing how we spend our time, with whom we spend that time, and for me, TV is one of the options I choose to consume some of my time.