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BWW Blog: See Me - Doing a Virtual Show About...Myself

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The six of us worked on the show in a distanced manner, masked at all times, except for when we filmed.

BWW Blog: See Me - Doing a Virtual Show About...Myself

This semester has been...different. It's been different for everyone, obviously. This year, for our first slot of the season, we were supposed to do Hello, Dolly! Then we were going to do Nunsense for the second slot. I was VERY excited, especially for the second slot.

As it became increasingly clear that we as a nation would not be pulling it together in time for school to start / for theatre to even consider being a safe activity again, Hello, Dolly! was cancelled and changed. That was all well and good, as my main reason for even coming back to school in the fall was to get to do Nunsense. We were promised that even if people couldn't come to see Nunsense, we would get to do it as a sort of radio play and still get to work with the material. Then came the fateful video from the head of our program (right before the cast list came out, might I add) announcing that the second slot was going to be a "new work". And that's all we got. It really was that vague.

To be completely honest, I definitely had a small mental breakdown about that. I had been dubious and...accepting at best at the prospect of returning to school in the fall. The main reason I came back at all was to get to participate in a show that I felt I was right for and was excited to work on. A few hours later, the cast list came out and my name was under the third slot, for a show called See Me: The Music of Lynn Lupold.

I decided at the time that I didn't have the time to consider what all of that meant or what the show even was. I knew the director (Kenny Shepard, a director I have worked with before), and knew that I just had to trust, even though things were not going the way I had anticipated at all.

So what did See Me: The Music of Lynn Lupold end up being? We just finished filming it last week. Lynn Lupold is a composer in the Indianapolis area, and she has written a variety of shows for IndyFringe, a festival that usually occurs every August. This show concept was based on deconstructing the actor, from a glammed up version of themselves to the version everyone sees in rehearsal or on the street every day. We all were given prompts, and encouraged to tell our stories, and based upon them, songs from Lynn's book were chosen and molded as needed. It was quite literally a show almost written exactly for the cast of 6 women.

The six of us worked on the show in a distanced manner, masked at all times, except for when we filmed. Everything was blocked to be distanced, every moment. So while COVID-19 was an ever present thing looming over all of us in our creative process, it just felt so good to be creating again. To be making art for some sort of purpose, even if it was sometimes purely selfish. As people would drop in to check on our progress, they would tell us the work we were doing was "brave". As we wrote and told our stories, I didn't necessarily see it as bravery. All six of the women (myself included) tell the audience some truths about ourselves that we wouldn't normally share in a "regular" kind of show. But to me, it's not a regular show, it's not a regular time, so it didn't really occur to me to be "brave".

However, as I have reflected this week after filming on the whole process, and the stories I chose to tell and the others chose to tell...I guess I still don't really know how to feel. The show will go live on November 19th, so maybe I'll know more then. But I do know I have a different feeling in this post show time, because instead of embodying someone else's story, I embodied my own. Lynn and Kenny and everyone else worked to make this show for us, and in this weird, COVID-19, I think creating things that at the end of the day can also be for us, the artist, is really important.

If any of this sounded interesting to you, be sure to check out See Me: The Music of Lynn Lupold on the Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance YouTube or Facebook page on November 19-22!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Brittany Davis