By: Riley Carithers
Most students complain about attending class just fifteen hours a week. Students in the Master of Fine Arts Acting program however put in enough hours to more than double that of a regular course load. Beginning at 10 a.m. and ending as late as 11 p.m., mornings are filled helping teach undergraduate courses, followed by afternoons in class perfecting their own techniques and evenings spent in rehearsal. If that weren’t enough, the already packed schedule is supplemented by weekends spent in more rehearsal. This schedule alone shows the commitment, true dedication and passion these students have for their craft.
The MFA program at USC is a graduate degree at USC that focuses on a specialization in acting, making it the only program of its kind in the state. Headed by professors Robyn Hunt and Steve Pearson, the three-year degree program works like a small company. A select group of students are accepted every two years through national auditions. The students then spend two academic years training at USC before using the third year for a professional internship.
Built upon the idea that, “all training is actor training,” students in the program enroll in a combination of traditional acting classes, which may for example, focus on Shakespeare, but range to voice training and even brushing up on skills such as clowning. The integration of actor training is part of what makes USC’s program so unique. Professor Robyn Hunt explains,
“When I went to school for my MFA it was very different – all the training was so separate. One of the things we attempt to do here is make sure that it all addresses that moment when you go on stage and have all systems be ‘go’.”
Professor’s Hunts MFA physical movement class, based upon a philosophy taken from Japanese actor training, is just one example of the combination of techniques and influences that give the program its distinction. Through various movement experiments, both formal and improvised, the actors work to increase the physical clarity and conviction in all they do on the stage, and to continually enlarge the degree to which their minds and bodies work as one. And rather than try to show emotion, they continue to experiment with finding ways to 'take action,' so the resulting sensations are close--though not exactly like--daily life. First year MFA student Trey Hobbs explains the work, “deal[s] with how instead of showing a feeling - how do we just ‘do’ and how do we make our bodies express what our mind and imagination is capable of.”
The long hours and different teaching styles prepare the students to graduate abilities to perform across all platforms, in stage, film or commercial and even with the credentials to teach at the college level.
First-year MFA student, Cory Lipman, explains, “What is wonderful about the program is that regardless of the medium, the education that you are getting is learning to be truthful in imaginary circumstances whether you are doing film or stage, that is at the core.”
With such an unusual course load, much different than a stereotypical acting studio, it seems fitting that their building is a bit out of the ordinary, too. A pair of unassuming, oversized, white doors tucked away on the horseshoe mark the entrance to USC’s Center for Performance Experiment. Enter the doors and behold a collection of tall scaffolding structures, framed by sheets of neutral fabric hanging from the ceiling. There isn’t a stage in sight– and although it may appear similar to an over-sized playground, the MFA acting students’ talent makes it clear their work is much more than child’s play.
Professor Steve Pearson, explains its significance, “[the program] is sort of centered around this space. All of working around theater is an experiment, with any kind of art - you are working on change and you are working on something that you don’t know what the out come is going to be.”
The MFA Actors perform throughout the semester, putting on their own productions and performing in some of the Theater Departments mainstage shows. Whether an experimental production or a well-known comedy, their performances are surely worth the experience, for as Professor Robyn Hunt explains, “Acting isn’t about whether the actor feels the emotion, it is about whether the audience feels the emotion, that is who you are trying to change.”
By: Kalyn Oyer
Though our focus here at Carolina is on the glories of fall football season, spring’s arrival doesn’t mark an end to rooting on our Gamecock athletes. Along with spring’s main sport of baseball, USC hosts a whole crew of club sports. Two such teams, men’s rugby and the men’s ultimate frisbee team, are not only accomplished on the field but are making an impression on the Columbia community off the field.
The Ultimate Frisbee team at USC travels across the southeast and has even been all the way out to Colorado to compete in large-scale tournaments throughout the year. They boast a pretty solid record, finishing 7th in the Atlantic Coast division in 2012. The team will be featured this season on the leading ultimate Frisbee site, Sky’d Magazine, and has had a member advance to a spot on the All-Region team. Although they boast an impressive record, the club players don’t just spend time travelling the country and winning games. They focus on two main areas that bring the sport back to Columbia: hosting a local college tournament and hosting an intramural league.
The local college circuit tournament that the USC club team hosts brings local colleges together to focus on the sport and join in friendly competition.
“We want to create a community so every ultimate-loving student can experience what we do: tournaments, camaraderie, glory, defeat, and getting to wear a jersey on your back that means something…we’ve got some pretty sick jerseys too,” says team captain and fourth-year marketing and entrepreneurial management major, Alex Abel.
The team is looking to bring that sense of community back home to the USC campus. As another project, they host an intramural league open to community members, friends and alumni. And as most college league competitions are out of town, this spring, the team plans to host Clemson for a one-night expedition game, bringing the historic rivalry to campus once again.
“As a senior, and speaking for all the other seniors on the team, our goal is to win. You always want to be the best team there ever was, and that would mean getting past quarterfinals in the regional championship. Our main goal is to be the obvious number one source any new student goes to when looking for Ultimate at USC,” explains Abel.
The team wants to involve students and spread awareness about what it is like to be a part of this club sport.
“We really want to get the word out to students of what we are about. The team can be very intense at times, but the more commitment we receive the more depth we will have to help accommodate those that want to train and play for the title and those that just want to have a good time. We want students to know that we are very welcoming and accept all levels of skill and interest. While we do wish to do well in our competitive season, one of our main goals as a club is to help grow the sport we love and share it with our school,” Abel says.
Getting involved is as simple as showing up at practice and introducing yourself.
Men’s League: Gamecock Ultimate
: Mon. & Thurs. 7-9pm @ Strom
: Wed. @ Strom
Pick-up: all throughout the weekend
"Gamecock Ultimate" Facebook page
Tackling, diving to the ground, running up and down the field - what more perfect sport to replace football than rugby? To get your Gamecock fan fix, check out this club team as they strive to qualify for the Southeastern Rugby Championship. The oldest club sport at USC, rugby started in 1967 and has only grown and excelled since.
Rugby players are known to be tough and aggressive on the field, but the team has found a way to give back - participating in multiple philanthropic activities year-round.
The team often participates in sanctioned Relay for Life events, has sold “Cocks against Cancer” wristbands and gone so far as to hold a player auction to raise money. In 2010, the team raised roughly $8,000 for the organization. Since then, the team has continued their strong support to this cause, raising a three-year total of almost $35,000 for the American Cancer Society.
To support rugby within the Columbia community, the USC team works with the South Carolina High School Rugby organization, which was founded by a team alumnus. Men’s rugby seeks to host several matches to local “ruggers,” providing fields, facilities, equipment, referees, and “Man of the Match” awards for outstanding players both on and off the pitch.
Through their Rookie Rugby program, the players aim to promote the sport of rugby to a younger age group. The USC team donates equipment to various Midlands elementary and middle schools to incorporate rugby fundamentals into their PE curriculum. In addition, they have supported numerous promotional events to endorse health and wellness amongst local youth.
“Our investment into Rookie Rugby helps to expose high school students to the game at a young age and prepare them for collegiate play in the future. Additionally, the program for elementary and middle school students helps to give children the option to choose rugby over more popular sports such as football, soccer, or baseball,” says team captain and fourth-year human resource management student, Tim Holkenborg.
The community service doesn’t just end there. The team works to reach out and support other organizations’ philanthropy events. Each year, Carolina Rugby plays in Kappa Kappa Gamma’s annual flag football tournament, participates in the Carolina-Clemson blood-drive and “McHappy Day” for the Ronald McDonald House charity.
With all this service, it’s surprising these players have any time to…well, actually play!
Tues. & Thurs. 7-9 pm @ Strom Rugby Field
: 3/2 @ 1p.m. v. ECU @ Strom Thurmond Field
By: Khadijah Dennis
Move over Rover, there’s a new coach in town, and he means business. Frank Martin was named USC’s men’s basketball head coach on March 27, 2012, leading the team into their 105th season as a varsity sport. For the past five seasons, he’s managed to lead the Kansas State University Wildcats to the NCAA tournament four times, with a current overall winning record for the season. He’s hoping to lead the Gamecocks in the same direction.
G&B: You talk a lot about the team in many of your press conferences and interviews, how have you made an effort to get to know the players?
Coach Martin: You have to communicate with them. You have to let them get to know you first. I’m the new guy around here; most players have been here before. They understand this better than I did when I got here. For them to be able to open up and accept me, I have to let them understand what I’m about. The beauty of sports is that the season throws some difficult emotions into your relationship [and] those difficult emotions are the ones that allow you to fully understand people because you’re not just going through everything that’s good and great.
G&B: Can students expect any more free food? *crosses fingers*
Coach Martin: [laughs] If you look at the top 10, 12, 15, programs in the country, you also have the best home environments in the country, and with all due respect to the folks that pay a lot of money and make donations to schools, the student body is what gives you the building that becomes special. The student body is who determines the personality that takes place on the court during the game. I’ll do everything I can to thank those students, whether it is shirts, food, or anything I can as a way of thanking them for helping us.
G&B: Are you an iPhone or Android type of guy?
G&B: Before this season is over, what do you want students to know about you as a coach?
Coach Martin: I love people, and I’ve got tremendous passion for people. Some of the most difficult moments for me are when we take to court, and we’ve got those seniors that have gone through the life lessons, the experiences, the negative, the positive, and the raw emotion that 4 years of college brings to you. I know I’m not perfect, so I don’t continue to hold people in judgment as to whether they’re perfect or not. Hopefully, one day, when the players or myself walk onto the court for the last time, we all can know we have made this a better place, a better university because of the passion we have for what we do.
Problem: USC is expanding its current tobacco policy to make campus completely tobacco-free. The current policy prohibits the use of tobacco products within 25 feet of university-owned and –leased buildings, vehicles and other property. The proposed policy change is an expansion to a blanket ‘campus-free’ tobacco policy.
Pro Tobacco Ban
By: Grace Kerley
The Carolinian Creed outlines standards that all students should strive to follow in order to maintain an environment of dignity and harmony. The current tobacco policy violates this because students that use tobacco on campus are disrespecting the rights and property of others. Personal property includes one’s body, and those who choose to smoke on campus are disrespecting our bodies.
The current tobacco policy requires that students smoke 25 feet away from all University of South Carolina buildings. Besides the fact that very few smokers in the Carolina community follow this rule, the policy needs to be changed because it is not the buildings that are being harmed by tobacco users, but peers who face the long-term consequences of secondhand smoke.
Tobacco use on our campus needs to be banned because the current policy contradicts the very doctrine that binds our community. When students are called into question about their academic integrity, professors and faculty often reference the Carolinian Creed. Why is it that student smokers are given a pass to break the rules? We don’t need to change the current tobacco policy because we’re tired of sitting next to people in class that reek of smoke. We need to change it because the only way we will grow as a university is by challenging every member of the Carolina community to not only follow the Carolinian Creed, but to respect it and make sure other students do as well.
Con Tobacco Ban
By: Joybelle Barlow
As a student who doesn’t smoke, my first thoughts regarding the tobacco ban revolved around the thought, “Who cares?” I certainly don’t. Smoking on campus has never bothered or affected me, and in fact, I hardly ever notice it. Taking a closer look though, this ban isn’t just going to affect those who use tobacco. It will take a toll on all USC students, faculty and staff, and perhaps the community as a whole.
1.) In order to enforce this university-wide tobacco ban, USC police will be on foot, patrolling campus looking for the use of tobacco products. So, if you love seeing police throughout the day, this ban is perfect for you.
2.) Tobacco is legal for people 18 or older. Why can’t people who are of age be allowed to consume a product they have every right to? It is a matter of personal liberty to use a legal substance as long as you don’t affect other people. Essentially, the ban is an infringement of personal rights based on people’s personal beliefs.
3.) The tobacco ban will change our current policy of being 25 feet away from university owned or leased buildings to a blank campus-wide smoke-free policy which bans all forms of tobacco. One of the objectives of this change is to get rid of second hand smoke. However, chewing tobacco, which doesn't even affect bystanders, would be banned under this tobacco-free policy. As products such as chewing tobacco are subject to free will, how is eliminating tobacco products that don't even affect bystanders relevant?
The fact of the matter is that we have it correct to start with. The current policy is enough and trying to ban all tobacco products might cause more problems than solutions. Anyone on campus, regardless of being a student or visitor, would have to adhere to the tobacco ban under the watch of police patrolling the campus. Why fix what isn’t broken?
Ever wonder why you see hordes of old people hijacking Capstone elevators on the weekends? It’s not a covert Alumni society secretly living in the bowels of the building. The visitors, usually dressed in their finest attire, are headed to the Top of Carolina, a rotating dining room located on the 18th floor of the dorm that serves a delectable brunch spread and draws tourists from all over the state.
Why is this restaurant so special? Well, for one, it revolves! Not like the tilt-a-whirl at the State Fair or anything. We’re talking a barely noticeable rotation that is just enough to give a great view of the Columbia skyline through its wall-to-wall windows. In fact, it’s the only rotating restaurant in all of South Carolina. One meal usually takes about a full rotation, giving diners a complete 360-degree view of the Columbia metropolitan area while they gorge on some of the finest eating to be found in Cola.
Another reason this place is so unique is its mystery. Sure, many USC students know about its existence, but few have stepped foot on its orbiting threshold. Students can’t access the 18th floor unless they are diners, and then only during specified times on Friday and Sunday. This means finding an elusive phone number, making reservations, dressing in your spiffiest, and forking over some real cash versus the typical meal swipe. And even if you live in Capstone, the glorious 18th floor is sacred ground to which only the privileged can gain access. Let the mystery linger no longer, its an experience not to miss before graduation.
Things you should know:
1) The Top of Carolina is open for Friday BBQ from 11:30am-1:30pm and for Sunday brunch from 10:30am-1:30pm
2) Price: Friday- $10.75 per person, Sunday- $20 plus gratuity per person
3) Phone Number (to make reservations): 803-777-7919
Why should you fork over that paycheck just to eat USC dining? Because, it’s DELICIOUS. For Sunday brunch, think of every breakfast food your taste buds could imagine: golden-brown waffles dripping with maple syrup, sizzling bacon fresh off the skillet, sweet-scented cinnamon buns layered in icing. Then, there’s round two. Because brunch isn’t brunch without lunch. For the second course, you can treat yourself to delectable shrimp and grits, tender slow-roasted turkey, and for dessert, rows of martini-glassed treats. Be sure to save room - this isn’t your ordinary Gibbes breakfast, to say the least.
For a less expensive meal, there’s the Friday Barbecue Buffet. The feast includes mouth-watering BBQ, home-made macaroni and cheese, potato salad and much more Southern deliciousness, topped off, of course, with an unlimited amount of sweet tea and some banana pudding for dessert. So if you aren’t sold on the incredible, one-of-a-kind atmosphere, maybe your stomach will coerce you into dining at the Top of Carolina.
The 2012 Dance Marathon heralded over 700 dancers and raised over $177,000. DM will take place on March 1st and 2nd, 2013. For more information and to register, visit www.uscdm.org.