Occupy Your Mind /
CALLING ALL PERFORMERS, STUDENTS, ACTIVISTS AND MORE:
HELP SHARE THE LIVING HISTORY OF OCCUPY!
VISIT OUR TUMBLR TO WATCH VIDEOS AND READ TRANSCRIPTS!
Occupy Your Mind is a grassroots project dedicated to collecting the living history of the Occupy movement through interviews and live performances shared in all sorts of gatherings and online.
Click HERE to access our database of edited and unedited transcripts that you can download and perform.
Check out our Occupy Your Mind podcast episodes that feature content from our performance of Occupy interviews at Judson Church in April of 2012: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. And we hope you'll subscribe for free on iTunes HERE!
LET ME ASCERTAIN YOU: OCCUPY #S17
On September 17th for the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, theaters, students, activists and others were invited to convene performances of interviews conducted with Occupy activists over this past year. We have hundreds of interviews to choose from. You simply gather folks together and share these compelling stories.
Participants in the national event included:
Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, TX
THE-TREE Institute in Portland, OR
HartBeat Ensemble in Hartford, CT
Theatre4 in New Haven, CT
Hartford Stage Company in Hartford, CT
Bated Breath Theatre Company in Hartford, CT
ARTFARM in Middletown, CT
Capital Classics Theatre Company in Hartford, CT
Jacques Lamarre in Hartford, CT
University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH
Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY
Emerson College in Boston, MA
Company One/Boston Center for the Arts
Read about the event on our blog HERE!
Here's our promo video! Big thanks to Reverend Billy for the music.
Here's an example of a performed Occupy interview, this is Emily Ackerman performing Michelle.
If you are feeling more ambitious, you can conduct interviews with Occupy activists in your own area.
7 Steps / Share Occupy Stories with the World!
For the detailed instructions, visit our HOW TO page!
• Find someone connected to an Occupy Movement and explain the project to them.
• Ask them to sign the release form.
• Interview, but mostly listen!
• Record the interview.
• Transcribe and edit the interview into a 4 minute or less performance.
• Perform the interview transcripts. Step into your interviewee's shoes and “occupy their mind”. Take on their point of view, personality, gestures, etc. Call it acting if you want, but you don’t have to. And your stage can be anywhere from a kitchen table to a stadium. Record it on video. You can use a phone, whatever you like.
• Upload and share with the world.
The Civilians invites you into this special and often profound process of investigative theater. As the Occupy Movement grows and evolves we offer up the possibility of performance that can happen anywhere and everywhere. If you want to be more involved, you can organize an event in your area with stories from your place, from around the country, maybe even the world!
When Occupy Wall Street began in September, The Civilians sent actors to interview the activists in Zuccotti Park. We’ve been performing those stories at Joe’s Pub in The Public Theater, recording the shows, and sharing them online. To see some of the work we've already done, watch video HERE or listen to Civilians’ Occupy podcasts HERE or subscribe to the podcast for free through iTunes.
Occupy Your Mind is an opportunity for you to take a moment to walk in someone else’s shoes (or as it were to "occupy their mind.") Listening to another person and then performing his or her words and thoughts is a powerful act of generosity and human connection. We think that a network of people listening, performing and sharing has great potential to make an important contribution to the energy of this historic moment. What’s more, all of us working together can help record history as it evolves in different communities. Let this history come from the people who are making it happen! All it takes is a little time and the creation of a space for that voice to be heard. We hope you’ll be part of it!
Once we’ve collected some videos, viewers can perform what they see. An interview you perform could get performed on stage in Cleveland or a bar in Madrid or a backyard in Damascus. The more people get involved, the more the idea can spread!
HOW TO /
Here are the instructions plus some tips about how to create and submit your own performance. And check out our video tutorials featuring Annah Feinberg!
As in, who should I interview? Anyone in an OCCUPY Movement, anywhere in the world. Find a protest near you. Walk around and introduce yourself. Find a protest elsewhere. Travel there. Or meet online. Meet off-line. Meet for coffee. Anyone involved who grabs your attention enough to ask what they’re all about. Your someone could be a fully-committed organizer or someone participating for the first time. Interviewing in the midst of an action is great; it gives you a chance to talk about what’s happening as it happens. Of course, always use your best judgment and be safe in both who you're talking to and where you go.
To find an OCCUPY event near you, check out Occupy Together!
And here are some Tips from Annah and Steve!
What to say about the project to a potential interview subject: It’s a movement-wide theater project, sponsored by Civilians, a theater in New York City that specializes in investigative theater. That’s sort of like documentary film, except on-stage. You’re one of hundreds of interviewers, collecting the stories of the movement so that you or someone else can perform those stories. It’s all available online and it’s free.
Annah's Tips about Explaining the Project:
THE RELEASE FORM
This is very important. Make sure that your interviewees sign this release form. All your hard work, all your beautiful performances can’t be included in the project and shown to the world unless they consent in writing to you using their words. This form is just a way to make sure that you and your interviewee are on the same page about what you're doing, so be sure to explain the project and get a signed release form.
To download and print the form, please click HERE.
An alternative to printing out a paper release form is using an electronic release form. We have registered with EchoSign, an electronic contract company, to permit interviewees to electrically sign the release form. The steps for getting your release forms signed by EchoSign are as follows:
a. On a computer or phone with internet access, log on to EchoSign at www.echosign.com. On the upper right hand corner of the webpage, there is a "Sign in" link. Press that to sign in.
b. Enter in the email field: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the password field: occupy
c. The release form has been pre-loaded on EchoSign and requires only that you send that form electronically to your interviewee using your interviewee’s email address. To get to the send page, click on the send tab at the top of the page.
d. The interviewee will receive an email with instructions on how to e-sign the release form. Once that happens, it will be returned to us automatically and can be included in the project.
RECORD YOUR INTERVIEW
Make sure you’ve got an audio recording device. The easiest thing to do is record the audio on a phone. There are many free apps for smart phones. Make sure you test the app and that it allows you to record for as long as your interview will take. You can also use a digital voice recorder, a computer, or a tape cassette. Do a test drive on whatever device you choose before taking it out on the road.
Be both an active and a neutral listener. Allow them to talk about anything. Encourage flow. Have no agenda. Be especially open and receptive to what is specific and personal. Try to get past generalities to find out what’s specific-- individual stories that are particular to a person. This might be life experiences that led someone to occupy or experiences in an occupy action.
• Try to be an active and neutral listener. "Active" meaning you are generally paying attention, being present, focused on them. "Neutral" meaning your focus is on listening, not trying to impose any of your opinions or expectations.
• Allow them to talk about anything. You can begin the interview by telling your subject that "it's open ended" or "we can talk about anything."
• Allow your interview subjects the possibility to change your mind; be open to the process of discovery through their story.
• If your interview subject is speaking generally about the movement, you may steer him or her to share something that is more specific or particular to them. Talk about work, family, their specific political involvement. What led them to be there today? What has happened to them or what have they done? Maybe talk about people they’ve gotten to know in the movement or interactions with public. Anything as long as it’s specific and particular to them.
• Take a look at some of the interviews that have been done already. You can watch video HERE. You can also listen to Civilians’ Occupy podcasts HERE or subscribe for free through iTunes.
Listening Tips from Annah!
TURN YOUR AUDIO INTO A SCRIPT
Transcribe your audio recording and edit it into a monologue or script for a performance. Take the parts of the interview that struck you the most, and edit the interview into a monologue of four minutes more or less. This means editing it all down to about one typed page. You’ll use their exact words and your goal is to honestly and authentically represent their thoughts as them. Again, unique personal experiences are key! Trust your instincts and choose whatever you think will be the most compelling, but remember you are representing someone else. Try to be true to them. At the top of your script write a short summary of who this person is, when you interviewed them, where, and what kind of things you talked about. We’ll only use first names in this project, but if you person wishes to be anonymous please note that at the top of your script.
You may use a number of programs to transcribe your interview. One that many of us at Civilians use is Inqscribe. You can download a free version of the software that allows you to set certain keys on your keypad to commands ("pause," and "resume play," and "toggle").
How to Edit, with Annah:
Here is how to title your transcripts to make life a little easier for us:
• Your unedited transcript:
• Your edited transcript:
HOW TO MAKE AN EASY-TO –READ TRANSCRIPT:
• Spell check!
• Punctuation check – no need to correct your subject’s grammar, but well placed commas, periods, semicolons, and dashes go a long way to making the text more readable.
• After 5-10 sentences, find a good breaking place and start a new paragraph. Skip a line between paragraphs. • Number the pages.
CREATE A STAGE AND PERFORM
Just as Occupy has brought people back into public space, be creative when creating your performance space. All you need is an audience of two or more. Stick to the exact words of your script. Focus on inhabiting your person’s thoughts. Think like them. Express yourselves like them. And then just talk to your audience of friends, family, school, a town, a city. Record that, too. You’ll want to create a digital video that’s easy to upload. Again, phones work great.
Start with "This is Occupy Your Mind." Then, introduce yourself, where you’re from and tell us the person you’re performing (first name) and where they’re from. So if you interviewed Cheryl you’d start your performance with: “This is Occupy Your Mind. I’m (your name) from Tulsa, Oklahoma performing Cheryl from Dallas, Texas.” And then begin your monologue. You can memorize or use notes, but the important thing is to try to recreate the conversation for your audience. Don’t try to turn this conversation into "theater." It’s not a "show." You’re not adapting or theatricalizing. Just relax, inhabit your person’s thoughts and talk to your audience just like it was the interview. One more thing: you’re just using their words, including all the "ums", "ers", and "likes" that your interviewee said. Sometimes your question can be there in a pause or implied in an answer. But you don’t need to explain. Sometimes your question can be there in a pause or implied in an answer. But you don’t need to explain anything as yourself. Just be the other person. Think his or her thoughts and talk.
Make sure you have an audience of at least two people. That means two people other than you. As for an upper limit: there is no upper limit!
Annah on Performing:
Want to put together an Occupy Your Mind performance? Check out transcripts done by The Civilians and other Occupy Your Mind participants. Download our sortable, searchable database – some of which have been performed before and some of which have not!
We encourage the creative use of this material by anyone, anywhere – present at a rally or protest, stage a series of performances at your local Occupy encampment, make street theater, or put together your own Occupy Your Mind event!
Before you upload, have you:
Before you upload, have you:
Cleaned up your transcripts (see instructions above).
Titled your transcripts according to The Civilian format (see instructions above).
Items to upload:
• Full Transcript (doc)
• Edited Transcript (doc)
• Performance (video)
• Signed Release form (doc or pdf)
• To upload, go HERE. And when you're done and you had fun, you can do it again!
Don’t want to perform? You can send in your audio recording and transcript. We’ll post it and perhaps someone else will want to perform it.
Want to perform someone in the archive? All the transcripts will be posted on the Occupy Your Mind website. You can choose any of them and perform them wherever. Record that and send it in to us and we’ll see how far we can go cross-pollinating Occupy stories around the world.
Questions? Comments? If you need anything, please feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com!
Uploading Your Materials /
Before you begin, do you have:
• Signed release forms! We need a signed release form from the person you interviewed. We can't post any materials we don't have a release for! Access the form HERE or electronically at www.echosign.com!
• Your unedited transcript - title formatted as such: YourName_City_interviews_IntervieweeName_City_Date_Unedited.doc
• Your edited transcript - title formatted as such: YourName_City_interviews_IntervieweeName_City_Date_Edited.doc
• Your video - title formatted as such: YourName YourName_City_performs_IntervieweeName_City_Date.doc.mpeg.
If you have all those materials, then you're ready to upload! Before you begin to upload, please agree to the Terms and Conditions by clicking the box below. After you click it, press the "Continue" button, and you will be taken to our FTP uploader, where you can upload your files directly from your computer. Please be patient, as it can take some time. When one item is finished uploading, a link will pop up to upload the next item.
The uploader currently accepts files that are 10MB or smaller. If yours is bigger than that, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll tell you how to get your video to us!
Lastly email email@example.com with your name and the names of the files that you have uploaded. Just in case there is an error we will want to contact you. Thank you for being part of the project!
VISIT OUR TUMBLR TO WATCH VIDEOS AND READ TRANSCRIPTS!
On our Tumblr, you can search for everything - raw transcripts, edited transcripts, videos, search by location, topic... whatever you want! Here are some examples to whet your appetite, and we hope you'll keep exploring!
Pierre from New Haven performs Creative Director from New York as part of an Occupy Your Mind event put on at Yale on April 3, 2012.
Indika Senanayake performs Manissa, a member of the POC caucus, and an activist who interviewed Eliot Spitzer. She tells her now “legendary” story of blocking consensus at Zuccotti Park. This performance was at Judson Church in April of 2012.
Ella from Brooklyn performs Lisa from Brooklyn.
Greg McFadden performs a Vietnam Veteran and member of the Tea Party.
Emily Rosell performs Maddy, a young protester.
Matt Dellapina performs a protester who used to work as a children's television creative director.
Colleen Werthmann and Dan Domingues perform Lily and Chris, two Occupy medics.
Alix Lambert performs Charlotte, a young protester.