Category: Arts & Entertainment

Artist Spotlight: Paul Kaufmann

EMILY GIBSON
Staff Writer

In the dimly lit studio theater in the fine arts building, junior Paul Kaufmann is stretched out on an old red sofa. Each time the camera clicks, he adjusts his pose; at one point, he poses like Rose Dawson from “Titanic,” then like a preteen girl at a sleepover, and then he enthusiastically points down at his boots with an energetic grin.
“No one is ever going to take me seriously again,” he laughs as he repositions himself and poses again for the camera.
Kaufmann is a theater major at Virginia Wesleyan who has acted in four school productions.
In VWC’s theatre department’s production of “Noises Off” in the fall of 2012, Kaufmann played his favorite role to date: Garry Lejeune. Garry, an actor who can never quite finish a sentence, has a role, Roger, in a play within the play.
“It allowed me to play two different people at once, since the whole production was an actor playing a role then going back to himself,” said Kaufmann. “I know this sounds crazy, but when I act, I have to go into my character’s mind to see how they would think. So Garry was a challenge for me because I had to create mannerisms for him then figure out what mannerisms Garry would create for the character he plays in the show and how would he portray his character, and how can I portray him portraying his character.”
Opening April 9 in the Hofheimer Theater, Kaufmann’s next role is Bottom in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” As rehearsals progress, he is working on developing his character, and figuring out how to portray him.
“When I play a character, I try to create what I think they mentally want, what their deeds are, and work around that,” said Kaufmann. “So for Bottom, in the play he literally becomes an ass. So, I’m trying to present this overbearing guy that you don’t want to work with, but at the same time I think he has a bit of heart to him. So I’m trying to portray this big, colossal, arrogant ass while deep down he really cares and this is just who he is. He just doesn’t realize he’s forcing all of these people to go through torment with him.”
When one is talking with Kaufmann, the hours of work he has dedicated to perfecting his skill are apparent. From getting into character, to memorizing lines to performing, being a theater major is a lot of work.
However, the craft goes underappreciated nonetheless.
“I think it’s funny how you’re a theater major, you get made fun of. But, you know, the Oscars just happened and when those prolific people talk about how they get into character, they are respected artists. Like, people think Leo DiCaprio is the Van Gogh of our time, but when I say I am a theater major, people say ‘Oh, so you want to work at McDonald’s or be a taxi driver?’” said Kaufmann.
Last fall, Kaufmann studied theater in London, and was met with a different outlook on the major and the craft.
“I like to make a joke when I tell people I’m a theater major. I’ll say ‘Oh, I’m going to do the one thing that’s going to make me the most amount of money and guarantee me a job: theater,’” said Kaufmann. “Then people in America laugh and say ‘Oh, you can’t be serious.’ But in London when you say that, you get such high respect and people say ‘Oh, well good for you.’ It was really cool because I feel like with the arts over there, people see it as not only doing an art but it being your craft and a part of who you are.”
Back in America, however, theater majors are still met with skepticism and condescension.
“There’s great talent here and it sucks because people don’t focus on that,” said Kaufmann. “People think acting is easy unless you’re in some big movie. It’s very easy with the arts to generalize it instead of focusing on it and realizing how much work we put into each and everything we do.”
As he prepares for his senior year at Virginia Wesleyan, Kaufmann has big plans for the future.
“Ideally—bam, I move to Chicago after I graduate, go to The Second City, and Lorne Michaels from Saturday Night Live is going to pick me up, put me on SNL, then I’m going to network out like Jason Sudeikis and make movies or do stage productions, whatever,” Kaufmann said.
Realistically, however, he is thinking smaller: “Since I studied at a small school, I have experience helping with lights, sound, and stage. So I can show up in Chicago and say ‘I can do lights, I can do sound, I also perform, what do you need?’” he said. “So, realistically, I’ll move out to Chicago and whatever comes my way, comes my way.”

Can’t beat no meat

Glenn Rose
Staff Writer

Yorgo’s Bageldashery serves vegan-friendly options

You wouldn’t expect a bagel restaurant to be a good place to find vegan-friendly sandwiches, yet Yorgo’s Bageldashery (which seems to be a word they have made up) has a whole menu devoted to giving vegans and vegetarians a new place to eat.
Restaurants that cater to those who have tried to remove animals from their diet are on the rise in Norfolk. If you are interested in the meat substitutes, they have vegan chicken, barbeque chicken, egg salad, chicken salad, bacon and lastly Philly cheesesteak. The vegan Philly is the best thing here by far, the texture and taste of the sandwich exactly what I remember real Philly cheesesteaks tasting like.
This restaurant is small and closes at 3 p.m. every day, which I think has helped their business. The many times I’ve gone in to Yorgo’s there have been a lot of people inside. I believe this is partially because of the early closing time. They are shaving off extra hours of labor and people feel the need to “get in there before it closes!” There is no shortage of restaurants that do this, many of which are found in Norfolk. The reasoning behind this isn’t just to save hours, it makes it easier to keep your ingredients fresh. Since you don’t have to worry about staying open all day, you have time to find fresh ingredients for each day and not staying open all day, means you won’t have to spend as much money replacing the produce.
I’m assuming this attitude came from being a restaurant that specializes in bagels, considering that bagels are meant to be eaten fresh and if they’re day-old they’re sold at a major discount.
On the subject of their bagels, well, they are delicious. But this shouldn’t be a surprise since they are a bagel place. There are almost 30 types of bagels to choose from, some of which can even be purchased layered with the vegan options mentioned earlier. If you don’t want your vegan food on a bagel, well, no problem! They have wraps and sandwiches too, along with a whole cooler full of drinks you don’t typically see anywhere else and an equally unique soda fountain machine which has a personal favorite of mine, birch beer. You will definitely enjoy your stay.
Yorgo’s is in the Ghent area of downtown Norfolk, which is heavily populated by young people. This could also be part of the reason why they choose to sell food that is vegan-friendly, since most vegans are young. If this restaurant keeps its popularity up, other places will hopefully see the appeal in having a meat-free menu.

Netflix is throttling school Internet

TIM PEPPER
Arts & Entertainment Editor

In the past few weeks, many students have reported slower than usual Internet speeds and believe it or not, Netflix may be killing your Internet.
Netflix, is a massive online movie and television show streaming service in which subscribers pay a monthly fee to either have a seemingly endless list of movies sent to your home address or streamed directly to your tablet, smart phone or computer. This service has become increasingly popular over the last few years and is used by approximately 71% of students on campus, according to a non-scientific survey.
To put this into perspective, based on a 2013 study done by the Sandvine Networking Equipment Company, Netflix has taken up more downstream bandwidth than any other website in the world at 32% of the overall global bandwidth, followed by a very large gap by YouTube at 17.11%. These numbers are astounding and are reflected on the VWC campus network.
After several consultations with the computer services help desk and a meeting with Mr. Jack Dmoch, the Chief Technology Officer at Virginia Wesleyan College, some interesting points were uncovered.
“11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. seem to be the peak usage times,” says Dmoch.
Fortunately for those readers who are avid Netflix addicts, there are some ways to jack up network speeds without abstaining from your favorite streaming service. Small actions such as turning off the wireless Internet connection (Wi-Fi) on your phone or tablet until you absolutely need it could help significantly if everyone could get on board.
The way the campus network works is not very complicated, but to put it simply, there are two ways to connect to the internet. Students can connect either by using the Ethernet ports in their rooms or by connecting wirelessly to access points placed strategically around campus.
The Ethernet option is actually a very good one as connecting to the network this way gives you a pretty significant dedicated connection straight to the main switch. This means that students are not competing directly with anyone else for the bandwidth provided on the campus network. This method is significantly faster than Wi-Fi in almost every circumstance.
Connecting by Wi-Fi is a little more complicated. By connecting to Wi-Fi, students are essentially battling with each other for priority on the access points in their dorms and throughout campus. While the quality of your device can affect the speed of your connection, the number of devices attempting to connect to the access point at one time has a much more noticeable impact.
“The more users [attempting to connect], the slower [connection] for everyone on that [access point],” says Dmoch. “Not having Wi-Fi enabled on smart devices unless they are actually in use will reduce the number of devices attaching to a particular [access point]. Smart Phones, tablets, televisions, gaming devices, DVD players, and laptop computers that are turned on will try to connect to any [access point] if the Wi-Fi is enabled on the device.”
Dmoch also looks forward to providing more long-term solutions to users of the VWC campus network. New access points are being installed in areas of concern, while higher power access points are being installed in heavy traffic areas such as the convocation center. These access points unfortunately cost nearly $1,000 a piece and, therefore, cannot be purchased until there is space for them in the budget.
“We are constantly looking for issues with our network and are deploying new network switches and APs as resources allow,” says Dmoch. “We are also looking at a new product to manage our network traffic and we should procure and deploy this during the summer. This will enable us to make better use of the capacity we have and expand as needed.”
Despite these possible upgrades and fixes, it is important to understand that the students are by far the heaviest users of the Internet and bandwidth on campus, and because of this they can also determine how fast it goes. Be conscious of how many devices are connected to the network and understand that streaming sites like Netflix have been and will continue to bog down the network if students are not considerate of these issues. Don’t leave your computer or other Wi-Fi devices on if they are not in use, because even something as small as this could cause an online assignment to be late if your Internet is running slow.

Love is just a click away

TROY AUBUT
Staff Writer

With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks in the past, some of you are still single, whether by choice or by bad luck. It’s not easy finding someone who shares the same interests as you and, if found, just starting up a conversation can be nerve-racking and difficult. Although there are many traditional and nontraditional ways of meeting people to date, one method that is growing in popularity is the use of online dating websites.
According to Top10DatingSites.com, Zoosk is ranked at the top, with eHarmony coming in second and Match.com as the third. These sites might very well be the most well-known websites because of the commercials and advertisements on TV and the Internet. Of course, there are other websites like ChristianMingle.com and BlackPeopleMeet.com that also made the list, where people can go to find a potential date. In the modern world, there seems to be a dating website for just about anyone of any gender, race, and sexual interest, which helps users narrow their search and find people that they want to meet.
For those unfamiliar with Zoosk, it is a website that sends the user a group of profiles that might interest them instead of having the user search through the millions of profiles available on the web. With this, the site still allows a user to search through the profiles and also features a scientific matchmaking service, which revolves around matching profiles that have the same or similar preferences. This website is used in more than 70 countries, and tops the charts here in North America.
eHarmony is next on the list and may be the most well-known of the three. This dating website is more for singles seeking out serious and long-term relationships, and claims to be responsible for 2 percent of marriages in the U.S. In order to use this service, a dater would have to take a long and comprehensive test about himself. These results are then used to find other singles who are similar or will provide what might be missing.
Match.com is similar to eHarmony in that it has you take a test in order to join, but the difference is that Match.com uses a personality test that serves as a starting point for the website. This lets the website begin sending you profiles that share similar answers and preferences. There are also a lot of features such as being able to attend events held by the website or even DateSpark, which allows single users to set up a perfect date with someone who shares the same interests.
So whenever you need to find a date and want to move toward finally leaving your single status behind, try using one of these dating websites, or any of the limitless others that are now flooding the web. They could turn out to be fun and stress-free, and who knows, you might actually meet the person of your dreams.

Doing it for the Vine

‘One sick love story’

LASHAWNDA WHITE
Staff Writer

The wildly popular coming-of-age novel, The Fault in Our Stars is getting the silver-screen treatment. This best-selling novel by John Green is about cancer stricken teenagers Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, who meet at a support group and eventually fall in love.
When released, the novel received fairly positive accolades for its first few weeks on the shelf, and then began to pick up speed and sold incredibly well. It received critical acclaim from “NPR,” “The New York Times” and “The Critical Review.”
“The Fault in our Stars” has recently been receiving media attention because of the upcoming release of its film adaptation. On January 29th, the first official trailer was released, and has so far received over 11 million views on YouTube. The trailer gives a brief, but thorough preview of what is to come by sporting some of the more classic scenes of the novel as its centerpieces.
However, like any book-to-film adaptation, there have been complaints about its casting. Leading actress Shailene Woodley, along with co-stars Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff, are not living up to fan expectations of the characters described in the book.
Freshman Taylor Hannon remarked, “Shailene Woodley is a dull actor, and I don’t think she will live up to playing Hazel.”
The author, John Green, has said that physical appearance was never a big deal when casting actors, but the same cannot be said for the fans who became really invested in the characters. This could be turned into the debate of whether a film adaptation ever does the book justice. However, the success of the Harry Potter films remains a testament to the possibility of success when a novel is turned into a film.
Freshman Adrian Benn has “spent an immense amount of time of my life crying during sad books, movies and TV shows, but few times compared to The Fault in Our Stars. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product in theaters.”
“I found this to be an amazing book, and recommend it to anyone that reads.” freshman Leah Smith-Green added.
However, everyone doesn’t share these positive opinions. Freshman Nicolette Burns said, “The plot was unrealistic and predictable, but I may still go and see the movie.”
The Fault in Our Stars seems to be a title that will either reinforce the love shared between fans of the novel or act as another classic example of how films have a hard time capturing the true essence of a well-written book. Either way, the box offices are sure to see their numbers shoot to the stars.