November hit and the countdown to the end of the semester seemed to commence simultaneously for all of the grad students. This was accompanied mostly with excitement and a little stress mixed in. For those of us graduating in May, the conversation is starting to turn toward the ever-looming job hunt. Within the month of November, we have applied for Spring graduation, enrolled in our courses for the last semester, and have started fielding questions from family members about what’s next. My first though: yikes. There has always been a good amount of stuff to juggle as a student in this program but now it feels like everything is ramping up when it should (theoretically) be slowing down. More and more, I am finding myself continuously balancing the here and now, plans for two months from now, and looming questions about my life six months from now.
As a producer, I spend a lot of time working with directors but that doesn’t mean I totally understand them or their thought processes. So..
The ~best~ thing about the MAM program is getting to see student work come to life. About a year and a half into this program, we are getting to see each other’s ideas turn into plans and plans turn into work and work turn into fully realized art. The Hokin Project, The Third Mask Festival, and The Fresh Connect are all examples of student ideas becoming reality. In the past few weeks, we have seen another MAM student’s idea take full flight. This would be none other than 2nd year and resident #doordork, Yvvi Atanassov. Since starting the program, we have heard about Yvvi’s obsession with doors, which is fully detailed on her Instagram @enchantingdoors_ (go follow!). Yvvi describes her love of doors through her favorite quote from Julie Powell: “Doors are going to open doors you can’t even imagine exist”. This passion and obsession with doors has led her to create the amazing project below!
I had the opportunity to chat with the current cohort of graduate students in the European Devised Performance Practice program (shortened to EDPP for obvious reasons) about their experiences. For context, the EDPP MFA program is two years in length. The first year takes place in Berlin, Germany studying at arthaus.berlin. Students then return to Chicago for their final year of study on Columbia’s campus. I asked some of the cohort a few questions about the program to give you all the inside scoop! Check it out below:
Hey all! The best cohort around is back, back, back again!
Are y’all ready for the back-to-school bonanza?? I sure hope so, because I’m not entirely convinced that I am. Excited? Totally! Ready? Absolutely not.
Happy August, all! Even though I’m a Leo baby, August really snuck up on me this year. In a month, my internship with Steppenwolf will be over. I’ll be back in the grind of school and on the road to graduation. And with the internship coming to a close, I am increasingly thankful that this experience at Steppenwolf worked out. Intern life has been a major shift away from the life of a first year grad student, but I’m just now finally getting to dive into how and why it feels like I’ve stepped out of the safety net of school and into the real world.
As a creative producer, getting to come up with ideas, develop stories and work on scripts is my heart and joy. I love it. Another big part of being a creative producer is logistics, which is often not as fun as scripts and stories. Most of the logistical work ultimately gets done by the line producer, production manager, and assistant directors, who are hired by and work with the producer to make sure the production happens as hitch-free as possible. A lot of the time, those jobs are considered non-creative, but I beg to disagree. There is creativity involved in logistics, especially with low-budget filmmaking.
As we say so long to the one and only Kelly Schmader, I wanted to take a moment to say a quick hello! The metaphorical torch of Graduate Ambassador-ship has been passed from Kelly to me. I am currently in the summer between years one and two in the Masters of Arts Management program at Columbia. Grad school—specifically the MAM program—has been a whirlwind thus far. Tons of reading. Lots of writing. Many, many new friends. And a love affair with the city of Chicago. I will for sure dive into more detail about all of these things at some point over the next year, but for now—a few basics!