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Student Blog: We Made A Musical Parody For Orientation!


Inspired by the UMich MT senior entrance presentation, my class decided to make our own version.

Student Blog: We Made A Musical Parody For Orientation!

I'm sure many of you would have come across University of Michigan's MT Senior Entrance videos on YouTube. Some may even have gotten inspired to join Musical Theatre because of that. I too have been swooned by their works, year after year.

Early this year, my classmates and I were watching their senior entrance performances and were inspired to do something similar. I suggested to them that we should do it for our school orientation and all of them seemed excited to do so. That was sort of a passing comment, but I kept that in my mind for a while. In June, I thought about it again as we were on a mini "lockdown", thinking that this is the best time to start the project.

My whole class was onboard with the project, so I contacted the orientation organiser and proposed to them by showing UMich's video that was posted last year as an example. As I was part of the e-orientation team the year before as a student emcee, I knew that the performance segment was at the end of the e-orientation and it was supposed to be casual. The organiser loved the idea and proposed for it to be the main video to kick start the e-orientation. Pressure was high because it suddenly became a huge project. We had only 1 week to plan, 2 weeks to rehearse, 1 week to film and record audio, and 1 week to edit. All done independently by my class. So we had to start working immediately.

Part 1 of 3 presented by LASALLE College of the Arts BA(Hons) Musical Theatre Class of 2023:

First thing we needed was music. We shortlisted Merrily We Roll Along from Merrily We Roll Along, Nicest Kids in Town from Hairspray, Candy Store from Heathers, One Short Day from Wicked, Poor Unfortunate Souls from The Little Mermaid, and Big Picture from Ordinary Days. We were advised to create our own backing tracks from scratch or get permission from the owners of the backing tracks to use for the project. We managed to get permission for Candy Store and Poor Unfortunate Souls but we have to create the other tracks on our own.

We had a music department that was made up of Eric, Eugenia and Marissa, they were in charge of the lyrics, arrangement, music direction and recordings. They worked really hard to get the arrangement, music scores and backing tracks done for us. Since we did not have a physical band, we had to create the music digitally.

The recording session was supposed to be done within 1 day but because of the restrictions, we can only record one by one. The session was extended to approximately 5 days because we faced issues like blending of voice and getting the offsets in sync. Because the whole session was run by ourselves, plus many of us have limited voice recording experience, the session took longer than expected.

The whole concept of the video is to inspire freshmen to be creative and to welcome them to LASALLE College of the Arts. We supposedly have 4 dance numbers but unfortunately a lot of the dance was removed during the filming process due to unforeseen circumstances.

The choreography was done between me and my classmate Max, who is an amazing dancer/choreographer. Nicest Kids in Town and Candy Store was done by Max, and I choreographed One Short Day. For One Short Day, I combined my experience with film to integrate it as part of the choreography.

We had 2 filming days and we were unfortunate with the weather, we had to change a lot of the scheduling because it was raining. We also had a cast down with a flu and he was not allowed to come for filming as advised by the school as a precautionary measure. So we had to change a lot of the dance and directions. The scene that he was in had to move online because we went into another mini "lockdown" after the filming.

We used the 3 cameras set up for efficiency so that we don't tire the dancers and also to reduce conti issues. We had Hilary, Ben, Marcus and I as part of the filming team and we took turns to film as some of us were involved in the scenes. Our alumni, under the company StandStills, was kind to support us with equipments rental.

The editing process was rather swift because Hilary and I were experienced editors. We manage to edit them within a week, with minor edits after that. Some credits I would like to mention are Marcus and Amelia, our producers, Nyxx, our costume coordinator, and Glen and Chrisdale, our production assistant. The project couldn't happen without them.

It was a stressful process for all of us as we were doing this independently. Compared to UMich, they had external support for filming and music, therefore could focus on their performance. But for us, we had to juggle multiple rolls at the same time so our techniques were not in tip top condition. One thing I would change if I were to do this again is... more time. I would want to have more time to rehearse and film the video instead of rushing the project and not having enough time to clean the choreography. But I would say that I am proud of the outcome.

Part 3 of 3 presented by LASALLE College of the Arts BA(Hons) Musical Theatre Class of 2023:

P.s. Candy Store, Poor Unfortunate Souls and Big Picture are still not up yet so follow LASALLE instagram for the upcoming videos.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Zac Denver Lee