Skye Lindberg is one of American Stage’s 19-20 Acting and Production Apprentices, and will be acting in, as well as choreographing and doing publicity for, the 19-20 ASFWD Next Generation Apprentice Cohort’s Original Work, FIVE TIMES AROUND.
If you would have told me a year ago that the final Apprentice piece would be virtual and that we would have to film, produce AND edit it, I would have laughed at the notion. Many parts of the past year have been unexpected, and we rolled with the punches as they came.
When we first realized we would have to complete our devised piece virtually, we thought through some different ideas. We assessed what skills each member of our team brought to the table and moved forward from there. I was one of the people who had some film and editing experience and I was anxious to jump back into that area of skill. I don’t think we could have completed this project without the openness of our team and knowing that we would each have to try both new things and fall back on the skills we had in our back pockets.
This experience really took me back a few years, to my college days when I’d stay up late editing a self-produced webshow I was a part of. I was brought back to the disappointment when my editing software would restart and the excitement when I nailed a smooth transition. The hardest aspect of the editing process, in my opinion, is the time you have to put into it. You have to be meticulous and patient, two of the hardest things to do, especially when you’re staring at a computer screen while working.
I know you don’t want to read a blog post with me going on about the editing process, but honestly until you’re the one up at 2 a.m. waiting for a video clip to render or an audio file to download, you really won’t truly understand. But, these are the moments that I feel most like an artist. When I feel the pressure, the exhilaration of doing it right and making something look great, that makes me feel strongly about the work I’m doing.
The way we approached this editing process began with capturing the video footage. Sometimes we filmed on our own and then dropped the files into the shared drive, and sometimes we were able to film sections together and go from there. We then split up the episodes and the three apprentices who were involved in editing got to work on our drafts. We created a system to give each other notes, where we would meet in the evenings during the week and watch each episode, give notes and talk things through, and then send the editor off to do a second draft. This process made it so we could all take part in the editing process together and keep it an extremely collaborative experience.
For me, one of the most exciting episodes of the five to work on was “Five’s Company.” This really called for each of our specific skills. For example, the title sequence was so much fun because we got to involve Alyssa, who created the graphics with each of our names. The music and added laugh track was all Kianna, with her brilliant sound design. Lyle put together the infamous ‘nightmare kitchen scene,’ which got funnier each time we watched it. It was great to see these pieces come together to create this comedy episode.
“Our Numbers Are Growing,” the movement/spoken word piece, was also incredibly impactful to work on. I was part of the choreography team for this piece, along with Kianna. We had a great time creating this movement piece. It ended up being so powerful and we are so excited to put our voices out into the world. With editing this piece, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t pull from John’s spoken word with the movement. I wanted them to flow gracefully. I think I found a nice balance, and the protest signs and fists in the air were fabulous additions (if I do say so myself)! I hope everyone gets a lot out of this piece and is left with the feelings of strength and hope.
While the idea of performing with my fellow apprentices on stage, in front of an audience, will always be in the back of my mind, I could not be more excited about the work we’ve created virtually. FIVE TIMES AROUND has evolved and grown just as we have during this insane moment in history. Knowing that we are the first (and hopefully only) apprentice class at American Stage to have to do a devised work over Zoom, is actually a pretty cool thing. I am excited to have had this experience and to get to continue creating art during one of the most challenging times in our lives.
This is an episodic virtual piece, with a new episode released on American Stage’s YouTube channel each day of the week at noon, Aug. 17 – 21.
Audiences can subscribe to American Stage’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/americanstage, to be notified when new episodes are released.
American Stage is proud to present this original work to our community at no charge. Audiences are encouraged to donate in support of American Stage to keep Virtual Stories accessible for all in the community. Donate at americanstage.org/donate.
Learn more at americanstage.org/five
About ASFWD: The Next Generation
As an arts leader, American Stage is committed to engaging and guiding the next era of theatre artists and arts audiences, administrators and advocates. The ASFWD Apprenticeship program provides on-the-job training from theatre professionals and valuable hands-on experience. The Next Generation programs shape young people as individuals, while also shaping the future of Tampa Bay, by cultivating an engaged community and a creative and competent workforce.