In my previous blog post, I introduced my "One at Marquette" project. That assignment was supposed to be my midterm for Journalism 1550. Clearly plans changed. This is due to the timing of our recent MNNS projects. Because of that, I have stuck with this project for more than three months, which is something I've never done before. To understand this whole process, I'll have to break it down by month. Yes, that's how long this thing lasted.
After a couple weeks of pestering my professor, Herbert Lowe, for the go-ahead with my project, I got approval. After a few attempts to contact Andrew Pauly, president of The Studio 013 Refugees, Marquette's improv troupe, I reached him over email. Pauly agreed to let me photograph practices and an upcoming show, with a one-on-one interview to come afterwards.
Since the Fugees had a show coming up soon, I was working ahead of most of the class. I didn't anticipate what a problem that would be for me. Our class had not yet delved into photography. I attended the Fugees' practice at Humphrey Hall auditorium a few days after I emailed Pauly. I was equipped with my little digital camera, and thought that would be fine.
I started snapping pictures and, just as Pauly warned me, the lighting absolutely sucked. I was getting nothing. Best of all, my camera died in the middle of practice. Imagine my panic. I ran out of the room as quietly as I could. Leaning against the other side of the door, I called my roommate and begged her to bring my camera charger.. As I was on the phone, I could hear the Fugees talking inside. One member asked, "Guys, did she just leave?" "I was gonna turn around and scream at her, but then she was gone," another one of the Fugees said. Needless to say, that practice was a failure on my part.
I went back to another practice three days later. I thought I was more prepared. My camera was 48-hours charged. I decided not to be afraid to use flash, like I was last time. I thought everything went great, I assumed that would be my last time at their practice. The next day, my journalism class reviewed my pictures with me. My professor ripped my work apart. I was upset at first, but looking back, in what world would this be an acceptable picture? Who knows what I was thinking.
Yes, I had to go back for a third practice. This time, I was determined to make it the last practice I would attend. I checked out a nice quality camera from the Wakerly Technology Training Center. I wasn't afraid to run around the room to get some good pictures. I got some really great ones. Their improv show was that Friday, so I photographed that as well. I was incredibly pleased with how my pictures turned out. Read more to see how my remaining months with this assignment progressed.
As we wrap up our "One at Marquette projects," I can’t help but reflect back to the beginning of this journey…a long, long, long time ago. During one of our first classes, we were introduced to this project. We had to find a student on campus and profile him or her with an online package consisting of an audio slideshow and a complementary text story.
We were told by our professor to go outside our comfort zone to find a subject for the piece. I decided to do the opposite – I happily stayed within my comfort zone. I’m interested in reading and writing about entertainment related stories, so that’s exactly what I aimed to do.
As soon as I left that class, my mind awoke from its Christmas break slumber and began to work. I searched for inspiration all over campus. I continued to think while I simultaneously pretended to listen to my roommate talk at lunch. I finally settled on the president of Marquette’s improv troupe – The Studio 013 Refugees, also known as the Fugees.
I was the first one in my class to pitch my idea to my professor, earning myself the reputation of class “Eager Beaver.” I emailed the president of the Fugees, Andrew Pauly, who was a complete stranger at the time. Little did I know that I was embarking on the longest-lasting, most frustrating and most fun project I’ve ever done.
My journey with project is too long and tedious to break down in just one blog post, so the rest will be coming in another post.