< 12 Days

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A photo of my friend Dustin & I from the show Harvey.

It’s hard to believe. Over three years ago I first moved in to Joyce Hall at St. Michael’s College. Everyone told me these four years would fly by but I could never have imagined just how fast it and how much I would have experienced.

I’ve been able to rekindle my passion for theatre. I’ve lived in Florence, Italy. I’ve gone on service trips. I’ve created a web documentary. More importantly, I’ve done this all in the best place and with the best people I could have asked for.

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Senior members of the Drama Club.

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Me and my senior sem partner Anna.

With less than two weeks left, it really hasn’t hit me that I won’t be returning in the fall. I’m sure some tears will come but right now I’ve been doing a lot of smiling. It’s been a lot of fun reminiscing with friends about our time here. The memories DJing in the radio station, sitting in the Alliot dining hall for hours on end, and adventuring into Burlington. This semester has also been a blast. I got to see a number of my friends put on their senior capstone performances in theatre and others premiere their films for the MJD major.

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Me and two of my roommates, Brendan and Boates.

I am excited to celebrate with my senior family over these last two weeks and although we may not know where we are going from here, I’m sure it will be an adventure.

Much love,

Dom

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We Made It!

The day has come. On April 1st, the Media Studies & Digital Arts students, including myself, completed their Senior Seminar projects! After spending hours behind the camera, transcribing interviews, and living inside Bergeron, we have made it.

No - Seriously MJD Doc Heads 2015

Now we were all pretty exhausted at the end of it all…

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and didn’t really believe it was real.

Something to SMILE about MJD Doc Heads 2015

But then it hit us…

We actually did it!

We actually did it!

The hard work payed off!

The hard work payed off!

And we are feeling good!

And we are feeling good!

It feels great to finally have completed a project I have worked all year on. Last semester my partner Anna and I researched the topic of volunteering abroad. We had to write a paper on the positive and negative effects of volunteering and plan how we would proceed.

Our project experienced many changes throughout this semester. We had originally planned to created a documentary film on the topic. As time went on and after we interviewed more people, we discovered this project would work best as a web documentary. This meant that our videos would be divided by topic rather than played straight through.

Our project’s name also changed as time went on. We originally titled our documentary Help Yourself. We were never sold on this name and eventually came up with the title The Volunteer Complex: An Exploration of the Benefits and Drawbacks of Volunteering Abroad.

We spent several hours each week designing our website and editing together our videos. If you would like to check it out please visit www.thevolunteercomplex.com

homepagevolunteer

 

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Spring Break

This week St. Mike’s has been on Spring Break. I went home last Friday and enjoyed a few days at home visiting family and relaxing. My favorite part about break is that it gives me the chance to unwind and forget about classes for a while. My favorite way to chill out is to watch t.v. and movies. Here’s a list of the shows I’ve been watching:

  • Better-Call-SaulBates Motel
  • Better Call Saul
  • Chef
  • Houdini
  • House of Cards
  • The Walking Dead
Our project on volunteering abroad

Our project on volunteering abroad.

 

I came back to St. Mike’s on Tuesday to work on my senior seminar project. It has been nice to be able to focus on the project without having other responsibilities. We have the layout of your web documentary planned and are hard at work getting everything done. We even have an official title: “The Volunteer Complex”. The final product is due in less than two weeks on April 1st.

While the quiet has been peaceful, I look forward to everyone returning to campus. There are less than two months until graduation and I plan to make the most out of the time I have left.

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#knightlifevt

knightlife

Some of the photos I contributed.

Some of the photos I contributed.

Hello everyone. Today I just wanted to write a short blog about a new Instagram account that St. Mike’s has created. The account’s handle is @knightlifevt and it has a really cool idea behind it.

Each week a new student at St. Mike’s has control of the account and documents their life through photos. In fact, many SMC bloggers have had control over the account the last few weeks.

I was in charge a couple weeks ago and it was a lot of fun capturing my time preparing for the play Harvey.

I encourage you to check out and follow the Instagram account for an inside look at life at St. Mike’s!

Music concert

Music concert

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DJing post

Food

Food

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Harvey

These past few weeks have been super busy for me. I acted in the Drama Club’s production of Harvey and spent a lot of time in the theatre preparing for the performances this past weekend.

The rehearsal process.

The rehearsal process.

A family portrait.

A family portrait.

Getting make up to look as old as Elwood.

Getting make up to look as old as Elwood.

Harvey is a play about a man named Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is an invisible rabbit. I had the pleasure of playing the character of Eldwood. It was a lot of fun playing such a loveable character. Elwood is a genuinely nice person throughout the show and really cares for everyone.

I also designed sound for the show. Basically, I gathered up the required sound effects, such as a phones ringing and buzzers buzzing. I found music to play during scene transitions as well. It was interesting to look up music from the 1940s when the play takes place.

Three M's. Maggie, Meaghan, and Mckenzie.

Three M’s. Maggie, Meaghan, and Mckenzie.

Although the process was a lot of work I already miss the show. This was my last full acting performance at St. Mike’s and the theatre has been a central part of my life for all four years here. I am thankful that my mom and aunt were able to see the performance and hope I was able to help people enjoy this quirky show. Thanks  you to everyone who came out and saw it!

 

Dining with Harvey.

Dining with Harvey.

This is Elwood P. Dowd speaking.

 

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Making a Documentary- Senior Sem

In previous posts I’ve mentioned that I am currently working on my senior seminar project for my Media Studies and Digital Arts major. I only went as far as to say that I will talk about it later. Well, the time has arrived.

Volunteering in West Virginia in 10th grade. I;m on the right.

Volunteering in West Virginia in 10th grade. I;m on the right.

Media majors have 3 options for their final projects. We can either write a book, make a multimedia website, or create a documentary. Film has always been my favorite medium, so I knew that I wanted to go on the documentary route. Last semester, after weeks of brainstorming and research, I teamed up with fellow media student Anna and decided to create a film on the topic of volunteer tourism or ‘voluntourism’.

I went with the St. Mike's MOVE Program to New Orleans my sophomore year.

I went with the St. Mike’s MOVE Program to New Orleans my sophomore year.

Volunteering and service trips have been a part of my life since I was twelve years old. I loved the idea of traveling to new places and meeting a variety of people. I met some of my closest friends and was taught so many life lessons while on these trips. Every trip left me wanting more of these experiences.

Upon returning home from these volunteering adventures, I always wondered about the status of those we worked with and met. Were they doing ok? Were their lives positively effected in the long run? While some people were easier to stay in contact with than others, it was hard to tell just what effect I had on them and their community.

With this documentary we hope to explore the motivations behind voluntourism and compare its benefits with its drawbacks.

So far Anna and I have been busy e-mailing everyone related to volunteer tourism in hopes of interviewing them. We have already traveled to a number of locations to get on-screen interviews and collect B-roll. We also created a website for our project.

You can check out our website here.

You can check out our website here.

There is about a month and a half left to complete the documentary. Man that is scary to say. I can’t wait to see the finished project and complete the final step toward graduation.

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Perfect Skiing at Smugg’s

FullSizeRenderI love skiing. I love the thrill of going down a difficult trail or just cruising nice and easy to the bottom. It’s safe to say that a big draw for me to go to school in Vermont was its proximity to the mountains. I grew up less than an hour from a couple of ski resorts and I knew I wanted to keep skiing in college. St. Mike’s definitely grabbed my attention when I learned about their deal with Smuggler’s Notch. Through the Wilderness Program at SMC, any student can get a season pass to Smugg’s for $65. I’ll say it again because it’s still hard for me to believe: a season pass for $65. That’s cheaper than one day of skiing at most mountains.

IMG_0194 (1)For all four winters at St. Mike’s I have purchased the season pass and have been skiing at Smugg’s ever since. The mountain is less than an hour from campus and a bus shuttles students there on the weekends. The resort is a good size and has trails for riders of all experience level.

This past weekend we received a lot of snow and the conditions were excellent. It was not icy and even when I fell, I landed in fresh soft powder. The temperature was warm and it was even snowing! I brought my camera along with me to document the day. Now I don’t have a GoPro so I was not able to film a lot of me skiing down the mountain, but here is what I have to show!

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How Do You Like Them Apples?

I never thought I’d take a class where I could spend the first few weeks talking about my favorite film. Funny enough, during my last semester at St. Mike’s I have been able to do just that. For the record, one of my favorite films is Good Will Hunting and the class I am taking is Public Presentations.

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The title of the course explains the general idea behind the class. We are learning how to  improve our presentations skills. I am not the loudest or most outgoing person, despite the fact that I am an actor, and so I thought that this would be an interesting topic to work on. The skills I learn will be beneficial not only for end of the year presentations but while I am interviewing for jobs or pitching an idea.

stevejobsProf. Cathy Hurst teaches the class but we are also guided by Steve Jobs. Yes you heard that right, we have been studying the ways of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He was a master at giving presentations and getting people excited for the new Apple products. We are learning to bring that excitement into our own speeches.

Our first assignment was to give a 90 second presentation on a topic of our choice that we are passionate about. For whatever reason I felt inspired to talk about my love for Good Will Hunting and went on to describe it’s amazingly cheesy fight scene and just how real the characters were. It seemed as if the class enjoyed it and on top of that, I got an A!

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vine

 

 

 

 

 

Coming up we have to expand our presentation time and spend 5 minutes trying to sell a company or product to the class. I think I will be using the techniques I learned to pitch the wildly popular smart phone app called Vine. I mean, who doesn’t love the mixture of ridiculous comedy and crazy special effects videos on that app?

Hopefully by the end of the class I will have reached a Steve Jobs level of public speaking. While that’s unlikely, I can already see improvements that I hope to build on.

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A Room Full of Theatre Students

DJ and Evyn were nominated for the Maltby's based on their performance in Godspell.

DJ and Evyn were nominated for the Maltby’s based on their performance in Godspell.

The title says it all. Last week I attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (long title I know) in Hyannis, MA. The festival is a week long event where theatre students from New England and New York come together to put on plays, go to workshops, and compete in competitions.

This year, I had friends from St. Mike’s competing in an acting competition called the Irene Ryan’s, in a stage management competition, and in a musical competition called the Maltby’s. They all did an incredible job and I’m not gonna lie, Evyn Whiteley singing Kindergarten Boyfriend from Heathers: The Musical made me tear up.

astep_white_logoI was able to attend a lot of amazing workshops while at the festival. One that was really fun was a Stage Combat workshop. We learned how to make pulling hair, punching, and pushing someone look realistic without actually hurting them. I was also introduced to the organization ASTEP, or Artists Striving to End Poverty. Through the organization, volunteers use the arts to help underserved youth in the U.S. and abroad. This is definitely something I would be interested in doing in the future. You can check ASTEP out HERE.

Click here to see the page.

One of the more beneficial workshops for me was on Arts Management and using social media to promote theatre. As the head of this sort of thing for the Drama Club at St. Mike’s, I got some good advice on how to improve our presence online. Since then, I have created a Facebook page for the Drama Club. Feel free to like the page to keep up to date on any shows or programs the club is putting on.

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I began promoting for the show Harvey on the Facebook page.

Yes there are cars under there.

Yes, there are cars under there.

Overall the festival was a lot of fun. What made things interesting was the SNOWPOCALYPSE happened the first day of the festival, delaying everything by a day. As a result, the whole schedule was compacted and we were very busy. Despite this we all still had a great time and I wish I wasn’t graduating so that I could go again. If you find yourself attending St. Mike’s and joining the Drama Club, I definitely recommend going to KCACTF!

 

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Higher Ground

highergroundOne thing on my bucket list from my last post was to go to Higher Ground more often. Higher Ground is a concert venue in South Burlington. I love going to concerts there because the space is large enough to house an exciting crowd but small enough to interact with the performers. The past two semesters I did not go to Higher Ground once that is just unacceptable. This winter break I was determined to change that and so when I was in the area, I made sure to go. I saw the band Four Year Strong, an old favorite of mine. They absolutely killed it and rekindled my love for them. This was the first concert I attended alone and I would totally do it again.

Four Year Strong

Four Year Strong

One funny thing about Four Year Strong is that I made one of my first friends at St. Mike’s because of our interest in their music. I saw him wearing their shirt and decided to talk to him about the band. From there, we got a radio show at WWPV and called it Bad News Beards, a tribute to the fact that the band members all have beards.

The poster for our radio show.

The poster for our radio show.

The concert a few weeks ago was not my first at Higher Ground. I had previously seen a few local bands, along with The Wombats and Macklemore there. That’s right, Macklemore. Before his music could be heard 24/7 on the radio, he played in good ole South Burlington. Not to sound too much like a hipster but, the people here at St. Mike’s were listening to Can’t Hold Us before it was cool.

Friends and I at the Macklemore concert.

Friends and I at the Macklemore concert.

Higher Ground is definitely worth going to if you are in the Burlington area. You can check out their upcoming gigs here:

http://www.highergroundmusic.com/calendar/

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