BWW Blog: All The World's a Screen: Zoom Etiquette
Ah, Zoom. The new favorite of the college class streaming services. Derived from the Latin "Zaboomafoo," it roughly translates to "well, it's better than Facetime." I have to give Zoom credit where it's due during this time of unexpected changes in education: It's straightforward! It's easy to use! And frankly, it's made me really miss my in-person lectures. Staring at a screen can get pretty mundane pretty fast. So, fellow students, I've compiled a guide of tips and tricks to spice up your Zoom classes!
Animals Put the "zoo" in Zoom! There is nothing better than spotting a puppy on your screen. Teach your hamster about lighting. Perhaps your parrot can learn phonics. I brought my fish to acting class on Stanislavski and now he swims with intention ! Musical theater majors: now is the time to premiere your new experimental piece Cats, But Literally .
Food Speaking of feeding, snacks make even the worst gen eds bearable. The benefit of online classes is that no one can smell your anchovy and garlic pizza! You might get some weird looks eating it during your 8am lecture. Whatever. Pizza is delicious. It's fine. Added benefit: when you go to kill that garlic breath no one can beg you for a piece of your gum.
Wardrobe Let's talk Zoom fashion! Being at home means you have your whole closet at your disposal. I suggest getting your class to start themed dress days. Monday: Pajama Day. Tuesday: Sweatpants Day. Wednesday: Flannel Pants Day. Thursday: Sweatshirt Day. Friday: switch it up and go for onesies! Is this what the fashion world calls "minimalism?"
Makeup For those of you who are more makeup-savvy than me, finish out your fashion statement with some new looks. Go ahead, try that aqua blue eyeliner you've had in the back of your drawer since 2014. Or go further: Experiment with SFX techniques. Turn yourself into a unicorn. Do one of those "Hundred Layers of Foundation" challenges and when your professor asks you what's up with your face, blame the wifi.
Video and Audio Technology of course has its ups and downs. For example, Zoom's green screen feature can be your best friend. Doing Romeo and Juliet? Boom, you're in Venice. Don't have your lines memorized? Green screen a picture yourself and pretend you're frozen. Quarantine has also given new meaning to the term "selective mutism." It now means you have learned when to turn the audio off after your mom came in to lecture about the pile of laundry on your floor during class. At least they can't see your bad baby photos on the wall- thanks, green screen!
As we all continue to face the realities of online learning, I hope all my fellow theater majors are adjusting quickly and without much turmoil. I'm glad that the theater community has risen up in so many ways to keep us digitally educated- workshops, classes, and online showcases, to name just a few. Now I just need to figure out how to sneak into Zoom rehearsals for Hadestown . Stay healthy!