Renowned Acting School to Offer MFA in Grant Writing/Fundraising

NEW HAVEN – In an early morning press conference on Monday, the Yale Drama School announced that it would begin offering a Masters of Fine Arts degree in grant writing and fundraising.

The new program is set to kickoff in the 2020-2021 academic year with a cohort of eight grant writers and fundraisers. The ambitious group will work alongside the school’s renowned acting program to craft thoughtfully worded and overly detailed applications for grants around the world. The school has already begun accepting applications for the program.

“This is a big new step for us,” said Wernor Hickey, the MFA program’s spokesperson. “One of the most oft-overlooked vocations in the theater and performing arts industry is that of grant writer and fundraiser. We aim to bring the rigorous standards of the Yale School of Drama to this exciting and burgeoning new profession.”

Before this program, grant writers and fundraisers – often falling under the umbrella term of “development staff” – were largely an underpaid and unimportant part of non-profit theaters. That’s all set to change, says Hickey.

“This new program will immerse students in the rigorous and unrewarding life of a development director.” Hickey said with a pleasant sigh. “They’ll spend long hours in front of their computers, crafting language that is unnecessarily flowery and somehow also monotonously boring. They’ll do it all for grants that are either way out of their reach or so minuscule that it isn’t worth their time and effort.”

The MFA in Grant Writing program promises students job placement and job security directly after graduation, with salaried jobs beginning at $60,000 a year. This is a stark contrast from the school’s MFA in Acting, which promises no jobs whatsoever. The grant writing program has already received over 500 applications from students around the globe.

Sculptor Makes Fifteen Foot Statue of Neighbor

CORVALLIS – In central Oregon, in the Benton County seat of Corvallis, an astonished neighbor awoke to the view of a fifteen foot sculpture of himself staring at his own house.

“It’s a good likeness. I look tall. Fit.”

Jerry Congrummy has lived in the same house since the neighborhood was established.

“I was the first one here. I feel like this neighborhood is mine in a way. I don’t own all of it, but I feel an ownership. I think that’s the American thing.”

Some neighbors take exception to Congrummy’s proprietary attitude.

Nancy Pastrammus lives across from Mr. Congrummy. She said, “Jerry shouldn’t go criticizing people’s lawns or yard decorations. We have a homeowner’s association for that.”

Jerry is the chairman of the HOA.

“What’s he want? Everyone to have the same house as him?”

Jerry responded, “Nancy is nosy. Nobody likes her. She’s the one the HOA is trying to haze. That’s off the record, right?”

Things began to change last fall when internationally ignored sculptor Katrick Piernan, or Meer Kat Pier Kat as he calls himself, moved into the neighborhood. He was quickly indoctrinated.

“I encountered what I call Congrummy’s attention. I was augmenting my garage to be an art studio. I had building permits. It was approved by the HOA. But Jerry started showing up with suggestions.”

Meer Kat Pier Kat finished his sculpting studio on time, then retreated inside to work. The winter months passed. Not even peeping Nancy saw much of Piernan.

The overnight unveiling of the statue was a surprise to the entire neighborhood.

“It looks just like him. It’s an eyesore,” said Nancy. “My partner says my hatred for Jerry has something to do with my opinion, but I don’t agree.”

Meer Kat Pier Kat said, “It’s an homage. And also a ‘piss off.’ But I don’t think Jerry gets it.”

“I look handsome,” said Jerry. “I like my sculpted self.”

~ by Dan Plighter

Foley Artist Exposé Rocks Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD – For as long as films have had sound, foley artists have had jobs. But that may change for Artie Poundcake, one of the most respected and well known foley artists amongst the glitz and glamour of tinsel town.

Then again, Poundcake may not need one.

His new book, Gishhhhewwiickkslpop, is smashing its way to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list.

Poundcake grew up on Ventura Boulevard, just east of where the vampires of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” move west. While his mother worked three jobs to pay rent, Poundcake was often left to his own devices for entertainment.

“There I was in the middle of one of the centers of the entertainment business, and my TV didn’t even have a speaker.”

Poundcake began to create sound effects and dialogue for the shows he watched. By the time he graduated high school, George Lucas had seen a demo reel of Poundcake’s work. The rest, as they say, is history.

“He was a prodigy,” said George Lucas. “I immediately built a wing for him at Lucas Ranch.”

And now Poundcake has told all in his exposé.

“What a lot of people don’t know is I make all the sounds with my mouth,” he says. “I don’t use real objects. That’s for amateurs.”

And in the book, he spells them phonetically.

“I want to inspire kids in this day of digital everything that they can do a lot with nothing. Also, they can do nothing with all they have. It’s their choice.”

A few examples from his book:

RRRREETTCHDHEEEKKK is a compulsory tire squeal in chase sequences (even on dirt roads, for idiot editors.)

PERHHHHc has been used in hand to hand combat for every John Wayne film ever made.

SLSSIEIEPLLSLSLLSCJNBBBB is a simple one used for footsteps on gravel.

However, some studio executives are protesting loudly from their large ranches, punching the air with the hand that isn’t holding a dirty martini.

“He shouldn’t have pulled the curtain,” said the head of Trixar. “It’s like a magician giving away the secrets of the illusion.”

“This doesn’t sound like a good idea,” said Clark Tarke, executive of Marapount. (To be fair, Tark may have been referring to the idea of a clean martini.)

Other foley artists have also voiced their concerns.

“BoinkkkUUULLLUPPP,” said one veteran.

“CHCKEKEKEIJJJEANNVE,” said another, through tears.

In his own defense, Poundcake said, “I’ve always made waves. I guess this is just the next cycle.”

~ by Dan Plighter

Artist Insists Her Portrait Be Displayed in the National Portrait Gallery

WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian National Portrait gallery experienced an enormous increase in attendance last year after the addition of portraits for former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. But perhaps the most unusual incident at the NPG involved a young artist from Chicago, identifying herself only as ‘The Next Artist,’ who arrived carrying a portrait, insisting it be displayed.

“She walked in here,” said a welcome desk attendant, “eyes blazing and all smiles. She said she had something to fill in near the George one.”

By ‘George one’ she meant South Gallery 240 where a portrait of George Washington hangs.

“Then she showed me. It was a portrait of herself. She was wearing the same dress in life and in the portrait, and she was still smiling. She was a very nice person. And a very good artist. And she looked beautiful in her dress in both the portrait and in front of my desk there.”

The Next Artist explained she had come up with an answer to the ‘George Gesture Question.’ As a viewer faces the painting, Washington seems to be offering something off canvas to the left. This gesture, though a staple of portraiture at the time of the painting, has often baffled the public.

One tourist interpreted it figuratively. “He’s gesturing to the new country. ‘Here you go,’ Washington says. ‘Here’s the United States.'”

Other viewers have been less kind. “It looks like he’s practicing a bad rendition of a stupid monologue from Hamlet. I hate art.”

“It was Bill. I was no where near that tree.” said another.

The Next Artist’s claim that Washington could be gesturing to another portrait intrigued the welcome desk attendant.

“Me,” said The Next Artist. “He could be gesturing to a portrait of me. Why not?”

Gallery staff members began to assemble around The Next Artist as they discussed the possibility of her solution. It seemed an engaging artistic possibility. Why not indeed.

Meanwhile tourists were left to their own devices. Some seemed lost and meandered into unpopular gallery rooms for minutes at a time. Security cameras revealed later that others went about, at long last, touching one-of-a-kind portraits with their grubby fingers.

“The paint’s dry,” stated one such delinquent. “I didn’t do anything.”

Finally, Director of the NPG, Kim Sajet, appeared and sent employees back to the their stations.

“Miss Sajet was very nice,” said The Next Artist. She took me out for coffee and told me what she liked about my work. She said they have very specific parameters for their selection process for the NPG, but she appreciated my enthusiasm. She then said she was sure there was a portrait of someone historical and famous gesturing off canvas in the National Portrait Gallery in London, and asked if I’ve tried to display my work there.”

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