“Hey, nerds!” You might want to get accustomed to hearing that, because it is the standard greeting for the MFAs. Also, we are ramping up a huge project that will put that moniker all over the internet, which, as you know, makes a thing permanent–and true. When I say “huge project,” I should explain. Our professor Rob wrote a component into this semester’s History of Musical Theatre class that involves creating and posting some of our findings on the internet. Basically, we want to share the riches of the SDSU Musical Theatre Archive with “all y’all.” (N.B.-50% of the MFA class and 33% of my roommates are from the South, and it is apparently rubbing off on me.)
So, the MFA’s, being A+ students…went a little A+ on this project. Not satisfied with some chintzy iPhone video, we created a new series called “MUSICAL THEATRE NERD ALERT.” We are all pretty excited. Not only do we get to share a little of our passion for musical theatre, but also we are able to show our old friends just how crazy our new friends are. We crammed this series full of MFA-isms, jokes, and–oh, yes–facts, too. It also demonstrates something I love about our class: we do everything full out.
Start the series here.
CUE CARDS–Before shooting, Randall transfers his script to cue cards. With so many MFAs cramming lines, the Archive had an energy like we were waiting for a callback.
HEY, NERDS!–“Welcome to the web series for anyone who has ever ____,” starts all of the webisodes. The MFAs used the same principle for an internet fanbase that one uses for a real show: just pick an audience.
LIGHT LEVELS–Randall waits to film his “Fun Fact from the Back” segment while the crew adjusts light levels. Part of the fun of ‘Broadway school’ turned ‘Hollywood school’ was all the gear.
WRITERS BOX–Liv and Brad stand by at rehearsal for any needed edits. They developed scripts based on MFA research.
NERD ALERT–Jacob collaborates with Julia on his storyboard for the intro. Jessica wrote the “Musical Theatre Nerd Alert” theme song.
MAKEUP! –Though each webisode “stars” one of the MFAs, audiences can expect to see a number of visitors popping in to other’s video. The whole venture needed a group effort, and so they webisodes reflect that.
DIRECTING & SLATING–A slap of the slate board is no joke as it helps align audio and video in the editing room. Kikau served as director for the day of shooting while Jessica and Brad took turns as production assistant.
CRAFT SERVICES–Pizza is a fine dinner for talent. Shooting day was also Randall’s birthday, and so Brad’s cake pops were also on the menu. The Diet Coke: all Rob’s.
SCRIPT CHANGES–Kikau guides Randall through a few changes to his script. The MFAs squeezed in a webisode rehearsal before the Saturday performance of BD Wong’s Mr. Doctor.
J’S CREW–Producer Julia directs while Kikau is on camera. The day could not have functioned without fellow SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film students.
SET DRESSING–Producers Julia and (husband) Adam spruce up the Archive for shooting. The intention was to invite the new internet audience into the world of the MFA Archive.
LIV LIVE–As director, Kikau observes Liv’s shot with a keen ear on natural speech. The MFAs aimed to deliver the Nerd Alerts with a casual, conversational tone–with just a touch of cheese.
OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN–While the MFAs kid Courtney about her enthusiasm for OH, she is not alone. All of the information contained in the scripts come from the hours and hours researching and lecturing on these heritage composers.
MIDNIGHT WRAP–Once finished, MFAs convert ‘Hollywood school’ back to ‘Broadway school.’ The new web series MUSICAL THEATRE NERD ALERT will be posted to YouTube in late spring.