Gzsote's Blog

Performing Arts in a wholesome environment

The King’s Ball: Once Upon a Time September 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — gzsote @ 6:08 pm
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Dress as your favorite fairy tale or nursery rhyme character and join us for an evening of dance, live entertainment, and dessert!
Formal evening wear also welcome.

October 21st, 2011, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, held at the beautiful McMinnville Grand Ballroom, 325 NE 3rd St, McMinnville, OR, 97128

Cost is $7 for general admission, $5 for students 12 and under (8 and under free) military and group discounts available.

Ballroom and swing lessons will be provided; there will be waltz, cha cha, line dance, English Country Dance, and more, set to fairy-tale themed songs.

Because this is a family-friendly ball, please dress modestly (no cleavage, exposed tummies, or strapless, please), and avoid “scary” costumes. If you have a question about a costume choice, please contact Emily Hundley at sotepro@gmail.com

You can also check out our website for pictures of previous balls and how to get there.

Hope to see you there!


Change is in the Wind March 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — gzsote @ 5:48 pm

There are going to be some changes in the format of Genesis Zero and Salt of the Earth Productions. Please note, the following are not set in stone; changes will continue to be made as I fine-tune and get permissions and such.

The past few years I’ve been trying to hit on the best format for classes and productions, so things are going to get reshuffled again.

1. Classes will continue to be Mondays in Sherwood. However, there will only be TWO classes; one at 12:30-2:00, and a longer one at 2:30-4:30.

2. Each class will be split into a 9 week (ish) unit. The first nine weeks will be Beginners and Intermediate, the next will be Pre-Beginner (ages 4-9) and Intermediate, and the next will be Advanced and Intermediate.

I have Intermediate in every unit, because any level can comfortably take the class without being too overwhelmed or alternately bored. This format is subject to change.

3. I also hope to teach a class in Gales Creek or Forest Grove. This first year would be similar to the first years of GZ; one class only, open to all levels, ages 8-18. This would likely be held on Fridays, 3:30-5:00 or 4:00-5:30.

4. Classes would finish at the end of January. Production will begin in February, with rehearsals being held 2 nights a week.

5. Productions will take place in Gales Creek or Forest Grove, NOT in Sherwood. We can’t seem to find any place to perform in that area, and it’s difficult to rehearse in Sherwood, then move to Gales Creek to perform.

6. I’m looking to get more people involved in the leadership aspect. I’d like a teacher’s assistant for the Gales Creek class, and we also need production members for the musicals.

Production leadership may include; Directors, Choreographers, Tech crew, Costumers, Pianist, Stage Manager, Promotions Manager, House Manager, etc.

7. I would like to have a dance night, similar to the dance parties at the Tigard Dance Company (but on a smaller scale). I’m thinking Monday nights, 7-9, at the Sparrow Ballroom (pending confirmation) in Forest Grove.

This would include a brief lesson, then open floor until 9:00.

If anyone is interested in helping out with that (i.e., sound, set-up, dance instructors), let me know if you’re interested.

If you have any questions or suggestions, and/or are interested in helping out with anything, comment below or send me an email (please note new SOTE email address: sotepro@yahoo.com). Keep an eye out for a new SOTE Pro. website!


Ancient Greek Theatre October 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gzsote @ 6:15 pm

Ancient Greek Theatre

Ancient Greek Theatre flourished between c. 550 and c. 220 BC. Its center was Athens, where it was part of a festival honoring the god Dionyus.

There were three main kinds of dramatic performances: Tragedy, Comedy, and the Satyr play. A play might last from morning to evening, and were quite elaborate. Audiences were large; up to 14,000 seats were available.

The size of the outdoor theatres presented several challenges. To solve the problem of visibility, theatres were built on hills, with the stage area at the bottom of the hill. Architects also had to consider acoustics when building a theatre, as an actor’s voice could be lost to the audience sitting furthest from the stage. Another problem of visibility was solved by the wearing of masks. This enabled the audience to determine a characters emotions by exaggerating the expression.

A chorus of 12-50 performers would represent an observer and commentator of the events through song and dance. Because the chorus usually played one character, they often wore identical masks.

The play itself was performed by no more than three actors, who often played multiple characters. Different characters and emotions were represented with different masks. Women were not allowed to act, so men had to play female roles.

Tragedy competitions were held as part of the festival. The first playwright to win this festival was Thespis; from whose name we get the word “Thespian”, meaning a dramatic performer.

Greek Theatre has contributed to modern Western theatre in many ways, including: use of scenery/backdrops, dramatic competitions, use of music and dance as part of theatre, special effects including trapdoors and cranes, the introduction of satire as an art form, and more.


Books available in Washington County October 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gzsote @ 9:31 pm

Some of these might be available in the Yamhill County system; not sure. Just to give you an idea of what’s out there:

150 Years of Popular Musical Theater

– Andrew Lamb

Broadway Costumes on a Budget : Big-time Ideas for Amateur Producers

– Janet Litherland

Cool sets & props : how to stage your very own show

– Karen Latchana Kenny

Practical handbook of stage lighting and sound

– W. Edmund Hood

Theatre backstage from A to Z

– Warren C. Lounsbury

Theatrical design and production : an introduction to scene design and construction, lighting, sound, costume, and makeup

–  J. Michael Gillette

Classical Music for Dummies

– David Pogue

Directing a Play

– Michael McCaffery

Backstage at a play

– Kimberly M. Miller

Practical theater : how to stage your own production


The History of Swing (Sorta) by Brandon September 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gzsote @ 10:39 pm

(If you haven’t written your swing essay yet, you may read this, but you still have to research on your own:)

Swing dance is really a group of dances developed for the style of Jazz music being played at the time (1920s – ‘40s.)

   One of the most well known swing dances, Lindy Hop (possibly named for Charles Lindbergh’s crossing of the Atlantic), came about in the late ‘20s.

   Developed in Harlem, New York, and possibly based off of one of these dances: The Charleston, The Texas Tommy, The Breakaway, and The Hop. Lindy includes influences from: Jazz, Tap, Breakaway, and Charleston.

   The early years of Lindy are commonly associated with “Shorty” George Snowden, Bid Bea, Leroy Stretch Jones, and Little Bea.

   Lindy Entered Mainstream American Culture in the ‘30s through a couple of sources, such as movies. One of these movies was A Day at the Races, staring the Marx Brothers. The Lindy Hop sequence featured:  Frankie Manning, Al Minns, and Norma Miller (some of the most famous Lindy Hoppers at the time.)

   Moving forward in time a little, we come to the 1940s and the East Coast Swing (My style of choice. Well, Single-step Swing that is…)

   East Coast Swing came out of Lindy Hop with the help of The Arthur Murray dance studio, and styled after the swing music of the 1940s. This style first was designed for instructional purposes at the Arthur Murray dance academy, but was later codified to allow for competitive dancing. It’s been said that there is no wrong way of dancing East Coast Swing; that said, certain styles are considered as the “correct form”.


Resources for your TAS September 14, 2010

Filed under: Advanced,Uncategorized — gzsote @ 2:50 pm

Here are some links and whatnot to help you research for your TAS. Keep in mind that these links may not be the best source of information, so look around and don’t rely on this. Also, while you’re welcome to glance at the links for other TAS, don’t get so distracted that you neglect the ones you’re working on.

Comedy TAS:


Elements of Comedy

How to tell a Joke

Telling Jokes Lots of ads in this one, but look! It’s by Brandon!


Drama/Tragedy TAS:

Elements of Drama


Dramatic Scenes

Confrontation Scenes

How to Cry I just Googled “How to Cry” and this came up! Hahaha!

Pantomime TAS:

Mimed scene ideas

Stage Combat TAS:

Combat videos (I was not able to view these beforehand for content.)

Improvisation TAS:

You’re on your own; this one’s easy to look up. I have a list of improv games if you want to look at it.

History of Drama TAS:

This one is also easy to look up. Here’s one interesting link, though:


Song Performance:

Vocal Health

Vocal Health for Kids

Basic Music Theory and Next Level Music Theory:

The Basics

History of Music:

Musical Periods

Ballroom Dance/Swing Dance:

I have several videos that teach the basics of ballroom and swing. You can also find lots of videos and DVDs that teach these. I’m fond of the Dance With Len Goodman (head judge on Dancing With the Stars) DVD, available in the Washington County system.

History of Swing

Theatrical Dance

You can also find DVDs of jazz, hip hop, etc at your library or clips on YouTube.

History of Dance

Be careful when looking up “dance fads” online; there are some inappropriate topics in those articles. I have Panatti’s Parade of Fads, Follies, and Manias, a book that covers these dance fads. There is also a video in the Washington County system called Dance Time – The 20th Century, which is pretty good.


Comedy Sketch writing

Script formatting

Writing a Dramatic Vignette

Song/Poetry Writing

Just Google “How to write a song” or “how to write a poem”. Lots of stuff will come up.




10 Tips

Logo design


Christian diplomacy

Blocking 1

Blocking 2

Costuming and Costume Design/Assembly

Costume Design

Color Wheel

Body Types

I also have several books on historical and ethnic costumes.

Makeup and Hair

Makeup effects

Stage Makeup videos

Makeup step-by-step

Long Hair Styles

Grey hair

Historical Hair and Costume

Set Design

I have a book on making theatre sets.

Props Design

About Props

Importance of Props


About Stage Lighting


About Sound

Stage Crew

Stage Management

Special Effects

Fun Catalogue

Special FX

Stage Safety

Physical environment

Theatre Safety


First Day of Class Coming Up! August 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gzsote @ 2:59 pm

Hi all!

If you haven’t enrolled your student(s) yet for Genesis Zero, now is the time to do so! Our first class is September 13.

For more information, check our our Genesis Zero Stage Class page.

Click on the class name for a syllabus