The Power of Synopsis in Script Outlines

I’ve been hunkered down in creating the outline for my fourth musical theater work. A massive amount of time has been spent reviewing and refining my knowledge on the process and getting back in gear. Quite a bit of time has been spent on the outline. The reason is that my first script draft, at 70 pages, became so jumbled and confusing that I had to throw it out and start all over. My new approach begins with the outline.

But even with focusing on the outline, my work has quickly ballooned into 80 pages of notes. Not even notes about my specific musical but notes on different approaches to take to script writing. So again I started with a fresh outline of “beats” only to have that, at only 6 pages, start to become a fresh new spider’s web.

You know what process I skipped? The synopsis. And now that I have re-found the synopsis part of the process it is like a lightning bolt for my vision of structure.

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Leadership Approaches for Promoting Change in Organizations

LEADERSHIP APPROACHES FOR PROMOTING CHANGE IN ORGANIZATIONS

Conrad Askland
December 2018 – Colorado State University

 

ABSTRACT

Nonprofit arts organizations can have a particularly difficult experience enacting change within their organizations. This is partly due to the artist mindset that can have a default resistance to change, group and sub-group dynamics that create barriers to change, an ineffective leadership practices to overcome these challenges. This paper will highlight some of the barriers to change that appear in arts organizations as well as provide various leadership approaches that can be effective in facilitating healthy change within those organizations. Included are ancient leadership theories of Lao Tzu, the theory of reverse dominance and constructive dissent by Grint and successful leadership tactics identified by Kotter.

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The Stories Behind Some of the Favorite Christmas Carols of All Time

Music has been an integral part of the Christmas celebration since the earliest years of the celebration. From traditional sacred music to up-tempo tunes, the songs of Christmas are a major part of the holiday.

But how much do you know about the origin stories of your favorite Christmas carols. Here is the story behind some of the most popular and well known Christmas carols of all time.

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Lost Boys – PAN the musical

“Lost Boys” from PAN the musical at the Historic Lincoln Theater, September 2013. Book, music and lyrics by Conrad Askland based on “Peter and Wendy” by JM Barrie.

I wrote “PAN the musical” for META Performing Arts, a youth theater non-profit group in Mount Vernon, WA. PAN is a new version of the Peter Pan story that combined audience interaction, songs for children and some high brow musical theater as well. One critic said it was the perfect show for children AND adults to enjoy together.

PAN the musical website at: http://www.PanMusical.com

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INFP Personality Type

“We all benefit when an INFP personality type goes ‘Sir Lancelot’ on the world.”

Somehow in my graduate studies on Arts Leadership, I ended up taking a personality test. With both the paid personality text on http://www.myersbriggs.org/ and the free personality test at https://www.16personalities.com – I ended up with the INFP personality type.

I’m not much for online tests, but I was really blown away by how accurately these tests described my cognitive and social function. There is the old story about the college psychology professor who hands every person in class their weekly horoscope and asks students to raise their hands if the horoscope is accurate. Usually a large percentage of the class raises their hands, only to find out that they all have the exact same horoscope. In other words, we read so much in to descriptions that seem to match us.

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Choosing Your Child’s Piano Teacher: Six Questions to Ask

Piano lessons are an investment of both money and time. Finding the right piano teacher for your child will help your investment lead to successful music education. Asking the following questions will help you choose the right teacher.

 

Is the teacher a member of local, state, or national music organizations?

Membership in music organizations signals that a teacher is interested in staying current with trends in music education. Music Teachers National Association, National Association for Music Education, and the National Federation of Music Clubs, along with the state and local affiliates of these organizations, are some of the well-known groups in which a piano teacher might hold membership. Journals and newsletters typically accompany membership and bring relevant information right to the teacher’s door. Membership also gives the teacher access to continuing education opportunities, including conventions and seminars on music performance and education.

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Skagit Impressions Five

“If I Could Go Anywhere” is a song I wrote back in the late 1990’s. Here is a new recording of the piece paired with photos of Skagit County, WA photographer Gary Brown. Part of our interdisciplinary collaboration of Pacific Northwest farmland photography with my original music for the “Gary Brown and Conrad Askland Project.”

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Johann Sebastian Bach: Baroque Superstar

(Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750)

J.S. Bach’s dad was a musician. J.S.’s uncle was a musician. All four of J.S.’s brothers were musicians and composers. In fact, pretty much everybody in the Bach family were musicians and had been since great-great-great grandpa John Hans Bach, originally a baker, had a mid-life crisis and discovered that he was meant to be a piper instead.

By 1685, when Johann Sebastian Bach was born, the Bachs were the German Baroque equivalent of our modern day musical Jackson family. The Bachs were well-known, highly connected, and prosperous. They served as musicians to Dukes, were musical directors at important churches, and were directors of renowned choirs. Even the ladies of the family got in on the act. J.S.’s second wife was a popular singer.

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My Photos at 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Here are some of my photos from the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. For my show reviews and thoughts go to:
http://conradaskland.com/blog/edinburgh-fringe-2017-shows-thoughts/

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is an annual theater destination with hundreds of different shows to attend from stand up comics, musical theater to the absurd and serious theater genres. This year was the 70th annual Fringe and it was awesome!

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Tarragona – Solo Piano Improvisation

“Tarragona” is a piano improvisation by Conrad Askland. Recorded July 31, 2017 in Tarragona, Spain.

In this video you can see the far stone wall behind the piano. That stone wall is part of a guard tower that is dated to be at least 800 years old. Used at one point as a guard tower and later as part of a winery.

I thought about the long history of this special place in Spain and let my fingers color the imagination of what I saw in my mind’s eye.

Varekai Band 2017

Musicians from the Cirque du Soleil Varekai band taken June 2017 in Vilnius, Lithuania by Gabrielus Jauniskis.

From left to right: David Piché (violin), Conrad Askland (bandleader and keyboards), Mikey Hachey (bass), Isabelle Corradi (singer), Jamieson Lindenberg (singer), Damion Corideo (percussion), Jose Manuel Pizarro Carmona (winds) and Paul James Bannerman (drums).

It is an absolute pleasure to work with this group of musicians!

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My Edinburgh Fringe 2017 – Shows and Thoughts

I attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a 70 year old theater festival in Scotland, from August 14-23, 2017 and it was incredible. In all my travels this has got to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

In 9 days I attended 30 shows. Many more were booked but it was such an overload that I just had to take some time off here and there. My friends ask “Did you see the castles?” No. “Did you see the Military Tattoo?” No. I was here for shows.

My show thoughts and reviews are below. If interested in photos I took at the 70th annual fringe go here:

My Photos at 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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