Earth Hour for Artists & Creative Types

March 16, 2010 in Uncategorized by admin

The Bad News:
We have to cancel our annual Earth Hour “Glow Networking” event. Without the availability of grants and support from sponsors, we are unable to receive enough funding to purchase things like reusable LED pens, rent venues, and even acquire event insurance to hold this FREE community event. We’re pretty bummed about it.

The Good News:
You can still celebrate Earth Hour on your own - for free – in the comfort of your own home! Make sure you shut off your lights and unnecessary electronics on March 27 from 8:30-9:30 p.m..

But I’m an artist/writer/filmmaker/actor! How am I supposed to celebrate Earth Hour without electricity?

Well, we here are some tips:

Art in the Dark

Grab your pens, pencils, crayons, clay and whatever makes you feel creative and create art for a full hour in the dark! Draw a self-portrait, trace random objects you find, cover yourself in paint and smack yourself on a canvas…but use some dropcloths. There is nothing environmentally friendly about a ruined carpet. Makeup artists can try this, too – but be careful around “the eyes”.

Writers & Story Tellers:
Brainstorm in the Dark
Invite all your creative friends over and place a bunch of words in a hat. At 8:29, pick out 3 words at random, and then shut off the lights. You have one hour to turn those three random words into a storyline. It might be a good idea to grab a few candles and assign one person as “story stenographer” so he or she can take notes during the session.

Vocal Work in the Dark
Have you always wanted to try a new character voice but been afraid that you’ll make a “weird face”? Do it in the dark! Call over your acting troupe and practice vocal work in the dark. Not only will you feel less shy, but you’ll have a unique opportunity to really focus on sounds with no visual distraction. (also, believe or not, practicing vocal excesizes is a great work out. If you’re doing it right, you should break a sweat)
Try these exercises:
-Animal Noises: Horses, dogs, dolphins, etc.
-Laughs: Evil/manacle, cute, big/hardy, uncomfortable, forced.
Crying:  “Regular”, hysterical, blubbering, baby.

You can even memorize monologues in advance and try them out – the dark guarantees that you won’t peek at your script!

“Jam Session” in the Dark
Call over the band and practice for an hour completely in the dark (acoustic, kids! Leave those electric guitars at home!) Not only will you get a unique opportunity to listen to your own music without distraction, but after a few minutes of fumbling around, you will actually get “in tune” with your instrument. You’ll “feel” out the notes instead of looking for them.

Film in the Dark
One of the hardest things to do is film is capture images in low light levels. Nine times out of ten, you end up with a grainy, muddy mess. Experiment with ways to make a film with low light levels – grab a tripod and light with candles-only (be careful!), hit the streets and use ambient light, or make a film with the lens cap on and rely on sounds-alone to tell your story. This will probably take you more than 1-hour to do, but it’s a good start, no?

Low Light Photography
Grab your SLRs and a tripod and do some timed exposures using candlelight. Again, be careful!

Feel free to record any of these session (use a rechargeable battery for Pete’s sake!) and post your results here or as a response to our YouTube Podcast Page – we’ll blog about our top submitters!

And if you have more ideas, post them in the comments!