Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome and c'mon in!

Campus Open House! We've pulled out all the stops to make our college noisy, lively and -- to some extent -- spontaneous. It was an opportunity to show off our latest attraction: a high-elements confidence course strung across the garden courtyard for brave souls to test the limits of their acrophobia. There was free food and lots of simple booth games with prizes for our visitors; and the performances in the atrium showcasing our aesthetic co-curricula activities.

My initial job was to look after the emcees at the performing venue. My duties include script vetting and rehearsing. That was the easy part. I should have given more attention to rehearsing the unscripted dialogue that inevitably takes place in between items. While the emcees knew that the visitors need lots of information about what's going on, where to go and what to do when they get there, holding the mike and hearing your own voice amplified tends to be very disconcerting and you quickly run out of things to talk about. So cue next item -- at least the script tells us what to say about that.

I realize on hindsight that although the emcees' job appears to be that of introducing items and saying nice things about them (that's the scripted part), in this kind of Open House environment the entertainment is only an excuse for the emcees to pump information to the guests, keeping them constantly updated with what's what.

My secondary job, unfortunately, took some of my attention away from my primary. The atrium, being quite breezy, turned the huge vinyl backdrop into a sail. Though it had been taped down the afternoon before, today the tape kept ripping up and had to be constantly replaced... by yours truly. As I said, not my primary job, but it had to be done out of necessity. Still, I learned the gaffer's trade through experience. By the time the performances were over, with strategic overlapping applications of tape, the backdrop ceased to be a threat to the performing area.

All in all, I'd say we did a reasonable job, though leaving some room for improvement.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The take over

The year has inevitably kicked off. Met the new kids today: fresh faced, eager-eyed, and so quiet... as they suss out the New Teacher. I'm taking over this J2 batch from whomever was tutoring them in J1. It feels very much like I'm testing out my theory that GP doesn't really need two years to master. One should be quite sufficient.