THE BARE BONES ISSUE
behind bare bones The whole concept of The Bare Bones Issue began last winter. Generation Why was just wrapping design and the process of em Magazine reared its head again and demanded to be named. What did I want our issue to say this time? Who did I want to speak to? Of course, the first answers were obvious. I wanted to speak intelligently to our readers, to continue to offer them thought provoking and unique material that pushed the envelope. But then again, that’s always what we strive for at em.
but through our entire image. It is a refreshingly edited and inspired look that captures exactly what it means to bare it all.
The newest issue had to go beyond that. It had to be more emotional, more truthful, and more organic. It was with that realization that Bare Bones was born. I wanted to take our readers behind the scenes and under the surface of the things too easily dismissed. We sat down with Alexander Kaufman, editor in chief of the Berkeley Beacon, for a chance to hear his opinions on the disregard surrounding his publication. We spoke with the team behind this year’s EVVY Awards and found out that to truly know the EVVY Awards, you need to start from the bottom up. I even sat down with Olivia Moravec, founder and editor in chief of Your Magazine, to finally speak face to face on our perceived rivalry and the state of publishing at Emerson today.
Kimya - You’re the one person who has been on this staff longer than I have and I know I’m accurate in saying that the legacy of em Magazine would be incomplete without you. You’ve stayed devoted throughout several editorships and have grown with us, teaching us all something each semester. I wish you the best in your future. If you have half of the gusto you had while at em Magazine, you’ll go wherever you’d like to and they’ll be lucky to have you.
The Bare Bones mantra rang true throughout the magazine’s artistic components as well. This semester we welcomed an entirely fresh fashion team to our staff and saw raw talent unfold onto our pages. For the first time ever, our video team ventured across the country to the Badlands to capture the spirt of Bare Bones across the painted mountains of South Dakota. Their trip was so inspiring that we created a photo journal to immortalize the unforgettable journey. Even as we closed the book, our fiercely devoted design team of two kept the Bare Bones ideals in their head. They pared down and defined what we stand for as a magazine, not through our words or our photography,
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Creating such an issue would have been impossible without the devotion of our entire staff. In true em tradition, everyone on staff raised the bar once again this year and for that I thank you immensely. At the heart of our staff, though, are two members who have been integral to the production of this issue. One is just beginning to hit his stride at em, and the other is leaving us after a tenure that extends beyond my time with the magazine. Joey - You have been a tremendous asset to the magazine this year. Your commitment is something that has continued to inspire me and get me through the road blocks in creating this issue. em has already morphed under your eye and I cannot wait to see where it goes.
With that being said, it’s time for me to bare it all. This is my last semester as editor in chief of em Magazine. For the past two years I have watched an idea grow into a hundred-something page book of originality, hard work, and creativity. It has been inspiring and challenging, but most of all, rewarding. I’ve had the pleasure of working with an immense body of talent and I am proud to say that em Magazine has been an integral part of my time at Emerson. I’m not sure where it will go in the future, but I’m thrilled to say that I was part of its past. As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the issue.
entertainment 72 Boston Boroughs Mission Hill
74 Good ‘Till the Last
Drop of BBQ Sauce A look at the high-end barbecue trend among Boston’s restaurants.
76 Geek Feminism
Women no longer hold the minority in comic book and gaming obsession, and the boys will just have to deal.
78 Pretentious Books You
Should Actually Read Rethinking those crusty books your high school English teacher forced you to read.
79 The Wicked Ones
The ethics of autobiographical literature.
80 Sincerely, Your
Biggest Fan Celebrity obsessions are more than just fun and games to these dedicated students.
82 The Life and Times
of a Movie Extra An hour-by-hour guide of being an extra in one of the most movie-happy towns in America.
83 Business vs Pleasure:
How much is the event entertainment craze effecting the quality film and TV?
84 The Rise of the FemCee
emerson 7 Notes on Comedy
14 The Basics of a Presidency em chats with President Lee Pelton.
42 Selling Marilyn
Why is the icon still so bankable?
50 Two ‘Ships Passing in the
Senior improv comedy 44 Domestic Bliss star, Mike Fink of This is 15 Alumni Hot Shot Seth-Grahame Smith hits A look at fashion’s Pathetic gives em some 51 it big in Hollywood and is housewife affair. insight. now celebrating his gory Is Butter a Carb? 45 8 Street Scene glory. The dangers of college Professor Hallak: Pilot & 10 52 dieting and quick-result 16 Music in Motion Musicologist Behind-the-scenes with the cleanses. Professor Hallak incortrue voice of Emerson on 46 Beauty porates cultural experithe airwaves. Spring’s fresh & forbidden ence from his piloting looks. past into lectures. looks 53 Dark Muse 47 11 What It’s Really Like in 18 Accessories A guide to literary-inspired the Political Women’s Trends dressing. Communications Field 20 25 Men’s Trends 12 Bible Talk relationships 30 4 Looks 1 Trend Emerson’s Christian 38 Navigating a group gets together to 48 Call Me, Maybe 54 Controversial Trend share their faith and Work on the nerve to apDesigners and magazines beliefs. proach that cutie in your have caught some flack for class. Student Retailers 13 their cultural insensitivity. An interview with the 49 They’re Drunk, You’re Not minds behind Trunks Up 40 Tricks for a Well Suited Man Here’s how to let ‘em down Tips for your best-fitting suit. Designs and Quiyk. easy and send ‘em home.
Night Should you leave your boo behind when considering your dream internship? The Breakup Shuffle How to be a functional, newly single Emersonian.
How the ladies are taking over the game with sharp tongues and sex appeal.
85 In Defense of Reality TV
Should you really loathe Toddlers and Tiaras as much as everyone tells you to?
I Hate Horoscopes (But Actually, I Love Them) Assistant editor in chief Joey Polino meditates on the Zodiac. Romantic Comedies vs. Reality Since a blockbuster romance isn’t happening any time soon, we’ll take a slightly altered one. When Do Parents Become People? They clothed you, fed you and sheltered you, but as you get older their faults and issues become more obvious everyday. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
em Volume 14 - Spring 2012
Editor in Chief Assistant Editor in Chief Managing Editor Design Director Web Director Creative Editor Fashion Editor Beauty Director Marketing Director Design Assistant Web Assistant
Benjamin Lindsay Daniel Tehrani JJ St. Onge Jeeyoon Kim Erin Doolin
Emerson Writers Alicia Lazzaro Amanda Gomez Caroline Praderio Daniel Jones Emily McClure Kierston Rusden Mike Fink
Looks Writers Alex Lau Andrew Favorito Devan Norman Sienna Mintz Siri Winter Tess Babbitt
Entertainment Writers Alex Tivilino Andrea Shea Taylor Tetreau Emily Onofrio Ethan Young Ray Bellinger Sarah Diamond Nick Mantle Photographers Benjamin Askinas Brian Annis Daniel Salerno David Galinato Joanie Jenkins Kathleen Collins Michael Rivera Nikita Merrin Spencer Fields Photo Director Morgan Cottle
EM MAGAZINE - SPRING 2012
Dillon Sorensen Danielle Brizel Elizabeth Walsh Karlan Baumann Jamie Emmerman Amber Cunningham
Emerson Editor Looks Editor Relationships Editor Features Editor Entertainment Editor
Relationship Writers Alex Hammarth Garnet McLaughlin Hannah Brown Marlee Kula Nisreen Galloway Taylor Meacham
COVER: photo // BENJAMIN ASKINAS model // ILARIA DE PLANO
Justin Reis Joey Polino Kimya Kavehkar Maria Murray Amanda Cuoco
Features Writers Courtney Swift Elissa Bernstein Kierston Rusden Nancy Valev Nina Corcoran Victoria Bedford Copy Editors Kelly Payton Rebecca Pollock Sage Paquette-Cohen Marketing Staff Abigail Thompson Ameara Harb Cedrine Streit Emily Feldman Jon Khalev Julian Schnee Virginia Johnson Beauty Team Audrey Geiger Andrea Zendejas Abby Woodman Stylists Jordan Peery Kate Amery Fred Kim Photo Editor Chelsea Roden
FEATURES SPRING 2012
The New Journalist Writers have struggled to pick journalism or WLP as a major, but with the new journalism curriculum, the two majors are starting to close the gap. text // nina corcoran
The Importance of a Diploma You’ve been offered your dream job—or at least one that pays decently—what’s the motivation to stay in school? text // jeeyoon kim
SBS Takes a Swing at SGA Recognition Sports Business Society is only one of several organizations that wasn’t recognized by the SGA last year, leading the group to evaluate what it really takes to gain the recognition that they’re after. text // courtney swift
Intro to Features Lights, Camera, Opportunity As Emerson’s industry award show, the EVVYs is a chance for students of all majors to get involved in a totally unique experience.
text // kierston rusden
Laid Out in Black and White After 65 years of publication, the Berkeley Beacon continues to push for journalistic integrity, student interest, and the pursuit of a great story. text // nancy valev
Whose Magazine is it 64 Anyway? The editors-in-chief of Emerson’s lifestyle publications chat about the publishing industry on campus, the future, and what it takes to be on top. text // kimya kavehkar
Mercutio Troupe: Bringing a New Light to Angels Theatre group Mercutio serves as a haven for creative thinkers as they take on the difficult, controversial play, Angels in America. text // tori bedford
Overworked and Understaffed: Shelters Seek Student Help The homeless often seen on the Emerson campus aren’t looking for charity or pity, just simple acts of kindness as their lives are on the mend. text // elissa bernstein
Emerson College, Andrea Martucci and Faye Brennan, Sharon Duffy, Kathleen Dugan, William Beuttler, SGA, Joe O’Brien and Journeyman Staff, and ECA for being the official model agency of em Magazine. © 2012 em Magazine Emerson College 150 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116 THE BARE BONES ISSUE
There’s a lot of stress that comes along with graduating. The constant resume rewrites, completing your final, most difficult courses, and the hard-hitting reality that you don’t know what the hell you’ll be doing by the time May 14 rolls around. In addition to those worries, it really weighed on my mind how I would even begin to write this letter. I turned the words over in my brain, trying to think of what the perfect farewell to Emerson College and em Magazine, the organization that I have been involved in since my first semester here, would be. The truth is nothing would be sufficient enough to fully encapsulate everything that I’ve learned and felt while being a student here. But there is some wisdom I’d like to impart on those of you lucky enough to be spending your next few years at Emerson. Everyone you encounter wants so much to see you succeed; let
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them help you. Everyone is rooting for your success, but when you rise, bring other people up with you instead of playing into cattiness that often accompanies ambition. Lay out on Boston Common on an April afternoon and get a raging sunburn. Stay in the XML lab or the Iwasaki until employees physically force you out because you needed to finish that one project, and not only finish it, but make it perfect. Walk around the North End at 3 a.m. on a quest for Bova’s. Fall in love. Swear you’ll never go to Allston again, but wind up at the same place next weekend. Make friends. Some you will never talk to again as you pass them on Boylston, some that will be impossible to forget—that you’ll be hugging and sobbing with on graduation day. Wherever you go, remember where you planted your roots. Remember where it all started. Be thankful. Thank you
to my professors, administrators, colleagues and friends; you’ve shaped me more than you could know and in a magnitude that I could never repay. I also owe a great deal to em for inspiring me, and helping to push me to the next level in my career. I knew magazines were what I wanted to do for a very long time, and em solidified that love. I started out as a features writer and ended as managing editor; during these four years I interviewed amazing people, worked on a personal level with incredibly talented writers, and saw how an executive staff starts with a blank slate and through hard work and dedication, ends up with something amazing. Every experience here has been nothing short of amazing.
comedy Senior improv comedy star, MIKE FINK of This is Pathetic gives em some insight. text // MIKE FINK photo // THIS IS PATHETIC
timing is everything
comedy is truth
laugh at yourself
I once took a woman out on a date to an open mic. We showed up late and I was the last person to sign up. The bar closed before I got a chance to perform, and my date had left several hours earlier with another comedian.
The least funny moment of my life came when my mother died and told me that I was her least favorite son. It wasn’t funny because it had to have been a lie.
Heckling is inevitable. Often times the heckler will be funnier than you are, so let them do the heavy lifting. America didn’t defeat the British by forcing them into submission. They simply endured the war to a point that it was no longer worth fighting. Give your heckler enough time to decide on his/her own that you aren’t worth it.
comedy is pain It isn’t funny until somebody gets hurt, emotionally or physically. This is why racism is so funny, and the reason that the Holocaust is such a popular punchline. The only exception to this rule is that it is not very funny when you get hurt. Kind of like when my last girlfriend slept with my best friend and I lost in a fist fight. Some bad feelings are meant to be bottled up inside until they explode and you have a nervous breakdown and start self-medicating with alcohol. Because funny things happen when you’re drunk.
make sure your audience is laughing with you, not at you I recently performed a set and at the end of the show I realized that my fly was open and my boxers were on backwards. Then a drunk man in the audience called me ass-backwards and got more laughs than I had all night. It’s no fun being the butt of a joke.
brevity is the soul of wit My best jokes usually come from my various misadventures with women. I think they are usually very funny because I’ve never had a relationship that’s lasted longer than a month and a half.
let your punchlines breathe It is very important as a performer to remember to breathe. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that you’re still a person on stage who has to inhale and exhale to survive. I had an existential crisis on stage once and just sort of started to feel like I was a marionette and all of my movements were just strings being pulled. And all I could do was watch from the third-person. I fainted and woke up in the hospital with an emergency room bill bigger than my bar tab that I had left open that night on account of being taken away in an ambulance.
never underestimate the power of prop comedy Be forewarned, it is very easy to feel emasculated with a 6-inch dildo in your hand.
the unexpected is funny In season four, episode one of Punk’d, Salma Hayek is accused of clogging a toilet in a women’s restroom. It is later revealed that the whole thing was a set-up organized by Penelope Cruz and Ashton Kutcher.
never let them see you sweat I suffer from a very severe form of Hyperhidrosis. Around the age of sixteen, I began sweating profusely in my underarms and palms. This sometimes makes it very hard to hold a pen, grip a steering wheel, shake hands, and not appear as an amateur moron on stage.
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Street Scene photo // JAMIE EMMERMAN & FRED KIM
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THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Professor Yaacoub Hallak: pilot & musicologist Professor Yaacoub Hallak incorporates cultural experience from his piloting past into lectures text // ALICIA LAZZARO photo // JOANIE JENKINS
EM MAGAZINE - SPRING 2012
kies were clear all the way to Yaacoub Hallak’s destination in Amman, Jordan. It was his first flight as a solo pilot, he was 20-years-old, and the sky was his limit. But halfway to the Queen Alia International Airport, at 5,500 feet, the plane’s engine failed. “Mayday, Mayday,” he called to the controllers at the airport. Hallak recalled what his instructor had told him just a few days prior: “Yaacoub, if you have an engine failure, read your last prayer.” But Hallak was not one to go down without a fight. “Read my last prayers, my foot,” he thought. The adrenaline kicked in, and so did his instincts. The first thing he did was look for a field, but there was only a mountain. With the mountain’s valley in sight, Hallak hastily turned the plane a full 180 degrees. He went straight down into the valley, clipping the mountain, losing half of the undercarriage, and smashing the left wing. Despite extensive damage to the plane, he made it out unscathed. The rescue team came shortly after, but all Hallak wanted to do was fly again. He refused medical care and refused to go home; a mere 30 minutes later, he was readying himself for flight in the cockpit. Hallak says the best medicine after crashing is taking off for another flight. “If you allow yourself the time right after the accident—one week, two weeks, three weeks—where you start thinking about the accident, you start thinking about the danger,” says Hallak. “You might not be able to ever fly again.” Hallak is now a professor of history and political science at Emerson College. Hallak credits his former wife, Christina, for sparking his desire to teach. His exwife taught a music class in opera, and one day, Hallak helped her prepare for the class. After spending just one day there and seeing the perceptive reactions of the students, he was inspired to get his master’s degree in education. He has used his former experience as an airline pilot and flight engineer to enhance his teaching for the past 12 years. He understands that many students only take the courses he teaches—Western History and U.S. Government and Politics among them—because of general education requirements. Nevertheless, he strives to pull interest from his students through lectures with interactive power points and group activities, calling himself more a facilitator than professor. When speaking about flying in his thick Lebanese accent, his bright blue eyes
shine with passion and his face crinkles with a smile. During his many years as a pilot, he travelled to more countries than he can count—France, Italy, Greece, and over a dozen others. Although he hasn’t accrued many souvenirs or photographs, he has something more special: memories, friendships, and experiences. “The whole world really becomes your home,” says Hallak. “That’s what I love most about it. It really makes you broad-minded.” Whenever visiting foreign countries, he connects to the culture and to the people. It is this personal understanding that he tries to relay to his students. “You cannot understand a country and the mentality of the people without understanding its politics and culture, their past, their history,” says Hallak. He is originally from war-ridden Lebanon, and stresses the beauty of the American Constitution to his students. Hallak conveys the atmosphere of a foreign land through his experience—something that he says cannot be learned from a textbook. “I really use my experience in trying to highlight the greatness and the genius of our Constitution and our political system,” Hallak says. “Where in other places, such as Lebanon, people kill each other and capture people… it’s a shame many of us here in America don’t appreciate it. I try and teach students to take America for granted—take our system for granted—to really appreciate it from my perspective.” As a father of four, Hallak is not only an inspiration and motivation in the classroom, but outside as well. He often speaks with his children about his experiences in life and flight, and encourages them to never doubt their dreams. He fondly remembers one particular day with his daughter, May. She had asked him if he truly believed that a woman could be a pilot. Hallak could have made reference to Anne Morrow Lindbergh or Amelia Earhart, but instead led his daughter outside in search of an answer. When he spotted a bird in flight overhead, he asked her, “May, is that a female or a male?” It was in her inability to answer that May knew to never put limitations on her dreams. To his children and to his students, Hallak proves time and again that the sky is, in fact, the limit.
What It’s Really Like in the
political communications Field Political Communications may be a vague title for the major, but the rapidly changing curriculum gives students the tools they need to pursue a career in public policy.
text // KIERSTON RUSDEN
merson’s political communications major isn’t the political science major found at other schools across the country. In fact, it is one of five programs in the United States of its kind. It is a unique blend of theoretical understanding, historical background, and practical experience of politics. “Couple that with experience that Boston offers and the communications we integrate into every class, [and] this is the best political education out there,” says Richard West, chair of the communication studies department. He continues, saying that communication studies is the foundation of Emerson College. “When Charles Wesley Emerson founded the college, he was talking about our department. Everything after us just branched out like a bad Kardashian show.” Founded as a debate and oratory school in 1880, Emerson was built on a basis of formal speaking and political speech writing. “Our curriculum is being revamped, too,” says West. “We want more of a political anchor, so we’re adding courses on international politics, social media, campaign management, and political speech writing.” Sophomore political communications major Kathryn Legreca is fully immersed in her major this semester after scoring her dream internship under Senator John Kerry. There, she is constantly focused on the issues, processes, and decisions that surround public policy, and is often writing letters and business plans for Senator Kerry. Prior to entering Emerson’s political communications curriculum, Legreca was a print journalism major. Though she is interested in writing, after last year’s curricular changes in the journalism department, Legreca realized that she is more passionate about politics and rhetoric. “I never thought about why people communicate the way they do before,” Legreca says. “Learning the communication techniques that control politics is one of the great-
est skills I’ve gained studying this major.” Contrary to Legreca’s publicpolicy focus, senior political communications major, Alex Castillo, leans more towards social advocacy and non-profit work. “Being in communication studies, you learn how to reach out to your local and global community,” says Castillo. “This is not a traditional academic major.” Nor does it offer traditional experiences. Castillo had the unique opportunity to participate as the 2010 assistant director at Project Boston-Medellin, a multimedia project among students at Emerson and students at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin, Colombia. The project works to exhibit Medellin’s students’ role in the city’s peace process.
“Politics and advocacy play a role in everything... Whether it’s competing for a job, or begging your parents to let you stay out past curfew—you’re advocating for yourself.” -KATHI-ANNE REINSTEIN (POLI COMM ‘97) “This program is not simply explaining the bare bones of politics. You really come to learn that there’s much more to the activities associated, and [that] how those are communicated really impacts everyone. It’s been a nice balance between professors sharing their experiences while allowing us to create our own.” Massachusetts State Representative, Emerson alum (’97), and professor, Kathi-Anne Reinstein, is proof that Emerson’s political communications major is effective in preparing students for the political communications field. Reinstein succeeded her father, William G. Reinstein in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “A lot of my father’s friends teased me for going to graduate school when I had my father to teach me the ropes, but Emerson taught me and broke down everything in the field,” says Reinstein. “The classes I took, combined
with the great professors who brought experience to the classroom, were absolutely invaluable.” Professors in the department range from political officers to nationally known speakers, lecturers, and consultants. Many have competitive speech and debate experience and expertise in argument and rhetoric. Spencer Kimball is a professor at Emerson. He is also the president of Kimball Political Consulting, a nationally recognized political consulting firm with clients in 26 states. Kimball focused on marketing and advertising while at the University of Hartford. He realized in graduate school, however, that rather than selling cars and candy bars, he wanted to sell ideas. “This is a multi-billion dollar industry,” says Kimball. “Yes, coming straight out of college you’ll work for campaigns making $300 a week like myself, but stick with it and learn your skills. It’s a very profitable business.” Political communication is not only a profitable industry, but an important role in every individual’s life. “Politics and advocacy play a role in everything,” Reinstein says. “Whether it’s competing for a job, or begging your parents to let you stay out past curfew—you’re advocating for yourself.” The field, the strategizing and background work require the experience and knowledge that Emerson teaches its students. Well, that, and showing up is always important. “Showing up is half the battle. If you’re showing up, people take notice of you,” says Reinstein. “If you work hard, it can get you all the way to the top and take you anywhere.” In Emerson’s political communications department, there is a 69% increase in applications from last year—the greatest departmental increase in applicants across the board. West says that this increase indicates what a robust role politics is coming to play in people’s lives. “Those new applicants are realizing something that others may not be able to see…that there’s a real need for political understanding in our world.” THE BARE BONES ISSUE
examine, and interpret the Bible. It is unbiased towards any one individual’s morals or religious beliefs; it simply sets out to study the text and to find a unique, profound meaning within it. As a freshman, McFaden sought to find a micro community within Emerson in which she could be herself and feel at home. Bible Talk, enforcing her religious beliefs and values, filled that role. It introduced McFaden to a Boston church, to a number of new
Church and incorporating God into all facets of life. For instance, McFaden finds Christianity’s virtues applicable to her professional interests as a stage manager. This is especially prevalent in choosing what productions to work for. She would opt to not work for a production that does not explicate moral soundness. McFaden has yet to turn a management opportunity down, but expects to at least once in her career. Jon Allen, sophomore market-
“After a couple of seconds, she sprung up with a gulp of breath, awestruck by what she had just done. Elated, she turned towards shore, where she was welcomed by her neighbors singing and clapping.”
Bible Talk Emerson’s Bible Talk group gets together to share their faith and beliefs. text // AMANDA GOMEZ photo // JAMIE EMMERMAN
n Wednesday, September 21st, 2011, Esther McFaden was baptized in the Charles River. The baptism was set for sundown. Come sunset, friends and fellows lined the Charles’ bank. Kind words were shared and scripture was dutifully read. Finally, the moment came, and McFaden was set to be welcomed into the arms of the Lord with pure grace and love. McFaden, sporting athletic shorts and a black T-shirt, walked down the grassy hillside. Her blonde hair was gently blown back by the riverbank’s breeze. Two church members walked alongside her with even cadence into the river. The water was a surprisingly wel12
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coming temperature. As she stood in the water, her soon-to-be sisters in Christ held her as she leaned back, completely submerging her body in the Charles. After a couple of seconds, she sprung up with a gulp of breath, awestruck by what she had just done. Elated, she turned towards shore, where she was welcomed by her neighbors singing and clapping. McFaden is a freshman stage and production management major. Her baptism and acceptance into the Church was all made possible by Emerson’s Bible Talk. Bible Talk was started four years ago by senior writing, literature and publishing major Ryan McDonnell. The group meets weekly to read,
friends, and to the greater Boston Christian community. Though McFaden, having been raised Christian, was already familiar with the Bible, she had never been given the opportunity or incentive to read the text on her own terms. By joining Bible Talk, she began to understand the Scripture in a new light. Bible Talk meets every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Meetings are held in the 10th floor common room of the Colonial Building. As the group’s creator, McDonnell typically begins by welcoming Bible Talk’s members, new and old. Attendees gather around a table of freshly-baked cookies and milk, and are given a moment to socialize, catch up, and welcome one another. Once the meeting begins, Bibles are taken out, and reading and analysis of Scripture commences. As any devout Christian will display, the binding of each member’s Bible is often worn, pages dog-eared, and passages annotated. Each reading brings something new, exciting, and worthwhile to the table. Members speak about each passage passionately, and often apply them to everyday situations of undergraduate life. Bible Talk does not limit its biblical discussion to these Tuesday evening meetings. Each Sunday, the group meets in the Little Building lobby to attend the Boston Church of Christ Sunday worship. The caravan leaves promptly at 9:30 a.m. Members of Bible Talk stress the importance of attending
ing major, also belongs to the Boston Church of Christ congregation. His Christian values may not inherently affect his professional interests, but his faith is evident in the way he presents himself and communicates with others. The fact that religions of any denomination are not readily publicized in the Emerson community bears no effect on Allen’s underlying faith. Allen feels as though his faith has grown stronger the last couple of months, largely due to his membership at the Boston Church of Christ. Though Allen’s schedule does not allow him to be an active member of Bible Talk, he continues to hold weekly meetings with youth pastors and reads the Bible on his own accord. McFaden says that most students at Emerson are open-minded and respectful of her even if they don’t agree with her religious beliefs; however, the majority, she believes, has the mentality to be politically correct and not speak about it at all. For this reason, she found it important to find a group with members that held similar values— one that could keep her grounded. In the expansive world of Emerson, Bible Talk was her haven.
For more information on Trunks Up, or to place an order on one of Gorin’s bracelets, visit http://www.etsy.com/people/SammyGorin.
OFFICIAL SUPPLIER OF THE INTERNATIONAL QUIDDITCH ASSOCIATION
Taking Business Into Their Own Hands A Sit-Down Interview with the Minds Behind Trunks Up Designs and Quiyk text // BENJAMIN LINDSAY photo // NIKITA MERRIN
iving in Boston as a modern-day undergraduate comes with a price. Most are willing to do just about anything for a steady paycheck—just ask the local Greenpeace canvassers. Some students, however, have circumvented standard procedures in job hunting. They have come into cash by marketing and selling trendy products not found on Newbury—their own. Though it calls for some crossed fingers and elbow grease, students are finding it appealing to be the singular creator and proprietor of a product. Student retailers at Emerson are making a mark and finding a customer-base all over the nation. em Magazine sat down with the minds behind Quiyk, the world’s only manufacturer of Quidditch athletic apparel, and Trunks Up Designs, a trendy and affordable jewelry line, to talk some business.
BOHEMIAN BEADS FROM TRUNKS UP DESIGNS
louded jade beads of cool blues and greens comfortably wrap the wrist of Samantha Gorin, the student retailer behind Trunks Up Designs. The beads converge at a focal piece of a Laughing Buddha
head. Beyond being Buddhism’s whimsical mascot, the Laughing Buddha and his large, globular belly traditionally represents happiness, good fortune, and plenitude. Coincidentally, this particular bracelet is her bestselling piece to date. Good fortune, indeed. Gorin, a junior marketing major, has her time in retail to thank for the inspired initiative to develop Trunks Up. “I was working in a retail store last summer in South Hampton, and we were getting in a lot of bracelets and necklaces with Buddhas and elephants on them, but they were all priced at $300. Me and all the girls were left saying, ‘Oh, I could make this—I could do this.’” Gorin set out to do just that. She ordered Laughing Buddha heads from China and went to New York to purchase sufficiently stylish beads. The first bracelets were quickly snatched up by her coworkers, confirming that if Gorin could make them, she could sell them. Gorin went on to build Trunks Up’s Etsy profile in August 2011. Etsy.com is an online marketplace where independent artists and merchants congregate to advertise and sell their work. To keep her site with a steady flow of products for purchase, Gorin spurs inspiration from her own interests. “I have very bohemian taste,” Gorin says. She prefers cool colors, and relies heavily on neutral, earthy tones. Since its August launch, Trunks Up has gained traction largely in part to Gorin’s reasonable pricing on quality, handmade accessories. Each piece sells for $8-20. “I try to keep it cheap,” Gorin says. “I figure in how much I would be willing to pay for a beaded bracelet.” Plans for the future of Trunks Up involve putting Gorin’s marketing and graphic design skills to work. She hopes to make stickers and flyers displaying her line’s logo: aptly, an elephant. In light of her success, Gorin is proud to have transcended her initial reservations in jewelry-making. “If you’re going to be an artist or a retailer, you can’t worry about what people think,” she says. “If you’re happy with your product, just put it out there.”
ustomers of Quiyk athletic apparel are given more than just wash instructions on their laundry tags. Each piece comes with a Quiyk message confirming the consumers’ sensible purchase. “We commend you on acquiring this fine Quiyk garment,” the tag reads. “We make them from the ground up in Seattle, WA. They are rad. We hope you enjoy this product as much as we do. Stay classy.” The tag reflects the way that Quiyk cofounders Eric Wahl and Matt Lowe approach business: with overwhelming pride and a sense of humor. Wahl, a junior marketing major, and Lowe, a junior film production major act as Quiyk’s production director and creative director, respectively. Since Quiyk’s November launch at the 2011 Quidditch World Cup, Wahl and Lowe have recruited a marketing director—junior marketing major Gemma Simko—and a director a new business—junior marketing major, entrepreneurship minor Nadav Swarttz. Wahl and Lowe were both avid Quidditch players as Emerson freshmen. The sport had been conceptualized only a few years prior, and though the technical roots of the game were established, Wahl and Lowe saw room for improvement. “We were like, ‘This is so cool, but kids are running around in cargo shorts and cotton Tshirts—improvising,’” says Lowe. “And so we thought of some things we could do to improve the sport through athletic wear.” In summer 2011, the two Seattle natives got to work. They soon found sources for material and a means of production, and by summer’s end, quality product samples were completed. “It was really important for us to not cut any corners,” Lowe says. “We’ve really worked hard to keep the quality of the product high.” This is seen in clothing features such as tagless tees and article elasticity. Come time for the World Cup, Quiyk was ready for its public debut. Roughly 700 pieces of apparel were sold that weekend, and the orders have been steadily streaming in ever since. Quiyk has created such a stir that the International Quidditch Association (IQA) recently took notice. The two have now partnered together, expanding Quiyk’s credibility as the industry’s sole provider of Quidditch apparel. Swarttz, Wahl, Lowe, and Simko all plan on riding Quiyk’s wave for as far as it will take them. Even if it does not break into a full time endeavor, having it as a part of their professional lives has proven invaluably fun and worthwhile. “To see people excited about our product and ask us about it [has been] really rewarding,” says Wahl. “We just hope that we can continue to grow and legitimize the sport.”
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the basics of a
President Pelton speaks about his new position at Emerson and plans for the future text // DANIEL JONES photo // TONY RINALDO
resident Lee Pelton remembers hearing about Emerson College in a separate era from that of the present: in the days when the school had a crew team. The new president was then at Harvard (where he received his Ph.D., served as an academic dean, and taught English and American literature), living near the Charles River. He recalls seeing a boat with the name Emerson College on it. Years later, he would be reintroduced to the institution while accompanying his daughter—currently a senior at the school—on a prospective students tour. By that time, the campus had transformed, and was in its current downtown location. Just a few years after that tour, it was announced that former president, Jackie Liebergott, would be stepping down from her position. A successor was needed, and the Board of Trustees recruited Pelton. He was already an established leader in the world of higher education, having served as a dean at both Colgate University and Dartmouth College, followed by a 13-year presidency at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. “By the time I arrived, I had been engaged with Emerson for almost a year and a half, so there were very few things that surprised me,” he says of the thorough selection process. “I have a good sense of what the challenges and opportunities are for any college, and those challenges and opportunities are very similar here to what they would be elsewhere.” It did not take President Pelton long to see the opportunities that Emerson offers. Sitting in his office at the top of the Ansin Building, he appears comfortable—as if he has always been here. He praises the student body and faculty, saying, “I have found Emerson to be probably the most affirming college or university with which I’ve had any association.” He also wants to make sure the community is aware of what Emerson represents. “We’re not a trade school or a performing arts school; we are a school of arts and communication, enhanced and strengthened by liberal learning.” Although Pelton is the continual optimist, he is not afraid to address the concerns of the Emerson community at large. He displays the worry over academic rigor at the institution in a positive light, saying that “the best students want to be challenged academically.” This desire to strengthen the academic environment of the institution is seen as a good thing in 14
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Pelton’s eyes, showing that the school is composed of some of the best and brightest students there are. Moreover, the topic of diversity is of particular importance to the new president. He says, “Diversity is a commitment to excellence… It is not something to be fixed or installed like a refrigerator. It’s a condition that needs to be nurtured and strengthened. It is at the core of what it means to be intellectually and academically excellent.” Pelton desires that this diversity rep-
“We’re going to do great things here. The nation, the world will know who we are and what we have to offer. I promise you that.” - PRESIDENT LEE PELTON resent all aspects of life: socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, regional, sexual orientation, religious. He also wants to ensure that students from all backgrounds are given the same opportunities regardless of racial or socioeconomic standing. For instance, he hopes that any student who
wants to go to the Kasteel Well program in the Netherlands will be able to, regardless of their financial situation. Looking ahead, Pelton sees the tasks set before him to continue improving this institution. He shares what he sees as his responsibility. “My job is two-fold: to unleash all of the academic, intellectual, and creative power of the students and faculty on behalf of Emerson’s future, and to move us from a place of excellence—where we are well-positioned—to a place of being extraordinary,” he says. Pelton hopes to implement more study abroad opportunities for all students to take advantage of. He wants to offer more classes that provide a mastery of other languages and cultures. He encourages the community to become more involved with civic engagement and public service. Combined, he believes these improvements will create a better and more fulfilling academic and social environment, as well as a more rounded future for students. “If [Emerson students] go off into the world and make fame and fortune, in the end, they still must be good people,” he says. “They must act in noble, good ways and use the resources they have earned here on behalf of human society.” While speaking, bits of Lee Pelton’s personal-
ity slip in. His demeanor is nothing but relaxed with a glimmer of hope in his eye. He cites Nelson Mandela as his personal hero. His life seems saturated with literature: he quotes the poet William Blake, says he is re-reading Wuthering Heights for the fifth or sixth time, and compares his return to Boston like Homer’s Odysseus coming home from the Trojan War
Then, he smiles. “Coming back to Boston, I feel like I can breathe again,” he says. Pelton gazes out the window at the State House in the distance and comfortably states, “We’re going to do great things here. The nation, the world will know who we are and what we have to offer. I promise you that.”
Zombies and Vampires and Abe Lincoln, Oh My! Alumnus Seth Grahame-Smith hits it big in Hollywood and is now celebrating his gory glory text // CAROLINE PRADERIO
merson Alum Seth Grahame-Smith doesn’t have a business card yet, but when he does, it could be almost anything: novelist, screenwriter, producer, filmmaker, blogger. Grahame-Smith has some title ideas of his own. “If I did have a business card— and I should have one—I think that I’d probably do something like sarcastic of self effacing,” he says. “Like ‘person,’ or ‘lucky bastard.’” Some might call it luck, but for Grahame-Smith, 36, success has been hard-won. Since graduating with a film degree in 1998, he’s authored two bestselling novels, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, produced MTV’s first scripted comedy, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, and, most recently, penned the screenplay for Tim Burton’s upcoming film Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp. And he hasn’t stopped yet—his brand new book, Unholy Night, was released in April, and the film adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will hit theaters on June 22. Before finding such success, Grahame-Smith, who now resides in Los Angeles, spent over a decade overcoming the challenges of some notoriously impenetrable industries. His first claim to fame? Making a name for himself at Emerson College. Grahame-Smith grew up in Connecticut, where his book editor mother and a book dealer stepfather fostered his interests in film and literature from an early age. “I was just always in love with the movies and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t,” he says. “The books I sort of learned by osmosis.
We literally had 5,000 books in our house. I was around Stephen king books and Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury books from an early age, and I just became fascinated with those authors.” These passions eventually brought Grahame-Smith to Emerson College. He’d wanted to attend a school in Boston, and after a visit to campus, found that Emerson was his perfect match. In the fourteen years since he’s graduated, Emerson has seen great institutional advancement—but Grahame-Smith is proud of his degree from a humbler Emerson era.
“The one consistent piece of all this was that I was also writing screenplays, TV specs—things to try to improve the quality of my writing, things to try and get noticed,” he says. And all that practice made perfect for Grahame-Smith in 2009, when an editor at Philadelphiabased publisher Quirk Books ap-
seller list. And the rest is history. Grahame-Smith had the nation’s top publishers and filmmakers—Tim Burton among them—knocking on his door. One year later, he found equal success with his second novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Director Timur Bekmambetov’s film adaptation
“I got so excited that I ran out and bought Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and read it twice in a matter of a day and a half. I felt like a mad scientist because it was too good to be true,” he says. “I had no idea that anyone would ever be interested in it, but I had so much fun doing it that I wrote it in six weeks.” -SETH GRAHAME-SMITH (FILM ‘98) “Even as recently as when I was a student…the school was completely different. It was still a great school but it was smaller, quirkier, clunkier,” he says. “Now it has all the resources of the big film schools. It’s kind of like going to Harvard before Harvard was Harvard. I still think it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made.” After graduation, GrahameSmith didn’t miss a beat in moving to Los Angeles. Despite a promising Emerson career, however, Grahame-Smith’s first ten years in LA didn’t earn him the recognition he craved. He found work wherever he could, paying his dues in every corner of the film, television, and literary industries. Though he moved from job to job, Grahame-Smith remained committed to the most important work of all: his own.
proached him with the idea that would change everything: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. “I got so excited that I ran out and bought Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and read it twice in a matter of a day and a half. I felt like a mad scientist because it was too good to be true,” he says. “I had no idea that anyone would ever be interested in it, but I had so much fun doing it that I wrote it in six weeks. Then I turned it in and I forgot about it.” Hopes weren’t high for the gory mashup novel—Grahame-Smith’s previous nonfiction titles with Quirk had barely broken even. Zombies was expected to sell similarly—about 5,000 copies. But eight days after its April 1, 2009 release, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies climbed to number three on the New York Times best-
is set to hit theaters summer 2012. But the self-proclaimed “lucky bastard” isn’t resting yet—his three-year-old production company, Katzsmith Productions, was recently contracted by Warner Brothers and is overseeing several film projects. And his next book, Unholy Night, a tale based in biblical history, is eagerly anticipated by fans and critics alike. Slowing down doesn’t seem part of Grahame-Smith’s vocabulary—especially considering his career philosophy and advice to Emerson’s Hollywood hopefuls: “There is no path; there is no timetable,” he says. “There is only your commitment to what you want,” he says. “Just persist. Just don’t leave. Just don’t stop.”
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music in motion The True Voice of Emerson on the Airwaves
text // EMILY McCLURE photo // DANIEL SALERNO FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: BEN BURSTEIN, JILLIAN DOHERTY, LYDIA LIEBMAN, & CRYSTAL YUEN
ince first hitting the AM airwaves in 1947, Emerson’s oldest radio station, WECB, has certainly come a long way. WECB is Emerson’s singular studentrun online radio station. Don’t let its old age fool you, with 58 programs for all ears and tastes, the station is still dishing out some phenomenal programming. Need some electric beats for that rave you’ve been meaning to have? They’ve got you covered. How about some Latin flavor to spice up your study session? Yep, they have that, too. There is even a program devoted to Disney dubstep that is sure to have you dancing with Alice down the rabbit hole. Sure, it doesn’t take much to use WECB’s plethora of programs for entertainment, but being on the other side of the mic is a whole other monster. To be a DJ at WECB, one needs to have passion for what they’re talking about. Ben ‘Danger’ Burstein’s passion lies with vocals that can tear apart an esophagus, drum solos that can melt souls, and fans that mosh their way into oblivion. He tackles such subjects in his radio show, Hand ov Doom. Burstein wears many hats at WECB; he isn’t just a host, but the program director as well. In addition to preparing playlists and interviews for his own show, he acts as a median between the DJs and managers to find ways to create the best radio network possible. “I work on teaching the DJs how to make the concept for their show and how to deliver an on-air message,” Burstein says. Burstein began at the station with his own metal radio show during his freshman year, and proceeded to climb his way up the ranks. He has worked several positions for the WECB team; he’s been the assistant music director, a music staff member, and radio host. Burstein 16
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decided to stay with the station so long because he loves having the freedom to send his message the way that he wants it to be heard. “That’s what I want our DJs to do,” he says. “I want them to create their own message that’s unique to them.” It is the type of dedication shown by Burstein that drives the family of music junkies behind the soundboards at WECB. With two jazz musicians as parents, WECB’s general manager, sophomore production major Lydia Liebman, grew up with a love for all that the genre has to offer. Due to her jazz-infused background, Liebman pitched her idea for a jazz program as a freshman. Her current show, Reeds & Deeds II, is a spin-off of a similar radio program that her father, saxophonist Dave Liebman, had during his time at New York University. As a radio host, Liebman preps everything herself, making sure the show reflects the work she puts into it. Besides scheduling interviews, designing flyers, and writing her own press releases for Reeds and Deeds II, Liebman also manages life at the station. “I’m in charge of hiring new DJs, making final decisions about programs and ideas, and creating the program schedule along with my fellow managers,” says Liebman. “But primarily, my major task is to make sure that everyone is doing their job when we’re on-air. That’s key.” Finding new DJs with fresh show ideas is one of the most important jobs for the station’s core staff each semester. Applications must be sent out and reviewed, auditions held, and table meetings organized, all in preparation to finalize the semester’s program list. Liebman has an eye for one’s passion through the audition process. “Visually, you want to be able to tell that the DJs are passionate about their show.
With that, they need to have a good concept [of what] will work. Basically, it needs to be something that people want to listen to.” Once the DJs are chosen, training and preparation for the new shows begin. “The DJs need to learn how to work the board, the lines, how to access all the technology,” Liebman says. “DJs also have the option to have a manager shadow their first few shows. They’re there to basically cover [the DJ’s] ass if something goes wrong, but also to get the DJ comfortable on-air.” To learn more about the ins and outs of the radio world, em Magazine sat down with a few of this year’s WECB DJs.
the rock show
MATT REAGAN FILM PRODUCTION, ’14 EM: The Rock Show has been running for two semesters now. What are you guys doing to set this semester apart? MATT REAGAN: This semester, I’m bringing in tons of guests…to provide some new musical input, and I’ve also lined up a couple of artists to come in for an interview such as Red Sky Mary, You Were Reckless, [and] Zac Clark and the Young Volcanoes. Apart from the guests, I’m playing a broader spectrum of music. I’m trying to fit some indie, progressive, metal, hardcore, electronic, et cetera. I’m trying to broaden the listening audience. EM: Does your passion for music ever translate into your world as a film production major? MR: It’s really funny that you should ask this question, because I’m going through the process of switching my concentration from film
production to audio/sound design. But to answer the question: yes, absolutely. I started my film career with music videos, and I’m always looking for the perfect piece of music to put into the soundtrack. But in a way, passion is passion. I’m a creative guy, but what I love most about music is the story within whether it be lyrical or melodic. Every piece of music has some sort of story to be told, and I think that’s why I enjoy film as much as I do—it’s all storytelling. EM: how do you go about creating an “epic playlist” for the show? MR: Epic playlists are not a problem when it comes to rock. So much of the rock world is epic in one way or another—whether it be a classic jam, like Led Zeppelin, or whether it be some hard-rocking progressive stuff like Dream Theater, or even just some high-energy punk rock. When you throw a mix of a bunch of different sub-genres together, I always get a great mix to rock out to.
JILLIAN DOHERTY THEATRE STUDIES, ’15 EM: You have a very unique idea for your show. What made you decide on the theme? JILLIAN DOHERTY: Well, in the very beginning stages of planning the show we decided that we wanted to do some type of Disney-themed show. My co-host, Chantel Toomajanian, worked with Disney-related radio during her freshman year with WERS, and I worked for Disney World over the summer. So we decided to create a show that revolved around not only the classic Disney songs we all grew up with as
kids, but some newer twists on the classics as well. EM: From that, I’m assuming you mean Disney dubstep? JD: Disney dubstep is a thing but it’s not necessarily a thing you usually hear about when people talk about what they usually listen to… A lot of people got into Disney dubstep after
“That’s what I want our DJs to do...I want them to create their own message that’s unique to them.” -BEN BURSTEIN (VMA RADIO ’12) a YouTube video by Pogo called “Alice (Disney Remix).” EM: Besides playing music, how would you and your co-host, Chantel, decide on topics to talk about? JD: We never scripted anything. Topics that we would talk about included Disney history, inappropriate Disney moments, promotions of Disney-related events, et cetera. We have a lot of fun talking about and listening to all things Disney for two hours.
CRYSTAL YUEN COMMUNICATIONS, ‘14 & DAGNY BLOMSTER MARKETING, ‘14 EM: What is it about electronica music that makes you feel such a creative connection to it? CRYSTAL YUEN: Dagny and I grew up with
this type of music, techno and trance, that is. We both grew up overseas. I’m from China and Dagny’s from Florida but has Swedish roots. People wouldn’t assume that China has a big electronic scene but it does. People see it has this strict, communist country, but there are some of the craziest shows there. EM: How would you describe Oddyssea to people who have never heard of it? DAGNY BLOMSTER: During freshman year, Crystal and I met at a few concerts and realized that we were into the same type of electronic-based music. We started to share our passion with other people at parties and everyone seemed really into it. From there we went on to having radio shows. We named this one “Oddyssea” because it’s an electronic journey. From there we went on to create our blog, www. ccoddyssea.com, and things just naturally progressed. CY: The music we are really into is post-dubstep, liquid-step, chill-step and sea punk. It’s doesn’t have the “womp, womp, womp” of traditional dubstep. It’s more like slow, trance songs that make you feel like you’re in an ocean—the sound waves just hit you. We like our dynamic of interviewing big bands, posting on our blog, and interviewing the local color of Boston. EM: What is different about Oddyssea from other electronica-based radio stations? CY: Other colleges like Boston University play more of the big names like Skrillex but we like to go deeper into the genre. We want to showcase all the potential and talent that electronica has. That’s what we are here to do. These smaller bands are here to make music because they have the talent to do so. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Marni laser cut bag, $950, Marni wide brim hat, $250, Balenciaga sandals, $945, all at Louis Boston; Rag + Bone dress, $415, at The Tannery.
ccessorizing is an art form. The easy drape of a strand of pearls, the delicate balance of three bangles and a watch, the quiet serenity of slipping into a stacked platform; it is all a talent that is learned and crafted over time. This season, designers saluted the artists among us and provided them with palettes and paints in every color. There was a nod to the classic ‘woman,’ a suggestion of swimwear in the future, exotic touches, and, of course, some borrowing from the boys. With so many mediums to choose from, some artistic guidance is suggested. Here, SIRI WINTER offers her take on the Spring trends. SEVERE SWIM: Next time you hit the pool defy the traditional tropical colors by choosing an unconventionally hued mustard yellow shift dress, graphite gray sandals, and intricate cut-out black leather accessories, and escape the sunrays in a slouchy oversized hat. ‘50s HOUSEWIFE: Nothing screams femininity like a raspberry hued purse adorned with a bow and paired with patent peep toes and ‘50s inspired glasses, finishing the look with chunky jeweled bracelets to add an evening flare. NEW EVENING: Mix the timeless elegance of black silk with modern minimalism. Accessorize with a geometric monochrome bracelet, simple envelope clutch and strappy sandals with just a hint of bright color. MASCULINE TOUCHES: Pair a boyfriend-style sweater in a muted hue with casually printed shorts to show some leg. Finish the look with two-tone brogues and a leather caramel-colored shoulder bag. ART DECO: Channel your inner Edie Sedgwick with art deco inspired accessories, a shiny plastic clutch and color-blocked heels. Sunglasses complete the look, making it clean and artfully understated. SKINSATIONAL: Go back to the wild with a neutral palette and luxurious textures. The matted jean with a simple white tank top downplays the snake print and allows for more risky accessories such as sleek python platform boots, a richly textured purse, and an oversized necklace. A tribal inspired, bright athletic cuff adds personality and a hint of masculinity. photo // JOANIE JENKINS stylist // DILLON SORENSON fashion assistant // FRED KIM
EM MAGAZINE - SPRING 2012
Proenza Schouler weekend bag, $1,195, at Louis Boston; Rag + Bone sweatshirt, $220, Sea striped shorts, $237, both at The Tannery.
Ferragamo red patent bag, $895, Gucci pump, $540, Tom Ford cat eye sunglasses, $360, Steven Alan dress, $365, all at The Tannery.
Rag + Bone maxi skirt, $395, at The Tannery; Jason Wu strappy sandal, $745, Proenza Schouler bag, $1,295, both at Louis Boston; bracelets, $12-40, at LF Boston.
Marc by Marc Jacobs color block heel, $295, Dita printed sunglasses, $350, both at The Tannery; Perrin clutch, $1,075, at Louis Boston.
Car Mar printed jeans, $196, beaded cuff, $55, at LF Boston; Marni python booties, $1,025, Marni python bag, $1,650, both at Louis Boston.
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spring trends a his and hers story
text // ANDREW FAVORITO (HERS) & ALEX LAU (HIS) photo // BRIAN ANNIS models // KRISTEN BRICE & ORRIN WHALEN
‘20s Influence Baz Luhrmann’s redux of The Great Gatsby is coming into theaters this winter, but the ‘20s trend extends beyond the silver screen. The “flapper” reference was evident in the day suits at Oscar de la Renta, the glittering cocktail dresses at Gucci, and the bias-cut finale dresses at Ralph Lauren. Break out your inner Daisy Buchannan and make this spring a roaring good time. Theysken’s Theory dress with fringe, $695, at The Tannery; Earrings, model’s own.
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under the sea Deep-sea vixens and dangerous mermaids made a frequent appearance on the runways of New York, Milan, and Paris. Whether they utilized whimsical nautical prints like at Versace, made coral wreaths elegant at Alexander McQueen, or gave us glittering sea creatures at Givenchy and Chanel, underwater chic is a trend you should embrace.
Rag + Bone skirt, $395, Surface to Air dress (worn as top), $375, both at The Tannery.
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Alexander Wang shirt, $225, J Brand jeans, $170, both at The Tannery.
pastels What winter brights were to last season is what pastels are to spring. This season, designers like Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, Philip Lim, and Christopher Kane made it a point to showcase the full spectrum of color in a sublimely muted palette. Whether itâ€™s baby pink, Tiffany blue, or buttery yellow, pastels have proven that theyâ€™re a force to be reckoned with this season.
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the slip dress At Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa brought us back to the early â€˜90s in a way that was reminiscent of a young Kate Moss. Sticking to a color palette of barely-there nudes, pale yellows, and silver he brought the slipdress to the modern era. Alberta Ferretti turned tulle on its head and made some of the lightest yet most luxurious dresses seen anywhere. And, Marc Jacobs made us remember why he was great at his namesake label, producing Depression-era chic dresses that were far from being considered rags.
Raquel Allegra printed blazer, $885, Gary Graham dress, $775, both at Stelâ€™s.
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his & hers sporty
Alexander Wang gave us motocross, Joseph Altuzarra provided us with sporty hardware, and Rag + Bone updated the ‘90s tracksuit. For spring, New York designers were feeling an athletic vibe that seems both practical and stylish at the same time. They may have used fabrics not normally associated with anything sold at City Sports, but they’ve undeniably broken out their a-game.
VPL shorts with tie, $340, at Stel’s; Shirt, stylist’s own.
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his & hers
Designer Rick Owens once said that the most interesting time to look at a welldressed person is when theyâ€™re leaving the gym. Itâ€™s honest, and (hopefully) to the wearer, comfortable. With a black Rick Owens hoodie, slim fitting Band of Outsiders sweatpants, and a pair of white Common Projects sneakers, expect bloggers fawning over your newfound athletic appeal.
wings+horn zip up hooded sweatshirt, $264, and sweatpants, $248, Yves Saint Lauren high tops, all at The Tannery.
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military Camouflage is back. One look at any photo blog of last summer’s Pitti Uomo convention or New York Fashion Week will show Park & Bond’s Josh Peskowtiz or teen blogger sensation Noah Emrich rocking the shades of war. With workwear-inspired lines on the rise, “military wear” is moving on up. However, the difference in pulling off this trend lies in two factors: fit and layering. Go to your local army surplus store, grab a cheap jacket, and take it to your local tailor.
Commes des Garcon waxed jacket, and cardigan, $555, J Brand cargo pants, $194, Edun T-shirt, $68, and Florsheim by Duckie Brown boots, all at The Tannery.
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Shipley and Halmos striped top, $130, Rag + Bone swim suit, $220, all at The Tannery.
nautical Now that fair weather is back in action, it’s time to break out the boat shoes and sailor stripes. Classic gentlemen’s men like James Dean and Marlon Brando have worn their fair share of the French run Saint James’ Breton striped sweaters. Traditionally worn by French fishermen as a wool sweater, opt for a lighter cotton version when the weather warms up. Combine the stripes with a pair of fitted shorts. .and canvas sneakers. Just make sure to go sockless for those surprise beach excursions.
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new suiting Who said the suit game was boring? The beauty of wearing tailored garments is the ability to mix and match. A navy blazer and grey wool trousers are a must-have for any aspiring man. Finished off with some Mark McNairy navy suede bucks, youâ€™ll be turning heads in the office.
Bespoken blazer, $825, Rag + Bone tie, $125, Commes des Garcon shirt, $304, wings+horns sweatpants, $168, all at The Tannery.
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When in doubt, go simple. Clothing stores like Uniqlo and Gant Rugger have made a killing off of this idea. By sticking to the basics, you’ll find that it’s not so hard to break out of that sartorial slump. Contrary to popular belief, it’s alright to wear the same color all over. The key is to mix up the shading and textures. stylist // DANIELLE BRIZEL creative editor // DILLON SORENSON ; fashion assistants // KATE AMERY, JORDAN PEERY ; hair & make-up // ELIZABETH WALSH
Yigal Azrouel sweater, $280, and jeans, $195, both at Stel’s.
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he LBD is the piece of clothing in a woman’s fashion arsenal that gets more action than Allston on a Friday night. It has been a go-to piece since 1926 when Coco Chanel launched what’s become regarded as the first modern LBD – it’s timeless, it’s chic, and it can be worn in a dizzying array of ways. And Barbie, who’s managed to stay the same size and age since 1959, has served as many a girl’s fashion inspiration from the moment she donned her black and white striped swimsuit. So, what happened when Barbie, one of America’s most iconic ladies, met Maje’s version of the little black dress, one of fashion’s most iconic pieces? It was fabulous, darling.
Sporty Barbie Barbie was never one for pants, so even when she’s working on her fitness she does it in style. Paired with a quilted sweatshirt, a sheer and silk printed top, and sneakers that are the farthest thing from Asics, she proves that you don’t need to put on that family reunion T-shirt from 2003 and your boyfriend’s gym shorts in order to break a sweat. Similar to what Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzzara showed for fall 2012, it’s no longer a work out - it’s a WERK out.
text // ANDREW FAVORITO photo // DANIEL SALERNO model // AUBRIANNE LADUKE Maje black Madison dress, $340, worn throughout, at us.maje.com Phillip Lim quilted sweatshirt, $395, . Surface to Air multi-color top, $205, Nixon blue plastic watch, all at The Tannery; Pour La Victoire tennis sneakers, $195, at LF Boston; Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Hermes wrap bracelets, and Fenton Fallon necklace all stylist’s own. 30
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4 Looks 1 Trend
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hat would Audrey do for spring 2012 with her little black Givenchy number from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?” Pair it with a white jacket, of course! Jackets in this color were aplenty on the spring runways, notably from Chanel, Givenchy, and Balmain, so keep your LBD fresh for the season by going for a stark contrast. This doesn’t mean it needs to be demure, darlings, so pair it with a wild and colorful shoe for instant gratification that screams “I’m no amateur” to anyone that you walk by. Remember, black never needs to be boring— no matter the season.
text // ANDREW FAVORITO photo // DANIEL SALERNO model // KATE HILLENBRAND Theysken’s Theory white and metallic tweed jacket, $745, at The Tannery; Jeffrey Campbell wedges, $198, at LF Boston; Ray Bans and necklace, stylist’s own. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
pring is here, and it’s in the form of an LBD. Wear it for a day while still looking effortlessly chic by turning it into a skirt that’s paired with a floral top, opentoed platforms, and a tote that will fit everything you need. No one says black is just for night anymore, and just because winter has disappeared it doesn’t mean it’s time to shun everything dark from your wardrobes. Valentino showed plenty of black for spring, all adorned with quirky and folksy floral embroidery, proving that looking girly doesn’t mean you have to be wearing pink.
text // ANDREW FAVORITO photo // DANIEL SALERNO model // MEREDITH BARRY Sea printed top, $285, Paul Smith sunglasses, $285, Theodora and Callum woven bag, $335, all at The Tannery; Acote neon wrap belt at Cotelac Boston; Jeffrey Campbell woven and wood sandal, $168, at LF Boston; Hermes wrap bracelets, stylist’s own. 34
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room vroom ladies, and not like a Mazda. The demure little black dress is no longer when paired with a motorcycle jacket, turquoise jeans, and platform boots that could be the cause of blunt-force trauma on a Law and Order: SVU murder victim. Styled similarly to what appeared on the runways of Rag & Bone and Isabel Marant for spring, Barbie proves it’s all about keeping it tough by layering and versatility.
text // ANDREW FAVORITO photo // DANIEL SALERNO model // DAGNY BLOMSTER stylist // DANIELLE BRIZEL fashion assistants // KATE AMERY & JORDAN PEERY creative editor // DILLON SORENSEN fashion editor // FRED KIIM hair & make-up // ELIZABETH WALSH Phillip Lim brown leather jacket, $1,450, J Brand aqua moto jeans, $169, at The Tannery; Raquel Allegra distressed top, $270, at Stel’s; Jeffrey Campbell platform boots, $245, at LF Boston, Giles & Brother mixed metal necklace, $245, and bracelets, $85, at Dress; Gucci aviators, stylist’s own. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
text // DEVAN NORMAN Designers and magazines have caught a lot of flack for their culturally insensitivity, but are they becoming more aware and trying to fix their previous flaws?
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osephine Baker’s wildly popular and iconic Danse Sauvage featured the Missouri-born dancer in a skirt of artificial bananas and not much else. The singer, dancer, and actress’s fashion statement was inspired by her African heritage. Her costume commented on the negative perception of her culture in the United States. As she performed around Europe to sold-out crowds, she found success and eventual global fame. Giving credit to her inspiration, her rise to stardom corresponded with a resurgence of appreciation for tribal art forms. Clothing was no exception; suddenly, it was chic to be exotic. Creating a dramatic persona and embracing the wildest aspect of the trend, she would walk around with her pet cheetah, Chiquita, causing a sensation. Her response to criticism was to embrace her culture further. Devastating periods of history are documented through fashion, as are the prosperous moments. But does that mean it should be lived out again? Through addressing the racial discrimination in her art and costumes, Baker became an example of a successful fashion historian. Designers this season have drawn inspiration from indigenous culture; they’ve sent urban re-imaginings down runway after runway. Contemporary designers are reviving the well-documented tribal trend in clothing. Learning from insensitive missteps several industry professionals have made before, designers are beginning to cite their sources. They celebrate the style through an informed lens. When such a subject is tactlessly handled, the general public and critics are quick to condemn the guilty party. Vogue Italia made headlines with its August 2011 “Shop the Trend” section, telling readers that hoop earrings are an updated classic from the era of African slave trade in the United States. That time of human trafficking and economic opportunism is a historical event and merits documentation. However, a magazine’s trend blurb section is not the appropriate venue. The magazine’s editors identified accessories as “slave earrings” in the section. A conversational tone glazed over the serious nature of the reference material. This verbal discretion created much media fallout and an awkward correction to “ethnic earrings” was eventually made. This equally vague term had a slightly less outraged reception. The Vogue franchise was rocked with yet another scandal when whiteskinned model Lara Stone posed in blackface for an editorial in French Vogue on “African clothing.” The publication has not commented very much on this subject, leaving the public confused by their vision. The clothing in the editorial was mainly tailored in modern silhouettes and barely referenced even mainstream visions of Africa. This styling disaster is regarded as either a poorly crafted parody, or an unapologetically offensive editorial to garner attention. While this error was not on the featured designers’ part, the magazine editor’s decision was in poor taste. The shock value was certainly there. Tact, however, was not. Critics also focused on American Apparel in 2008, when the company launched an “Afrika” collection. Social media outlets virtually exploded with negative reactions to the entire concept. Racialicious, a blog about the two-way relationship between race and popular culture, published an article about the collection. Tami, the author, clarifies, “The problem is not zebra print. The problem is distilling a continent of many countries, cultures, languages and peoples down to its wildlife and faux tribal print.” Compacting such a massive continent into a collection of leggings and bandeaus lacks the sensitivity an entire group of people deserves. In the specific instance of African tribal clothing, designers are keeping the understated elegance of traditional prints and reinterpreting the patterns into simple silhouettes. Designers are not aiming to rip off the culture that inspired them; instead they are masterfully translating what they have learned into finished looks that fit their labels’ history. Instead
Designers are not aiming to rip off the culture that inspired them; instead they are masterfully translating what they have learned into finished looks that fit their labels’ history. of recreating disturbing past narratives through clothing, they are creating a new history of collaboration and consideration. There have been blundering homages to tribal cultures in Africa in the past, but more recently (on the runway, at least), there were well-researched tributes. Michael Kors was at the forefront of this movement. As animal prints and generally utilitarian outwear are trademarks of his work, the safari chic approach he took this season was a natural progression for the designer. Kors has always been a proponent of animal print, so this collection had a certain familiarity. The earthy tones were reminiscent of the natural beauty that inspired him. He put forth a tasteful effort to stay true to both the culture he was inspired by and his creative voice as a designer. The flowing silhouettes, sandals, and simple accessories showed a melding between Kors’ inspiration of the season and his typical aesthetic. Louis Vuitton’s Style Director, Kim Jones, created a menswear collection for Spring 2012 that is the perfect combination of the brand and a tribal touch. His particular mission, according to The New York Times, was “to embrace, via the luxury label’s travel history, the craft and culture of Africa.” The collection featured famous Masai warrior tribe patterns in a Western sportswear shape. Without taking the line into unfamiliar territory, Jones kept in mind the consistently polished aesthetic that ties Louis Vuitton collections together through the years. Donna Karan went a step further than most in assuring the authenticity of her perspective. She visited Haiti last year, making personal connections with people she met and learned about their culture first-hand. Working with local artists to create accessories for the line, Karan held authenticity in the highest possible regard. Her “The Artisan Stroke” collection, which showed this past fall, is due in Spring 2012. Featuring classic Donna Karan body conscious dresses and feminine shapes, her homage is completely urban. Her consultation with the local people separates her collection from the rest. It’s a respectful homage to their culture, not a cartoonish parody. The “tribal trend” is a fad in its own right. As fashion is cyclical, every few years designers and magazine editors create collections and editorials with elements of tribal inspiration. From performing the Danse Sauvage in a skirt of artificial bananas to walking tribal patterns down the runway, cultural references to Africa permeate through the sometimesshort shelf life of trends. Wearing animal print or a tribal pattern is not offensive. The point of contention lies within the definition of trends in the fashion industry and giving appropriate credit to cultures that provide inspiration. Paring an entire set of cultures down into the term “tribal” does not do justice to those in question. Reworking the bad rep gained by some editorials and collections, Kim Jones, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors follow Josephine Baker’s example as culturally sensitive members of the fashion community. The message in their progress is clear: if you are going to create a tribal aesthetic, do so with respect, specificity, and taste, or don’t bother at all. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
tricks for a Well Suited Man Menswear connoisseur ALEX LAU gives you tips for getting the best-fitting suit.
here’s something about a man wearing a perfectly tailored suit that commands respect. Conversely, a poor fitting suit can make even the forever suave Ryan Gosling look like a 12-year-old at his Bar Mitzvah. As a college student, you’ll will encounter situations that require a suit. Unfortunately, you’ll also find that you’re strapped for cash. Whether it be an interview for that internship, the occasional fraternity gathering, or even for a spontaneous Mad Men night with your buddies, the suit is a necessity. Here’s how to make your suit look like it’s worth 10 times the price. photo // EVAN TETREAULT model // PETER ROSATI
Suit: Shipley Halmos Montana Navy Cotton Blazer - $398 Shipley Halmos Belmont Navy Cotton Trousers - $195 Tie: Zara Textured Standard - $35 Shoes: Allen Edmonds Strand (Walnut Calf) - $335 Where to purchase: The Tannery 400 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116 (617) 267-0899
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chest: Though it’s not recommended, the chest can be altered. Rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit a clenched fist in between the suit and your chest.
shoulders: This is probably the most important part of the suit. If shoulders don’t fit, don’t buy it. It’s the hardest part of the suit to tailor, and priciest. Not to mention that most tailors would turn you down. Make sure that the suit drapes your shoulders, not too loose, not too snug.
arms: Hem the sleeves. Nothing ruins a nice suit more than when the sleeves are too long. Don’t be shy, show a little cuff! Showing half an inch of white is optimum.
legs: 1.) Shorten those pants. Unless you’re 6’4’’, you’re definitely going to need to get your pants hemmed. The conventional length would be to leave enough length for a small break. If you’re feeling brave enough, hem them even shorter with no break, for that Thom Browne look.
legs: 2.) Tapering the pants. This is usually a big issue, especially with cheaper suits. Most pant legs leave too much room below the knee, creating a pajama pant effect. Ask your tailor for a 7.25 inch leg opening.
waist: Off the rack suits are notorious for having ill-fitting waists. This is where most people go wrong. Ask your tailor to take in the waist, leaving about 2.5 inches of fabric left. With a proper fit, that slim v-taper will make you look James Bond.
for Suiting Up
> Best color suits to start off
with: Navy or Gray are most the versatile. Never black, unless you plan to be going to a funeral or working as a waiter. > You’re still a rookie. Avoid
the Nick Wooster chalk stripe or camo suit. Solid colors are the way to go, especially as a young kid in the office. > Avoid flashy shirts. Blue/
White Oxford Collar Button Downs or Cutaways are best. Always make sure that your shirt is a lighter color than your tie. Never match your tie with your shirt.
chinatown alterations $ 9 Knapp Street Boston, MA 02111 857.204.5658
> Throw away the skinny tie.
2 ¾ inches is best. Also, you aren’t Gordon Gekko. Nobody likes a tie that’s the covers more than half your body.
frank’s custom tailoring $$$ 58 Winter St #2, Boston, MA 02108 617.542.1546 THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Selling Marilyn Sixty years after her passing, Marilyn Monroe’s famous image is still everywhere. Why is the icon so bankable? text // TESS BABBIT photo // BENJAMIN ASKINAS make-up // AUDREY GEIGER creative director // DANIEL TEHRANI
arilyn Monroe did not grow up at home; instead it was in the movie theatres, in the silent reverie of cinema where she would find solace from her traumatic childhood. Norma Jean Baker, as she was known then, was shuttled from one foster home to another as her mother was institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital and her father nowhere to be found. She would mold an identity out of the images she saw in the theatre and even imagine the star on screen, Clark Gable, as her father. Marilyn would get to play opposite him in 1961’s The Misfits yet sadly, the drama behind the scenes outmatched any that was caught on camera as Gable and Monroe try to capture wild horses in the heat of the Nevada desert. The screenplay was written by Arthur Miller, the famed playwright and Marilyn’s then husband. After Marilyn’s multiple affairs and mental breakdowns, they were nearing the end of their relationship together as the film was shot. Monroe filmed between stints at a psych ward 42
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and she would die just a year later of what most think to have been suicide. Perhaps even more tragic than the crumbling of her relationship and of her own health is that of co-star Clark Gable, the man Marilyn called “dad”, passed away the day after filming wrapped. Watching The Misfits, the tension is palpable, doom lies like a dust upon the actors and yet Marilyn sparkles on. A column of gleaming white with lips you know to be ripe red despite the grayscale. Time has passed and still, she remains this sparkling creature –not time, not gloom, nor even death can stop this star from shining. The world never stopped being infatuated with Marilyn. But recently, there has been an even greater influx of attempts to recreate Marilyn. She remains a fixation and a moneymaker for international brands so many years after her death. Just this year The Cannes Film Festival is honoring Marilyn and her contribution to the silver screen. Lindsay Lohan starred in a steamy Monroe-inspired Playboy shoot, Mi-
chelle Williams was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in My Week With Marilyn, and Smash the new NBC television show exposes the drama behind a group of people attempting to write a Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical based on Marilyn’s life. Debra Messing, who stars on the show explained her characters fascination with Marilyn as such, “There’s just, there’s something about her. How much she wanted love and wanted to be loved. She glows with it.” That desire to be loved is at the root of what makes Marilyn last – what makes her still so bankable. Lindsay Lohan and Michelle Williams are just one of many counterfeit Marilyn’s. Even while she was still alive Marilyn’s coveted sex-kitten persona was being copied by the likes of Playboy Bunny Jayne Mansfield, who was known as the “poor man’s Marilyn”, who movie studio’s billed as the next blonde bombshell as Marilyn succumbed to her mental illness towards the end of her life, unable to film. And yet copying Marilyn isn’t quite
copying Marilyn truly, for she herself was a construct – an illusion who studied fame and copied it to create a persona so solid, so engaging that is still lives on. Marilyn studied the film stars of Hollywood’s golden age in the ‘30s and reinvented herself in their image. She died her hair a striking platinum like her childhood idol, Jean Harlow and copied the lined bedroom eyes of Greta Garbo, oozing the bawdy, sexually knowing nature of Marlene Deitrich and Mae West. Marilyn herself was an impersonator of sorts, the distillation and embodiment of fame itself. Think of how in nearly every movie she plays a showgirl (like in Gentlemen Prefer Blonds), a model (in The Seven Year Itch) or a singer (in Some Like it Hot).Marilyn’s persona could never be perceived out of the context of fame in which she constructed this identity. Marilyn lives on though Norma Jean died decades ago because Marilyn is fame herself. When brands from today and yesterday sell the image of Marilyn it is no secret that their main position is sex appeal. Sex sells, and Mar-
ilyn’s blatant sex appeal is a consumer magnet. But Marilyn’s look is much more cerebral than it seems – But the fact that she was beautiful is not enough to explain her fame that is still at an almost palpable level decades after her death. There is something much more human about Marilyn that lies in her deep rooted need to be loved. Marilyn’s obsession with feel-
adoration, which in the end, still didn’t seem to be enough. Marilyn’s cause of death is debated by many, but most will agree, thanks to previous attempts beforehand, that it was indeed suicide. She reinvented herself completely, altering everything from her hair to her name. These changes were not a vain attempt to become more beautiful, but instead steps to make herself more desirable and lovable. The need for affection, reassurance and belonging are all human needs that are timeless and universal. Because Marilyn, “glows” with it, she has become one of the most relatable celebrity images of all time despite her glamorous, artificial image. Sadly, it’s not a completely healthy image to be selling. Although Marilyn’s need for love may have come from a very human place her means of receiving this love were not. Brands that are selling Marilyn are selling vanity. They are selling the idea that it’s okay to completely reinvent yourself in order to be loved, in fact, it’s encouraged. Celebrities such as Madonna and Lady Gaga have capitalized on this idea that in order to reach their own incalculable fame. Marilyn set up the grid for reinvention, Madonna copied it not just in “Material Girl” video where she reenacts “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” but also in her new persona, taken on with every album since. In turn, Lady Gaga copies Madonna, taking the idea of reinvention into a whole new level, transforming not with very album, but with every outlandish outfit. The idea that is banked upon then, is that one must change everything about themselves, multiple times if necessary to achieve fame, to garner love. This idea of reinvention to coax the insecurities of consumers began with Marilyn and has become a major selling point when it comes to selling products and ideas to consumers, making her the perfect face for the message. Brands will forever be selling insecurities while simultaneously promising they can fix them. They bank on Marilyn’s need for attention to sell fame, she is the poster-girl for it because she lived for it. So racked with insecurities thanks to childhood trauma and a debilitating depression, she needed the love and devotion of millions of fans to feel good about herself – in turn, consumers feed on that need for we have similar insecurities as well. We all want to be loved, and Marilyn’s image is the promise of love with a crimson pout and long lashes. Like the characters in The Misfits we’ve tied that image down as if it we’re a wild stal-
“The world never stopped being infatuaed with Marilyn but recently, there has been an even greater influx of attempts to recreate Marilyn.” ing loved and belonging somewhere served as the motivation behind everything she did. She changed everything about herself, her name, her physical appearance with plastic surgery that slimmed her nose, peroxide that made her platinum and makeup that defined her “look” - all in order to achieve her level of fame and
lion, we do not know the power it has over us, the strength her image wields but still, years after her death Marilyn remains within our possession, her image burned into our subconscious, our memory and our hearts like a lover we’ll never get to hold again. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Bliss Fashion’s Housewife Affair
Perfection is not just for Stepford Wives anymore; designers like Dolce & Gabbana and Prada pushed the trend more than ever with their Spring 2012 shows.
text // DANIEL TEHRANI photo // PRADA SPRING SHOW 2012
magine rows upon rows of identical houses, all with perfectly manicured lawns, each so close together and in matching pastels, identical in every way - right down to the wives inside. The image is one of Tim Burton’s most frightening, far more terrifying than Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, the Frankenstein creature with table utensils for fingers. Instead, it’s Burton’s image of American suburbia that frightens most, simply because it is indeed very real. Meet “The Perfect Suburban Housewife,” Burton, and any independent woman’s worst nightmare, and yet, fashion’s latest leading lady. Last season, the dominatrix was the muse for many designers, but Spring 2012 collections ushered in a slew of Stepford Wife looks at Prada, Nina Ricci and Dolce & Gabbana. Raf Simmons’s nostalgia for mid-century glamour at Jil Sander was a breathtaking interpretation of ‘40s and ‘50s shapes that would have looked perfect on Elizabeth Taylor; striking jewel tones, knife-precise lines, topped with a terribly romantic veil. That shape, snipped at the waist and flowing out above and below not only emphasizes the curve of a woman’s body, it enhances it. That’s why it remains such a focal point for designers, that’s why it’s such a classic – something so well cut that fits like a glove will always be in style. The ’50s are all in an effort to emanate womanhood, shapes that not only enhance, but project the sensual female silhouette. Editorials in Vogue and W interpreted these collections quite literally, showcasing photo spreads of eerily perfect women, made up and hair coiffed within an itch of its life as they garden, cook or conduct affairs. I wonder though, after seeing her again and again, what does the housewife represent? Perfection, de rigueur in the fashion world. The streamlined, immaculateness of every fashion image is a standby. There’s something else though, eerier still than plastic-perfection, it’s like the Stepford Wives or Burton’s creations, homogeny. The ‘50s were a time when industry went into overdrive, mass commercialism took hold of America and everything you wanted could be obtained with relative ease; as Andy Warhol said in his book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.” It was a positive time of economic
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growth, but looking back at McCarthyism and The Cold War, it was also a time of Puritan unease and suspicion. Conformity was a must, originality was deemed too dangerous, hence the spark of rebellion which ignited America’s most transformative decade, the ’60s. What are designers and magazines expressing when using the ‘50s housewife to sell us clothes? Perfection, as usual. Conformity, again as per usual. Fashion sets up ideals through magazine covers, stars and
What are designers and magazines expressing when using the ‘50s housewife to sell us clothes? Perfection, as usual. ads, pressuring consumers to live up to them and purchase their prospects in the hope of capturing that desired brand’s lifestyle. Contrasting the housewife with last fall’s muse, the dominatrix, the muse of the moment is prude, un-emancipated and indeed servile. Why promote that? The lifestyle of the ‘50s housewife is one of complete submission, in near ridiculous contrast to last season’s fetish queen. She is voiceless, without a job or income of her own, she is wholly dependant – she’s not the modern homemaker, child-rearing soccer mom of today. Fashion’s muse is the fantasy trophy wife, pampered as a Persian kitten
with nothing to do but shop, get her nails done and drown herself in a martini. Is that something fashion should be toting as its ideal? And yet, perhaps the housewife isn’t so bad after all. Prada’s spring collection featured a classic Cadillac motif on plastered on bags, skirts even shoes with flames licking the sides right out of a Greaser’s hot rod. Making a woman a car and completely objectifying her makes one aware of the objectification women suffer in their daily lives. Using a housewife in a runway show, an editorial or an ad campaign is then, not promoting how women are expected to be barefoot and pregnant, but instead makes one aware of how it is still relevant today, how we must continue on in the fight for equality. To take every image that pop-media barrages us with at just face value would be a disservice to one’s intellect. Using the housewife is an opportunity for designer’s to make the public aware of what archaic ideals society still strives for, but also of how we look at things. The artist’s vision, the ability to turn something on it’s head and look at it in a new way is something we should all adopt. A housewife can be just a housewife, but look closer and maybe you’ll find that she is much more.
Is Butter a Carb?
The Dangers of College Dieting The easy fix of “specially approved” diets are actually more detrimental to your health than some of the everyday nutritional options found on college campuses. text // SIENNA MINTZ
e only eat carbs on weekends,” a University of Arizona sorority girl declared as her friends stared longingly at the bowl of fresh Italian bread before them. Studying abroad at an American university in Rome—the carb capital of the world—has showed me the ridiculous measures college students will take to get or stay thin. Despite being surrounded by the most delicious carbohydrates they’ll ever taste, these girls refrain, opting for, but probably not preferring laxative tea and carrot sticks. When Friday rolls around, though, they’ll eat croissants for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and pasta for dinner with no qualms. It’s eating habits like these that get so many think-thinners in trouble. While Emerson doesn’t have quite the same reputation as U of A, it’s easy to get sucked into a similar mindset when looking for the right diet and losing weight. Most dieters have dabbled in a few methods. There’s the Special K Diet, which lasts 2 weeks and requires a strict regime of bland, artificial flakes in different forms and pieces of fruit for “special treats.” But there really isn’t anything special about it. Flip over the cereal box or meal bar wrapper and find the same gibberish that’s plastered on chip bags and soda cans. Granted, you may lose weight, but the effects of the high chemical dose might cause health issues down the line. Americans are obsessed with immediate gratification. “I want to fit into these jeans, and step on it!” Ever heard of the Cabbage Soup Diet? For as long as they can possibly bear, accepters of the challenge feed on the least exciting and nutrition deficient dish: cabbage soup. The goal is to provide just enough substance to stand up straight. Not only has cabbage soup not been eaten since the Middle Ages, but it is a severely unhealthy option for weight loss. Again, the CSD works; you’ll finally wear that dress out, and probably proceed to get way too intoxicated and regurgitate an exact replica of what you’ve been eating recently. Then there’s the noteworthy “Salad Bar Diet.” This is an Emerson favorite. But three leaves of wilted spinach and a pile of Swiss, ham, cucumbers, and Thousand Island dressing doesn’t constitute as healthy food. The biggest issue with these extreme diets is that they are extremely short lived. After a couple of weeks—or more accurately, days—you’ll reward your hard work with the junk food you were trying to avoid in the first place since, let’s face it, cabbage soup doesn’t even taste good the first time. These eating plans backfire immediately, and those quick results quickly disappear behind endless pints of Ben & Jerry’s at the Max.
A diet that promotes extreme measures can lead to even further self-deterioration. We’ve all seen the photos of emaciated models and learned about bulimia in health class, and while these diseases may seem irrelevant to you, extremist diets are the first step toward these life-threatening illnesses. You may find yourself enjoying the quick results of the basic anorexic diet so much that cabbage soup will begin to taste—gasp—bearable! If this is the case, you’re probably going to need to check yourself into the nearest rehab center. Scared yet? Don’t be, because dieting can be done the right way, and it tastes great. When navigating the Dining Hall, if a sandwich is what you want, then don’t just settle for a salad. Chances are it’ll be more caloric than a double decker grilled cheese with all of the fixings you throw on top of your spinach leaves. Opt for the wheat bread and stay away from that god-awful, butter-soaking roller they use on your breast before grilling it. Little Donna’s treats are a bit more appetizing than the butter wheel, and therefore more difficult to walk away from. If the dessert display flaunts cookies, don’t hold back. We all know they’re worth every ounce
We’ve all seen the photos of emaciated models and learned about bulimia in health class, and while these diseases may seem irrelevant to you, extremist diets are the first step toward these life-threatening illnesses. of guilt. What are not worth the guilt are the mystery cakes and watery soft serve ice creams with mounds of Oreo crumbles. Don’t eat dessert just for the novelty of it. If you’ve fallen victim to the Salad Bar Diet, make sure to avoid the creamy dressings and Aramark’s sad excuse for vinaigrette. Make your own with olive oil and balsamic and then add a little salt and pepper. Making the DH healthy is near impossible, so don’t try too hard, but make guilt reducing decisions to ease the burden. Outside of the Little Building lies a world of possibilities. Unfortunately, the most exciting ones are the worst for you. When you’re at the grocery store or buying a sandwich at Starbucks, have a look at the ingredients. If the majority of them look like a foreign language, leave it for Cabbage Soup veteran. Brands like Special K and Vitamin Water lure you in with their low calories, but if you read on, it becomes clear that what you’re consuming is more of a science experiment than a meal. If you want to lose weight, don’t denounce everything you love. A diet shouldn’t last as long as an episode of Glee. While you should toss the heavily processed foods, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a chocolate croissant at the Thinking Cup with a friend. Actually, it’s even healthy. The sugary treat will actually restart your metabolism that has slowed down a bit since you first started that unhealthy diet. Celebrate special occasions and accomplishments with the foods you crave while easing out the unhealthy options with similar alternatives. And no, your second cousin twice removed’s birthday doesn’t count. Landing that internship? That’s another story.
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all about eve
spring’s fresh and forbidden looks text // DEVAN NORMAN photo // BENJAMIN ASKINAS models // BRIANNA BAXTER & MICAH SCHURE make-up // ABBY WOODMAN creative director // DANIEL TEHRANI
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A saucy, peachy glow is perfect for the warmer seasons. To stay on-point with the trendy and natural makeup look, avoid shimmery products. Matte blushes and lip colors help keep you looking young and healthy! Basically, the key to this beauty movement is looking like you just took a great yoga class. Fresh like the fruit that inspired the color scheme, a sheer sweep of blush shows up on lighter skin tones best. For darker skin tones, a more saturated peach blush leaves you looking flushed and refreshed. This look is most suited for daytime wear, but works whenever. Both Dolce & Gabbana and Tracy Reese sent models down the runway with light pink blush and an almost-nude lip color. Barelythere makeup helped their Fall 2012 clothes hold the spotlight, while the models still looked feminine and beautiful.
Runway beauty experts are borrowing color inspiration from another fruit: the plum. The color is on-trend, but has a more dramatic edge than a delicate pink flush. This look isn’t for shrinking violets. Infamously a shade representing royalty, purplish hues amp up your makeup without entering the realm of garishness. Deep plum shades, especially ones with a blue base, work well with an olive tone or darker skin color. If you have fairer skin, fear not. This trend is still doable for you; just opt for slightly less-concentrated products. A thinner layer of color will keep any shocking contrasts under control. YSL favored a dark purple shade for models’ lips on the runway for Fall 2012, perfectly punctuating each look. Fuller lips are the perfect canvas for daring, opaque lipstick or lip stain. If your mouth is slightly less pouty, try a sheerer plum gloss. Purple makeup is an easy transition from a typical black-and-neutral palette, so get bold!
Dark Muse: A Guide To Inspired Dressing
ildly romantic literature, mysterious poetry, adrenaline infused films and even soulful music does more than feed our intellect, it can actually inspire we dress, in a way that defies seasons and trends. Virginia Woolf once said “Clothes have more important offices than merely to keep us warm; they change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.” How we dress has become more than just our social shell, it serves as a medium for projecting our inner-selves outwards in a way that is ambitious and often more than what meets the eye. Those who only dress to replicate the fads of the moment will miss out on a chance to express themselves and their passions. As designers take inspiration from literature, music and - there’s one trend everyone must have in their wardrobe; inspired dressing. The character Lolita, a sexually precocious girl emerged in pop culture after the 1959 publication of the Russian novel of the same name, written by Vladimir Nabokov. It became popular in Japan, predominantly in fashion-forward Harajuku during the 70’s, girls would often wear Victorian-era corsets and skirts paired with knee high socks, personalizing the look by adding either a sweet or gothic twist. Lolita’s iconic baby-doll danger remains an inspiration today and has been encompassed in the modern world. Lana del Rey, who went from an unknown singer to a retro cult sensation, serves as the modern day take on Lolita. With one flutter of her thick sexy false eyelashes, her retrocoifed hair, and with an inflection of her hauntingly beautiful voice she encapsulates the soulful intensity of being young, beautiful and in love. Much like her literary predecessor, Lana’s look is ultra-feminine with a dark side. Coincidentally there is a track on her debut album entitled ‘Lolita’, the lyrics containing lines such as “I know what the boys want, I’m not gonna play.” Her lyrics may be provocative- the same way that Lolita provoked the forbidden attention of an older man-yet disguised with the saccharine sweetness of her voice, her music is irresistible to most. Christopher Kane opened his Spring 2012 runway show to the melancholic sound of ‘Video Games’, Del Rey’s breakthrough track, while designers everywhere were equally seduced by the dangerous playfulness of her look. Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent flirted with a modern reworking of lace stenciled on to leather in their latest collections, hushing the innocence and unearthing something more provocative. Meanwhile, Emma Hill, the creative director of Mulberry named their latest handbag “The Del Rey” after the singer on account of her nostalgic beauty and timeless refined elegance. Del Rey’s unrefined femininity is evident both visually and lyrically and is not something that must be strictly imitated, it is as simple as being reminded of that one summer when you were in love and refused to part ways with your denim cut-offs and bright red lips. The influence of gothic poetry and tales of mystery and macabre is similarly prominent in the fashion industry. Edgar Allen Poe, a flourish-
“My inspirations were the great women of history; quiet a few queens and several femme fetales.” -Miuccia Prada ing writer during the American Romantic Movement, made his mark near the birth of the science fiction genre. His poetry and literary work included dark insights such as “The death of a beautiful woman, is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.” The gothic science fiction of Allen Poe and the likes of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are channeled in the modern day heroine, Lisbeth Salander, a.k.a, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who appears as a strong intelligent female computer hacker in the latest film adaptation played by Rooney Mara. Salander’s hard female image, surrounded by an air of grunge inspired Swedish clothing line H&M to dedicate a clothing line to the character. Despite having an overall dystopian vibe, the line did contain some classic, wearable pieces, however it received criticism on account of it
supposedly encouraging females to dress like a rape victim. Decidedly more ambiguous interpretations of Lisbeth Salander emerged in Givenchy haute couture with art deco shapes, a monochrome palette and an overall darkly romantic vibe. Models even wore Salander-esque decorative hoop nose rings, juxtaposing the intricately embroidered floor length gowns. Miss Salander’s reign of popularity is set to continue into next season as Calvin Klein and Versace referenced the fictional heroine as inspiration for the hard-edged, grunge-goth look they showed. Evidently, concepts, eras and prominent people largely influence designers. In the February 2012 issue of British Vogue designer Miuccia Prada gave indications of her creative process “My inspirations were the great women of history; quite a few queens and several femme fatales.” Taking inspiration from strong female characters in literature and pop culture defies the idea that women should remain submissive shrinking violets clad in floral prints or emulating little girls. Instead, the image of an intelligent vixen with a personality just as bold as her red lips is born, something that is eternal and could have floated straight off the pages of a Virginia Woolf novel. Thankfully, style has a timeless quality and the ability to freely move beyond fixed historical moments in literature, merging the old with the new. The idea is not to imitate the costumes of Queens and Goddesses but rather to be inspired by what is absorbed from personal interpretations of film, literature and music. Immersing oneself in a novel or a loved pursuit and emulating it in your wardrobe takes the process of dressing-up to an imaginative level, the process occurring inside the head and not always in front of the mirror, allowing the individual to be the designer, and in the words of Virginia Woolf, changing our view of the world and the world’s view of us. text // SIRI WINTER photo // COURTESY OF VOGUE.COM
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Call Me, Maybe Work on the nerve to approach that cutie in your class. text // GARNET McLAUGHLIN
n a college environment there’s bound to be plenty of people who will catch your eye, and it’s easy to develop a mystery crush. Maybe it’s that cute guy who’s always in the em Cafe window. Perhaps it’s that girl who’s always behind the desk in the Little Building. Regardless, if there’s someone out there who’s piqued your interest, maybe it’s time they noticed you, too. There’s no use in keeping your feelings a secret and hoping your crush will approach you. A potential romance could be blossoming, and if you wait around it might slip through your fingers. Since the Emerson community is small, it’s only a matter of time before someone else snatches them up. Don’t be afraid to approach them first; if you’re really interested, show it, or they’ll never know. Forget fear. Fear of rejection is the most common obstacle in making the first move. Freshman marketing major Lindsey DeMint says, “I never want to approach guys first. I’m always just terrified I’ll say something stupid and I usually end up so tongue-tied I can’t say anything at all.” At a school where most students are constantly putting themselves out there for auditions and internships, it seems irrational to be afraid of approaching one of your peers. When it comes to looking for that special someone, everyone is his or her own worst critic. It’s easy to fixate on every minor detail of a conversation with your crush, but it’s not healthy. The more you worry about making a fool of yourself, the more likely it is to happen. No slip-up is ever as
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detrimental as it seems, and overthinking everything is only going to make you psych yourself out of any later action. Despite her initial fears, DeMint knows quirky first encounters can lead to successful relationships. “When my brother met his future wife at a party, their first kiss began with him saying, ‘I bet I can blow a bubble in your mouth,’ referring to the gum he was chewing,” she says. “Their first kiss started with them exchanging Bubblicious, and six years later, they were exchanging vows.” And let’s face it: the majority of this generation remembers how endearing it was when Lindsay Lohan combined ‘great’ and ‘cool’ to deliver ‘grool’ in Mean Girls. Leave stereotypes in the past. There’s a common misconception that men are supposed to make the first move, but it’s time to enter the 21st century. In today’s progressive age, the first step is up to anyone. It’s all about confidence, and that’s a trait not limited by gender. No matter your gender or orientation, it’s anybody’s game to start. Already friends? Be cautious. It can be difficult when romantic feelings develop within a group of friends. Great relationships can start as friendships, but it’s important to be cautious when treading these waters. Weigh the pros and cons of what could happen if your feelings are requited. But remember, if your love interest wants to keep things platonic, this will likely cause unfavorable changes to the group dynamic. No one in your friend group will appreciate the awkward elephant in the room. That’s not to say the risk isn’t worth the possible gain. If you’re feeling a spark between the two of you, you’re probably not the
only one who’s noticed. Read their signals carefully—if they seem interested, ask them to grab coffee, just the two of you. Be yourself. Truth be told, how the conversation begins doesn’t really matter. The mere fact that you went out of your way to say anything to your crush lets them know that they’ve caught your eye. If walking up to someone and simply introducing yourself doesn’t get the conversation flowing, then the future of your potential romance may not be all that promising. Mutual interest and chemistry are often evident from the start. Fred Tracy, a freshman broadcast journalism major, can attest
cool, though – it’s one thing to notice such routines, but it’s a whole other thing to begin to frequent those places yourself. Chances are, they’ll notice their new second shadow; and they definitely will notice if you bum a cig from them and try to choke out “Oh yeah, American Spirits are my favorite too!” in between coughs. Don’t linger. Be observant of your crush’s signals. If you’ve tried making conversation during class or talking to them at a party and you’re getting a less than enthusiastic response, it’s probably time to let it go. Continued efforts to charm your crush could paint you as desperate or clingy. Don’t post an emotional song lyric as your
“At a school where most students are constantly putting themselves out there for auditions and internships, it seems irrational to be afraid of approaching one of your peers.” to the negative outcomes of trying too hard and using cheesy pick-up lines: “One night at some party, I went up to a girl and I go, ‘You’re too attractive for me to not know you’ and she slapped me right across the face.” Cheesy pick-up lines work on Jersey Shore, and that’s exactly where they should stay. Instead of trying to impress or flatter them, find some common ground between you and your crush. Keep your eye out for what they’re into or their habits. Maybe he gets Dunkin’ Donuts every morning, or maybe she stands outside of Walker for a cigarette break before her 2 p.m. class. See if their personality seems like something you’d be into as well as along with their looks. Keep it
Facebook status, and especially don’t tweet about it. Accept that this person just isn’t right for you, and keep your eyes open for the next person to grab your interest. If you’ve tried everything—approaching them, sitting next to them in class, following them home from class (kidding)—and it just doesn’t seem to be working out, then it’s time to move on. Some things aren’t in the cards and it’s just a matter of time before someone else’s Doc Martens and thick black frame glasses make your heart flutter the same way. So congratulate yourself on overcoming your fear, grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and rent He’s Just Not That Into You on Netflix. And remember: [insert gender of choice here] are stupid.
They’re Drunk, You’re Not Drinking and hooking up go hand-in-hand, but when you’re sober it crosses the line in creepdom. Here’s how to let ‘em down easy and send ‘em home. text // ALEX HAMMARTH
hey laugh at all your jokes, swoon over your outfit, and even get a little handsy. These are definitely signs that they like you. Wait, are they slurring their words? For college students, the birth of a fling tends to take place in the most popular social settings: parties and bars. Surrounded by a whirlwind of excitement, who’s to say you won’t find that special someone? The catch is, though, they might not be sober. Matthew Josselyn, a junior broadcast journalism major, knows this is a typical position in which college kids may find themselves. He describes the worstcase scenario, saying, “You lock eyes with that girl, then you realize her eyes are really rolling into the back of [her] head because she’s so drunk.” This kind of situation can get sticky fast, and unless you want a drunken mess on your hands, there are more cons than pros to taking your inebriated sweetheart home. In fact, it’s sometimes best to avoid them before they have the chance to get clingy. While any kind of social setting involving alcohol is their natural habitat, the dance floor in particular is a place to look out for the flirt under the influence. Dancing is such a carefree activity that people often dismiss what’s actually a stumbling, bumbling move as a fun, edgy dance craze. In any case, your potential conquest probably thinks they look a lot sexier than they actually do. If they’re getting really into something that looks like a cross between Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video and the chicken dance, it’s a bad sign. For Lucy Sandler, a freshman marketing major, eyes are another telltale indication if someone’s too drunk. “If they’re looking at you
blankly and not really engaging the way a normal person would, chances are it’s because they’re out-of-their-mind hammered,” she says.
you if they weren’t intoxicated, it’s time to back off. For Rose Shields, a freshman political communications major, bad decisions in these situations
“Drunkenness can be an excuse for being more aggressive, but that doesn’t mean someone should violate your comfort zone.” Someone’s ability to focus on normal conversation is also a handy way to measure their sobriety. If you can tell they’re losing interest in your story, don’t waste your time—there are more coherent people in the room who have a better chance of keeping up with conversation. Sandler says, “You’re just going to waste the night talking to someone who won’t remember you in the morning, or is just trying to have a drunken hook up.” Too much interest without feedback is a tipoff as well. Look at the facts: They might love listening to your story about how you want to change the world by being the next big whatever, or that incessant nodding could be them drifting in and out of consciousness. For the tipsy flirt, alcohol can fuel someone’s physicality. If they’re acting extremely flirtatious, it’s likely they want to get closer to you – and booze will usually speed that along. It’s okay to walk away if the other starts getting too handsy. Drunkenness can be an excuse for being more aggressive, but that doesn’t mean someone should violate your comfort zone; nor should you violate theirs if they’re drunk enough to go further than they would when sober. If you even have to question whether or not the other person would agree to go home with
lead to the most awkward postparty encounters. “I didn’t realize he was more inebriated than I was,” Shields says of one such experience that eventually became an embarrassing story she wasn’t keen to repeat. Shields quotes How I Met Your Mother, saying, “‘Nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m.’ You’re just going to make a fool of yourself.” It’s also wise to keep in mind that pursuing a drunk person of interest could cause your night to end as their babysitter. Matthew Josselyn recalls taking care of a girl at a party to make sure she could be functional enough to be put in a cab. “You definitely help her out, and try to take care of her a little bit. Get her to a point where maybe you can get her home,” Josselyn advises. Trace Salvato, a sophomore journalism major, says he too would help a girl if she’s too inebriated to help herself. But he also acknowledges the difficulty in finding a balance between making sure she’s safe and not giving off the wrong vibe. “It’s putting me in a weird situation,” he says, “she might really want to hook up, and then I look like an a**hole when I don’t and [it’s] awkward the next day.” For Salvato, situations like these either make you a hero or a fool.
Because alcohol represses inhibitions, a drunk flirt is often “freer” with their judgment, leaving the more sober party wondering how to respond. If your conquest is clearly pursuing something physical, this may be a high-five from above telling you to go for it. On the other hand, is it really fair to either of you if they don’t even remember your name the next day? Salvato’s advice is to play it safe: “If I’ve been into a girl and she’s getting too drunk, I’d probably just find her friends.” Save yourself from both looking like fools and end it quickly. If the booze helped you just enough to unlock your confident side and you’ve met someone special, then congrats. If you thought your drunk crush could be a fun way to end the night and all you got was a vomit-stained bed sheet, then I told you so.
to look out for
> They’re shouting everything > Their drink order goes
from beer to Slippery Navel Shooters > They’re dancing…a lot > They laugh at that funny
story you told, except it was about your dog dying > They suddenly blank on your
name upon introductions > They’re hanging out in the
common room long after quiet hours > Their idea of ‘taking you
out’ is hitting NYP before it closes THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Two ‘Ships Passing in the Night Getting an internship across the country is crazy-exciting, but what do you do when your boo has to be left behind? text // HANNAH BROWN
ou’ve got it: the internship you’ve been waiting for. The applicants have been reviewed, the choices have been made, and you’re it. The only problem is it’s taking you away from your sweetheart, in the sense of location and commitment. Suddenly, the decision starts to become a choice between your love life and your career. With so much at stake in both areas, the decision process can be difficult and, frankly, a little scary. A huge part of what makes this situation so frustrating is how young we all are. Our “twenty-something” years put us smack dab in the middle of one of our biggest transitions in life. We’re moving from dependent to independent, and finding a balance between ourselves and the people we love becomes increasingly convoluted. As opportunities arise, we must learn to make the best decisions for ourselves and our own development. These days, the internship is a vitally important part of gaining a foothold in the professional world. It comes as no surprise, that finding an internship which fits your needs is just as essential. The perfect opportunity is out there for everyone, but the trick is finding it and knowing to take it, especially when a relationship is involved. Taking an internship doesn’t have to serve as an ultimatum for the success of love, though it can seem that way. The combination of mental and physical distance can create a rift, but it’s important to remember that the perfect internship only happens once, while we can fall in love many times. In other cases, the distance can be just what your relationship needs to get the fire going again when you’re finally back together—romance doesn’t mind the back burner for a while as long as the flame stays lit. So, when that opportunity presents itself, grab it. In a perfect world, we would be able to find that balance between an internship and a relationship—most importantly when distance is a factor. However, that takes a level of maturity and comfort that we’re not all lucky enough to have in our relationships, especially at this point in our lives. For Danielle Scott, junior marketing major, and her boyfriend, this challenge has become a major factor in their relationship. Veterans of the relationship world, the couple has already experienced long distance. The two attended their first two years of college together at a branch school of the University of Connecticut, but when her boyfriend decided to move to the main campus, Scott transferred to Emerson. Since then, they’ve been dealing with the distance, which has proven helpful as they’re both beginning to enter the professional world: they plan on staying together even though she’ll be participating in Emerson’s Los Angeles Program next semester. “We were afraid, you know, the distance was
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going to break us up, so we said let’s have an open relationship,” Scott says. They chose to relieve some of the tension brought on by being apart by relaxing the rules surrounding their union. She says the decision had a positive effect: “It actually brought us closer together, which is really odd because that doesn’t normally happen.” Their time together was more valuable and it created a new opportunity to test the limits of their trust. Though it was a leap of faith, it paid off. Their maturity in making such a huge decision extends into the way they conduct themselves. “We’re super honest,” Scott says. “I think just having that open communication and knowing what we’re doing helped us trust each other more, in a way.” Because it’s already working, she doesn’t fear the upcoming distance and commitment. She approaches the situation with a sense of calm and a remarkably rational view on the future. Scott even starts to address the prospect
Taking an internship doesn’t have to serve as an ultimatum for the success of love, though it can seem that way. of the relationship ending, saying, “I think he knows what I want for a career and what I want out of life, and I know what he wants. And if it doesn’t end up working out, it’s for the better.” Scott, importantly, recognizes that her growth should be her first priority. If a relationship is getting in the way of how you want to live the rest of you life, then, sad though it may be, it could be best to part ways. Scott doesn’t anticipate an end, though. She plans to stay committed and explore her new surroundings, staying true to her philosophy that, “You only live this time of your life once, so you want to take as many opportunities as you can.” Unfortunately, not everyone can be as confident and clued-in as Scott and her beau. Keeping the relationship kindled can be a struggle when location is in question, or when the combination of distance and less time to communicate becomes an issue. Things can go wrong, fate can be against you, and sometimes feelings just fade away. Sometimes acknowledging potential defeat can be hard, and we prefer to just ignore the signs. An internship throws a wrench into what may once have been a smoothly running machine. Emilie Mirvis, a sophomore musical theatre major, and her former boyfriend ran into problems after realizing they would most likely be separated for the summer. The couple had
gotten together at the beginning of second semester, spring 2011. And with the summer fast approaching, he had some choices to make. He was deliberating between an opportunity at Jimmy Kimmel Live!, in New York, and one at College Humor, in Los Angeles. Both are great opportunities, but Jimmy Kimmel was more competitive—at one point, he started to lean towards College Humor because Mirvis lives in LA. But after a “Come on, it’s Jimmy Kimmel,” on her part, he chose the New York-based internship. Previous experience (a long distance summer relationship that didn’t go well) had Mirvis a bit anxious. “I was really hesitant about it,” she says, “but at the end of the school year in May, I stayed here for the EVVYs because of him, and at the end of it I was like, you know what, this is worth it.” Despite this attitude, things didn’t go well. The added stress of the upcoming internship, among other things, led to the ultimate demise of their relationship. Mirvis doesn’t blame the internship, but admits it brought up an air of skepticism surrounding their bond. “I think it turned out for the best. Wow, I’ve never even said that, but it’s true,” she says. Mirvis’ upbeat attitude towards the breakup is something to emulate if put in a similar situation, which is certainly a possibility when confronted with a new time-consuming job that sends you or your other halfway across the country. Not everyone wants to compromise for love, and, at this age, they shouldn’t have to. The only thing to do is focus on the good, because staying positive helps move toward an unrestricted future. The real hang up that comes with the long-distance-and-dividedattention territory is the potential for regrets. If things go wrong, it opens a whole new can of “what-ifs.” You’re left asking yourself (and sometimes your ex) how things could’ve been saved. You might end up thinking: “It wouldn’t have ended up this way if I had been there.” But, you can’t always be there. Worrying about regrets takes up a ton of energy that would be better spent on you and your own aspirations. We all deserve to be a little self-centered, especially when it comes to our futures. If our significant others want to be part of those futures, they’ll work for it with us. Don’t think of it as a choice between love and career – think of it as a choice for the life you want. The decisions we make now, as we shift from young adults to professional adults, need to be for ourselves. We’re young, were ready to take the world by storm, and we can’t let anyone, even ourselves, hold us back.
ting them, and checking their Facebook pictures wondering whom they’ve been with lately. Oh, that blonde kid from ethics class. Stalk! Stalk! Stalk! Everything reminds you of them. You see a blueberry muffin in the DH. OH GOD, my ex used to eat muffins…and they have blue eyes! Relax. This is the hardest step to get over. Stop communicating with them. Delete them as your friend on Facebook, delete them from your phone, set free the carrier pigeon that you trained to send notes to their window, and above all DO NOT DRUNK DIAL THEM! Force yourself to take space to repair the damage. The Friends. Maybe during the relationship it was just you and your significant other. You did everything together. You ate together, you bathed together, and you even shared the same piece of mint-flavored dental floss. After the breakup you don’t know what to do with yourself. The best thing to do
No matter how many times you go through a breakup, whether you are the heartbreaker or the heartbroken, it somehow manages to reach the same level of suck every time.
The Breakup Shuffle Relationships can end badly, and it’s even worse if you have to see your ex on Boylston Street everyday. Here’s how to be a functional, newly single Emersonian. text // TAYLOR MEACHAM photo // JAMIE EMMERMAN
ollege is prime for dating. We’ve moved past “puppy love” and the drama of high school crushes. But with serious dating comes serious breakups. You commit for however long, and eventually it all comes to a screeching halt. It could end a number of ways. It could fail because of long distance, one of you could be the culprit of cheating, or you could realize the person you thought was caring and loving is actually a cynical jerk. You thought everything was fine but suddenly out of left field, they drop you on your ass. No matter how many times you go through a breakup, whether you are the heartbreaker or the heartbroken, it somehow manages to reach the same level of suck every time. Emotions are emotions and they don’t go away. Luckily, there’s a pattern to every breakup that allows us to learn how to deal with that pit in our stomach that feels like we just ate 10 Big Macs. The Need. Need and desire play huge roles in a relationship. After a breakup it’s hard to see anyone else with the same kind of attraction. There’s almost always a lingering ache for them to be back in your life, both in your chest and below the belt. Be warned: don’t trick yourself into thinking that returning to a physical relationship with your ex will make you feel better. This goes completely against the point of a breakup. Get rid of all that sexual frustration another way. The sad truth is that the majority of us will go back to our exes and have a few regrettable late nights (often after a few shots). Usually after a breakup you’re still talking to them, calling them, tex-
is to go to those who are always there for you: your friends. Friends are there to cushion you when you fall. It’s different from person to person, but at the base of it all, friends are there to listen. Don’t push them away because you think your breakup situation is different from everyone else’s. It’s not. You’ll also encounter opinions and advice from your friends whether you want to hear it or not. Their intentions are good, but how do you know their advice is valid? You might hear a lot of empty and recycled phrases such as “He/she was an asshole, you can do so much better,” or “It hurts less with time.” Note to friends: it doesn’t matter how true it may be. Nobody wants to hear that stuff. What we all need after a breakup is consistent company and someone who’ll listen. Surround yourself with activities and people. Distractions will keep your mind off your ex and remind you that life does go on without them. The Hate. After you’re distracted and comforted enough you’ll reach a point in which the sadness turns to anger. Sensibility and reasoning are out the window. Remember all the things you loved about them? They like to chew on their pencils, the way they approached situations with a calm attitude, or even how they’d get flustered over little things that were easily fixable. All of that and more will pull a 180. You’ll hate everything about them. Their smile, their walk, their quirks, their handwriting, their voice, the music they like, the way they dress, THEIR FACE. Before you couldn’t get them out of your head and longed for them, and now you can’t get them out and wish they’d disappear. This is the stage where you want to get rid of everything you still have of theirs. The key to getting through this stage is simply to recognize that you’re in it. Be pissed off at them. Let it happen. The sooner you allow yourself to be upset, the sooner you’ll stop being hung up on them. Eventually, your priorities will change and you’ll seem them as just another flawed and imperfect person. The main word here is eventually. The time it takes to reach this stage varies from relationship to relationship. If you were with them for a few years, crack open the Yellowtail and find a comfy spot on your couch, because you may be watching Dirty Dancing for a while. Relationships are stepping stones in life. You may misstep a couple of times, but that’s part of putting yourself out there. The only way we find out who’s right for us is by trying a little bit of everything in the buffet. How are we supposed to know if chains and whips excite us if we never try? Knowing each step of dealing with a breakup is essential to moving on or falling in love again. So stop texting them. Grab your friends, go out to dinner, and talk about all the things about your ex that you never realized were there to say before. Breakups, like relationships, are a part of life.
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
I Hate Horoscopes (But Actually, I Love Them) Horoscopes are often put down as bogus science, but fun to read —just remember not to take them too seriously. text // JOEY POLINO
here are two types of people in the world: those who read their horoscopes habitually, and those skeptical of them. To a habitual follower, horoscopes are words of wisdom and guidance for the things you should look out for throughout your day, week, and even year. To a skeptic, a horoscope is a short illustration of how someone else thinks you should live your day-to-day life. I fall into the category of the former. I am the very definition of a Cancer. I’m a neurotic, emotional artist whose life is one contradiction after another and who goes through hormonal mood swings during the full moon as if I’m on my “period.” My best friends are always of the Pisces, Scorpio, and Gemini variety, and my rival is a Sagittarius. I’m a hopeless romantic and find myself stuck in internal monologues whenever I’m upset, complete with non-schizophrenic voices and a soundtrack by Amy Winehouse. I was never into reading my horoscope on a regular basis until last semester, when a friend of mine began reading it to me each after-
It suddenly became apparent to me that either (A) I was being stalked or (B) I could find idle advice or confirmation on how to handle the (mostly romantic) situations that were taking over my life. I honestly still think I’m being stalked. noon. In fact, until then I was a skeptic, rolling my eyes whenever she announced, “I have to check my horoscope,” the moment something of note happened. When I started reading my own, though, it suddenly became apparent to me that either (A) I was being stalked or (B) I could find idle advice or confirmation on how to handle the (mostly romantic) situations that were taking over my life. I honestly still think I’m being stalked. It didn’t take long for me to become a man possessed and obsessed with that short description that most of the time wasn’t longer than a tweet. If my weekly horoscope told me not to overextend my social calendar for the weekend, I’d figure out a way to pull a Karen Smith and tell everyone I was “sick” (cough, cough) so I could stay in one night and not face 52
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the cosmic consequences of ignoring the decree of the zodiac. But the thing is: we shouldn’t just allow horoscopes to dictate our every word and move. It’s one thing to take into consideration what your horoscope says, looking to it for idle advice like an unbiased friend. But it’s another to take it as the only instructions in the world. If that’s the case, you’re absolutely only setting yourself up for disaster. In order to get the most out of your horoscope, you should be conscious of the right way to read it. There’s no denying that a horoscope is just a short commentary written by someone else, telling you how to go about your daily life. It gives an overview of the ways in which you can look at your relationships (platonic and romantic), your career, your fiscal situation, and even your relationship with yourself. It’s the main argument of a skeptic that anyone can read any sign’s horoscope and see some meaning in their own life. But the point of a horoscope is to read the one for your own sign. If a Virgo reads an Aries’ horoscope, it’s true that there might be similarities after a minute or two is spent racking your brain over the concept provided. But if a Virgo reads their own, they’ll be able to see an instant connection and possibly even a reaffirmation of their gut feeling on a predicament. The daily horoscope is vague, but that’s because it’s meant to make you think. Sometimes it’s even best to wait until closer to the end of the day to read your horoscope, since the earlier you read it, the easier it is to allow those words to impede upon your actions. If you wake up in the morning and immediately read that today is going to be a day of great contemplation about a friend, you’re going to spend the day thinking about all the different friends you might need to contemplate and not actually doing anything else. However, if you had waited a few hours and had a tiff with a friend, you’d probably realize who the contemplation is to be directed towards and therein solve a problem. The later you read a horoscope, the more it becomes about self-fulfillment rather than self-obtaining. That being said, never read anything in advance. If you read your horoscope for tomorrow, you’re going to get caught up in the future. You’ll be too concerned with prepping things, or too excited for what’s ahead, that you’re going to end up missing the opportunities that fate threw your way as a means of spontaneous preparation in the now. No, reading a horoscope a day or week ahead of time will only lead to expectations—and high ones at that. And expectations are so often never met. For best results, a horoscope should be read in the afternoon on the day of. Since it’s the middle of the day, it gives you enough time for daily interactions to set the mood for any fulfillment
you’re looking for that day. Yearly or monthly horoscopes, then, should be read on their first available day and referred to—but not obsessed over—throughout their tenure. Horoscopes are advice, not instructions to a happy, successful and love/passion-filled life. Just because you’re an Aries and technically you’re most compatible with a Libra doesn’t mean that a certain someone who happens to be a Sagittarius (falling to the middle of the compatibility scale) doesn’t deserve all the attention you want to give them. It’s hard to ignore the sign of someone you’re interested. But it’s not always a safe thing to do. Sometimes we have to go through a series of romantic entanglements and bad relationships to grow as a person. If we start dating an Aries and see that we’re only sort of compatible and break it off, we might miss out on one of the greatest opportunities we’re supposed to have
Rom Com vs. Reality It would be nice if we were just plopped into a blockbuster chick flick, but since that’s not happening anytime soon, we’ll take our slightly altered reality. text // NISREEN GALLOWAY >
Choose a sidewalk, any sidewalk. Hail a random taxi, and if there’s already a passenger inside, feel free to hop in. Seek confrontation at all costs. If your ride to work leads you to no romantic avail, stop at a coffee shop and order from the barista with the nice smile. Make sure to rush off in a hurry after making some off-hand witty remark (this moment will play back when they realize they’re in love with you, too). >
meet cute reality
Although you might have that perfect earthshattering moment, you can’t always wait idly for it. Unfortunately, the klutz in the elevator is more likely to end up surrounded by angry people and laundry bills than a first date. Love at first sight may not be waving its arms at you, but if you just let things happen naturally, there might be something glistening in your peripherals. You probably already know them from work or class last semester. They might just happen to be the one person you’ve always kind of known but were closer with their friend. There weren’t exactly sparks flying, but you might start to notice that there’s definitely something there. >
in our lives. There are lessons to be learned and tears to be shed. If we let the sign of our significant other get in the way of enjoying things while we’re still in the Adele circa 19 phase, we’ll go through life unable to make any decisions for ourselves and always looking towards the advice written by someone we’ve never met. Dating someone totally wrong for us is undeniably a growing experience. Wait until you’re well into things with a new flirtationship before looking into their horoscope. Unless you’re exceedingly good with birthdays and know that a January 24th baby is an Aquarius off the top of your head, it’s easy to keep such things off your mind. The moment you look into someone’s sign is the moment you begin to overanalyze their every move more than is ever needed. A horoscope can easily tell someone about their new flame’s personality. With one click of a button, a Libra
can see that a Cancer is emotional and highly neurotic and therefore not someone they want to spend a good amount of their waking—and usually calm/collected—time with. Opposites attract, but contradictory everyday emotional states do not a happy marriage bed make. The biggest problem with horoscopes is that they can become very addicting. Once you start reading them on any hint of a regular basis, it’s hard to stop. Whatever you read them for (yourself, advice on a certain someone, a build-up of stress at the workplace), the moment you take those words into consideration and find any sort of relief is the moment you go from skeptic to follower. It’s important to remember during the transition, though, that the more closely you look at a horoscope is actually the worse off you’ll be. A horoscope is just advice, not a driver’s manual to life.
You’ll be whisked off your feet by ridiculous extravagance. You’ll be picked up in a perfectly clean car that looks as if it were bought yesterday. They’ll have all the gas in the world to drive you wherever. You’ll probably go jet skiing on the Hudson, or become best friends with a walrus. If you get the chance, build a log cabin out of waffles and say absolutely anything you want about your personal life. Your second date is a guarantee. >
first date reality
You might not get a private restaurant date, but you could get a romantic walk around the city with a few awkward conversational pauses. Or you might end up listening to endless stories about how much he loves his pet parakeet named Bird (true story). We’re still young, and dating should be light-hearted and filled with ups and downs. And, worst-case scenario, you can always “lose” their number afterwards. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Rom Com vs. Reality (CONT.) >
Sitting cross-legged on a glass table with nothing but sixteen candles and a birthday cake between you and your love—now is the perfect opportunity. Lean forward (have no fear, pink dresses aren’t flammable) and you both go in for the kill. When your lips touch, the entire world slows down. >
first kiss reality
You could end up smiling for days afterwards, warm from the glow of that first time your lips met. It was probably a little awkward, especially just before it happened. Finally, they leaned in, cupped your cheek, and after lightly untangling that awkward piece of hair that managed to get in the way, you kissed. >
Things will move fast. Usually you’ll start by a kiss goodnight at the door. This will turn into a montage of being pushed into walls, falling over couches, clumsily slipping off tops, and landing on a hardwood floor. Bruises are nonexistent and there are absolutely no insecurities from either party. >
first night reality
Your first time will probably fall far from the Hollywood examples, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Depending on your sexual chemistry and your level of comfort, you can factor in your own math as the realistic equation for the night. For most, subtract the quirky clumsiness, add the insecurities, and sprinkle the potential of a roommate walking in. 54
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Start with something miniscule or imaginary, like the puppy you never bought. Or better yet, talk about yourselves in third person, preferably in overly obvious code and around lots of other couples at a family dinner party. Elevate your voices, but never look flushed or cry until they leave. >
first fight reality
It probably will be about something miniscule, like not putting a relationship status on Facebook. Tears streaming and face hideously scrunched in a mask of misery, you think you’re making pointed arguments but you just keep rambling about not playing on the “same team.” The part the movies seem to skip is that after the initial heat, the problem is still there. Perhaps under a pile of clothes, but still, it’s there. >
happily ever after
They catch you as you’re off towards some unexpected business trip/ wedding. They’ll make it past airport security unscathed before proclaiming their love. You walk out of the airport arm in arm without any luggage. Don’t even think about going back for it, because the power of love is worth way more than that $1,000 dress you undoubtedly had packed... >
happily ever after reality
There is no real one moment when everything seems to fall into place in a relationship. Yes, things may be going well for a while, but a healthy relationship has ups and downs and there are no pop songs and credits to tell you that the worst is over. Also, the lawn mower is probably going to run out of gas before you make it down your street.
When Do Parents Become People? They clothed you, fed you, and sheltered you, but as you get older their personal issues become more obvious everyday text // MARLEE KULA
y mom makes the world’s greatest sweet potato pancakes. They’re made with whipped cream, love, and the affection only a mother can bake with. She’s the ultimate supermom. But what about when she’s the one that needs taking care of? Not only are parents regular people, but they also have their own interests, their own lives, and are even capable of (gasp) making mistakes. Where’s the superhero that used to cut the crusts off your PB&J’s? You’ll always remember the day you realized that your parents aren’t just your parents, but that they’re also simply human. That moment of epiphany where dad gets knocked off the pedestal may be bittersweet, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe the time has come for our relationships with our parents to evolve. Perhaps we can sit down with mom and have a cocktail where we discuss our feelings and our passions like one adult to another, as equals. Even though we’re in college now, maintaining a close relationship with our parents is important. Keeping this fragile relationship intact takes some work and meeting in the middle. As we change, it’s inevitable that what we have with our parents will also change. Sophomore journalism major Rebecca Isenhart stresses the importance of communicating with her parents. “We’re very close, and we’re open about pretty much everything. I call them fre-
quently to just chat,” she says. On how things have changed since moving away from home, she explains, “I wouldn’t say I don’t have rules anymore, but it’s more like if I did something wrong it would be disapproval as the punishment. I’m still their kid, but I’m not a kid anymore.” Being able to talk about anything with your parents is wonderful, but it might be a little unrealistic for some. How close is too close? Where do we draw the line? If you have a great relationship with your parents, you could probably tell them anything about your day, your classes, and how your friends are. But what about the bigger issues? Sex, drugs, money woes, our fears, secret wishes, desires, anxieties about the future? When is it cool to treat them like your bestie instead of your mommy? For junior communication studies major Jenny Woodford, she and her mom can talk about it all. She says her mom is the ultimate role model. However, one thing she would never discuss with her? Boys. She says, “It’s weird because I feel like most moms and daughters like to talk about boys, but I’ve never felt comfortable talking about it. She would always say things like, ‘Oh who’s your boyfriend?!’ She would totally be all over me about it.” It doesn’t matter how close you are, it’s weird to gush about the great sex you had to your dad. Keeping some intimate details of your personal life from your parents is a-okay, and probably healthy. To them, you’ll always be their little tike with chocolate stains on your T-shirt. Jenna Woolf, a sophomore writing for film and TV major, also has a close relationship with her mom and agrees there are some taboos. “I’m very close with my mom and I always have been. Ever since I was young I’ve always been a mama’s girl. But I definitely leave certain things out for the sake of our relationship so she doesn’t view me differently,” she says. There’s a lot of pressure on us kids to behave like angels at college, though this should really be the place where we can experiment and make some mistakes. But Woolf wants to keep things just the way they are. “In some ways we maintain that mother and daughter relationship. The lines can get blurred on when we can act like friends now,” she says. Alas, part of growing older means accepting that things won’t always be the way they were when we were kids. Technically we don’t need to be taken care of anymore, but who wouldn’t love a bowl of Mom’s matzo ball soup right now? Still, as we begin to discover things on our own, we’ll want to form opinions for ourselves. It’s about more than just hooking up and going to parties. As we get older, we’ll fly from the nest and create our own concept of what’s right. If we’re going to (eventually) become adults, our decisions should be respected even if they differ from what our parents taught us to believe. Woodford uses religion as an example of something she and her mother don’t quite agree on, saying, “My mom has become much more religious than she ever was when I was growing up. Both of my parents were alcoholics and they’re both part of Alcoholics Anonymous now. Through AA, she found this higher power
type of thing, which is great. I’m glad that she has it and that she’s happy but I don’t agree with those beliefs necessarily.” It’s important to remember that as we create new identities for ourselves at college, our parents have the opportunity to do the same. If we want them to respect our decisions, we need to reciprocate. While it’s impossible that you’ll always agree, don’t let that stop you from bonding with them. Just know that keeping parents in the loop requires a bit of extra effort sometimes. A depressing trend has emerged slowly, though. Daddy issues have never been more real. Woodford and Woolf both admit they have distant relationships with their fathers. Woodford says, “My dad was never really in the picture, but now that I’ve gotten older, we’re a
usually a gradual, sneaky process. Woodford says, “I’ve seen my mom go through a lot with alcohol problems, my dad too. I always knew that my parents weren’t perfect. I remember I would only see my dad during special times like Christmas or every other weekend, so I always thought he was so awesome until I learned more about why he wasn’t involved in our lives.” It’s a relief that our parents make mistakes though; it makes us feel better when we make them. But it’s hard to swallow that the idea when you’re forced to act like an adult because your parents are busy acting like children. Woolf remembers a time when her parents disappointed her: “Before my parents divorced, I heard them arguing a lot and being childish, picking fights about the stupidest things and dragging my brothers and I into it. It’s like, ‘Hey,
“That moment of epiphany where dad gets knocked off the pedestal may be bittersweet, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.” lot closer.” But Woolf adds, “My dad and I have always been a little distant from each other. I don’t know why that is, but when I got older it just became worse.” Woolf continues, “Our lines of communication aren’t as open as I think either of us would like. I don’t feel like my dad supports what I’m doing at Emerson, so I would never talk about my future with him and I would never talk about sex, boys, or drugs either. He only knows bits and pieces about my life, unfortunately.” Trey Cruz, junior communication studies major, hasn’t spoken to his dad in about a year. Cruz says, “We’ll talk about politics as a common ground just to make him happy. I don’t love our relationship but I’m content right now. In the future I’d like to repair it.” It’s hard to imagine having a short list of topics you do feel comfortable talking about. It can’t be sunshine and roses all the time, but the only thing to do is accept the common ground you have and work toward repairing damage in the future. Cruz’s positive attitude is admirable; after all, we don’t get to choose our parents. This is also an opportunity to recognize that your relationship with each parent is bound to be totally different. There are things you may feel comfortable discussing with one parent that you wouldn’t dream of saying to the other. For Woodford, the contrast comes down to respect. “The difference between my dad and my mom is, I can tell him stories about going out or doing something crazy I shouldn’t have done, something irresponsible. I hold my mom’s opinion a lot higher so I wouldn’t want her to know those things. With my dad I feel like he’s just a big kid, I don’t have that same level of respect for him, sadly,” she says. Whether or not we’re close with our parents can be greatly affected by the way we perceive them now that we’re young adults. To make the transition from parent to confidant means you must cross the perilous bridge of seeing your parents for who they are: regular people. This realization might be unsettling, but it’s
you’re supposed to be the adults here.’” Understanding and accepting our parents’ mistakes is really hard, but it might be the most important step we can make toward evolving our relationships. While we don’t have to like it, the best solution is acknowledging our parents’ flaws. All we can do is be aware and learn from their mistakes. Plus, they accept that we’re still getting it right—we sometimes forget to call them back and we might still leave the stove on by accident. We owe it to our parents to treat them like equals if we want them to do the same. As we get older, so do our parents. As we move on, so do they. They had their own lives before you came trotting along and now that you’re old enough to walk, they can find that life again. Cruz says, “My mom is doing her own thing. She’s getting rid of the house and moving toward a single lifestyle. I had to understand that my parents have their own lives. I need to grow up at some point.” Of course, you might always be your mom’s son or daddy’s little girl, but the times they are a-changin’—and that’s definitely good. While our parents may treat us differently now, this has its benefits. Even though Dad isn’t filing your taxes these days, he doesn’t hassle you to take out the garbage or wear less makeup, either. You’re an adult, you don’t live at home anymore, and they’ll start respecting what that means. That leaves the final lingering fear: are we doomed to ultimately become our parents? Woodford thinks positively: “You can see what you’d like to be and what you wouldn’t like to be. Both my parents were alcoholics, so it’s something my brother and I are constantly aware of. It’s a genetic thing.” So let’s break the cycle and learn from them. Mistakes have been made and it’s in the past. But don’t worry—our parents will likely make some more, and besides, that leaves room for us to make mistakes of our own.
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
verything has a beginning. The first words; the first thoughts. Conceptions come from everywhere and lead to just as many results. In the real world, those first thoughts can lead to new movements, revolutions and even nations. At Emerson, those ideas begin the paths towards magazines, collections of plays and the largest student-run awards show in the country. In essence, that is the meaning behind this issue’s theme. Bare bones is the beginning, bare bones is the start. Every day on the Emerson campus, a new project is conceived. Each will ultimately lead to the redefining of someone’s entire college career—and possibly beyond. It’s on Boylston and Tremont that the collegiate world collides with the professional world. Emerson is the place in which our extracurricular activities alone gain us internships at W, Cannes, John Kerry’s office, and MSNBC as sophomores.
The features that follow profile a number of well-known organizations and entities on the Emerson campus. Each profile strips the organizations down to their bones and looks to see just what it takes to do what they do. Now, the smallest, behind-the-scenes member is highlighted and the secrets of their craft are unveiled for all to acknowledge, appreciate, and applaud.
text // JOEY POLINO photo // JAKE HINES
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THE BARE BONES ISSUE
lights, camera, opportunity Emerson’s industry award show, the EVVYs isn’t only a campus institution, but a chance for students of all majors to get involved in a totally unique experience.
text // KIERSTON RUSDEN photo // JAKE HINES & GRAYSON BREEN
hirty-one years in the making, the EVVY Awards give students from every department the shining moment to showcase their work, from costume designs to comedy skits. The show provides unmatched exposure and experience. “I knew I wanted to be involved in the EVVYs when I first toured Emerson. We were in the Cutler Majestic Theater learning about the organization and I said to myself, ‘I’ll be on that stage,’” says recent alum Pat Lambert, former executive producer and host of the EVVYs his freshman and sophomore years respectively, who pines to be back on and behind the scene. “The best access I have to a camera now is a flip cam. I’ve worked with top quality equipment at Emerson, but once you graduate, you don’t have access to that,” Lambert says. Before alumnus Kevin Bright was the executive producer of Friends and Dream On, HBO’s first half hour comedy show, his childhood was a whirl of sneaking quietly off to his bedroom and watching the same few movies on repeat alone. After Bright took his first Introduction to Film class, he understood why he was that kid. “Growing up, there’s always things that we’re falling in love with that we don’t necessarily know about. I had no real concept of entertainment when I entered college, but that was what I was best at,” says Bright. Faculty consultant of Emerson College’s EVVY Awards, Bright guides Emerson students in creating the largest student-run, student-produced, live switch, multi-camera television event in the nation—right in our Cutler Majestic Theater. Matt Caruso, senior studio TV production major and executive producer of the Technical Department says, “Kevin makes our experience really realistic.” Working with Bright is Emerson Channel Manager Diane Barton who has over 20 years of experience in TV and award show production. Barton graduated from Emerson in 1991 and then moved to California, where she was a production assistant for half a year. Then she hit it big with the Academy Awards. Since, she has worked on 9 Academy Awards, 4 Emmys, the Oscars, MTV, different movie awards, and the opening and closing of the ‘96 Olympics. “I have about 200 shows under my belt,” says Barton, handing me her six page resume. “I’ve cut out so much on my resume.” Retiring in 2002, Barton moved back to Boston, newly pregnant. However, her “retirement” only lasted 2 days when Emerson asked 58
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her to sign on with the Emerson Channel. “Even 20 years later with a full time job and my own company and family, I always find myself asking, what am I going to do next?” Says Barton. A few years later, Bright asked Barton for help. “My first time unofficially working with the EVVYs, I asked Kevin for a script, and I got a pile of papers,” says Barton. “I told him I’d be back to help out. I taught the script department how to make scripts. Then, for the 30th EVVYs, I was directing and telling everyone how the show should be done when Kevin couldn’t be there.” Barton has enjoyed her involvement immensely and considers the organization her second home. During her five years of involvement, she’s held workshops, sat in on most of the meetings, and helped the students progress. As the new manager of the Emerson Channel, her time has been limited this year. However, the students admire Barton’s involvement. “Barton’s been instrumental in the production of the show,” says visual and media arts senior Kevin Cochran, EVVYs director for the broadcast. “She knows the ins and outs of award shows. We try to model everything off of her advice.” Following the advice of Barton, Bright, and Eric Fox, Kevin Bright’s assistant, the EVVYs are run as professionally and fluently as possible from the hiring process to the night of the show. Proficiency is necessary, too, with 37 categories of submissions and 13 specific to the showcase. The hiring process is typical: positions open, students apply online, interviews and emails follow. For the three executive producer positions, students interested apply with a letter pitching their plan of action and any changes they hope to make for the upcoming year. Others, like freshman
writing, literature, and publishing major and executive producer to Natalie Casper, Alexa Costi, take networking seriously. “I went to high school with Natalie, and as soon as she found out I was going to Emerson, she contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in being her assistant,” says Costi. “We worked together on our high school newspaper, so she knew and liked how I worked.” As with any organization, the tasks are allotted by position. In need of approximately 80 judges, Position Judges Coordinator Divya Reddy, a junior marketing major, is assigned finding those. “We notify alumni and talent agent managers, and we look for judges that have expertise in the category they’ll be judging,” says Reddy. “From well-known vocal coaches—one worked with Justin Beiber—to simple professionals in their field.” Senior communication studies and EVVYs Line Producer Kerry Velez is in charge of the budget, as well as all the production assistants and “Most of us are neithe APOCs. Production Supervisor ther seen nor heard, Rebecca Wahle makes the rundown for the show, a document that lists but it’s not about the all the awards, how long they are, costume changes, and follows along glamour...It’s being the script. Cochran’s job is to part about something with take the show that’s on paper and bigger than yourself.” put it on the screen. “Most of us are neither seen nor heard, but it’s not -KEVIN COCHRAN about the glamour,” says Cochran. (VMA ‘12) “It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself.”
There is also an evident hierarchy. There are people to report to, tasks to be delegated, spots and jobs to fill. “There’s a definite path upwards in the organization, a little bit of paying your dues, but it’s mostly because nothing like this exists at Emerson or any other college,” says Caruso. “You need to see the EVVYs from the bottom to understand it. We do everything at industry standards.” Industry standards or not, the organization works like a family. The EPs are the parents, the department heads and EP assistants are the big kids, and the rest of the staff are the younger siblings. “We are a huge family,” says junior Communication Studies major Kerry Velez. “We accept everyone and we’re so willing to teach people things. We accept a lot of freshman to give them experience. The people who have higher positions, deserve those positions.” So what’s everyone’s advice? “I have advice for the students who aren’t involved in the EVVYs,” says Bright. “Get involved. You have a tremendous opportunity here at Emerson to be a part in a real life experience that allows you to have a fantastic, social, college experience.” You can be interested and participate in the EVVYs no matter what your major is. If you can’t take certain classes that you’re interested in taking due to prerequisites or because they fall outside of your major, the EVVYs allow for the experience. “Stay humble, network, network, network, don’t burn bridges - it’s a small community - and keep your mind open for options,” says Barton. “I know a lot of students involved want to be producers, but if someone offers a small camera position, take it. It could take you far.”
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Laid Out in Black and White After 65 years of publication, the Berkeley Beacon continues to push for journalistic integrity, student interest, and the pursuit of a great story.
very Thursday morning, copies sit freshly stacked on the racks in the lobbies of every building on campus. Grabbing an issue, one can smell the crisp waft of ink that spells out the goings-on around campus. Since 1947, the Berkeley Beacon has served as Emerson College’s source of news as its primary student-run newspaper. However, underneath that freshly printed ink and past those coarse pages is a process and a story in itself. Writing for the Beacon, running it, and working with it is an experience that can only be understood by delving into its inner workings. The Beacon has not always been the newspaper that we know so well today. Its evolution over the years has been a striking one, largely influenced by the staff that runs it. This evolvement is clearly depicted on the walls of the Beacon office, which are adorned with old copies of past years’ publications. “It’s changed a lot over the years,” says Alexander Kaufman, a junior political communications major and current editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Beacon, as he pulls out a worn copy of the very first publication. It sits beneath a cracked glass frame in a faded, one page newsletter format. Comparing it to its present voluminous and diverse content, one can make the valid conclusion that the Beacon has certainly come a long way since then. What has changed the most, and in recent years especially, has been its narrowed focus. The Beacon now aims to cover much more local events tied closely with the Emerson community. It strives to get through to a readership of staff and students by reporting on topics
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text // NANCY VALEV photo // SPENCER FIELDS that will be most interesting and relevant to them. But how exactly has this narrowed focus affected students? Some students love that they can relate to the more familiar events and tie themselves tighter with the interwoven Emerson community. “When I’m flipping through the pages of the Beacon I’m interested in what’s going on in the school. The big daily publications are always available if I want to read about bigger and broader topics,” says Sydney Lester, a freshman communication studies major. However, other students argue that Emerson faculty and the Beacon staff are the only groups of people who ever even care to read it. It appears that many students are indifferent in that they don’t care about the content that’s published and find it to be irrelevant to their lives. They view it as a school paper that serves no effective function. Kaufman disagrees. He smiles as he relays that his proudest moments working with the Beacon are the times it is able to initiate change. He recounts a story that he had worked on as news editor the previous year in which the Beacon ran a series on the struggle that students had in finding a practice space. The issue had reached a point at which the Emerson Dance Company had to resort to using the hallway of the Paramount Center. This multi-million dollar building was initially built for students, and they were not even able to reap any of its benefits. “After our reports came to light, the administration immediately made efforts to change that policy and open more studios for them,” Kaufman says. Yet others voice contesting opinions of the
particular privileges the Beacon has benefited from, such as the policy enacted in the SGA Constitution. The policy allocates 8% of funding to the Berkeley Beacon, making it the only organization on campus to receive such benefits. Barbara Platts, Lifestyle editor of the Beacon and a senior journalism major says, “We’re the ones that constantly report on the student government so I think it’s fair. Plus, we are balanced in our reporting and don’t publish anything with bad intentions,” Platts says. Adam Sloves, a freshman visual media arts major brings up the point that publications are not funded by the community government. “I just don’t see why they needed more funding than any other organization. I also feel like they’ll write anything to make a good story, and a lot of that has to do with scandal and controversial issues that seem to be blown out of proportion.” Kaufman notes that if the majority of the critics were to look into and understand the process of producing, editing, laying out, and fact-checking twelve pages of text every week, they would have a greater appreciation of their school’s publication. And so it goes that every Monday night, Beacon writers gather in the hallway outside of the office to snag their stories for their respective sections. Section editors read off potential stories that reporters would want to cover for the week. These story ideas are decided upon just an hour before the writers arrive. The meeting takes place in the office during which editors pitch their story ideas until there is a consensus on what to report. Writers are encouraged to pitch their own ideas of anything that would
be of intrigue and significance that week. Most often, stories aim to shed light on surfacing issues throughout campus as the Beacon plays an active role in giving the student and faculty body a large enough window into the mechanics of the school and community. But not everyone believes that these issues are covered as they should be. Just last fall, tensions were especially high between the Student Government Association and the Berkeley Beacon. The time had come for a proposal of some constitutional changes, and these included taking away the Beacon’s 8% funding. Facebook wars broke out between forums that advocated students to vote “yes” or “no.” Beacon staffers and SGA members acknowledge that this is nothing new, and is an issue that has been plaguing the organizations for quite some time. Kaufman could not help but feel slightly taken aback by the whole dispute of last semester. “I think it’s a shame that this current SGA did not have the same respect for the division between public media and the government than the SGA two decades ago did.” Not all would like acknowledging that the tension rests between the organizations themselves. Wynn Harrison, a senior journalism major and president of her class, says that it’s difficult to declare that the SGA and the Beacon are “pitted against each other.” She views every member as an individual with his or her own opinion. Harrison emphasizes that the real problem stems from the editorials the Beacon puts out. “Nine times out of ten they are a negative response to something to do with the SGA. And although editorials are supposed to be opinionated, often times their opinions bleed into their news section as well,” Harrison says. Kaufman is disappointed to see that student officials bristle at some of the criticisms as they do. He stresses that all there is to it is the task of reporting on whatever is discussed. “We hold them to their word. I mean we aren’t there to be a policy press release forum. I just think it’s important that when they get something done, we herald it. It’s our job to inform the student body who doesn’t attend their meetings about what it is that they’re talking about.” Lilly Joynes, a freshman communications major and senator of her class, says that the SGA welcomes the Beacon to its open Joint Session meetings every week to take notes and pictures. She agrees that the student body should be well informed of what is on the SGA agenda. However, Joynes doesn’t find that they always make the best of their time there as far as miscommunication goes. “The point of an open meeting like that is to keep the lines of communication open and transparent. However, it’s extremely frustrating when SGA members see quotes from Joint Session in the Beacon that seem like they do not communicate what we meant,” Joynes says.
She adds that she doesn’t believe it to be intentional, yet wishes that the Beacon would give the SGA more credit for the work that they do. Not only has this affected the relationship that the Beacon has with Emerson’s student government, but also some writers who no longer write for the Beacon. Claudia Mak, a freshman journalism major, arrived at Emerson last semester ready to take on assignments for the newspaper publication. However, she soon found that it was not exactly what she had in mind. “Writing for the Beacon was a nice experience, but I really didn’t like the huge emphasis of the negative topics regarding the school. It just wasn’t comfortable,” she says. “Most writers who stop writing for the Beacon are people who dabble with it and find that it’s just not for them. I haven’t come across anyone who has had a direct problem with the paper,” Platts says. The Berkeley Beacon has made its fine mark in the journalistic sphere. As far as writing content goes, that’s a purely section-by-section characteristic. This all depends on the style of
“I’m not saying we always achieve this. I mean we’re students, we’re still learning. We strive to present what we’ve reported as intelligently and as artfully as we can.” -ALEXANDER KAUFMAN (POLI COMM ‘13) the particular section editor, as each editor is influenced by the different publications that he or she reads. Kaufman emphasizes the Beacon’s goal in straying from what is known as “tabloid writing;” this type of writing is characterized by brief, easy-to-read articles that are not always fact-checked. The Beacon strives for a certain level of authority. “I’m not saying we always achieve this. I mean we’re students, we’re still learning. Everyone writes at a different level and with a different style, and the editor can only do so much to make a writer’s voice sound cohesive with the rest of the paper. We strive to present what we’ve reported as intelligently and as artfully as we can,” says Kaufman. Christian Bergren-Aragon, a freshman journalism major says he understands why people may criticize the Beacon for its times of reporting when it isn’t completely unbiased. “I just think people need to understand that it’s a college newspaper and is allowed to make mistakes. That is what college is for. It serves as a platform for students to gain the experience that they need.” Kaufman does not allow any bouts of criticism to affect his editorial decisions, as he
stands by the Beacon’s reporting and strive for professionalism. As most staff recognizes that they read copies of the Beacon, it appears that students are using a different news outlet. “I’ve never picked up a copy of the Berkeley Beacon. But I’ve read some things online. The site is amazing. I think they should focus on web-based stuff because that’s where they’ll get more of a younger audience as it’s a new multimedia age,” Mitchall Ball, a freshman visual media arts major says. And actually, the Beacon has reached a new cyber level. The site has certainly undergone some transformational maintenance over the past year. This was all due to the webmaster expertise of Ryan Catalani, a freshman visual media arts major and the web editor who launched a complete redesign last semester. The website is a much cleaner and organized medium through which readers can interact and easily navigate information, photos, videos, and links The website was not the only thing to experience refurbishment this semester. It was also time for a print design makeover. It started completely from scratch. The Beacon’s revamp finds its appeal in a more chic and modern design that emulates the British newspaper, The Guardian. The Beacan also uses the style of print called the Berliner, as opposed to using a broadsheet or tabloid style. Most of its design cues come from The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Hartford Current. The redesign took a total of three days and was spearheaded by managing editor Stephanie Thomas. Kaufman explains this redesign by referring to the old one as stale. “Part of the reason people probably don’t take [the Beacon] seriously is because we don’t look as professional as we possibly can,” he says. The only thing that remains the same is the name and quality of writing. The transformation is a layout that mimics the website a good deal, especially due to the hype that has been growing around it recently. The Berkeley Beacon is a small but prominent bone in the body of the communicative arts, just as any newspaper in the media world. It acts as a bone that sometimes rubs against its neighboring organizations, but that is certainly needed for the overall benefit of the school body. “It’s shaped me as a person, as well as the things I love and do. I’ve made the best friends I have ever had. I admire more than anybody how intelligent and hardworking the entire staff is,” Kaufman shares as he explains the stresses that Wednesday nights bring, as the staff labors away into the hours of the morning to produce and perfect the weekly publication to the best of their efforts. And as if some sort of magic, everything is pulled together, and the piles are freshly stacked on those racks every Thursday morning, just in time for the day’s first cup of coffee.
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Whose Magazine is it Anyway? The editors-in-chief of Emerson’s lifestyle publications chat about the publishing industry on campus, the future, and what it takes to be on top.
merson College is a place of large personalities. It’s where “so crazy it just might work” ideas come to fruition and the differing opinions of coworkers can lead to the beginning of an entirely new entity. In May 2011, a discrepancy over the authorship of an article in the Power Issue of em Magazine ultimately led to senior journalism and marketing student Olivia Moravec’s departure from em and the creation of the monthly lifestyle publication Your Magazine. Upon the release of YM’s September issue in 2011, the rumblings of a rivalry were plastered across the minds of many Emerson students—and pages of the Berkeley Beacon. But the talk was mainly only ever talk, with Moravec and em Magazine Editor in Chief Justin Reis, junior marketing major, almost never coming into contact. And yet the much talked about rivalry continued to be subject of conversation without ever a discussion taking place.
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text // KIMYA KAVEHKAR photo // SPENCER FIELDS In March 2012, Moravec and Reis sat down to “hash it out” over the em Magazine/Your Magazine debate and discuss their influences, idols, dreams, and the publishing world in general.
which takes two months to do. So when Your Mag came out, it forced us to realize that time had to be our friend, not our enemy. We had to use it to really develop our stories.
What niche do you think each magazine fills? What do you think Emerson students like to read and how does your magazine fit that purpose?
What kind of constraints is the time putting on you?
Olivia Moravec: We wanted to have a monthly publication, which is the main difference from em. We wanted to have more places where students could put their work. Obviously, with em you have your great semesterly articles that get work-shopped and you guys really get to work on that, but we get to work on timeliness and actually get out the content on the time that the real world has, on a monthly basis. Justin Reis: The people that follow Your Mag are more interested in things they can go out and buy and go out and do. I don’t think em offers that, and that’s a decision we had to make. We couldn’t be aspirational and at the same time do a “looks for less” section. We have the luxury of time which both helps and hurts us, but that kind of allows us to conceptualize these huge stories and we can tell a story through photography
OM: The first Friday of each month, we have our editorial meeting where we sit down and we look at what worked in the last issue and what didn’t, what we want to add to the issue, and then we go through the outline. The next week is writing, and then the next is photoshoots and revising, and the week after that is design. JR: I think that’s the strength of Your Mag versus em. I think the staff realizes that they’re going to get a quick writing experience with you guys and that’s the one thing that I always regret. There’s really no way for us to give that to them and that’s one thing you guys have that’s uniquely yours in terms of a lifestyle publication. OM: It’s different; it’s two very different things. JR: Right! We could not produce the capacity of em we have now in 30 days. OM: Oh definitely not, we couldn’t put out a 130-page issues each month. That would just make me
want to die. (laughter) I’ve worked for em before, so I’ve seen most of it - you guys have already grown so much, how are you expecting to exceed yourselves? Are you guys shooting for a thicker magazine? JR: I don’t think a thicker issue is ever our goal – it’s just that we have all these ideas that we want to get in there. In terms of growing, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think that a good magazine should never rest and that it should never be like, “great, we hit our benchmark, we’re perfect.” What do you think about the publishing community at Emerson? Is it as tight knit as it could be? JR: People are always like “Is there a rivalry between Your Mag and em?” Why don’t people ask me if there’s a rivalry between Gauge and em? Or Gangsters In Concrete and em? I don’t want to say there’s no community, but we don’t get together. I get that we’re all strapped for time, but I think it’s a sad thing that we all don’t partake. OM: This is a conversation that I was having with Alex Kaufman [editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Beacon] the other day. He was telling me, “I wish we would all
get together and hang out,” and I’m like, “That’s such a good idea!” But what would we do, send out a Doodle? What have you learned in your professional experience outside of Emerson and how do you bring that to your leadership roles within your magazines? JR: I think the biggest thing is once I was [a fashion intern] at W and I learned how a call sheet goes out, how an editorial calendar is set up, and how samples come in. Any professional organization offers something that we can bring back to our respective organizations. We’re not just magazine editors, we’re business owners and we’re managers. I think it’s really funny –I forget we’re both marketing majors. You can say whatever you want, every article you write is a marketing tool, and every photoshoot you do is a marketing tool and everything you do is a brand-builder and everything you do increases your authority. OM: From modeling, I learned how to work with photographers, how to work with stylists, how to work with whatever was going on, on set. So whenever I got to, “Okay I think I’m going to [start a magazine],” I already had a million ideas in my head of what I liked and what I didn’t like. JR: You can only go so far. Some people are meant to go farther and some people are meant to get edited every week, and that’s fine. People like Olivia and myself... I don’t think either of us would be content being told what to do for the rest of our lives. OM: I can’t think of a position I’ve had when I didn’t stay there until I was on top. JR: Exactly, and that’s probably the strongest similarity between us, the desire to move forward. I don’t want to be like “one day I’ll be an editor-in-chief,” but I feel like I need to be at the top of something, if I’m going work in magazines, it’s going to be as editor-in-chief, creative director or fashion director. So you recognize the hardheadedness and ambition in one another? JR: Oh absolutely, and I think like it’d be kind of funny if 20 years from now we were in the same – I don’t want to say rivalry – but in the same kind of position that we’re in now.
you have a great eye, and it’s a quality that you either have or you don’t have. JR: Every editor-in-chief needs to have their vision, and they need to have a pretty secure one. You have to kind of know how to do everything like Olivia was saying, my personal belief is that if someone on my staff can’t do it, I need to step in and do it. I respect Olivia for taking the initiative to start something totally new and to go up against the opposition. Is there a legacy that you guys want to leave here at Emerson?
OM: Like you’re at W, and I’m at Vogue. JR: How funny would that be? But I think it’s possible, we both have the drive and the lack of content for being told what to do, so who knows? We’ll see. JR: Do you view any conflict of in-
who knows what questions to ask and need to know that they need to re-interview someone and have a lot of sources. Like you said, we can be really picky because we only have one issue, and if someone came in and was like, “Listen, I’m writing for Your Mag,” you know that’s great if it’s a different
JR: I want to be known as the person who changed em. What Andrea and Faye [Martucci and Brennan, the founders of em Magazine] did was amazing, and they created a product and they created a magazine where there was none at all. I can’t even imagine the hard work that gets put into that. I think that when I came around, I kind of changed the idea of what em was and I think from here on out I hope it remains in the same vein and spirit.
“Why don’t people ask me if there’s a rivalry between Gauge and em? Or Gangsters In Concrete and em? I don’t want to say there’s no community, but we don’t get together.” -JUSTIN REIS (MARKETING ‘13) terest if we have the same staffers? What’s your opinion on that? OM: It’s really a case by case basis, so I’m always like, “Who have you worked with? What’s your experience? What do your time commitments look like?” But for the most part it’s just finding a position that’s not going to be conflicting. JR: I agree pretty much. OM: You get to be picky because you have one semester. JR: We strive to have a little bit longer pieces and I need someone
section, it doesn’t really affect me that much. But if it’s the same section I’m probably going to say no. What are the important qualities an editor-in-chief should have? And what qualities do you respect in each other? OM: Ideally for editors-in-chief, they have to be go-getters, they have to be self-starters, they have to be ready to take on everything, and they have to be able to have their hand in everything. They have to be involved in all of it. I know from working with [ Justin],
OM: For me, I guess just the challenge factor, if you want to do something just freakin’ do it and don’t sit back and wait for somebody else to do it, because you’re missing out on an opportunity that’s there. With Your Mag, I want to be known as the person who took a chance and pushed boundaries. It’s the tossing the coin part that’s difficult. If it works out, great, and if it doesn’t you’re screwed, but sometimes you just have to do it. Editor in Chief Justin Reis was not involved in the editing of this piece. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Mercutio Troupe: Bringing A New Light to Angels The Mercutio Theatre group serves as a haven for creative thinkers as they take on the difficult, controversial play, Angels in America. text // TORI BEFORD photo // MICHAEL RIVERA
ardo, the Improvisational Play, performed last spring by a few Mercutio troupe members, was a totally improvisational play that changed with each audience, depending on the crowd for participation. Mercutio is known for their unique adaptations of traditional pieces, and their spin on the concept of theater itself. Productions like Bardo attempt to make audiences question the definition of theatre—and challenge theatrical conventions across the board. Mercutio accomplishes this through a unique use of collaboration—making sure that every member’s voice is heard. Mercutio is a repertory-style theater company, which means it uses the same core group of actors, directors, designers, etc. in the creation of shows. Repertory troupes are like gypsy theatre: taking shows on the road and performing different shows using the same core group. This season, Mercutio is focusing on two big plays: the Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Meghan Mueller, junior BA theatre studies: directing major and co-president of the troupe, and Angels in America, directed by Professor Sunil Swaroop. Every semester, Mercutio holds a meeting where people contribute ideas for productions. “Proposal meetings go like this,” said Dan Robert, co-president and junior BA theatre studies major, “here is my heart, here’s how much funding I need.” Any troupe member can propose an idea, and then the troupe as a whole acts as a democratic theatrical so-
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ciety, and a vote is held. Mercutio tries to be as fair as possible, giving everyone a chance to try new things. Nash Hightower, a sophomore BFA acting major, said that Mercutio is an equal-opportunity lender. “We want [ideas] to be really diverse. You basically just come in and say. I want to do lighting,” and we say okay, we will set you up with someone to teach you how. There’s an application process, but if you can do it, you can try anything.” The philosophy that everyone’s opinions matter is incorporated into the rehearsal process, especially with Swaroop’s direction of Angels in America (a play by Tony Kushner). Swaroop has an idea of his own vision, but he always asks the actors what they think is happening first. By doing this, the theatrical convention of constant repetition is slightly altered each time. “The director has a specific purpose,” Hightower said. “He knows what he wants to explore, but that’s not everything. His vision is not the only vision. Actors are not brainless cattle; we need to have our opinions stated to create a meaningful performance.” As Hightower says, it’s all about collaboration. “It’s what each person contributes individually.” Mercutio tends to favor plays and productions that shake up traditional theatrical conventions. The troupe is unique in that the members are taking on different positions of actor, director—costume designer, etc. “We’re constantly changing hats,” said Mueller. “It’s a learning community.” From that learning community stems Mercutio’s devised works. Mercutio’s devised works are very intimate, creative productions that members propose and become the brainchild of every member. As Robert says, “Devised works belong to everyone.” These works might be a number of things, and performances in the past have included a monologue series that moved around the Esplanade and traveled through a portable audience. Members propose ideas, and their ideas become tangible through the troupe. Last spring’s Bardo is an example of a particularly free-form devised work. The improvisational project was the creation of Ben Kabialis, a senior writing, literature and publishing major. Bardo was about three actors who were cast in a movie on Roanoke Island. There were certain
set plot points, but the ending was always undecided. “We wanted the play to depend on the audience,” said Robert. The audience members were more than just witnesses, they served as characters within the performance, and they stood on the stage as the scenes changed. While all of this was going on, the production was filmed and broadcast on to three screens. There were no seats, and the situation they found themselves in was constantly adapting. Hightower attended Bardo before joining Mercutio, and it opened his eyes. “It made everyone uncomfortable, it was fantastic,” he says. Part of Mercutio’s mission is to get audiences to question their preconceptions about the definition of theater, with devised student productions as well as traditional pieces. Shanae Burch, junior a BFA acting major and three-year member, says, “We take classics and we put a spin on them.” Mercutio’s production of Angels in America mixes things up. The biggest change to the original piece is the length. Angels in America, written by Tony Kushner, is actually two plays. It tells the story of 1985 amidst the AIDS crisis, Reagan’s presidency, a gay man and his conservative Mormon lover, religion, death, sex, politics, humanity and Valium. The first part, Millennium Approaches, usually stands alone and is the only part performed. Swaroop felt that the beginning was “too much of a cliffhanger” so he decided Mercutio would perform both parts, including the second play, Perestroika. “Perestroika is the more beautiful part because
all the connections come together,” Swaroop says. This worked for Mercutio because whose cutting of both plays showed a different perspective and an alternative way of doing things. The only issue then was that the full play comes to be seven hours in total. Swaroop wasn’t too concerned, though, because he doesn’t even really like the play to begin with. He is only doing it because he believes it has a powerful message. “I think [Angels in America] is too verbose,” he says. “I think it rambles and
“Environment is a huge deal for Mercutio...The number one thing for Mercutio is to create an environment of people to live in, creatively. We get to do whatever we need to do for our process.” -NASH HIGHTOWER (ACTING ‘14) goes all over the place. I think [Kushner] unfairly castigates conservatives in the 1980s, and he draws strong lines between right and wrong, black and white. [He] tends to be too polemic in his arguments, but mostly it’s just too long.” Swaroop originally from India, does not agree with a lot of the messages in the play. Nonetheless, Swaroop directed a production of Angels in America 15 years ago in Los Angeles, and he feels that it needs to come to life again. “Do you have to like something in order to do it? No,” he
says. “But I think this play is important to be done. It’s relevant now, and all of these themes are coming out. It says something that is necessary to be said now.” Swaroop’s cutting is a primary factor in what makes Mercutio’s production so unique. The show will be a four-hour cut of the entire production, performed in two chunks with a dinner break in the middle. Swaroop cut out excess dialogue that he deemed unnecessary. “One of the most important things I want the actors to do is to not lose the character,” Swaroop says. “They must internalize all of the cuts into their character.” Those characters can be hard to internalize, and the context of the play is harder to explain to college students who haven’t lived through such a difficult time. “There’s so much truth,” Swaroop said “He captures the loss, the displacement, the weirdness of it all.” Swaroop lived in Los Angeles during the AIDS crisis, and he uses that experience in directing the show. The key to the troupe is its intimacy. “Being so selective as to who gets to be in the group really lets people develop their skills,” Swaroop says. Mercutio is selective, but they still hold open auditions for every productio. Nikki Werner, a junior BFA acting major, is not a Mercutio troupe member, but she found the transition into the group easy. “There’s a common language here, but moreover there’s a common language of Emerson theatre that we all learn to ask questions, do our homework and connect things.” Swaroop has now directed four shows and he likes the exploratory style of the troupe. “I realized that I don’t have to simply do a play as it is presented,” he says of his directing style, which ties right in with Mercutio’s unwritten, facetious mantra of “fucking shit up,” although Swaroop prefers the term “reinventing.” That sort of creativity is essential in a performance like Angels in America, which features numerous gay sex scenes, crying, violence, and a whole plethora of heavy concepts. Vital to the troupe’s dynamic, Swaroop creates a “safe space” to explore ideas. “Environment is a huge deal for Mercutio,” Hightower says. “The number one thing for Mercutio is to create an environment of people to live in, creatively.” And what other troupe would create a system like Idea Buddies, in which members are paired up weekly to send each other a play draft, a haiku or an idea: something for the sole purpose of staying in touch? The troupe is not perfect, and with so many different types of personalities, conflicts do arise. Arguments occur. Not everyone’s ideas get put into action, and not everyone agrees with all the choices made. But all of that contributes to the overall result, a company that always tries to break barriers. As Burch says, “Mercutio is different in that we value the process over the product. It’s not just about building a resume; it’s about blowing things up and offering a new perspective on something.” Angels in America will be performed on Monday, April 30th and Tuesday, May 1st in the Cabaret. For tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
The New Journalist Writers have struggled to pick Journalism or Writing. Literature, and Publishing as a major, but with the new journalism curriculum, the two majors are starting to close the gap. text // NINA CORCORAN photo // JON LEMONS
or writers at Emerson, there comes a point when the dividing line between the journalism department and the writing, literature, and publishing department can blur. That point was brought to light when the concentrations within the journalism department (print journalism and broadcast journalism) merged last year, forcing students to question what exactly they wanted to create. This decision to reevaluate the bricks that hold up the journalism department has given Emerson the chance to restructure their department. We pride ourselves in being the only school in America to apply a liberal arts context to communication and the arts. Part of that means keeping a watchful eye on the shifting world of writing and adjusting our programs as necessary to help prepare for it. By looking at Emerson’s version of an English major, writing, literature, and publishing, we can understand how the decision to combine print and broadcast has strengthened the journalism department. The inclusivity shown in the WLP department is exactly what the journalism department was seeking to do when combining print and broadcast. “I’m a big advocate of the merge,” says junior Melyssa Cantor, “because it’s the way the world is going.” Journalism students can’t rely solely on fine writing skills or their ability to do a TV piece when their professions are demanding much more. Students may be asked to do an audio package when working at a radio station and then have to turn it into print for the website. “You don’t just get hired to write for a newspaper anymore, you get hired to do video for a newspaper, too.”
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Solidifying a program that requires students to learn a fair share of both print and broadcast courses makes the journalism major more realistic. Prior to the merge, students only had to take required courses that gave a basic preview of what the divisions included. Under the new curriculum, students must actively engage in courses for both sectors. WLP students continue taking literature courses well past their sophomore year. Writing workshops occur every year and publishing courses jab “Take me” signs in the dirt as a reminder that they need to be fulfilled in order to graduate, too. “It makes them better writers when they learn to hone their craft in different disciplines,” says Junior Alyssa Guarino, the Student Government WLP senator. Why should journalism, another department that ties into writing, be any different? By requiring students to continually take courses from both ends of the major, they gain a more rounded understanding of what the actual journalism field is like. Now that things have settled down and freshmen journalism students have started with the new curriculum, it’s easier to see how the combination of print and broadcast has helped the department. Freshman journalism major Nicholas De La Canal says all of his friends are appreciative of the merge. “In the twenty-first century, you have to have all of those skills. You may know what you want to do, but you should learn other things, too,” he says. “You never know what may help you in life.” Erin Farley, another freshman journalism major, is glad the new department makes both print and broadcast classes mandatory. “It’s important to be a one-man band.” When visit-
ing a small school in New Jersey, she asked the director of journalism how it compared to Emerson. “He said, ‘Honestly, if you’re looking at Emerson, don’t even bother coming here,’ and I was like, ‘Hm. The director of their journalism department just told me to pick Emerson over them. Wow.’” As a highly recognized communication school in America, there’s a reason Emerson was the college the director told Farley to choose instead of his own. When the journalism department announced in spring of 2011 that print and
““I hate interviewing people on the street, but if you really want to be a journalist, you need to learn both [writing and interviewing],” she said. “Seeing that made me realize [journalism] wasn’t for me, which actually turned out to be great.” -ALEKS FONSECA (WLP, ‘14) broadcast journalism would be merging together into one major, students were flustered. Aleks Fonseca, a sophomore who switched from print journalism to WLP, knew she wanted to avoid the technology of broadcast. However, the merge also helped her figure out her stance on writing. “I hate interviewing people on the street, but if you really want to be a journalist, you need to learn both [writing and interviewing],” she said. “Seeing that made me realize [journalism] wasn’t for me, which actually turned out to be great.” Fonseca now includes her own opinion when writing pieces like fashion runway reviews for the Fashion Society website. Sophomore Arjun Singh switched into the
WLP program as well, but remains active in the department with a journalism minor. “WLP can be very handy in understanding journalism,” he said. “In a news article it’s like, get your most important information in the first paragraph and then narrow it down to the least important. [In magazine writing] you keep some of that structure, except [now] you have a narrative voice.” While journalism is strict, WLP has a lot of flexibility. Both departments have been working to solidify their structures and stay true to the roots of their foundations. For journalism, there are certain classes you must take regardless of what you want to focus on in your studies. Professional Voice and Speech, Journalism Ethics, and Intro to Foundations all serve to help students make the most of their time in the journalism department. “Good diction and proper speaking is always important,” says Cantor. “You can use that when you’re interviewing someone, or if you write an article that causes a big controversy and you need to be interviewed yourself; no one wants to sound like an idiot,” she laughed. For WLP, the very name of the department explains it all. Emerson steers away from the typical English degree where a student would spend the majority of their time reading dense texts and writing analytical essays. Instead, students must continually fulfill requirements for each of the major’s three sections. Guarino describes it as “English to the max”. The large number of literature courses required may be off-putting, but it’s ultimately there to support students and provide a framework. “To separate the three parts is a very bad idea,” says Guarino. Being well versed in literature is extremely important in the publishing industry, especially when it comes to plagiarism. Editors should be able to catch stolen quotes. “You can’t be some narrow-minded individual if you want to succeed,” she says. “You need to be reading the newspapers every day, aware of public events and political campaigns, because it all ends up in the books. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you think you can cut that out.” The ability to work from any angle gives Emerson students a leg up on competition. Students in both journalism and WLP dig their claws into the soil to create strong foundational ties to the basics of writing. “From my experience of going to this school for over three years, saying my degree always gets a lot of confusion, intrigue, and ‘what are your parents paying for?’ But people do know Emerson and our undergraduate program,” says Guarino. “It isn’t like someone who published a few things in a Lit mag. It’s kids who ran the Lit mag.” Many students are worried about the availability of jobs, especially in industries that are struggling to keep up with ever-growing technology. But the more skills you have, the better chance you have of getting a job, and that’s what these majors are teaching us. “By catering multiple skills to its students, both the journalism and WLP departments are set to help students succeed, no matter what they wind up writing, shooting, or publishing.
The Importance of a Diploma You’ve been offered your dream job - or at least one that pays decently what’s the motivation to stay in school? text // JEEYOON KIM
e are all in school for the same key reasons: to craft our individual skill sets, to explore and figure out what careers we want to pursue, and above all else – to get a job. Walking across the stage of the Wang Theater with a diploma indicates our readiness and qualification to enter the job market as young professionals. Suppose you were offered a job before that time came; a full-time, paid salary in your field with your name on the dotted line…would you take it? This is not fantasy. For junior writing for film and TV major Tesha Kondrat, the opportunity to join the writing staff for a show she adores became a reality this summer when she became the writer’s assistant on the FX animated show Archer. Last spring, professor James Macak held a forum to interview with Archer’s co-creator
“My co-workers are so excited that I’m arranging to graduate a semester early....They constantly joke and ask me ‘Oh, why haven’t you quit school yet?’” -ALYSSA GUARINO (WLP ‘13) and executive producer, Matt Thompson. At the end of the interview Thompson asked for the students who had written speculative screenplays to send them in to be read. A group of scripts were then shipped off to Los Angeles, Kondrat’s among them. To Kondrat’s surprise, at the beginning of the summer an e-mail directly from Thompson came her way saying that he read and enjoyed her script. Thrilled and in awe, Kondrat immediately burst into euphoric tears. “Matt offered me a writer’s assistant position for the summer, and that was one of the best moments of my life,” Kondrat said. Boarding a plane from Grosse Point, Michigan to Los Angeles, Kondrat was off to her new full-time job. “I got to LA and Matt put me in an office, he told me ‘Write! Just keep writing!’, Whether it was a story outline, an act or a specific scene, I just had to keep cranking out ideas,” Kondrat said. While working in the Archer offices, only the executive producers knew that Kondrat was still working towards her degree. Alyssa Guarino had a much different experience. The junior writing, literature and publishing student successfully managed to turn an internship into a permanent position. The Wakefield, Massachusetts native started out as an editorial intern last spring at Publishing Solutions Group, a small company specializing
in educational publishing based in Woburn, Massachusetts. “I started as an intern and was asked to stay through the summer as an editorial assistant to work full time. They offered me this permanent position and I’ve been there since,” Guarino said. “My co-workers are so excited that I’m arranging to graduate a semester early because that means I can come back full-time sooner,” Guarino said. “They constantly joke and ask me ‘Oh, why haven’t you quit school yet?’” The pursuit of a college degree is commonly associated with higher-paying and heightened credibility to help an individual succeed further in their industry. The National Center for Education Statistics polls the annual earnings of full-time salary workers ages 25-34 every five years. In 2009, the average worker with a high school diploma earned $25,000 annually, while their counterparts who held Bachelor degrees earned nearly double that with an annual average of $40,100. “There isn’t much you can do with a writing for film and TV major…but there’s even less you can do without it,” Kondrat said. “Who knows the importance of a diploma these days? There are people with PhDs who are bussing tables!” According to Kondrat degrees are no longer a commodity, they are essential to thriving in the future. After spending the past year in the professional sphere, Guarino recognizes the importance of a diploma when being stacked up against your competition. “While I’m reading through resumes of our freelancers I can’t help but think to myself , ‘how do I stand next to them?’” Guarino said. “When you can put on your resume that you specifically studied publishing, rather than English, that automatically gets people’s attention and makes you stand out as someone with unique experience.” Imagining if the tables had been turned and she had been asked to not return to school, Guarino says that would have revealed a lot about her employer – and not in a good way. “While they may be impressed with you, they must be aware that it is to your advantage to finish your degree. If you’re trying to work in the professional world long-term, you need that professional degree,” Guarino said. While there is no golden rule to live by when it comes to making these decisions, Guarino puts it in perspective for the future. “What would happen if you got laid off or it isn’t what you expected? Suddenly this great opportunity that you left school for is gone,” Guarino said. “Yes, an offer like that would be a great experience but, where are you seeing yourself in the future?” LEFT PAGE: Journalism student Micaeli Rourke interviews civil rights activist Jesse Jackson THE BARE BONES ISSUE
SBS Takes a Swing at SGA Recognition Sports Business Society is only one of several organizations that wasn’t recognized by the SGA last year, leading the group to evaluate what it really takes to gain the recognition that they’re after.
text // COURTNEY SWIFT photo // JAMIE EMMERMAN
merson College Sports Business Society, one of 14 Emerson organizations appealing for recognition, had received their decision letter. The Student Government Association had made their decision if SBS had been approved as a recognized organization; they were denied. The Sports Business Society wants to be known for being the first organization on campus that is not media specific, but rather encompasses the entire sports industry. “The orgs on campus are involved in getting you ready for one aspect of the sports industry,” Nadav Swarttz, founder of the organization, says. Swarttz, a junior marketing major, created the Sports Business Society after transferring from the University of Maryland. He felt Emerson was missing a specific sports business tailored organization. “We cover those and other things as well including jobs in sports whether that’s marketing, starting a sports related company or doing digital media.” He strongly considered creating the organization after friend Molly Wolfberg, junior marketing major, helped reel his ideas into a concise project. As the SBS Vice President of Marketing, she helped Swarttz see that his ideas were feasible. “She was the spark that actually got me going.” Any organization needs a core group of individuals who are in the process for the long haul. Most of the Editorial board is very interested in sports and wish to pursue careers in the industry whether as a sports journalist in writing, television or radio, working with professional sports teams and sports startups, sports marketing, and even post-production in sports. The group received help from students 68
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through tabling where they gained close to 75 new members, creating the blog, connecting to resources such as the athletic department and other organizations, and even spreading the group’s message that they weren’t just related to one aspect of the sports industry through word of mouth. After gaining initial support, SBS worked on their application and wrote their constitution. “It helped us understand our own organization a little more and map out a blue print for the future,” Wolfberg says. They perfected their presentation over the course of a month writing multiple drafts of their constitution and application questions. By the end of October, when it was time to appeal for recognition, the new organization felt prepared to present before the Organization Recognition and Review Board (ORRB),
“There is no other organization on campus that does what we do...For the size of the sports industry, it’s kind of neglected across campus.” -NADAV SWARTTZ (MARKETING ‘13)
a sub committee of the SGA. The process for any organization looking to be recognized is the same. Each group can set up a workshop meeting with the Vice President of the SGA. This is the time to go over anything confusing, ask questions, review the application, and ask about the process and more. Recognition for organizations only comes once a year, and in the fall of 2011, 14 organizations applied, some for their first time, and others that have been trying for years. Each hearing can last 15 minutes to half an hour where the board can ask clarifying questions, meet with each organization’s board members and learn more about the group. SGA President Tau Zaman said the representatives from each class talk about each potential new organization after the hearing but postpone voting until all of the hearings are complete and the representatives have deliberated. ORRB is comprised of six representatives from each class. The person doesn’t have to formally be a part of SGA. This year’s board comprised of Tau Zaman, who was Vice President of the SGA at the time of the hearings, Christina Muñiz, Melyssa Cantor, Karlan Baumann, Nicholas de la Canal, Samuel Tang, and SGA advisor Sharon Duffy. Members find out about these opportunities through the SGA Public Relations Commissioner, social media, and word of mouth. Anyone interested can send an email to the Vice President who then
meets with them regarding their candidacy and outlines any expectation and responsibilities of the position. “The thing with SBS, is that nobody voted no,” Zaman says. Of the six people who voted, three said yes and three abstained. An organization is recommended if they get more than 50 percent of the vote. Even though half of the representatives said yes, four ‘yes’ votes were needed for recommendation. When considering an organization for recognition, the ORRB looks at three specific points: First that the group provides a very specific unique service to the rest of the college that doesn’t already exist. Second, the board looks at how well the organization has already established itself and if they’ve used their limited resources to make a name for themselves at Emerson while having a diverse membership base. The third component is the organization’s need on campus. For example, Zaman recognized that Your Magazine looks very similar on the outside to em Magazine. “It’s more about the experience it provides to its members,” he says. “They put out a monthly publication, and that work is very different than a magazine produced once in a semester.” He cited the different work structure of Your Magazine, which provides students with a different skill set from the publishing experience of em Mag.
Emerson Urban Dance Theatre (EUDT), another organization recognized in the fall spent a lot of time working with Emerson Dance Company to figure out how to distinguish itself. After many years, EUDT was given recognition for its members who put their work into one specific kind of dance as opposed to the EDC, which is comprised of many dance styles. The diverse membership base can be where organizations struggle Zaman says. “Very rarely is it [the lack of a diverse membership] the make-or-break factor. It ends up tipping the scale when taken into consideration with multiple areas where an organization is lacking.” Many organizations also function under others that are recognized on campus where they can also appeal for funding if the group sponsors them. Organizations can request cosponsorships before appealing to SGA, which requires fundraising. Some examples of cosponsorships include Emerson sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi for Ribbons on the Runway, and Emerson’s Communication, Politics, and Law Association for trips to New York, Washington D.C. and other locations. SGA’s letter to SBS states how they could be better prepared for future appeals by connecting with more student organizations on campus to achieve similar goals, have a clearer plan of what its allocated funds would go towards if
they are ever recognized and better establish its mission and organizations name throughout the Emerson community. After being denied, the members and creators of SBS were upset. “We felt that we were different enough than other things at Emerson that we had a shot,” Wolfberg says. “We had a really solid membership, we had been doing a lot for ourselves and felt like we did everything right.” Both Swarttz and Wolfberg were hoping to get approved before their senior years to help the group grow more and see it flourish before graduation. The group says this isn’t the end, but there have been times this year where the SGA recognition and funding would have been helpful. They plan to appeal again next year. “We aren’t finding it disconcerting, we’re pushing through it.” Before the appeal, SBS has worked with Emerson Channel’s The Lion’s Den, AMA, and the athletic department. They invited many speakers to Emerson including Ted Tye, a partial owner of a National Basketball Association Development League team and founder of a minor league baseball team and Ronnie Forchheimer, the Senior Director of digital media and video at ESPN and former Emerson College basketball player. Other speakers included Butch Sterns, the current CEO at The Pulse Network, and Mike Massaro, an ESPN reporter, racecar analyst and the host of Nascar Now. He also attended Emerson, graduating with a degree in Speech Communications. Currently, SBS is working on creating a journalist panel with writers from throughout New England. “There is no other organization on campus that does what we do,” Swarttz says. “For the size of the sports industry, it’s kind of neglected across campus. There are so many [organizations] involved in the arts and so few in the sports industry; we want to open students’ eyes. You don’t have to be an on camera talent or sports center anchor to get involved in the sports industry.” SBS is looking into partnerships with some other non-sports related campus groups now. “We want to show that the sports industry and sports business can be integrated within a bunch of different things,” Swarttz says. “It’s not meant to be an exclusive sort of club. It’s important to work with other groups, and it’s more important now to enhance our presence on campus.” The group’s hope is to reach more students by co-sponsoring and co-branding events with other campus organizations. “You can bring a sports lover out of someone who never thought they could be one.” PICTURED ABOVE: SBS holds a sports journalism panel in the Multipurpose Room, featuring industry professionals Marc D’Amico (Writer for Celtics.com and Internet Operations Coordinator for the Boston Celtics). David Carty (Sports Reporter, The Sun Chronicle; Sports Editor, Foxboro Reporter), Nick Coit (Sports Anchor & Reporter, WAIBI Bangor, Maine), and Adam Jones (Host on ESPN Radio Boston) THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Overworked and Understaffed: Shelters Seek Student Help The homeless often seen on the Emerson campus aren’t looking for charity or pity, just simple acts of kindness as their lives are on the mend. text // ELISSA BERNSTEIN
aylor Contini, a sophomore writing, literature and publishing major, wasn’t trying to break down stereotypes when she stopped to talk to the homeless man sitting on the steps of Steinway Pianos. He was bundled in layers and wearing an old Stop & Shop hat. Though he kept a cup for donations at his feet, he didn’t ask for spare change. Instead he wished her a good night as she walked by. Contini, struck by his politeness, responded by introducing herself. “I asked if he was hungry, and what he’d want to eat. He was shocked that someone asked what he wanted, versus giving him leftovers. Why do we assume people want what we ourselves didn’t want?” She bought two coffees and sat down with him. They talked for over an hour about his mother, his volunteer work with St. Francis shelter, and his service in Vietnam. A year and a half later, Contini says Matthew still always recognizes her and that he’s a “sweetheart.” “He’s so humble and honest and open. His sense of humor and ability to give is so inspiring. If I talk to him at night and it’s dark, he walks me back to my building. He’s almost like a fatherly figure, asking about my life, looking out for me, telling me not to take drinks from anyone and be careful about boys.” Last semester Contini wrote a short story for her fiction class about a girl befriending a homeless man. In the workshop, her classmates said the protagonists’ actions were unrealistic because
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no one would talk to a homeless person. Although Contini argued that genuine relationships were possible, drawing upon her friendship with Matthew, she realized that her classmates were unable to sympathize without similar personal experiences. Knowing Matthew allowed Contini to put a face to homelessness – to see him as a real person and a friend rather than an unfortunate part of the scenery. But she worries that widespread stereotypes prevent acknowledgement of the homeless community. “It’s easier for people to look at a homeless person and say he’s there because of something he did. It’s his fault. But that often isn’t the case.” Individual reasons for homelessness vary from drug use and mental illness to job loss and a lack of affordable housing. For some, the economic recession and other uncontrollable factors spiraled them into unexpected poverty. No matter the cause, homelessness in Massachusetts hit a record high in 2008. Today, some shelters in Boston are forced to turn people away because they simply don’t have space. Isabel Thottam, a junior screenwriting major, says that many shelters are overworked and understaffed, including the ones close to the Emerson campus. She signed up to volunteer at St. Francis after noticing she’d “lived here for three years and never crossed the street.” There, she learned that St. Francis is painfully shorthanded and in desperate need for volunteers. She decided to do something about it. Thottam searched for volunteer opportunities through Emerson and discovered the Office of Service Learning and Community Action. The office oversees JumpStart and Alternative Spring Break, and promotes volunteer opportunities in the area. Thottam realized that many of her peers didn’t know this department existed. She also figured Emerson students would want to help if they were just given the opportunity. Thottam and her friend Aubrianne LaDuke, a sophomore film major, used their positions as RAs to reach out to the Emerson
community. They began talking to their residents and promoting volunteer work through the Office of Housing and Residence Life. The pair circulated a sign-up sheet for shifts at St. Francis using Facebook, posters, and word of mouth. Since the sign-up sheet’s creation earlier this semester, the two have successfully scheduled two or three volunteers for every shift, helping fill the gaps in the St. Francis staff. LaDuke put it simply: “If you want to volunteer, you have to make it happen.” Thottam agreed, “It’s different to serve someone food and then see that person the next day outside in the street,” she said. “It’s nice to see the different perspective. They aren’t out there to whistle at girls or sell drugs – they’re at St. Francis for a reason. The stereotype that everyone homeless is crazy, lewd, a pedophile, disgusting, just isn’t true.” In fact, Thottam credits “the greatest life lessons I’ve ever learned” to a homeless man who taught her to play checkers. She was volunteering in a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Lynn, Massachusetts through Campus Compact’s Fall Alternative Break. That’s when she met Michael, a Northeastern University graduate. He spent his post-college years working in New York until he was laid off when the economy turned. Michael found himself back in Massachusetts, staying at a homeless shelter with his fiancée. There, he met Thottam and
on your own life while helping others. She wants everyone who gets involved at St. Francis to leave feeling just as enlightened. Thottam and LaDuke aren’t the only Emerson students exploring solutions to Boston’s homelessness. Orrin Whalen, a sophomore scenic design major, is currently organizing a system where students use their meal plans to fill to-go boxes from the Dining Hall and feed the homeless. “We’re all college students, but if you have extra Board Bucks or DH meals at the end of the semester, you can easily get a to-go box and give the food to a hungry person. All you have to do is donate one meal – it costs $12 in Emerson’s system – and feed one or two people.” From Downtown Crossing and Chinatown to Tremont Street and the Boston Common, Emerson students live in close proximity to Boston’s homeless community. Whalen sees this as an advantage. He wants to create an administration-endorsed program built into the meal plan that allows students to donate unused meals to local homeless shelters. In future years, he hopes to pitch the idea to other schools across the country. Like many Emerson students, Whalen has the creativity and motivation to make a serious impact, and he doesn’t plan on waiting until after graduation to get started. LaDuke says that this energy is what makes Emerson students such an incredible resource for
“It’s easier for people to look at a homeless person and say he’s there because of something he did. It’s his fault. But that often isn’t the case. Nothing will be done until people face their fears and acknowledge a human being, not a lowlife lazy loser.” -TAYLOR CONTINI (WLP ‘14) taught her to play checkers. “I won the game – although he might have let me win,” Thottam recalled. “He said, ‘You have all my checkers and I have nothing. But it’s still not that bad to be me.’ We were laughing and having fun and in that moment, I totally envied him. He was this guy eating dinner in a soup kitchen, but he was happier than me.” For Thottam, that’s the reward of volunteering – gaining insight
the homeless community. “I bet the homeless have their own stereotype of us,” LaDuke said. “‘The snobby college students who ignore me.’ I think there’s a flip side. We could show the homeless that this isn’t true.” Maybe making a difference really could be as simple as a smile, a “Hello,” and getting to know someone over a cup of coffee. There’s only one way to find out.
Mission Hill text // ERIN DOOLIN photo // JOANIE JENKINS
ission Hill, also known as Northeasternâ€™s Allston, is a neighborhood few Emerson students make the trek to. Upon braving the E line (or even the Orange Line), Mission Hill proves to be a treasure trove of local eateries. From pizza to beer and donuts to sandwichs, here is a look into what Mission Hill has to offer. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
1508 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02120
When you walk into Wan Convenience, you probably won’t get it at first. It looks like a dingy convenience store selling jars of pickles that someone had in a bomb shelter in 1939. However, if you can get over the aggressive fluorescent lights and mental hospital-esque décor, you’ll find a local favorite sandwich shop. The charismatic owner, Al, loves chatting every cus-
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tomer up enthusiastically. You can pick one of Al’s quirky sandiwch creations or create your own. Wan Convenience bursts with an odd energy, almost like a secret society. Luckily there isn’t a password at the door. >
735 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 A hip pizza & beer joint with a dorky name, Penguin Pizza is the
ideal twenty-something hangout. The walls are covered with faded beer signs and pint glasses – basically what every Applebees aspires to look like. The pizza selection is intense and gourmet. And when I say “gourmet”, I mean “Tuscan fig” and “duck” toppings gourmet. The only unfortunate thing is that the menu is called the “Penu”, so if you can get past that, Penguin Pizza is a great place to be a hipster college kid.
boston boroughs: mission hill >
134 Smith Street Boston, MA 02120
Picturesque, cool, and classy, The Squealing Pig is an adorable pub tucked in the MassArt and Wentworth campuses. The Squealing Pig is more of a beer joint than a place to go for cocktails. Their beer list is two pages long, with beer from all over the world. They even have their own beer, Pigswill, which is wonderfully cheap, but unfortunately tastes like watereddown PBR. Luckily the food list is also impressive, with pizza and paninis and pies. It’s a great place to hang out with friends and maybe catch a band on a weekend night.
WEEKLY AT THE SQUEALING PIG Spin-Kick Mondays Free 10pm 21+ Kung-Fu movies & heavy metal music Trivia Night Wednesdays 8pm 21+ Finally win something with all your useless knowledge Folk Off Thursdays with folk singer Mike Barrett “Live” Music Saturdays Free 10pm 21+ Everything from rock to world music “Live” Music Sundays Free 7pm Live jazz fusion, folk, and experimental music
724 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 Essentially the center piece of Brigham Circle right off the Eline, The Mission is a spacious bar and grill, with a lot of tables and standing room. The crowd is the weirdest part about the whole place. Old people, young people, people with babies, people in hospital scrubs, and the occasional grungy art student. The food is ex-
pensive, but relatively good. Even if you don’t feel like paying fifteen bucks for fish & chips, at least grab a beer, sit next to that hot med student, and ask him if what happened on Grey’s Anatomy last week is medically possible. >
1524A Tremont Street Boston, MA 02120
A doughnut place with hearty breakfast and doughnuts the
size of your head, these doughnuts redefine the world “glazed” – they’re covered with enough sugar to keep you hyper for days. The whole feel is very “Townie”, and the color palette for the entire shop is that of a ‘90s doctor’s office. You’ll feel like a traveler who’s uncovered a hidden local treasure. Just don’t stand and stare at the Nantucket Nectar selection for too long. The cashier girl will give you weird looks.
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Good ‘Till the Last Drop of BBQ Sauce
t’s the smell of the summer, reminiscent of pool parties and backyard cookouts. However, what do you do when you live in Boston and the closest thing to a backyard is the alley outside your window? Luckily, for those who live in a city, barbeque restaurants have been popping up everywhere. During the economic downturn a few years ago, a time where thousands of restaurants were biting the dust, new barbeque joints were opening. Surprisingly this fresh idea caught on and began to flourish. These trendy new eateries were offering upscale barbecue food, something new to restaurant audiences, and people began to take notice. Finally, urbanites were being given the chance to experience delicious barbeque without sacrificing quality. Today, in response to the trend, several awards are now given out for the best of the best barbeque in Boston every year. While not all award winning, each of these barbeque houses offers delicious barbeque taste and a down-home country atmosphere. Here are a few that really sizzle. text // RAY BELLINGER photo // DAVID GALINATO
182 Harvard Avenue Allston, MA 02134
the feel Right off the “B” train on the Green Line is Soulfire, a funky little barbeque joint in the heart of Allston’s Harvard Avenue. With walls lined with large photos of famous jazz musicians and a large projection screen, this res-
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taurant feels very hip. It definitely has a fresh feel and is often packed with an assortment of twenty-somethings with a hankering for BBQ.
the food I would say skip the ribs at this place and go for the BBQ wings, which are just possibly the best wings in Allston. Just don’t fill up too fast. The rest of the menu includes an assortment of sandwiches, platters, side dishes, and even salads. Even though Soulfire has all of these traditional barbeque favorites, try the cheesy BBQ Reuben. An old twist on the conventional Reuben, this sandwich holds a flavorful sliced brisket between pumpernickel bread, with melted Swiss oozing out the edges. On the side grab an order of a personal favorite: the Mac and Cheese topped with crumbled barbeque potatoes chips. It may
sound simple, but this dish adds just the right twist on the old classic to leave you wanting more. Also, try out Soulfire’s delicious specialty sauces, ranging from sweet to “Fiery.”
the final word While not your traditional BBQ place, but this youthful joint has a few surprises up its sleeve. >
1381 Boylston Street Boston MA 02215
the feel Located right off the Fenway T stop is Sweet Cheeks, a barbeque restaurant with a distinct Texan flair. The restaurant, which was founded by former Top Chef winner Tiffany Faison, has a very distinct personality. They serve water in mason jars, their food is presented on large tin platters, and their whiskey selection takes up over half their drink list. While the atmosphere may sound odd, Sweet Cheeks is warmly inviting and has a friendly staff that is more than willing to explain the restaurant’s set up to barbeque newcomers.
the food Their menu consists of a relatively bare bones selection of meats, all smoked and without BBQ sauce, to be added on later to your liking. Their sauces range from tangy to spicy, without much room in the middle. Be careful of the tub labeled with a gold star. Unless you are a hot sauce veteran, don’t touch it. The BBQ ribs are a real treat and are so tender that they fall right off the bone. Flavor-wise, they’re nothing groundbreaking, so get these if you’re nostalgic for a classic plate of ribs. If you aren’t into ribs try Sweet Cheeks’ meal “trays,” slabs of meat with pieces of bread and pickle for a quick sandwich. Along with the assorted meats, Sweet Cheeks also serves its own hot and cold “scoops.” These comfort-food side dishes are all a great compliment to their main menu, or a fine dish by themselves. The broccoli and cheese casserole stands out, a simple yet effective little dish that blends a combination of savory melted cheeses with crunchy and salty crackers that is not to be looked over.
the final word What makes this dive work are the classic dishes that more than deliver on their promise.
908 Massachusetts Avenue Arlington, MA 02476
the feel A little outside of Boston in Arlington is Blue Ribbon, a quick order barbeque restaurant with a lot to offer. Arlington is one of the two Blue Ribbon locations, both located in Massachusetts, which was awarded the “Best of Boston 2011” by Boston Magazine. The interior is bright, taking on the look of a modern sodapop diner, with license plates lining the walls. Orders are placed in the front and picked up in the back, creating an informal environment.
Blue Ribbon also offers a vegetarian burrito as well as large salads. While you are at it, grab a slice of their pecan pie, which boasts a sturdyyet-flaky crust and thick nutty filling. It’s safe to say you won’t be judged if you order a second slice.
the final word There are a lot of great hearty options to choose from here, but the location may deter some people.
the food The menu is broad, and contains a large assortment of savory dishes. A highly recommended item, the North Carolina Pulled Pork, is a slightly tangy dish that, after several hours of smoking, falls apart in the mouth. All of the options on the menu should be paired with an equally delicious side. These side dishes offer great staples of the South including cornbread, collard greens, and creamy mashed potatoes. For all those who don’t eat meat, don’t fear, THE BARE BONES ISSUE
feminism Girls may have previously been the minority group when it came to gaming and comic books, but the times have changed and male, geek, misogynists have to get used to it. text // ANDREA SHEA
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here was a time when the term “girl geek” was borderline derogatory, indicative of a twitching, acne-laden Sims adict with a basement tan and only the vaguest sense of the logistics behind showering. Thankfully this is no longer the case, and girl geeks -- now more commonly regarded as socially adept and perfectly hygienic females with a taste for the nerdy -- are stedily growing in number. Chances are, you know one. She could be arguing about Tolstoy in your lit class, openly weeping over an episode of The Vampire Diaries in your floor common room, or browsing the rack next to you at Free People. Girl geeks are everywhere these days, but with great numbers comes great responsibility. Not everyone’s so thrilled with the growing female fanbase, and many girl geeks find themselves fighting to even be recognized, let alone heard. Enter geek the feminists. Feminism is a term, frequently and incorrectly used interchangeably with the Rush Limbaugh-popularized feminazi. Too often, the desire for equality is twisted into “Women want to take over the world and watch all men burn.” This is, of course, a wildly sensationalized interpretation of the cause, so of course it’s also the most widely accepted. Geek feminism doesn’t garner a much better reputation. Though women aim merely to be treated as peers in the gaming and comic communities, the sad truth is that they are viewed as women first and geeks second, if at all. Rather than being seen as another human being with shared interests, women are often regarded by their respective geek communities in one of two alarming manners: either they’re dismissed as ignorant girls, after which any attempt to voice an opinion is disregarded as an “invasion of the male space,” or they’re propped up on a pedestal and treated more like a unicorn than a person just trying to live her life. Neither option is particularly attractive, despite what you might think. Though the latter might sound alright—even pleasant—in theory, the reality is just the opposite. Though dismissal based on gender is unquestionably offensive, “Guys who fall all over themselves to fawn over a geek girl and dance in attendance upon her are just as bad,” says Harris O’Malley in his article “Nerds and Male Privilege,” featured on geek-culture website Kotaku. “The behavior is different, but the message is the same: she’s different because she’s a girl. These would-be white knights are ultimately treating her as a fetish object, not as a person.” Geeks are geeks, regardless of what’s going on between their legs. That a geek feminist desires to be seen as a person with common interests rather than a walking pair of breasts brandishing a Wii-mote isn’t really so wild. She doesn’t want to have to make the gender distinction between a “girl geek” or a “guy geek,” but the communities in which she hopes to assert herself tend to force her hand. And although equality is the goal of geek feminists everywhere, Lucy Gillam of The Fanfic Symposium presents an inherent societal flaw in their endgame: “True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality.” she says in her essay “When World Collide: Fandom and Male Privilege.” “A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.” So although all geek feminists really want is a fair say in the products they consume, many
geek guys seem to have it in their heads that these women are solely driven by their hyper-sensitive uteri to put every scant costume and sexy pose to death. But this is a sensationalized misinterpretation of the cause born from an inherent fear of change. Years of geek culture catering to their every whim has made many a guy geek a little too big for his britches, and the idea that someone different might have any sort of say in their entertainment of choice is a scandalous one. Diversity is often viewed as something sinsiter according to O’Malley, even a threat: “But what is that threat, exactly? In this case, the threat is that – ultimately – fandom won’t cater to guys almost to exclusion…the Privileged are worried that they won’t be as privileged in the near future if this threat isn’t stomped out. Hence the usual reactions: derailment, minimization and ultimately dismissing the topic all together.” And thus every geek feminists’ attempts to gain equal consideration as an audience are seen as an all-out assault on the male experience of comics an video games, a dastardly plot to regulate all superheroines to a life of fighting crime in turtlenecks and sweatpants. This is the delusion male privilige has bred, the idea that geek feminists have taken it upon themselves to wrestle the masturbation material from the cold, sticky fingers of their detractors. And while the boob-window in Power Girl’s spandex leotard certainly isn’t the most progressive or practical outfit in comics today, “getting rid of sexy” isn’t a battle geek feminists are trying, or even want to fight. The ability to walk into a comic book or video game store and make a purchase without fear of condescension, aggression, or harassment: that’s their sinister endgame. The audacity. Comic book and video game companies unfortunately do little to avoid perpetuating the inherent unbalance between men and women within their communities. Although it’s hardly a shock to find that these are male-heavy interests, women are making leaps and bounds toward making their opinions heard. But it can be difficult for a geek feminist to find her voice when she is often ignored not only by the fans of something she loves, but also its creators and producers. In the last year, DC Comics relaunched their entire line of comic books under the banner of “The New 52” in hopes of attracting “the widest audience possible” according to Editor in Chief Dan Didio. This was a great idea in theory, at least until all 52 new first issues rolled out and many of their once sexy, fun, and empowered female characters took a nosedive into offensive and sexist territory. Didio’s idea of a “wide audience” staunchly remained males ages 18 to 34, which has been his target demographic for years. DC already had those readers locked down, and if they truly wished to widen their net, they’d perhaps have thought to include their steadily growing female fan base. Instead, women are left feeling cast aside and ignored by a medium they want to enjoy but are told time and time again is not meant for them. This, of course, only fuels the “geek culture is a male-space” mentality. When less progressively-minded guy geeks see comic giants like DC and Marvel appear to go out of their way to keep women at arm’s length, they’re only encouraged to continue treating geek feminists like foreigners invading the motherland. This mentality lends itself to geek communities fostering and even encouraging the verbal abuse of women who dare breach the threshold. Bob Chipman of Escapist Magazine weighed in on how this kind of alienating behavior in geek culture -- video games and comic books alike -- is, in a phrase, Not Okay: “How often have we heard that sexism [or] misogyny in this or
that community is just part of how things are there, and how any insinuation that this supposed ‘default status’ might be a bad thing is violently shrugged off? Particularly my favorite variation on this theme: ‘Aw, c’mon man! This is like the last place where it’s okay for guys to talk like this!’ As though some kind of sacred tradition is being observed by not calling bullies out on their bullying.” He continues: “There shouldn’t be any place where it’s okay, because it’s not okay. It’s not okay to harass women. It’s not okay to ‘slut shame.’ It’s not okay to use rape as a casual synonym for defeat. And it’s really not okay that I have to explain that to anybody.” It’s 2012. We have computers that can fit into our back pockets, jet packs are certainly right around the corner, and geek culture is no longer a “male space” any more than the kitchen is a “female space.” Theoretically, there shouldn’t be a single community left that views discrimina-
“Geeks are geeks, regardless of what’s going on between their legs.” tory behavior as acceptable. But as long as comic book and video game publishers continue treating women like the bastard children of the family, geek feminists will continue to fight the endless uphill battle to prove that they are worthy of basic human civility, let alone consideration and attention. Possibly the only thing worse for a geek feminist than being disregarded by the companies at which they throw their money is being undercut by the actions of other women. While many geek girls take pride in their love for nerdy things, there’s a growing number that suffers from “Special Snowflake Syndrome,” the delusion that having graced a gaming controller or comic book with your feminine touch makes you some kind of demi-god to the male population. You know the type: girls that take Photobooth pictures of themselves rolling around naked in Call of Duty discs or licking Xbox controllers and fling them all over the internet. These are the geek girls that want to be thrown up on that pedestal and worshiped for their inclination to geek culture, who use their interests to make themselves a more valuable commodity in the eyes of men. Where geek feminists engage in fandom for the sake of personal enjoyment, a Special Snowflake will tout her gaming prowess for the ego boost that is a thousand drooling guy geeks who want to throw her over the back of a horse and ride her off into the sunset. How can women possibly be taken seriously in comic book and video game culture when girls exist that so aggressively validate every stereotype geek feminists fight to break down? There are, thankfully, communities out there doing right by the geek feminism cause. Blogs such as The Mary Sue and GeekFeminism.org seek to spread the word of equality in all things girly and nerdy alike. And as awareness grows, so too does the din of dissatisfaction among girl geeks everywhere that one can only hope will become a full-fledged roar. And their fight doesn’t end with women -- geek feminism is just the first of many steps that minorities in comic book and video game communities are taking to ensure their voices are no longer ignored or disregarded in favor of the status quo. And perhaps if geek feminists could figure out a way to distract the less enlightened of their male counterparts from the allure of Wonder Woman’s breasts in lieu of legitimate human contact, we might see some change in the not-so-distant future. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Pretentious Books You Should Actually Read We all had those books. Books your stuffy high school English teacher assigned for you to read over the weekend. You had plans to go to your friend’s lake house or finally complete your Sims empire, so you skimmed the SparkNotes and called it a day. But now that we’re older, which classics are worth a revisit? The Entertainment staff offers their picks. it sent vagabond Huck down the Mississippi River with escaped slave Jim and painted a portrait of racial tension that blurred the lines between hyperbole and truth and forced its readers to confront their own prejudices. But, also, Huck’s kind of an idiot and it’s awesome. -TAYLOR TETREAU
East of Eden John Steinbeck
EDITOR’S PICK The Crucible - Arthur Miller
Witches, betrayal, and someone getting crushed with a huge stone. These are a few of my favorite things. Not really, but Arthur Miller’s Puritan-packed Psychological Thriller is more than the stiff town-politics yawn-fest you might have expected in high school. It’s like Mean Girls crossed with Salem’s Lot crossed with Fatal Attraction crossed with Arthur Miller flipping off the entire House of Un-American Activities Committee. It might seem boring from the get-go, but just remember this one thing: Daniel DayLewis chose to be in the movie version. You know it’s got to be good. -ERIN DOOLIN
Wuthering Heights emily bronte
Nobody will ever tell a tale of loving so hard it hurts quite like Miss Bronte. Nearly every dark and broody leading man in fiction owes a bit of himself to Heathcliff, the horribly depressed hero of the story. We tend to enjoy the stories with happy endings, but one would be hard pressed to find a more haunting representation of what happens when love just can’t work out. -ETHAN YOUNG
The Sun Also Rises ernest hemingway Sure, Kat Stratford of 10 Things I Hate About You fame may have referred to Hemingway as “an abusive, alcoholic misogynist who squandered 78
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half of his life hanging around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers.” But this unflattering description of his personal life hardly detracts from his snappy prose about expatriates watching bullfights and drinking themselves into early graves. If nothing else, Jake Barnes’ one-sided affections for Lady Brett Ashley, queen of all Woo Girls, is the only time you’ll be glad to have unrequited love in your life. -ANDREA SHEA
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn mark twain Many remember the book focused Tom Sawyer’s better half as a racist bore, but this delightful romp through antebellum America is both gut-bustingly hilarious and alarmingly relevant. The first great American satire,
Yes, it’s 600 pages. But trust me, this book will actually enlighten you with understanding the means to living a happy life. Nothing feels quite as American as this sprawling generational epic, which features a man wiser than Atticus Finch, the craziest sociopath chick you’ll ever meet, and the heartbreaking consequences of parental failures, sacrifice among brothers, and a ton of land development that screams good ol’ fashioned manifest destiny. -ALEX TRIVILINO
Mrs. Dalloway virginia woolf A woman is planning a party and simultaneously on the verge of a mental breakdown while trying to act like everything is normal. Story of my life. It reads quite like it too. So many tangents, so many beautiful side stories that it’s hard to not fall in love with the tragic writer’s most famous novel. Tip to getting through it: pretend that Nicole Kidman is narrating the story in her voice from The Hours and it instantly becomes more fabulous than it already is. -JOEY POLINO
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man james joyce This book may be incredibly hard to digest the first, second, and third time around, but if you appreciate art and life-altering run-ins with prostitutes (same thing, anyway),
you should give it a go. Joyce takes this coming-of-age novel to the next level, transitioning us freely from third to first-person narrative, blurring the lines between reality and innermost thought along the way. A challenging but worthwhile read, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist is a fascinating look into the steady development of a young man’s conscience. -EMILY ONOFRIO
The Count of Monte Cristo alexandre dumas A lot of kids avoid this book until they are forced to read it because it’s old and translated from French, but they should give it a begrudging try. It spins the tale of a man who was wrongly imprisoned, mentored by some Yoda-esque priest, how he exacts his revenge on all who wronged him. By the end we have action, intrigue, and implied lesbian sex, which is always good. More deeply it is a great character study on Edmond Dantes, and the to what extent man has on life and death. -RAY BELLINGER
The Things They Carried tim o’brien
I had no intention of actually reading The Things They Carried. I read the word “war” on the back of the book and I was totally over it. After I went to the first day of English class and people started talking about it, I went home and started reading it. I didn’t stop until I was more than halfway through the book. The Things They Carried is so much more than a book about war. It’s a collection of stories about being human in extreme conditions and that’s what I love about it. Even if you’re not a fan of ‘Nam and know nothing about war, Tim O’Brien’s book grips you until the very end. -NICK MANTLE
The Wicked Ones:
The Ethics of Writing Autobiographical Literature
n the literary world, the line between fiction and nonfiction has blurred to a point of almost nonexistence. Works of fiction bare striking resemblances to actual events and include characters whose real-life counterparts could be spotted upon the first description; works of nonfiction seem to have too many larger-thanlife elements for there to be no embellishments involved during the process of their creation. And so an ethical problem has arisen as these two literary worlds are set to collide and even potentially erase the terms, fiction, nonfiction and memoir from the face of literature.
ry of a man who faced addiction and the trials and tribulations that he was put through on the path to getting clean. However, it was soon discovered to not actually be a completely accurate series of events from author James Fry’s life, but instead a work of fiction (albeit in the style of creative nonfiction.) The purpose behind this misrepresentation: his publishers informed him that by selling the book as a memoir, it would be far more lucrative for him. And so the question must be raised again: Under what circumstances are unethical portrayals in literature no longer unethical? As Picasso said, “Art is an embellishment to the world from which we learn truth,” and it is absolutely the prerogative of a writer to enhance certain events and experiences to heighten the truth and beauty of these circumstances. Maybe it is more than just the prerogative, but the responsibility of a writer to do such an act should the story call for such immediate gratification in terms of truth.
the wicked ones. Those who fall under this banner are the ones who don’t exactly turn their nose to the wind when faced with opposition on this ethical question, but resolve to the conclusion that their work is the truth from their own perspective, within their own world. How can one argue with that? Augusten Burroughs is known to have said that when writing about his family, what he’s writing about is his truth, the truth from his own perspective, and if another member of his family writes the same story, but differently, than that is their own truth of said circumstances. There really is no such thing as a “[completely] true story” in nonfiction literature anymore, just as much as there’s no such thing as a completely fabricated one in fiction. The two formerly distinct styles have been taking notes from each other for much of the last half century, allowing for the line separating the two worlds to seep into each other’s territory. Like sex in Hollywood, drama in
And so the question must be raised again: Under what circumstances are unethical portrayals in literature no longer unethical?
This so-called ethical problem of writing is present on both sides of the equation as liberties are easily taken in both literary styles, fiction and nonfiction. It is much more of an obvious element in fiction as writers often take instances and experiences of their own lives and implant them into the journeys of their protagonists—whether they be details of their back stories or hurdles that they are forced to overcome over the course of the novel in which they inhabit. But the issue is also present in nonfiction as a writer is able to embellish certain details and occurrences. Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, deemed one of the most brilliant pieces of American literature, was written some forty-years after the events themselves transpired. And though Hemingway took copious amounts of notes on his time living as an expat in Paris, there is no way for him to recreate such long episodes of accurate dialogue
without the help of Nixon-esque recording devices kept within the fabric of his clothing. (It should also be noted that Hemingway’s wife has been known to have taken her own stab at editing the work, furthering this argument of embellishment.) On this side of the equation, it is easy, then, to take instances from our own lives for the purpose of a memoir or piece of nonfiction and create caricatures of those people who were present at the time of occurrence. Caricatures make events far more dramatic than real life may actually be. And by caricature, I do not mean painting the portrait of the ultimate loud mouthed, alcoholic mother and putting your own mother’s name because that’s what you’re trying to portray, I mean elevating certain qualities and embellishing different aspects because that’s what makes it more dramatic. A Million Little Pieces, under its first publication was known as a piece of nonfiction. It was the sto-
This entire argument could have its origin traced back to one of the most quintessential figures in American literature: Truman Capote. Putting Breakfast at Tiffany’s aside, Truman Capote turned from social satire—an entirely different argument—and set his sights upon a true crime that was bleeding across the pages of newspapers, a massacre in Kansas. The result of his investigative journalism was one of the great American novels, In Cold Blood. And it is In Cold Blood that began the official blur of this metaphorical line between fiction and nonfiction as Capote introduced the literary world to the concept of creative nonfiction. The term now is thrown around the conference room of every publication and literature class throughout the world; it’s an everyday occurrence. But at the time, the difference between fiction and nonfiction was black and white; it was either one, or it was the other. Capote embodied the sect of writers that can be described as the self-assured. Betsy Lerner coined this sect of writer in her book The Forest for the Trees, as
literature sells and so no matter the category that you plan to publish under—fiction, nonfiction or memoir—the more dramatic the story, the more profitable it may ultimately be. But profit is not the only factor in a writer’s decision to be “untruthful” or “unethical” when writing their novels, as the motive for such changes may be that it is far more truthful to the overall story that characters grow more inspired or dramatic, whether they were actually like that in real life or not. In the end, a piece of literature is truth from the eyes of its author. text // JOEY POLINO
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
Sincerely, Your Biggest Fan
Celebrity obsessions is more than just fun and games for a select group of Emerson students. text // SARAH DIAMOND photo // DALLASNEWS.COM
here are many definitions of a “fan.” There are people who buy the t-shirt, and then there are those intense devotees who design their own shirts out of slogans, puffy paint, and their favorite celeb’s used napkin. Sometimes it can be difficult for these two camps to understand one another. The concept of “fandom” as we know it started to gain prominence in the 1960s, a decade that saw the rise of Beatlemania and Trekkie conventions. Suddenly loving a musician, a movie, or a television show became a full-time hobby, as well as a new brand of social interaction among its many followers. Now, fans have a dizzying number of ways to express their love: fan club websites, chatrooms, Tumblr posts, fan fiction, fan art, conventions, and tribute bands, just to name a few. Fans can use any or all of these methods of expression, some of them spending hours at a time on their projects. To an outsider this might seem a little obsessive or bizarre, but these true fans believe that they are getting 80
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something valuable out of their time. Emerson College is full of fandoms, dedicated to celebrities, books, television shows, and movies. The most visible fans at the school are Little Monsters, people who love the music, politics, and outré fashion of Lady Gaga. Garret Siegel ‘13, a studio TV production major, is one such Little Monster. He’s seen Gaga live in performance three times, has met her four times, and once camped out for three days in a line of 5,000 people, just to see her appear on Good Morning America. Siegel is easily identifiable as a Little Monster because of his highlighter-yellow hair, which is both an homage to the pop star and a more personal form of selfexpression. “I’ve been dyeing my hair weird colors since before I even knew who she was,” he says. “But a lot of the influence comes from the idea that if it looks good on her, maybe I can pull it off.” Siegel may be one of the millions of people who love Lady Gaga, but he has managed to channel that enthusiasm into a project of his own. Through a friend he got into the ground level of www.Gagainfo.com and took over as webmaster earlier this year. Now he runs one of the most popular and comprehensive Gaga sites on the web, keeping it up-to-date with the latest photographs, videos, and iTunes links, “so that fans can find everything they
need in one place.” This year he’ll be overseeing a re-launch of the site, updating the forum to provide coverage of her new tour, the Born This Way Ball. It’s a lot of work, but Siegel feels that it’s important to spread the word about his favorite pop star, especially since Mother Monster is so publicly thankful to her loyal fans. “A few years ago she tweeted saying that she always fights for our dreams, because we’re always working to make hers’ come true. So by supporting her, she’ll always be out there supporting us.” Little Monsters may be getting the most mainstream attention right now, but fandoms of different media like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, and anime are just as passionate and inspired. At Emerson, Anime Club and The Doctor Who Viewing Society are the two largest student fan organizations on campus. The DWVS, which has 107 members on Facebook, is a club that meets every Sunday to watch episodes of the British science fiction show Doctor Who. President and co-founder Liza Cortright, sophomore WLP major, explains that the meetings are pretty laid back, just a place for fans to socialize and share their enthusiasm. “People come because they want to hang out, and chill, and eat, and talk about stuff that they like, which I think is sort of the point of fandom in general. It’s something you
can immediately bond over.” Cortright also likes to pursue fandom in her spare time, along with her roommate Megan Seabaugh ’14 WLP. While Cortright explores fan fiction, Seabaugh likes to copy Doctor Who fan paintings and drink special teas named after characters in the BBC show Sherlock. The two girls share a suite that looks like a pop culture wonderland, decorated with posters, paintings, finger puppets, and action figures, pulling from many disparate fandoms. The centerpiece is a giant paper mural of the blue police box from Doctor Who, which they constructed themselves. If this seems a bit excessive, they argue that there is a point to their obsessions; that these fan activities are stimulating them as writers and artists. “It’s a great starting place for your own creativity,” says Cortright. “You’re looking at someone else’s work and letting that be your inspiration. It’s kind of like giving a child toys. The toys were made by somebody else, but the game is made by the child.” So can fandom successfully give way to original creative works? As it turns out, there is a precedent. One fan named E.L. James posted an erotic Twilight-themed story on fanfiction.net, only to publish it again this year without the Twilight references, as an e-book. That book, 50 Shades of Grey, currently holds the top spot on the New York Times Bestseller list. Another good example is A Very Potter Musical, a silly low-budget satire put on by some Harry Potter fans at Michigan State that went on to become a YouTube phenomenon and launched the career of actor Darren Criss. These cases of fans who hit it big make their indulgences seem a lot more sensible. And according to Cortright, fan art and fan fiction are really just natural responses that people have to media. “When you see something that you really like, you imag-
The 1960s and Beatlemania saw fandom in the form of groupies and physical presence. Now the fads and obsessions are mainly web based.
Her latest creation is for the online webcomic Homestuck, a gold fleece dress and orange hood for the character of Rose, made to represent her magical dominion over light. Once in costume, O’Grady can interact with other Boston Homestuck fans, convening in groups of thirty or forty at the Prudential Center or the Boston Common. On any given Saturday you can see Homestuck trolls, in their signature pancake makeup and horns, meeting at the gazebo to eat cupcakes and play Twister. It’s like a costume party that takes place every weekend, just a way for strangers to bond over common
“A few years ago [Lady Gaga] tweeted saying that she always fights for our dreams, because we’re always working to make hers’ come true. So by supporting her, she’ll always be out there supporting us.” -Garret Siegel (studio tv production ‘13) ine more of it. Everyone writes fan fiction in their head. Artists and writers are just better at expressing it.” This distinction is what separates the casual fans from the diehards. Plenty of people read Twilight; it takes someone very passionate or very clever to turn that enthusiasm into a bestselling book. Sometimes this creativity can go beyond even fan art and fiction, leaving the confines of the web and entering real life. Cosplay, one popular form of expression, is a burgeoning movement from Japan, where fans dress up as characters from their favorite books, shows, and manga comics. Cat O’Grady, sophomore theatre tech major, is a dedicated cosplayer who spends much of her spare time sewing intricate costumes that she and her friends can wear to anime conventions and cosplay events.
obsessions. “There is a great community surrounding cosplay,” says O’Grady, who met her current roommates through their shared love of anime. “It’s just a fun way to bring together a bunch of people who probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.” While these communities are generally good-natured, there will unfortunately always be fans who take things too far, giving the whole group a bad reputation. Cortright and Seabaugh point out that there is a stereotype of fangirls who are “obsessive, high-pitched, and screaming”, and they admit that they’ve run into these people on occasion. Garret Siegel has also seen instances of fans who take things too far, turning what should be a sharing experience into a contest. “There’s a lot of competition, both in person and on-line. For some ri-
diculous reason people have the need to prove that they are a better fan than you are. Online, people tend to judge others by how many followers they have on Twitter or how many times they’ve met a celebrity. I try to hold back on partaking in any of it because I don’t think it’s necessary.” Despite the stereotypes and few instances of hostility, most fandoms are really quite pleasant, if a bit misunderstood. “There is a stigma against fans,” Seabaugh says. “People think that they are nerds. But that just means they are really passionate about something, and not cynical.” Maybe it is time to get past the stereotypes and realize that most fans are friendly, eloquent, and creative in their own right. ”We don’t want to feel like crazy people on the edges of society,” jokes Cortright. “A lot of people look at those fan stories or cosplay costumes and wonder why someone would waste their time on that, but think of all the effort that it took. All of the skill, and the commitment. Just because it’s an outlet that’s not super mainstream, maybe people don’t see the positive force that goes behind it.” At the end of the day, this positive force is the key to why some people spend their nights painting pictures, making videos, or posting pictures of their favorite characters and celebrities. They do it for their own means of selfexpression and for the satisfaction of sharing it with others who feel the same. Fans do what they love and they don’t care if it makes them seem weird. As a joke, Liza Cortright went to her senior prom with a life-size, cardboard cutout of David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor. Even though she got a lot of strange looks that night, she enjoyed the reactions. “It’s fun when some people look at you like you’re crazy, because the fans who know, understand,” she admits. “It’s a different kind of in-group.”
THE BARE BONES ISSUE
The Life and Times of a Movie Extra People think that movie sets are all glamour —famous people in fancy clothes making bedroom eyes at a camera all day until it’s time to go home. But not everyone can get star billing: there will always have to be plebeians hurrying through the background, a faceless mass of nobodies desperately praying that standing behind an Oscar-winner for ten frames will make them famous. This is their story. text // NICK MANTLE & TAYLOR TETREAU
4:45 am: Alarm goes off. I drag
my lifeless corpse out of bed and fall directly into my car. The early morning commute is, to the surprise of no one, totally easy, and I arrive on set an hour earlier than I’m supposed to. The set’s almost empty, except for the creepy guys running around, dressed in black. I’m 50% sure I’m about to get mugged, but then it turns out he’s only asking me to move so he can put down some colored tape. He says his job is “Big Boy Electric.” What the hell does that mean?
6:00 am: Rest of the extras arrive, along with the poor PA assigned to herd us around. She explains that most of our job with involve standing around or walking behind famous people over and over again until the actors remember their lines correctly. I turn to the girl next to me and say I’m so nervous but excited to finally meet Rachel MacAdams, my personal hero, but she tells me this isn’t the Nicholas Sparks romcom I thought it was – it’s a Dennis Quaid action/scifi hybrid about aliens attacking Boston. It’s supposed to be his big comeback, she says. I thought Dennis Quaid was dead, but that’s fine. 8:00 am:
We’re promised a brief meet and greet with the stars of the movie when they arrive, before they go into hair and makeup. Dennis Q-- am I allowed to call him Dennis Q? – is a bit of a letdown, sure, but he’s better than nothing and still famous. I watched The Parent Trap every day of the seventh grade, so I’ve managed to convince myself that this rules. There’s about fifty of us standing around the empty lot, waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
8:30 am: Waiting. 82
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9:00 am: You guessed it. 9:30 am: Dying slowly. 10:00 am:
Everyone around me starts getting super excited. So excited that I forget Dennis Quaid was in this movie. I look for the source of this excitement and it’s a tinted car. The stars are here! I start getting excited too, obviously I want a picture with Dennis Quaid or the next Channing Tatum or something. I see a hand get out of the car and it looks so much like Dennis Quaid’s hand but the guy looks way too young to be dead. Then I realize. These are the stunt doubles.
12:00 pm: The actual actors snuck onto set hours ago, but they’re still in makeup and nowhere to be found. I try using my
that edible but I’m starving so whatever. I walk over to the table and then realize how little food and how many of us there are. Before I can blink, all hell has broken lose and everyone is pushing past me for their slice of kraft services.
4:00 pm: We finally, finally go up for a rehearsal. I’m directed to walk up and down a city block with a herd of other random people. It gets very silent and suddenly I’m fighting back this huge
I haul my body into my car and try very hard not to cry. I put on “Someone Like You” by Adele to remind myself that I will find another extra opportunity around Boston. BUT WHO AM I KIDDING? The tears start and then don’t stop rushing out of me like I’m a ride at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. intense hunger and exhaustion as a means to make friends, but as it turns out people who are extras on the regular are super huge weirdos. The girl next to me calls herself a professional extra – she claims to have sat behind Kristen Wiig on the airplane scene in Bridesmaids. She calls this her big break.
2:00 pm After hours of being promised food, we’re finally able to eat. There is a designated kraft services table for the extras and it’s definitely not Domino’s Cheesy Bread. It looks like some sort of mac and cheese and didn’t look
bout of stage fright – even though I’ll be lucky if my left pinky flashes on screen for a half second. Someone in a headset is waving a slate around; he snaps it and I follow the masses towards our goal: a little piece of black tape. I look around frantically to make sure I’m doing it right; before I know it everyone’s stopped and we have to begin again, all because I accidentally looked directly at the camera. Like a deer in eighteenwheeler headlights.
6:00 pm: The director yells action this time and I quickly look for my mark across the street. I
find it and know that this is my designated time for fame. I follow the mark and make sure it’s the only thing that I look at. Then I looked up and I’m in behind of Dennis Quaid. I panic and before I know it I’m looking into the seductive black lens of the camera. CRAP. The director yells cut and I quickly try to hide between the clumps of terrified PAs.
8:00 pm: The camera is a swift, sultry mistress; one that my gaze cannot, seemingly, avoid. I nervously glance at it again halfway through a scene, thinking I’m being subtle, but – nope. It knows all. I’m sassed. Again. 10:00 pm: I haul my body into my car and try very hard not to cry. I put on “Someone Like You” by Adele to remind myself that I will find another extra opportunity around Boston. BUT WHO AM I KIDDING? The tears start and then don’t stop rushing out of me like I’m a ride at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. I cry until I’m completely de-hydrated, which doesn’t actually last that long because they didn’tgive us any water on set. Forget that, they barely gave me any money. I’m not even sure they can call it minimum wage! I have no idea how professional extras do it. I don’t even know if I could do it again. Not unless they let me look in the camera that is.
Business vs. Pleasure:
The Detriments and Delights of Event Entertainment text // Alex Trivilino
ater coolers don’t exist anymore. Sure, you can still talk to your coworkers the day after a Game of Thrones episode and marvel at how many characters got decapitated, but the real water cooler of today is the event of the splitsecond. If you aren’t live tweeting or having a giant TV viewing party (online or...in real life? gasp!), then you’re missing out on the largescale event that watching television has now become. For the most part, this is a good thing. Media-obsessed junkies should be pleased that a sense of like-minded exuberance can erupt for an entertaining forty-two minutes. But the dark side to this is the vi
cious cycle of fan disappointment battling the business world of entertainment. And we must never forget that entertainment will always be a business. Studios want any given show to be on the air for as long as possible. And in spite of the fact that (or, perhaps because) a serialized show is structured like a novel, in no way does this mean it is written the same way. Every plot point of a book is constructed from the start, but unpredictable variables on TV can change how a show runs its course. As much as viewers like to think that every idea has been mapped out from day one, this simply cannot be. Ultimately, the fact that unexpected variables come up during the course of the show can be for the better. Lost brought on actor Michael Emerson to star in three episodes, but his dynamic performance, turned him into a fanfavorite series regular. Viewers devote utter faith in writers, which can be a problem. To keep a show on the air for multiple seasons is a challenge in its own regard. To keep it on the air and move towards a specific endgame that satisfies viewers while keeping its own dignity and purpose is another.
When Lost first debuted, it was something no one had seen before. It promptly blew everyone’s faces open, thus spawning dozens of mediocre imitation-ensemble shows. Lost brought about a blend of character-driven stories as well as baffling genre mysteries, and what could have been niche entertainment ended up appealing to mass audiences. Due to its serialized nature, the show demanded viewers watch every single episode, and most people wanted to tune in to live broadcast to keep up with the latest twists and surprises. It became the show to be watching. Thanks to Lost, more people seemed willing to watch shows that built towards a bigger endgame, despite rarely delivering something satisfying. Shows developed religious-like followings, and that in turn, television writers were made God. Woody Allen stated “if God exists, he better have an excuse.” We viewers are that excuse for these TV gods, but the snag of omnipotence is that there’s a lot to live up to. No fandom will ever unanimously agree on the drastic decisions that narratives take. Now that ranting on Twitter or Tumblr is a commonplace affair, the media gods know what fans like and dislike. Though they listen to their manic fans, they cannot always appease them, often because fans think with personal preference, and producers think
of income. A good deal of fan disappointment lies with marketing, of course. A good example being AMC’s mediocre ‘mystery’ The Killing, which slapped the tagline “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” everywhere, but its first season ended without revealing the murderer. This soured many fans’ and critics’ taste. But this campaign reduced the show to a single multiple choice question. It’s “Why Should We Care Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” that should have been the focus. This way, revealing the murderer doesn’t kill the show’s golden goose. It gives reason to keep watching. A possible step in the right direction is Ryan Murphy’s foray into fetishes with American Horror Story. Sure, it had its flaws —subtlety was never Murphy’s strong suit—but his plan to change the actors and location of each season is refreshing. By doing an anthology collection, Murphy can create seasons that don’t have to promise to build up to one grand answer. Many genreshows love to tie all of the show’s previous mysteries together with tacked on explanations in the last few episodes to provide some sort of conclusion, but American Horror Story’s structure can prevent that. While executives and producers should be concerned with their viewers’ opinions, there is a fine line between that and compromising their carefully laid out plans just to satisfy viewers’ lack of patience. Sometimes shows like Lost or Mad Men create an end date for their show seasons in advance, so they can map out remaining arcs to a pacing at their leisure. This, however, is a doubleedged sword. While an end date lets viewers know that there’s an overall plan for the series to wrap up, this garners expectations for writers and watchers alike; shows must deliver truly mind-blowing arcs and episodes every time. And that expectation is simply unrealistic to achieve. Complex narrative television is a self-damning catch-22. There’s always a sense of restlessness, a craving for more satisfaction. We as viewers may find more frustration with some of these shows, but still, we must remember that every attempt at something new and different is to be commended. After all, the media world can’t survive on just the CSIs and Two and a Half Mens. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
The Rise of the FemCee
From Lil’ Kim to Nicki Minaj to Azaelia Banks: How the ladies are taking over the game with sharp tongues and sex appeal.
text // eMILY ONOFRIO
he nature of hip hop has always been masculine. Since rap’s humble beginnings in the 1970s it has been a celebration of the African American male’s struggle and rise to power in an oppressive white society. Though rap has evolved considerably from its original form, one thing remains steadfast - the musical representation of resonating male-oriented ideals that comprise the majority of its practicing artists’ subject matter. Drugs. Money. Cars. The age-old controversy surrounding rap lies in its fixation on these topics, its uncompromising vulgarity, and its consistent objectification of women. But today the phrase “female rapper” is getting more hype than the hip hop world can handle. The next wave has finally arrived, and the ladies riding it are bringing with them a freshness that has seemed to lie dormant for years. But are they doing so at the expense of their self-worth? Hip hop didn’t find itself as a marketable industry until the late ‘80s, when producers hesitated to feature women on their tracks for fear it would conflict with their guaranteed formula of success - unabashed male bravado. Still, these early years were riddled with strong-willed women determined to be heard. Femcees like MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill, and Queen Latifah challenged rap’s norms with their bold, anti-patriarchal messages, maintaining a visible and diverse presence in their generation of hip hop as mouthpieces for social commentary. By the mid-’90s a new breed of female rapper had taken over the movement. Unlike their predecessors, these ladies objectified themselves for the sake of gaining male listeners. Enter Lil’ Kim. The ultimate prize of Diddy’s team, Kim was unlike anything the industry had ever seen - a hyper-sexual, chart-topping vixen with an unapologetic “porn star” demeanor. Once executives realized they could make millions off of this new generation of artist, the multi-faceted female rapper was replaced by the female rapper with sex appeal. Femcees now focused on what would appeal to the fantasies of their male audience, feeding into the very influence the first femcees struggled to rise above. Art84
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ists like T r i n a paved the way for hip hop’s latest female all star, Nicki Minaj, who has relied on a similar, if not more eccentric demeanor to carry her success for the past five years. Like Nicki and Kim before her, female rappers found they had no choice but to straddle a balance between being sexy enough to appeal to a wide audience and being tough enough to be taken seriously (by men). It’s 2012 and the latest wave of femcees is finally here. But has anything changed? When XXL released its 2012 Freshman list this February, it featured its first woman ever - Iggy Azalea. “I feel like females are scared to be sexual because they fear they aren’t going to be respected. But if you own it, it’s your power.” Azalea is known for her blatantly sexual videos and her aggressive bars. She flaunts skin-tight attire and a thick ponytail that she fancies swinging around seductively. Azaelia shows the potential to blow up in the same fashion as Kim or Minaj, and though she asserts that her overt sexuality is empowering, it seems backwards
that the power stems from male satisfaction. Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci” was wholly unavoidable when it gained popularity last fall. A viral sensation, Kreay displays her rejection of label worship. Her image doesn’t scream sex symbol - if anything, Kreayshawn is more nerdy than sexy, often rocking big black frames, cheesy jewelry, and layers of thrifted merchandise. “Gucci Gucci” gained the attention of record labels fast without relying on a highlysexualized female image. Along a similar attitudinal vein is 20-year-old Azealia Banks, a Harlem native with a strikingly anti-glam persona. Sassy and upbeat, sexy but not sexualized, her material is ambitious and though vulgar, articulate and humorous. A sharp con-
trast to Iggy, Banks’ quick success can be attributed to the youthful exuberance she brings to her music - a style often overlooked in the world of the femcee. The female body is scarcely a site of empowerment unless it’s objectified to define female strength through the heterosexual ideal of sexuality which, presented for male satisfaction, creates little real power for women. Still, it’s refreshing to think that hip hop is at a place where it can flourish enough without retreating to its roots, and to see women attempting to challenge the masculinity of the genre with their own agendas. Are we in a time when a woman can rule the hip hop world without selling her sexuality first? The diversity of today’s females make it hard to say exactly, but as Azaelia Banks so kindly reminds us in the opening line of her latest (“212”), “Hey, I can be the answer.”
In Defense of Reality TV Should you really loathe Toddlers and Tiaras as much as everyone tells you to?
text // ethan young
single mother supports her son’s love for beauty pageants against the judgment of her friends. A girl with a degenerative jaw disease who couldn’t talk a few years ago is now able to belt the most beautiful notes. A group of young women who got pregnant too young must deal with the consequences. Separated from their sources, the aforementioned moments would likely resonate with many viewers. However, when placed in the context of such reality television phenomena as Toddlers and Tiaras, The Voice, and Teen Mom, society turns up its nose. What makes Little Miss Sunshine an Oscar-winning work of art while Toddlers and Tiaras is dismissed as lowbrow trash? Reality television has been scrutinized ever since it burst onto the entertainment landscape in 2000 with the success of such programs as Survivor and Big Brother. Although the production quality was consistently high, audiences equated this programming more closely to soap operas than quality drama. Whenever the media would mention these series, it would only focus on the “trashier” fare, thus creating a false generalization of reality television. Even with the revelation of such brilliant documentary series as Intervention, or the ability of a show like American Idol to create a career for a country girl who had no chance otherwise, reality as a genre has never managed to dig itself out of the hole society put it in. I have been watching all kinds of reality television ever since, as a third grader, I would sneak into my living room at night to watch The Real World with my older sisters. These
people, forced to live under one roof, came alive to me. They were thrown obstacles the same way characters in a scripted show would be, but the results always stuck with me longer. These weren’t actors. They couldn’t complain to the writers and change their storylines. When the cameras turned off, their issues did not. So today, as I still religiously tune in to the umpteenth season of Survivor and America’s Next Top Model, I wonder where the backlash comes from. Misconceptions about reality television can truly spread like wildfire, with no help from the media who raise Kim Kardashian and Snooki up as figureheads for the genre as a whole. When most people hear the phrase “reality television,” they directly associate it with these 15-minute-hungry stars. For those of us who love watching talented up-and-comers on shows like Top Chef, The Voice, or Project Runway, these bottom feeders dilute the playing field and ruin the fun for everyone. But this connection between “reality” and “trash” has become one of the biggest logical fallacies in entertainment. When someone mentions primetime drama, your first thought isn’t always, “but CSI: NY is so pathetic.” You think of the good stuff; the shows that get your heart racing, that win all of the awards, and send you to Tumblr in an emotional frenzy. Reality television deserves to be treated the same way. I can’t come up with many reasons why Jersey Shore is good for society, but why should I have to defend the genre as a whole just because of a few flawed parts? The shows you should be paying attention to possess a quality of genuine human perseverance not found in your everyday serialized drama. While many dismiss the “sob story” backgrounds of contestants on American Idol or The Voice as exploitation, they still depict people more similar to us than you would find on Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire. You want them to succeed because you know that success to them is a reality, not just a plot point. Ultimately, generalization is what has harmed reality as a genre. And for some reason, it is the only genre outside of the romantic comedy, horror, and anything with the word “teen” in front of it to receive such mass criti-
cism. Reality television can open your eyes to facets of the world you were completely unfamiliar with. Sure, some of it may be molded by producers for entertainment purposes, but the bare bones of what you’re watching contains that inherent truth. Don’t look at the flawed behavior of mothers on Toddlers and Tiaras and assume the show itself is flawed. The fact that the producers on this show are able to capture the nature of pageants so successfully
“It’s shows like [Toddlers and Tiaras] that shatter our mirage of human perfection and force us to look at ourselves in a mirror.” is only to their credit. This nature is just something that society is unwilling to accept. It’s shows like this that shatter our mirage of human perfection and force us to look at ourselves in a mirror. We don’t want to know that these crazy stage moms exist. The drug addicts on Intervention? There’s no way humanity can become so dark. The wild antics of Snooki and the gang? They must be actors; nobody is that stupid! Viewers project their hatred for these people onto themselves, therefore closing off all opportunity to learn something from their viewing. It becomes shallow entertainment, nothing more. But if we manage to break further beyond that, there’s a whole new world to be found. The contestants on Survivor aren’t just surviving on an island; they’re surviving the true nature of their fellow humans. The mothers on Teen Mom aren’t just wasted lives; they’re a microcosm of a society in which the line between “teenager” and “adult” is constantly blurring. And Kim Kardashian? Well, there’s a place for her, too: a representation of America’s celebrity culture in which you can fill a void if you’re in the right place at the right time. So next time you turn the channel to one of these shows, don’t just shut your mind off. There’s plenty to be learned about humanity, both good and bad, from the people who aren’t just playing the part. THE BARE BONES ISSUE
In Our Eyes Fashion is fleeting. At its worst, it is fluffy and exclusive. It can isolate readers with smoke and mirrors. At em Magazine, however, we like to see fashion at its finest. We use fashion to become storytellers, taste makers, and inspirations. We utilize it to cultivate a mood, a feeling, that embodies what we think is important to you as our readers. This issue, we set out to strip away the fluff that earns fashion the occasional bad rap. We shot our stories not to showcase fabulous clothing, but to transport you to different worlds. The Badlands, an underground nightclub, and the inner psyche of womankind were all on the itinerary this time around. In the following pages you will find months worth of hard work and innovation. Photoshoots that began with an inspirational image transformed into entities of their own. As you turn the page, allow yourself to get lost in the worlds that our creative team has prepared for you and, above all else, we hope you walk away inspired.
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The Badlands of South Dakota is seen by some as hopeless, by others as barren, and by us as beautiful. In March 2012, em Magazine sent a crew there to capture the essence of bare bones as it spread across desolate erosion. Their journey was unforgettable, and their photos breathtaking. With only each other and their cameras, our team produced some of the most incredible imagery em has ever seen as they captured the idea of bare bones better than words would ever be able to.
photography by benjamin askinas
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models // Justyna Lewinska & Ilaria de Plano video crew // Benjamin Askinas, John Curtis, & Doug Porter fashion editor // Fred Kim Models’ and stylists’ own clothing and accessories worn throughout THE BARE BONES ISSUE
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young I NEEDED the money I WAS
George Bernard Shaw once famously mused that youth is wasted on the young. We paint on our faces, we project images of our future selves in the present, and we know no rules. Are we the reckless rebels we pretend to be or just fragile kids waiting to be broken?
photography by benjamin askinas styling by danielle brizel
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L: Gant red shirt, $125, wings+horns black moto jacket, $684, The Tannery. R: Shipley and Halmos red twill jeans, $225, The Tannery
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Surface to Air iridescent blazer, $515, Joe’s Jeans leopard printed jeans, $165, The Tannery; leather bra, and necklace, stylist’s own. 102 EM MAGAZINE - SPRING 2012
Cotelac sweater, $375, Cotelac Boston; Neckalce, stylistâ€™s own.
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Helmut Lang woven top, $310, Rag + Bone knit mini skirt, $220, The Tannery; Necklace, stylistâ€™s own. 104 EM MAGAZINE - SPRING 2012
Eqipment blouse, $208, Dress; Navy sweatshorts, $74, Flock.
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Surface to Air leather jacket, $1,150, jeans, $230, The Tannery; shirt, STA 106 EM MAGAZINE - SPRING 2012
Penny Stock Trademark cardigan, $198, at Sault; Naked + Famous blue jeans, $170, at The Tannery. models // EAN WILLIAMS, JUSTYNA LEWINSKA, EMILY SMITH, & MANUEL LAVALLE fashion assistants // KATE AMERY, JORDAN PEERY creative editor // DILLON SORENSEN hair & make-up // ELIZABETH WALSH, REBECCA BAKER THE BARE BONES ISSUE 107
Woman is a fascinating species. Her duties are endless, and her characters even more so. To be a woman is to be an actress, changing effortlessly through costumes behind the curtains of society. With the help of make-up artist ABBY WOODMAN, model VICTORIA PETROSKY takes the stage and becomes six of womanâ€™s most iconic roles. photography by MICHAEL RIVERA styling by danielle brizel
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Accessories worn throughout, stylist’s and model’s own. Creative Director // Daniel Tehrani Creative Editor // Dillon Sorensen
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the femme fatale
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“we are stripped by the curse of plenty”
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Published on Apr 26, 2012