Masters of the Gamers Guild

While there are many clubs and organizations that Missouri Western provides, there is one that is more relaxed and free than others. The Gamers Guild is an organization that allows anyone to join and bring their own games as long as others are willing to play. The games can also range from any kind of platform. From video games to card games like Magic: The Gathering, anything is allowed. Grayson Bosworth is a recent member of the Gamers Guild and attends when he’s not in class or in school. “We just wait until they unlock whichever room we have and everyone kind of does their own thing,” Bosworth said. “Some people start playing Dungeons and Dragons and other people sometimes bring a game console and start playing against people. There’s a lot of Magic players and we usually get together and play that, even outside the Guild.” Bosworth has also mentioned a time the Guild played Cards Against Humanity, which is an adult humor card game that has grown very popular. Michael Eddy has been a member for a year and a half in the Guild and has enjoyed every experience. “It’s been a lot of fun,” Eddy said. “We have changed locations several times and had a couple of ups and downs, like this year, where something happened with our paperwork and we don’t have the room for a couple weeks. My experiences have been pretty positive. We come in and it’s pretty much a social group. We have a Facebook page so if your interested in a certain game, you can message someone to see if any other member of the guild has that game and then, we play it.” The Gamers Guild has been delayed this semester due to missing paperwork and having to re-establish the organization. The new paperwork was submitted 14 business days before the event, and despite an advisor’s approval, the Guild has been denied. The Guild will hopefully re-open within two weeks. Like many clubs or organizations, many have found friendships through the Gamers Guild. Bosworth now plays Magic with many of his friends he met through the Guild. “I’ve made quite a few friends in the Gamers Guild,” Bosworth said. “It’s how I met some of the people I hang out with now.” Bosworth discovered the Gamers Guild during the student orientation Western has at the beginning each year. Joseph Hawkins is another member of the Guild who has enjoyed being part of the organization. “It’s a real friendly atmosphere where everyone gets along and we never have any problems, even deciding what games to play, there’s no negativity,” Hawkins said. The Gamers Guild has been a fun experience for those that have participated in it and is always looking for more people to join.

Getting the word out

Western’s Mochila Review literary magazine chapter is giving itself a voice in January in a unique way with a podcast called Mochila Chat. Mochila Review Editor Marianne Kunkel explains how she came up with the idea. “I got the idea to create something like Mochila Chat here at Western from my previous experience at the University of Nebraska where I was the managing editor of a creative writing magazine,” she said. Kunkel also explains that while they did something similar there, this one won’t be a carbon copy of the previous one. “This one is slightly different,” she said. “It has a college student focus; we are pulling more segments from the hard-copy literary magazine that we produce. But, the vision is the same: to bring creative writing to an audio audience. To kind of create something that will be featured on our website that is more interactive and just something that is really listenable when someone has ten minutes.” While this podcast is certainly unique, Kunkel explains it may even be one-of-a-kind when it comes to colleges. “Mochila Chat is something that is actually very unique in terms of other podcasts like it,” she said. “I would put it in the category of literary podcasts, just in general, and there aren’t a ton of them; there are maybe 30. To my knowledge there aren’t any for a college literary review. It allows us to kind of join the company of these really prestigious literary journals but to put our stamp on it.” Podcast Anchor Chris Pankeiwicz explains that it just took one event to get him onboard with Mochila Review. “I got published on campus last semester and that kind of opened the doors so I could see kind of the literary opportunities on campus, be it writing or publishing - it’s all pretty interesting,” he said. Pankeiwicz also explains that this is really an online push and that is where you will be able to hear their new podcast after January 2015. “We have a Facebook page, a web page and we have a Twitter so those three things kind of come together and we will have a link on the webpage for it,” he said. Co-Anchor Lindsey Lucas says she joined Mochila really on a whim. “I joined the staff last semester and I didn’t really know anything about it when I joined,” she said. “I just saw that it was a literary magazine and that is something that I am really interested in and so I thought I would give it a try.” Lucas also says that with such a small staff, deciding who would be on the podcast initially wasn’t really an issue. “Marianne just kind of asked us who would be willing to, and then we talked about it amongst ourselves. It’s a very small staff,” she said. The Mochila website is not yet live and both their site and the podcast will be made available sometime in January 2015. Keep an eye online with www.thegriffonnews.com for updates or check on their current site at https://www.missouriwestern.edu/apps/mochila/.            

Griffon Update

Get up-to-date on the current happenings and events around campus with the broadcast and journalism team at Griffon Update. Griffon Update is a broadcast program on campus for any student looking to be more involved in broadcast journalism and news packaging. Katelyn Canon, convergent media student, describes Griffon Update and what it entails. “Griffon Update is a student-run broadcast publication,” Canon said. “It’s more feature style, or magazine style, than traditional news broadcast, so we do some stories that are more feature focused or lifestyle focused instead of hard-hitting news.” Griffon Update can be found on their vimeo channel online at vimeo.com/griffonupdate, or you can catch the 30 minute episodes on channel 39 at noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, or 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Bob Nulph, professor of journalism and founder of Griffon Update, started the program when he first began teaching at Missouri Western. When the program started in 1994, it was originally named Western Weekly. After leaving for a few years and returninig, Nulph decided to bring back the program for the journalism and broadcast students on campus. “When I came back I realized there was no real broadcast outlet for our students. So, I decided to resurrect Western Weekly, and I asked the students what they wanted to call it, we took a vote, and Griffon Update became the new name,” Nulph said. Griffon Update is a way to bring broadcasting experience to students wanting to experience the field of journalism and broadcast. Canon describes why it’s important for these students to gain that experience and build a good portfolio. “For journalism and broadcast students, it’s so important for them to join because the field of journalism is moving in the direction of convergence,” Canon said.  “So what that means is you are no longer going to be expected to just know how to write, you need to know how to make a video to support your story as well.” But Griffon Update is not only available to journalism students. Jennifer Swope, staff of Griffon Update and the Yearbook, had little experience when joining this program. “We are working on our third show and are hoping to have our forth by the end of the semester which is really big because when we first came in none of us really knew how to put together a video package, so it’s definitely been a learning process,” Swope said. Swope also explains the process of putting together a package and the difficulties that accompany it. “The first thing is to figure out what your story is, figure out what your angle is. It’s a lot like writing a story, the biggest difference is you have to get people who are actually willing to be on camera as your interview sources,” Swope said. When it comes to story angle, Nulph explains the purpose of Griffon Update is to keep the students informed on what’s going on on-campus and in the community. “If it’s something happening on campus, if it’s something we think the students will be interested in, then the students will gladly do a three-to-five minute package on that subject,” Nulph said. Some examples of what they have covered so far include Missouri Western’s production of Pirates of Penzance, the student art show, the convocation and food on campus. To be involved in Griffon Update next semester you can sign up for JOU 214, multi-media practicum, or contact Bob Nulph at rnulph@missouriwestern.edu about volunteering to be on the team.

Teaching with a side of Acting

Everyone has some type of hobby that they enjoy and this is no different for Missouri Western’s own Ana Bausset. Bausset is an assistant professor of Spanish who has earned the respect of most of her students and colleagues. Sage Smith is one of Baussett’s students and enjoys her teaching methods. “She’s a little less formal than most teachers, but I enjoy her class because she speaks in Spanish and explains different words that aren’t in the book,” Smith said. “It’s also an introduction to culture because she’s from Argentina and that makes the class more interesting.” Bausset enjoys acting on the side and has been featured in a few pieces, including the upcoming movie New Testament. “I do acting and have been called to do many things and they sometimes cast me as a person from the Middle-East or a Latin American person because I have that look,” Baussett said. "I was cast in Utah about a year ago and I did work in the deserts where they were filming. It wasn’t as glamorous as some people would think because of the heat. We were suffering.” Paul Pickett is also a teacher doing acting on the side and has worked with Baussett on a M.A.D.D. training video. “Ana was a delight to work with, she was always upbeat and excited,” Pickett said. “She knew her lines very well and didn't mess up very much.  In fact, most of the mess-ups came from me. She read my emotions well on screen and reacted properly.  She did have a tough time pronouncing some words in English or putting the correct emphasis on phrases, which led to some laugh out loud moments on screen. Ana's acting skills are just fine, she learned quickly from the acting coach they had on set and would usually get her lines down before I would.  She's very believable." While she wasn’t a main role in the movie, there are quite a bit of scenes where you can see her in the background. There’s even one scene of her with Jesus in the movie. She was an extra and played a woman in the crowds of different scenes in the movie. Pickett also explained what acting is like for him. "Acting, for me, is a rush," Pickett said. "It requires so much preparation and effort that when you finally get on set your adrenaline is pumping and you are ready to go. One of the most difficult things in acting is to not act. You have to become that character and until you do, you are acting. No one likes to watch an actor act, they want to watch a character. So you have to do a lot of preparation to become that character." Baussett got the part in the New Testament by her other works. When she played her different rolls, that information was saved in records where different studios can access them. By having this information, studios can pick and choose who they would want as their actors and extras. “We were doing short documentaries for the HR of the Mormon Church and there were nine of us that did a few scenes and were featured in the movie,” Baussett said. “It was awesome, though. I loved it and I love acting when I have the time.” New Testament is being made by LDS Motion Picture Studios for a religious organization called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The movie is being produced to teach people about the life of Jesus and the New Testament.

Pirates

DSC_2228
By: Crystal Crawford Thursday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 16, Missouri Western will be staging a production in Potter Hall that just might transport the audience back in time. “The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty”, an operetta written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, was originally written and performed in the 1880s. For this reason, Missouri Western Professor, Director and Set Designer, Dr. Donald Lillie, has decided to base the Missouri Western production off of the original. He aims to keep everything about the production as fitting to the period as possible. “If Queen Victoria would walk in and take a look, she would be very comfortable with what it looks like,” Lillie said. Everything from the simple, painted sets to the fighting style used in the fight scenes, the goal is to give the audience the experience of watching the play as it would have been produced in 1887. This also means including a full orchestra in the pit. There are around 12 strings players in the orchestra, as well as woodwinds and reed instruments. The full orchestra rehearses with the cast at least three times a week; an opportunity, Lillie says, that most students don’t get to experience. “We have this new musical director, we have Rico [McNeela] who is building the orchestra aspect of the music department... It just seems to be that’s what should be done,” Lillie said. The play tells the story of Frederic, a young pirate apprentice who, upon his 21st birthday, prepares to leave his apprenticeship and atone for his dastardly pirate deeds. He meets Mabel, the daughter of the Major-General, and the two fall instantly in love. Frederic soon finds out, however, that his contract with the pirates states that he must serve his apprenticeship with them until his 21st birthday – which only falls in the leap year, on February 29. His sense of duty compels him to return to the pirates until his contract is fulfilled, which would leave him in the pirates’ service for another 63 years. Matthew Ulmer plays Frederic, who he describes as timid, innocent, bashful and head over heels in love. “He’s never had the chance of seeing true beauty and so, when he does, he’s overwhelmed,” Ulmer said. “His innocence is kind of the comedy behind it all. The joke revolves around him, yet he doesn’t recognize the joke itself.” Though he was in a few high school productions, “The Pirates of Penzance” is not only the first time Ulmer has been cast in a lead role, but it is also his first time performing on the collegiate level. Ulmer relates to the character of Frederic. Ulmer says that, like Frederic, he is always honest, even when people may not like hearing the truth. The biggest challenge he’s faced so far is body language. Jonathan Rhoad, who plays the Pirate King Richard, and Sonrisa Johnston, who plays the pirate maid Ruth, do not find their characters quite as relatable. The Pirate King, a nobleman who has grown tired of polite society and has gone rogue, is charismatic and convincing, which are qualities Rhoad seems to have, but he also describes his character as quite arrogant. “I like to think of myself as confident,” Rhoad said. “Arrogance is confidence taken way too far. And so, I don’t really relate to him.” Johnston describes her character, Ruth, as a bit of a strumpet which is nothing like Johnston, who describes herself as happily married for 16 years with five kids. That doesn’t mean, however, that Johnston and Rhoad haven’t thoroughly enjoyed playing their characters. “I think it’s fun to play against type, and I find it’s actually easier,” Johnston said. “If you’re playing a role that’s really close to your base personality, it’s really hard not to be up there being you.” Johnston has been in theatre most of her life, but opera is still fairly new for her. She has had experience in straight plays and musical theatre, but dancing has always been somewhat of a challenge for her. Especially now, as she tries to keep up with some of the tricky choreography while wearing stilettos. Dancing is more of a challenge for Rhoad, who has never been a dancer. He has also been in straight plays, musicals and choirs throughout his life, but he hasn’t had much experience with dancing. This time, he is not only dancing up front and center, but he is doing so with real cutlery. Though the rapiers and daggers that the cast will be using this weekend are unsharpened, they are still very real. Because of this, the cast have had to practice the fight choreography every night. Each movement has to be precise, because one wrong move could possibly end in injury. Fortunately, fight choreography happens to be another of Dr. Lillie’s specializations. Though Lillie is a pacifist, he has been fascinated with the art of combat since he was a kid, playing with garbage can lids and sticks. His fascination doesn’t lie in the violence, but rather in the historical accuracy of it. “It brings a sense of reality and a sense of safety, as well,” Lillie said. “We are always concerned about safety, because we are aware of the dangers. We do proper form, proper technique.” Which means, of course, that the fighting seen in this production will also be fitting to the period in which the story takes place. Missouri Western has performed at least two other Gilbert and Sullivan productions, “The H.M.S. Pinafore” and “Mikado”, which were both successful. The decision to produce “The Pirates of Penzance” was, in Lillie’s opinion, a no-brainer. “It’s always young, it’s always fresh because the story is timeless,” Lillie said. “And so, it appeals to all ages, all years.” Opening night is Thursday, Nov. 13. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances will start at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday, starting at 2:00 p.m.