BROWN WRITES HISTORICAL MUSICAL

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Edward Brown holds his script for his musical “Rednecks.” Brown is also wearing a red bandana similar to one that the miners would have worn. Photo by Ali Barrett

Potomac State College’s activities program manager, Dr. Edward Brown, wrote his own musical “Rednecks” on the history of southern coalminers in West Virginia.

Brown’s idea for the musical all started with a dream he had. This dream led him to writing the main song “Tallahassee.” After a few songs were written, Brown started to create the dialogue for the musical based off of his research.

“I began researching the coal mining history in West Virginia and came upon the Battle of Blair Mountain. I decided that this was the story I wanted to tell,” Brown said.

The Battle of Blair Mountain is known as the largest labor uprising in United States history. Occurring in 1921, the battle involved over 10,000 West Virginia coal miners. They had armed themselves to fight the coal companies and the U.S. Government in hopes of receiving better pay and working conditions.

Brown said he got the idea for the title of the musical from these miners who wore red bandanas around their necks to help identify themselves.

He said the story has inspired him in many ways. While researching, Brown found the percentage of European immigrants and African-Americans who worked in the coal fields to be interesting. “I feel that I now have a duty to tell this story for the men who fought and died for what we today take for granted,” Brown said.

Brown has recently been working with local theatre director Chris McCabe and PSC music professor Dr. Brian Plitnik to act out the songs and scenes to see how it appears on stage. The PSC theater classes helped bring the musical to life.

Blockbuster Movies For Summer 2017

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Check out the list of projected blockbusters for the Summer of 2017.

“Guardians Of The Galaxy      Vol. 2” May 5, 2017

   “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will be the first time that three Marvel films will be released in one year.

   The first one out is James Gunn’s much-anticipated follow-up to “Guardians Of The Galaxy.”

   The first movie was a big risk for Marvel, but it was the biggest surprise hit of 2014.

   Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are all on board.

   Kurt Russell will be joining them this time too, and we should get another awesome mixtape.

   A third film is already being planned.

   Don’t be surprised to see this second movie slide in a few surprises for the 2018’s ”Avengers: Infinity War Part One.”

 

“Baywatch” May 19, 2017

   Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron are bringing this infamous television show to the big screen.

   Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff have planned to make a cameo in the movie.

   Director Seth Gordon has a shot of having the second-biggest grossing Dwayne Johnson movie of summer 2017.

   Johnson is also appearing in “The Fate of the Furious,” was released on April 14, 2017.

   They are expecting a hit, so let’s not rule out a sequel.

“Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” May 26, 2017

   Johnny Depp returns as the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow.

   This tale finds Captain Jack feeling down and out.

   His only hope is to make an alliance with a beautiful astronomer and a very headstrong sailor of the royal army in hopes to take down Captain Salazer, who wants to kill every pirate.

“Bad Boys 3” June 2, 2017

   This will be the first of two new “Bad Boys” movies and is an example of studios regaining their confidence in releasing R-rated summer films.

   Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are both returning to their popular roles.

Wonder Woman” June 2, 2017

   “Wonder Woman” is a DC Comics movie based on the character of the same name.

   The film will not pick-up from the movie “Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice.”

   Instead, the story will start from the beginning, which was over a 100 years ago when she was first discovered as an Amazon princess and daughter to Zeus.

“Cars 3” June 16, 2017

   “Cars 3” is the third installment of Pixar Studios and Walt Disney Pictures.

   This movie is sure to entertain children and adults, as Lightning McQueen trains for a comeback against the rookie, Jackson Storm in the Florida 500.

   For those of you who may be wondering, no worries, Mater will be there to cheer on his friend, Lightning McQueen.

“Transformers: The Last Knight” June 23, 2017

   This will be the fifth installment of the film series, with Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci reprising their roles along with Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson.

   With Optimus Prime gone, a battle has started between the humans and the transformers.

   An alliance is formed with Bumblebee and an Oxford professor as they try and figure out why the Transformers continue to come back to earth.

“Despicable Me 3” June 30, 2017

   Gru comes up against Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who has grown up and become obsessed with the character that he played during the ‘80s.

   There is some sibling rivalry when he meets his long-lost successful twin brother Dru.

   Gru wants his brother to help with one last heist to retrieve the diamond that Bratt has stolen.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”   July 7, 2017

   This will be the second Marvel movie to be released in 2017.

   Peter Parker attempts to balance his life during high school with his new career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man, following the new fame he found during his help in “Captain America: Civil War.”

   Robert Downey Jr. will be making appearances during the movie, as well as Marvel creator, Stan Lee.

“Alien: Covenant”  August 4, 2017

   The crew of the Covenant, who are bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is a new-found paradise.

   So, they uncover a threat that is way beyond their imagination and they must attempt a tormenting escape.

PSC Theatre Presents “Oliver!”

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The stage lights of Church-McKee hit the cast of “Oliver!” as they practice their figure-eight choreography for what seems to be the 100th time. As they weave in and out of the center, the actors begin to bring their characters to life by interacting with each other. Smiles on faces as they sing out the song prove this musical will be a sight to see.

Chris McCabe is directing this classic tale with choreography by Kim Rowley. Dr. Brian Plitnik, PSC music professor, is producing and conducting the music. “We chose to do ‘Oliver!’ this year because we were looking for a show with a large cast as well as being able to sell to school groups and families,” McCabe said.

The cast is made up of children, teens and adults. Donny Ness, community actor, is playing the iconic role of Oliver Twist.

Justise Clay, a sophomore, said she tried out due to her love for theatre and performing on stage. Her favorite part of “Oliver!” is the dance numbers and meeting new faces that share the same passion as she.

Clay is part of the ensemble for “Oliver!”; she will be dressed as a boy. This is her third musical performance with PSC. “I hope the audience will see how hard the cast and crew have worked on the show come opening night,” Clay said. The cast has been practicing three times a week for two months and will meet every day this week to put finishing touches to the show.

Karlee Witherite, an eighth grader in Meyersdale Area School District, said her favorite part of “Oliver!” is the musical number of “Consider Yourself.” This is also her third musical with PSC.

Witherite, also dressed as a boy, will join Clay as part of the ensemble. Witherite has been dancing for 12 years and has taken many different styles of dance. Her favorite is tap; she will be able to showcase her skills in a tap dance break in the show. “I am beyond excited for the tap break. The last time I performed tap on stage at PSC, I was a chimney sweep,” Witherite said.

The writer and composer, Lionel Bart, turned the famous Charles Dickens novel, “Oliver Twist”, into an award-winning musical. Oliver Twist is an 11-year-old orphan growing up on the streets of Victorian England, and he finds himself friends with thieves and pickpockets. Oliver is later captured for a crime he did not commit.

However, the victim takes him in to raise as his own son. While learning the ways of how a family unit works, Oliver faces being kidnapped by the leader of the pickpockets.

Show dates are March 17-26. For more information concerning tickets, visit Potomac State College’s website under the “Campus Life” tab.

For the first time, tickets are being sold online through eventbrite.com.

PSC students can get in for free with a student ID.

 

 

Check Out Netflix’s Binge-Worthy Shows

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As the semester progresses, students need to remember that sometimes taking study breaks are much needed. The best way to relax is Netflix. The biggest issue is finding what to watch. Check out these binge-worthy shows:

“The 100”

When a nuclear bomb destroys earth, the only human survivors are in the International Space Station. The station’s resources diminish after three generations. To test the earth’s habitability, the space station sends 100 juveniles to the surface, where they learn how to live and survive on earth. “The 100” has three seasons on Netflix.

“Heartland”

This show follows main character Amy Fleming and her family. They operate the family-owned ranch after the passing of her mother.

Amy is a horse whisperer who fixes horses that have issues, and she stands up for what she believes in.

This show will have you laughing and crying all in one episode. This Canadian show currently has seven seasons on Netflix — with three more to come.

“iZombie”

With two seasons on Netflix and a third to come, “iZombie” is a creative new crime-solving show.

Liv Moore turns into a zombie at a party. Attempting to blend in with the other humans, she takes a job at a coroner’s office where human brains are available.

“Jessica Jones”

Jessica Jones, an ex-superhero based off of a Marvel character, becomes a detective who solves cases with people who have special abilities. Though she is trying to do well, she seems to find herself in more trouble than expected.

This dark and twisted Netflix Original might only have one season, but do not worry; this action-packed mystery will keep you entertained until the next season comes out.

“The Magicians”

This SYFY series keeps you guessing through the whole episode as main character, Quentin Coldwater, finds a magical world while he is a grad student studying magic at Brakebills College.

Quentin and his friends discover the world they read about as children is actually real and poses a danger to humanity. Netflix currently has the first season of “The Magicians”; the second season aired in January this year.

“Revenge”

All four seasons of this series will have you thinking about what’s next as Emily Thorne plots her revenge for The Hampton socialites who ruined her family and their reputation. At any cost, she will get her revenge.

This series will have you on the edge of your seat as she moves into her childhood home with a different identity.

“Stranger Things”

“Stranger Things” is a Netflix Original series that takes place in 1983 in a small Indiana town. After a child goes missing, his mother and friends search for him.

They reveal supernatural forces, secret governments and an extremely peculiar girl. This show will have you hooked after one season.

 

Summer Internships

By Joclyn Kidwell, Staff Writer

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Joclyn Kidwell doing a stream assessment for the WV DEP during the 2015 summer.

  

   Students can earn money and advance career options at the same time with internships.   Internships are available; you just have to know where to look. In the summer of 2015, I was lucky enough to land an internship with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. This has been very rewarding because I have gotten to work for the past year in a field that I love. It’s a paid internship, and I get to rub elbows with my future colleagues.

   Don’t wait for the internship to come to you. Go look for it! Whether its business marketing, criminal justice or agriculture, try to find an internship that will give you experience. Many companies may not even think about interns.

   Take a resume and copy of your transcripts to businesses. No matter how small the job might seem, it will be worth it to get your foot in the door. If you’re interested in communications, radio stations are great place to look. If you’re interested in the medical field, go to some doctor offices. I’m sure by now you get the point, but you have to get out there. Most importantly be confident. Let them know that you could be an asset to their business.

   The West Virginia Governor’s Office has a website that places interns into positions within the state department. That website is www.wv.gov/gip. All of these positions are paid internships. So not only are you getting a paycheck, but also you’re getting your foot into the door of a state job.

   

Some Non-Fiction for Self-Publishers

   By Tim VanHouten

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“Screaming Mad Dee” taken by self.

Self-publication is easy, if you have the time and will to do it.You do have to be aware of the pitfalls before you make the leap into the fray of eBooks and paperback visions.

First, you are in complete control. This means you are solely responsible for the print quality. You can use outside sources; turn-key places are great but come with a hefty price such as this option for self-publishers. These places offer to do most of the work for you: editing, design and distribution. The cost ranges from a few thousand dollars to upward of $25,000.

Self-publisher “Screaming Mad Dee” said, “when they say everything is in your control, that means everything: marketing, proofreading, layouts, artwork. “Screaming Mad Dee” also said that you have to be a shameless self promoter; self-publishers can hire marketers, but the expense and the hassle may not be worth it. So it comes down to money versus quality in many cases. These lessons were learned while writing his book Tales of the Screaming and Mad.

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Photo by Angela Beth Greenburg “Dee” Calhoun

The second thing to contemplate is the number of people currently self-publishing. Everyone who has ever strung a few words into a sentence seems to be self-publishing. There are too many sub-par books on the shelves, even ones written by well-known authors. “Reviews are available through Amazon,” said PSC Professor Eric Slivoskey. The downfall of Amazon reviews is that they are given by uncompensated reviewers who may not be trained in literature.

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Photo courtesy of Potomac State College.

Knowing how to market your work is critical. “With no publisher having a stake in the project’s success, making people aware of it and even harder [getting people] interested in it, is our obligation,” said Dee.

Slivoskey had this advice “Try to write several books and link them together so if someone searches your book, another one will be displayed. Do not limit yourself to one brand of social media, you should utilize as many as possible.”

The third topic is profit. If you are planning to write a few books and retire, reconsider your plans. Even if you can get people to buy your book, your profit margin from each sale will be minuscule.

If you charge $14.99 per soft cover, you would only receive $4.54 in royalties if you use CreateSpace.com to publish. Remember you are paying for everything. CreateSpace has a royalty calculator to help set book prices that should help keep you grounded.

5 Reasons Why I Want to Be a Writer

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Photo courtesy of Google.

Article written by Trevor Kesner

Passion is what drives the writer’s pen. The ink on the page is the blood of the soul. Someone who wants to write fiction is someone who wants to tell the story of the mind. They could even be called gods of their own world. They craft the stories that the character’s experience. Writers are the maestroes of both the happy and the sad. I make this sound like a grand profession, but of course they are not without their hardships.

This isn’t some dream job. To get there is a difficult journey in itself. You have to submit draft after draft until someone eventually takes pity on you. You could rewrite your beloved story six or seven times before someone takes notice of the blood, sweat and tears placed into the work.

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Stress can cause failure.Photo courtesy of Google.

 

Failure

Failure is a big part of being a writer. Constant rejection can cause your drive and passion to take a nosedive. Being told no and being forced to tackle the same work repeatedly can cause frustration, anger, and maybe even depression. This blog is a statement, or rather, my reasons for wanting to take this challenge on. These are the five reasons that I want to be a writer.

  1. Writing for the Point of Writing

I want people to see and experience my work. Ever since I was little, I was always told that I had quite the imagination. I’d play with a piece of wood thinking it was a sword, fighting the baddies in my imagination. Of course, as I got older, the outlet for my creativity changed from stick to pen. In high school, I’d pay more attention thinking about what to write rather than the teacher at the whiteboard. I would spend hours just writing down lines or ideas in my notebook that was supposed to be used for school. I felt this passion well up inside every time I’d get lost in thought.

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Your imagination feeds your stories. Photo courtesy of Google/ Getty Images.

Fiction Writing Tips

An Experience Unlike Any Other

When I write, it’s like everything make sense. This is what I want to do and this is why I enjoy doing it. Regardless of if I can make a career out of it or not, I think I will continue writing till the day I die.

  1. Writing for a Career

If possible, I would like to write as a career. Art used to be a draw for me, but not as much as the written word. I’ve swayed back and forth between wanting to learn history and wanting to write. Ultimately my drive to write won out over the dusty book of Carthaginian civilization.

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Part of ancient Carthaginia, photo courtesy of Reddit.com

AP Style Writing Tips

Difficulty of Getting Published

Credible publishers know what they are looking for. It’s a competition more than anything. Your work has to be better than the next guys or you’re going to be out of luck. I believe that I can do it. I have talent for structure when it comes to writing so hopefully that will carry me to where I want to go.

 

  1. Writing to Combat Mortality

Death will eventually take us. This is the law of life. The body will age and eventually return to dust from whence it came. Writing, for me is a tool to fight against the tides of time. Whether I write a memoir or fiction, I will be able to place a marking stone for the future. My name will be remembered by ages past when I am long gone.

Crazy Reason to Write?

Maybe I’m just selfish. The books I write might just be washed away to nothing. Ultimately, this may just be my way of coping with the fact that I will eventually die. Nevertheless, I want to write for this reason among others. If this is a way to live forever then I’ll gladly take it. In my opinion, to be remembered in reverence is one of the best things that can happen to an author.

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Death is not the final chapter, photo courtesy of gothic.net

  1. Writing to Share My Work

If you ask any writer why they write, this is likely one of the answers you will get. I want to be able to share my work with others. I want to discuss the implications of the work I release, the world, and the characters, all of it. In high school, I longed for the ability to talk to someone about the swell of creativity storming around in my head. If I just openly talked about it to people, they would look at me like I was speaking a different language. Being alone with my own creative thoughts was like torture.

In addition, it also serves as a suppressor for someone’s passion. Writers in history like the famed poet Emily Dickinson who never once shared her work publicly. Some people treasure the ability to write and share it privately. Of course those people exist. I am not among them. I want to write to open up my mind to people who want to read my creations.

Some of Emily Dickinsons Poetry

  1. Writing to Challenge Myself

I want to challenge myself. I want to see if I can make a career out of the thing I love to do the most. Spending hours doing the thing I want to do is what makes me happy. It is both a hobby and what I want my future to be. Many talented authors sometimes got lucky or worked hard to get where they are today. I want to set that milestone for myself to become a successful writer. Word counts are one thing, but writing a good story is another. My familial situation might not be the best and my current environment might put a damper on that dream.

Do What You Want to Do

Nothing can hold me back. I’m going to take my future by the reins and lead my life out of here. You should do the same. If other people look down on your dream, just scoff and walk right past them. You’re the only person who can control you. No one can force you to do something you don’t want to do. So do what you want to do. Share your dream like I shared mine.

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Art reflects life, create the best one you can, photo courtesy of Pinterest.com