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BWW Blog: Rehearsalsaurus Rex

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While Zoom is great and all, I do spend a lot of time looking at the screen.

It's week seven here in college, friends, and it's time for celebration! Hang the streamers, bake a cake, and break out the noisemakers: I'm rehearsing again! Shout it to the rooftops! Except maybe don't shout it to the rooftops because I'd get a noise complaint. I instead will do very vigorous silent jazz hands at my apartment window to all the passersby.

After eight months of no performances, it is really amazing coming back into the room. Well, I say "the room;" our shows this semester are completely online, so we rehearse over Zoom. At the time being, I'm actually the one physically hosting the Zoom room, and that power is definitely going to my head. The ability to sequester people into breakout rooms should not be given to anybody because then you might try to do it in real life. I attempted to put one of my friends in a "breakout room" in her house the other day because she had to take a phone call. In an unforeseen consequence, it turns out she has free will. She promptly came back into the living room to yell at me, and my power to mute remained stubbornly virtual.

Because the show I'm working on is a radio play, our entire production team is doing a lot of double duty on both Zoom and the software we're using to record scenes. Being on my laptop and having seventeen tabs open at once has introduced me to something I'm calling the Jurassic Park Phenomenon. Dealing with Wifi during these rehearsals is like trying to run Jurassic Park. The initial concept is great and everyone marvels at the glory of modern technology. Then technology fails and chaos ensues. By some modern miracle, things always work out in the end. There is also a surprising amount of unspecified background roaring in both and a distinct lack of Jeff Goldblum in rehearsal.

While Zoom is great and all, I do spend a lot of time looking at the screen. All of our rehearsals, paperwork, and recording is done on the computer and I'm starting to feel the strain. Blue light glasses are the new fad right now, and they're super helpful to stop electronic headaches. My one complaint is that I don't have the face shape for glasses and I can't do contacts. Solution: the blue light monocle. Stylish, protective, and makes me feel like a detective in an 1800s crime novel. (There is never a downside to that.) Patent pending.

If there's anything I've learned from this process so far, it's that technology is a fickle, fickle friend. A word of advice to those working virtually: the most important thing I've learned is not to panic when things go wrong.The other night the Jurassic Park Phenomenon kicked in when we had an outage right in the middle of recording a monologue. It turns out that it was a cyber attack by the most fearsome of Zoom predators: the veloci-router. Happy rehearsing!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Maggie Cummins