CMU School of Drama

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Healthy Arts Ecosystem

Createquity.: At its core, Createquity is a research-based investigation of the most important issues in the arts and what we can do about them. That description sounds straightforward enough, but it belies a complicated dilemma: how can we decide what issues are most important? To guide us, we’ve invested quite a bit of time reflecting on what a healthy arts ecosystem looks like. This conception, and the gaps between that healthy arts ecosystem and the status quo, underlie all of our research and advocacy work.

Theatre Bay Area Awards Name Legacy Award Recipients

Stage Directions: The Theatre Bay Area Awards will honor three Legacy Award recipients at its upcoming TBA Awards show. The recipients are performer Joan Mankin, long-time theatre patron and benefactor Jill Matichak and Steve Silver’s long-standing musical revue Beach Blanket Babylon.

The Theatre School at DePaul University Hosts Awards Gala

Stage Directions: The 2014 Awards for Excellence in the Arts gala from The Theatre School at DePaul University will take place Monday, Nov. 3 and will honor James and Catherine Denny with the 2014 Leadership Award for Excellence in the Arts and Theatre School Alumnus P.J. Byrne will receive the 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in the Arts.

‘Motown The Musical’….and Motown The Icon

New Pittsburgh Courier: The opening line of Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” one of Motown’s most celebrated and enduring hits, put it succinctly: “Calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?” The world was ready for it then,and the world is ready for it now. “Motown the Musical” is a show that came along at the right time. It took Broadway by storm and is now being presented at the Fisher Theatre through Nov. 16.

Kennedy Center President

www.yourperformancepartners.com: Earlier this month, Deborah Rutter spoke to the weekly luncheon of the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the transcript posted on NPC’s website, we almost feel like we were in the audience [applause] – except we’re still hungry! [laughter] Rutter took on the prominent role of Kennedy Center president in September, and is the first woman to hold that position

Inside Rent The Runway's Secret Dry-Cleaning Empire

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Watching Ramon Leiva lift a nail-polish stain out of a dress is mesmerizing. He squeezes pungent chemicals out of plastic bottles and rubs the dark purple streaks with a brown, soft-bristle brush to see if the offending substance will come out. In less than 30 seconds, he finds the right treatment, and the stain begins to lighten. At that point, he starts hitting the dress with the brush until the discoloration disappears completely. It's an incredibly satisfying sort of magic.

Pittsburgh actor is thrown into the fire on Broadway

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A month ago, Nick Lehane got a surprise text at noon: He might be needed to go on that night as Warren, the hapless teenager played by Michael Cera, media darling and star of “This Is Our Youth,” itself the media darling of the early Broadway year. An hour before the show, it was definite. There wasn’t time for a full rehearsal with the other two stars, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson. Nor was there time to notify his parents back in Pittsburgh, director and CMU professor Gregory Lehane and actor Laurie Klatscher, so they could get to New York to see him. It was, after all, his Broadway debut.

Dance preview: British troupe Michael Clark Company to make Pittsburgh debut

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The career path of London-based choreographer Michael Clark has never been predictable. Growing up in Aberdeen, Scotland, he couldn’t let on he was a dancer as a kid there in the early 1960s. “I’d get my head kicked in,” he said in a BBC interview in 2011. He went on to train at the Royal Ballet School in London and with such modern dance mavericks as Merce Cunningham and Karole Armitage. At one point, he worked with artist Sarah Lucas attaching cigarettes to gnomes as art.

Stage review: Energetic actors buoy a thin 'Our Youth'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “This Is Our Youth” has the appealing double sense of a familiar story told so well it seems, maybe not new, but fresh and energetic. Then it gradually darkens. Almost in spite of itself (although playwright Kenneth Lonergan certainly knew what he was doing) it sours and then just ends, almost in mid-feeling. Gulp.

'SCarrie' spoofs horror classic, but adds heart to the fun

TribLIVE: Stephen King's “Carrie” gets yet another life as the season opener for Bricolage Production Company's “Midnight Radio” series. You may already know this much-bullied teen from King's 1974 thriller, director Brian DePalma's 1976 movie, the 2013 film remake. Or, perhaps, the live-theater appearances as a monumental 1988 Broadway flop, a reworked 2012 off-Broadway production or the unauthorized spoof “Scarrie! The Musical.”

Wall, 'Shaping Sound' dance show making stop in Greensburg

TribLIVE: Travis Wall was making “All the Right Moves” while dance competitions like “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” were bringing a new dimension to reality television.

All In The Timing

Butts In the Seats: While I was at my state presenters’ conference last week, I was speaking to a colleague at a theater a couple hours away about possibly collaborating on advertising on public radio stations in whose coverage area both our theaters are in. My thinking was that people might be confused by separate ads. They might think, was that on Tuesday here in town and Wednesday 90 miles away or vice versa?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Carnegie Mellon's Inflatable Robotic Arm Inspires Design of Disney's Latest Character

Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University: When Don Hall saw a robot arm made of balloons while visiting Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute several years ago, he knew instantly that Baymax, a pivotal character in the animated feature he was co-directing for Disney, also would be an inflatable robot.

LA Agent to Producer: "I Don't Do Women Directors"

Women and Hollywood: While infuriating, sexist, and unjust, this sentiment really does not surprise me. Here's why: Women are not given the opportunities to direct the big-budget movies that generate large fees for agents. And agents' jobs are to make deals happen.

From Margin to Center: Intersectionality and You

The Clyde Fitch Report: In a previous post, I said that most efforts and diversity and inclusion fall short because they ignore intersectionality. This renders women of color invisible in plain sight.

As a theory, intersectionality is indispensable to understanding the full extent of gender and racial injustice at all levels of an organization. Thus, it is also valuable for measuring the true progress of an organization toward gender and racial equity.

Inside Sting's Big Broadway Adventure

Rolling Stone: "Broadway is a really long way from Wallsend," says Sting, laughing about his hometown, a renowned English shipbuilding stronghold that has undergone a painful economic decline. Wallsend provides the evocative setting for The Last Ship, the musical Sting began working on more than four years ago. The show opened on Broadway on October 26th.

MPAA, movie theaters announce “zero tolerance” policy against wearables

Ars Technica: A movie theater industry group and the Motion Picture Association of America updated their anti-piracy policies and said that "wearable devices" must be powered off at show time.

Get to Know TEDxBroadway 2015 Speaker … Dr. Laurie Santos

Selling Out: Dr. Laurie Santos, associate professor of psychology at Yale University, is a cognitive psychologist who studies the evolution of human cognition by exploring how animals think about the world. She was recently voted one of the “Brilliant 10 Young Minds” by Popular Science magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @lauriesantos.

Review: 'Annie' delivers standard lovable laughs, songs

TribLIVE: Little Orphan Annie turns 90 this year.

She and her unofficial godfather, Martin Charnin, have no plans for her to retire anytime soon.

Why should she? Nearly four decades after “Annie” debuted on Broadway, the musical still attracts lots of young girls and more than a few adoring adults like those who filled most of the seats at the Benedum Center, Downtown, on Oct. 28 where the show is playing through Nov. 2 as a presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh series.

HP Unveils Their 3D Printer: Multi Jet Fusion

MAKE: HP had previously mentioned that they would be entering the 3D printing market with their own hardware. Today they announced what that hardware will be. Targeting the commercial 3D printing industry, they’re showing off their Multi Jet Fusion Printer.

Gamergate is dead

The Verge: As an activist movement with the ability to inspire positive change, Gamergate is dead. Its constituents and its hashtag will remain — and I suspect will be, for sometime, as fierce, aggressive, and vocal — but these remainders represent a hate group and its banner, associated with bigotry and cruelty.

Gamergate died ironically from what it most wanted: mainstream exposure.

The Show Must Go On: Working When Sick

2AMt: The 2014-15 theatre season is underway, causing me, desperately, to try not to fret over photos of strangers in first table reads as they begin to train their instruments to say those words (repetitively) throughout the rehearsal process and within eight shows a week (plus student matinees). I see actors hunched in their seats around a table, script in front of them, and want to transport myself into the room and just “fix” things – not only because of the physical issues and their impact on vocal power and resonance I addressed in the post about The Impact of Technology on an Actor’s Body, but also because I know what happens to a body when the other shoe drops. You see, the theatre season for most companies coincides directly with cold and flu season.

Technology in the classroom isn’t a panacea.

www.slate.com: Lucas Matney, a junior at Northwestern University and columnist for the Daily Northwestern, is concerned that his school is not adequately preparing him for the challenges of today. In his experience, he says, “very few” of his professors “have used technology in the classroom in a way that offers a radically changed educational experience.” Instructors like me and my friends, he argues, “need to ponder what a 21st century education really means if they desire the University to maintain relevance as an institution.” Trust me, Lucas, most every professor younger than 75 (and a few older!) has pondered this question a-plenty. In the words of the great rhetorician Ali G: “Techmology … is it good, or is it wack?”

Stage review: 'Annie' bubbles with optimism

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The sentiment behind “Annie” is one for troubled times: No matter how bad things seem right now, this, too, shall pass. For the whole family, there’s also the joy of witnessing a pre-tween girl sing up a storm and go from hard knocks to high society. She’s the real deal who gets the New Deal on course, and if you don’t know what the New Deal is, well, you get to see a little girl inspire a president to create jobs and boost the economy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Mic a Zombie

www.avnetwork.com: Zombies exist solely in the realm of fiction — or do they? Audio-Technica thinks it better to be safe than sorry. Surviving a zombie apocalypse relies on preparedness in every aspect of life. Yes, that includes microphone technique.

Chicks Rule

Systems Contractor News - November 2014 [28 - 29]

Know a Theatre: Quantum Theatre of Pittsburgh, Pa.

AMERICAN THEATRE: This mid-sized Rust Belt city isn’t just the home of 446 bridges criss-crossing three rivers and a reasonably healthy tech sector that’s done its part to take up some of the post-industrial slack; it’s also the birthplace of Andy Warhol, Martha Graham and Rachel Carson. That independent, even oppositional spirit would seem to inform the ethic and aesthetic of the outward-looking, persistently site-specific Quantum Theatre, which has staged avant-garde European dramas and operas in translation, as well as spiky new English and American plays, as well as hard-to-define multimedia hybrids, in spaces ranging from the former Heppenstall Steel Plant to, appropriately enough, the Andy Warhol Museum.

(Almost) Everything We Think About Managing Millennials is Wrong. Here's Why.

LinkedIn: Today’s workplace should look more like a jazz band (yes, that’s a pic of me) rather than a Dilbert-style bureaucracy that looks more like a dysfunctional marching band. As Dilbert pointed out (in the best selling management book of all time) our approach to talent management is deeply flawed.

'Master of Mayhem'

The Roundup News: He walks into the dimly lit theater and there’s a feeling of assurance that he is the director whose name is printed on the poster.

His dominating presence exudes experience and passion for the art of theater.

Robert Cucuzza, the “master of mayhem” according to The New York Times, is an actor, filmmaker, acting teacher, and director.

Method To The Madness: The Anatomy Of An Audio Rack

Pro Sound Web: Prior to hitting the road with Soundgarden on tour a couple of years ago, Dave Rat documented his front of house racks.

This collection of gear was deployed with a main system of L-Acoustics K1 line source (3-way) loudspeakers in flown arrays, K1-SB (2 x 15-in) subwoofers, and LA8 amplified controllers.

20+ Beautiful Modern Staircases

Design Milk: We’re constantly running across photos of truly jaw dropping staircases. So much of the time, stairs look as if they were ignored until the last minute of the design process, but not in these cases.

9 New Products from the R|D|J Show Floor

Remodeling: If you found yourself in the unfortunate position of missing the 2014 Remodeling Show | Deck Expo | JLC Live event in Baltimore last week, fear not! Our editors were on hand to scour the show floor and bring some new product highlights. Check out these new products for your next remodel or deck project.

3-D Printing Design: Five Tips to Achieve Additive Manufacturability

Technology content from IndustryWeek: 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is quickly becoming a widely embraced technology, with companies using it for prototyping and low-volume part production and hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers purchasing smaller machines for creating customized parts on their own.

Changing of the Guard

wolfbrown.com: Many people have written about the need for non-profit arts and culture groups to have board-approved succession plans for addressing planned or unplanned leadership transitions. Foundations often require grantees to have up-to-date succession plans, as a governance “best-practice” metric and, sometimes, as a subtle prod to those with long-time leaders, especially founders, to plan for the future.

In-booth Standards Presentations Return to LDI

PLSN: Standards on the Stage will take place on Friday, November 21, and Saturday, November 22 during LDI show floor hours and will feature educational and informational sessions on new standards, established standards, and draft standards from PLASA’s Technical Standards Program.

A Look At The Twitter #Music Website That Never Launched

⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code + community: Twitter's introduction of the "Audio Card" last week makes it easy to forget that Twitter #Music was at one time a separate app, and the company's cornerstone attempt to harness one of its most consistently popular topics of conversation: music.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tips On Efficiently Wiring Up The Band

Pro Sound Web: Ideally, a band on tour should wake up to a late brunch, hit the hotel health spa, shower and head over to the hall where everything is plugged in and ready for an extended sound check/jam session.

If this scenario is unfamiliar to you, then more efficient methods of connecting your equipment at the last second may be exactly what you need. It certainly can’t hurt.

Meet the robot actor starring in a play inspired by Kafka

CNET: In Franz Kafka's novella "The Metamorphosis," Gregor Samsa famously wakes to discover he's been transformed into a giant insect. In a decidedly modern theatrical take on the surreal story, Samsa wakes to find he's a robot. A gangly, metallic, white-faced robot.

Jim Tetlow Receives Alumni Achievement Award from Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association

Stage Directions: The Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Association honored W. James Tetlow (College of Fine Arts ’77), an Emmy Award winning lighting designer, with the Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes expertise and leadership in their field while also representing important creative effort or accomplishment with societal or educational value.

Why Germany is so much better at training its workers

Quartz: At last, unemployment is easing. But the latest low rate—hovering below 6%–obscures a deeper, longer-term problem: “skills mismatches” in the labor force, which will only worsen in years to come. According to the most recent figures, 9.3 million Americans are unemployed, but 4.8 million jobs stand empty because employers can’t find people to fill them. With new technology transforming work across a range of sectors, more and more businesses are struggling to find workers with the skills to man new machines and manage new processes.

38th Annual Shakespeare Competition Rewards High Schoolers

Stage Directions: The 38th Annual Shakespeare Competition at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City pitted 3,000 high school students against each other in competitions of acting and backstage skills.

The Bass Mixing Basics

Pro Sound Web: There is no one bass mix to rule them all. Each music style calls for a different bass mix. Songs within a genre call for unique bass mixes. The bass is more than just a low-end addition.

If you’ve ever listened to a bass solo in jazz or rock, it’s obvious it has a unique sound. This comes from how the musician is playing the bass and the genre of music.

SDC and Off-Broadway League Reach New 5-Year Agreement

Stage Directions: The new five-year agreement between the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Off-Broadway League covers commercial Off-Broadway producers as well as the not-for-profit theatres that are members of the Off-Broadway League and includes provisions for compensation increases over the life of the agreement, recognition of developmental activity (readings, workshops, etc.), and more.

Exit, Stage Left, Grasping Cane; Enter, Sprinting

NYTimes.com: During the first half of “Smokefall,” a critically acclaimed new play at the Goodman Theater here, the actor Mike Nussbaum portrays a 77-year-old who is so wobbly that he needs help walking down a staircase. Later, the character is shown in his 50s, with Mr. Nussbaum bounding up those steps like a sprinter.

Mixing In Stereo: Adding Width And Depth To Recordings

Pro Sound Web: When it comes to discussing the fine art of mixing music, I tend to approach the subject with some trepidation.

After all, compared to many of the topics I’ve written about, this one is rife with subjectivity — one person’s idea of a great sounding mix may be another’s sonic nightmare. And what works for one genre of music will be decidedly wrong for another.

Sting and Jimmy Nail on the Musical ‘The Last Ship’

NYTimes.com: Jimmy Nail was having an out-of-body moment. His lanky frame was folded in an armchair in the low-ceilinged basement lounge of the Neil Simon Theater for an interview, but his tired eyes suddenly searched the room’s four corners, as if he were trying to see beyond its walls: back to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, back to the shipyards where he and the men of his family once toiled.

'The Circus In Winter' At Goodspeed's Chester Theater

CTnow: Running away to join the circus is one of the great romantic ideals. "The Circus in Winter," a new musical about how circus folk spend their downtime, has run away from Indiana to seek fame and fortune on the East Coast.

Sarah Jones: Cinematographers Guild Launches App For Reporting Unsafe Shoots

Deadline: The death of Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones continues to spark a safety movement in Hollywood. Today the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) launched their own “ICG Safety” app designed to help members anonymously report unsafe working conditions on film and TV sets across the world. Jones, who was killed at the age of 27 in February in a train accident on set in Georgia, was an ICG member.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Downloading a Monument Sign

Signshop:Over his thirty years in the sign industry, Roger Brown has acquired a lot of data on signs and how to make them. So he took this information and started his one-man shop, A-B Sign Systems in Rembert, South Carolina, about a year ago.

The shop doesn’t have a production facility, so Brown partners with other manufacturers, installers, and contractors to help him get jobs done. “I find out the budget, and I try to determine what their real need is and then match the two together,” he says.

Why Failing Orchestras Are the Problem of Every American

David Donnelly: As the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra faces a lockout between its management and musicians, we find a troubled industry in the news once again. Orchestras are falling like dominoes. The mood is tense and the forecast is dismal. An erosive force, continual and subtle, is eating away the core of a cultural institution. You may have heard this story before: classical music is in decline, music education is so important, but why should you care? Failing orchestras create severe economic, social, and cultural repercussions for our nation as a whole. This is very much your problem.

Major benefits for students who attend live theater, study finds

ScienceDaily: Field trips to live theater enhance literary knowledge, tolerance and empathy among students, according to a study published this week by researchers in the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform.

Good News, Art Students: Your Degree Is Actually Paying Off

Mic: The news: With many Americans still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, a frequent refrain about college education is that an arts degree simply isn't worth it. Studying the creative arts is economically risky: Sure, you'll spend four years poring over famous paintings and releasing your creative energies, but your post-graduate life will be one of low income, low employment and misery as a "starving artist."

Five Freaky Welding Videos

Tools of the Trade: To the non-welder, welding is a mysterious process hidden from view by a blinding ball of light. The welder sees more, being close to the action and able to look through the visor. But before the invention of high-speed camera no one saw anything like this—ultra-slow-motion video of what happens when metal is joined by welding.

Event Safety Summit to Feature Indianapolis State Fair Investigators

PLSN: Scott Nacheman and Charlie Fisher will be featured speakers at the Event Safety Alliance’s first Event Safety Summit, set to take place here in early December. They will offer their perspectives on the mechanical and operational failures that were implicated in the 2011 structure collapse at the Indiana State Fair, which killed seven and injured 58.

Announcing PLASA Focus: Orlando 2015

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: Free registration is open now for PLASA Focus: Orlando 2015. This will be the second PLASA Focus event to take place in the Sunshine State, taking place on Tuesday, February 17 and Wednesday February 18, 2015 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

2014 PLASA Show Report

PLSN: PLASA ranks as one of the premier shows of its kind, presenting groundbreaking technology to an international audience of pro audio, lighting and stage technology experts. Here are some highlights from this year’s event, staged for the second year at London’s ExCeL Convention Center.

All Aboard, Part One: Scenic Design Of The Passenger

Theatre content from Live Design: There are few productions that can truly inhabit the massive and imposing space of the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. At this year’s Lincoln Center Festival, in a co-production with the Park Avenue Armory, the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger arrived for its New York debut, ready to fill the space. Director David Pountney, whose Die Soldaten was also presented in the Armory in 2008, has filled the brutal and enormous space with powerful music.

PSW Webinar Available For Viewing: Key Elements Of Column Loudspeaker System Design

Pro Sound Web: The Community Professional and ProSoundWeb webinar entitled “Key Elements Of Successful Column Loudspeaker System Design” is now available for viewing.

Go here to view the webinar. Note that those who pre-registered for the live event will be able to go directly to the webinar; those that did not will need to register.

ETC Theater Upgrade Program Gives UNCSA Venues Fresh Start

Live Design [primary-term] press release archives: Earlier this year, ETC unveiled the 2014 Theater program, which allows venues to upgrade their existing ETC lighting systems without the need for a costly retrofit. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) was one of the first to participate in the program, getting updated ETC dimming systems for several of their theaters.

Selling Out with Gail Jackman

Selling Out: Knowing what to charge for tickets is one of the toughest tasks the live entertainment industry faces. Providing a little insight into the issue is Gail Jackman, President of Reach Research, a full-service market research company specializing in marketing analysis and insights.

Jackman has more than 25 years experience researching markets and is an avid supporter of the arts. She’s worked with organizations such as the Business Committee for the Arts, the League of Historic American Theaters, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, Berkeley Rep and many more. Now, she’s sharing some of her pricing wisdom to help all of us answer the tricky question of pricing.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts of the past week...

26 Creative Business Cards That Aren’t Even Cards

TwistedSifter: Contact information has gone digital but that doesn’t mean the traditional business card no longer serves a purpose. Business cards these days are used to make an impression. They can be great marketing tools for your services and a memorable ‘card’ can lead to new opportunities.

Carve anything out of metal or wood with Carvey

gigaom.com: The home creating space is increasingly moving from the garage to the desktop, and the latest evidence is Carvey, a CNC machine the size of a microwave that can carve pretty much anything you want out of wood, metal and other materials.

How To Persuade Anyone Of Anything In Ten Seconds

LinkedIn: You’re on the most important elevator ride of your life. You have ten seconds to pitch- the classic “elevator pitch”.

Love or Hate. Money or Despair. And you may never get this chance again. As PM Dawn says, “I feel for you. I really do.”

Get organized to run meetings effectively

Unclutterer: There are a lot of things I like to do in this world, but running a meeting isn’t one of them. Years ago, I had a boss who would call me into his office and talk for a good half hour. As I walked back to my desk, I’d think, “So, what just happened in there?” Now, when I’m in charge of a meeting, I worry: will my attendees walk away with a clear idea of what was said and what, if anything, needs to be done?

Everyone Can Become An Electronics Wiz Thanks To littleBits

Big Think | Design for Good: Ayah Bdeir had a dream - take electronics out of the hands of experts and large companies and put them in the hands of ordinary people in order to make them inventors, builders, designers, and experimenters. Today, her dream is a reality. Her company, New York based littleBits Electronics, makes electronics accessible to kids, adults, geeks, and amateurs, and has been gaining increasing popularity, critical acclaim, and investors attention.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

BFAMFAPhD

BFAMFAPhD Census Report: Of all arts graduates in the U.S., 18% work in sales and other office occupations, 17% are educators, 14% have not worked in the last five years, 11% work in various professional fields, 9% are managers, 8% make a living as artists, 8% work in service jobs, 5% work in various blue collar occupations, 4% are working in business and finance, 4% now work in science, technology or engineering, and 2% now work in medicine.

Tested Asks: How are Holograms Made?

Tested: While in New York, Norm stops by Holographic Studios, one the last remaining independent holography galleries and holography studios still operating. Its founder, Jason Sapan, has spent almost 40 years practicing the art of holographic imagery.

The Adventures of a Male-Bodied Transwoman in Drama School

HowlRound: I was six years old when the entire student body of Miss Murray’s Dance Academy was recruited for a local production of Gypsy. I wasn’t allowed to take ballet, but tap was okay for a boy—this was one of many compromises my parents would make over the years in their efforts to both foster my artistic growth and curb my effeminacy. I identified as female, but the world saw me differently.

Get organized to run meetings effectively

Unclutterer: There are a lot of things I like to do in this world, but running a meeting isn’t one of them. Years ago, I had a boss who would call me into his office and talk for a good half hour. As I walked back to my desk, I’d think, “So, what just happened in there?” Now, when I’m in charge of a meeting, I worry: will my attendees walk away with a clear idea of what was said and what, if anything, needs to be done?

Watch A Choreographed Drone Create Floating Trails Of Light

The Creators Project: In his fresh new music video for Marconi Union's floaty, atmospheric tune, "Weightless," filmmaker Richie Johnston turned a single LED-enabled drone into a ghostly fleet of glowing dancers. Using a video technique similar to Pelle Cass' timelapse crowd compilations, Johnston replicates and repeats the lonely drone's movements, turning a single glowing dot into a massive, floating stream of light.

1 Reason Laugh and Let ‘Loose’ Over Bad Casting Notices

Backstage: We’ve all seen the casting notices written with complete disregard to cardinal rules like using proper grammar, steering clear of racist, sexist, and misogynistic descriptions, and y’know, actually letting people know what you’re specifically looking for in an actor.

Autodesk to Call Its 3D Printer “Ember,” Premiering in Paris Next Week

MAKE: Autodesk, one of the world’s most prominent creative software companies, is launching its first piece of hardware this year. And now the printer has a name — Ember.

Everyone Can Become An Electronics Wiz Thanks To littleBits

Big Think | Design for Good: Ayah Bdeir had a dream - take electronics out of the hands of experts and large companies and put them in the hands of ordinary people in order to make them inventors, builders, designers, and experimenters. Today, her dream is a reality. Her company, New York based littleBits Electronics, makes electronics accessible to kids, adults, geeks, and amateurs, and has been gaining increasing popularity, critical acclaim, and investors attention.