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1. S.T.E.V.E.

2. Writing for S.T.E.V.E.

3. How to make S.T.E.V.E.

4. S.T.E.V.E. Timeline

5. Benefits of S.T.E.V.E.







     Welcome to the newest portion of Smile and Nod.  We are filled to the brim with individuals who are only brushing the surface of their talent.  Some of us are incredible actors, some of us write better than we breathe, and some of us are just funnier when no one is around and a camera so happens to film us dancing and singing to “Built This City” by Starship.  For a great deal of time, this organization has desired to tap this abyss-like talent pool.  S.T.E.V.E. is the awesome fulfillment of this desire.


What it’s all about:


     Understanding S.T.E.V.E. is like understanding Smile and Nod, they both share the same values.  As a group, we are drawn together by our love of comedy.  That was the primary reason students formed Smile and Nod in the first place.  Its purpose was to provide an outlet for us to express our creative energy in new ways.  Up until now that has been in the form of improv. 

     Just like the founding fathers of Smile and Nod, we still have that drive to express our art in new ways.  But we are also an ever-evolving unique group of eccentrics.  Our diverse backgrounds and personalities make Smile and Nod the most interesting group on campus.  S.T.E.V.E. is an opportunity to create comedy, and in the process, show off the many personalities we have within our talented group.


Meet S.T.E.V.E:

     S.T.E.V.E. is fundamentally a DVD whose main goal is to help Smile and Nod come closer to its full potential.  We will fill the one to two hour DVD with amazing tidbits of our humorous mastery of the stage and small screen.  There will be sketches written, directed and starring Smile and Nod members, and there will be best of Smile and Nod improvisational performances all included for no extra cost.



Writing for S.T.E.V.E.



S.T.E.V.E. theme:


     A general theme will unify all material in S.T.E.V.E.  This theme will be the backdrop for all of the sketches developed.  In addition, the theme will influence the weekly improv shows, allowing the “best of” to fall under the same coherent idea.  The theme must be a general topic, such as “growing up,” or “working.”  This will not only make the DVD more coherent, but it will also help the audience understand S.T.E.V.E.  The theme will serve as the starting point for brainstorming.  Sometimes the hardest part about writing is knowing where to start.




     All Smile and Nod members will be divided into smaller self-selected groups to brainstorm and form ideas.  Ideally, these teams will have two purposes: to come up with group ideas, and to provide feedback on individually written scripts.  Writing comedy is most effectively done with partners, so team members should be viewed as a resource.  Everyone is encouraged to share ideas over the phone and scripts through email with fellow team members.  Each team will be responsible for coming up with several awesome super-cool great ideas over winter break. 




     The greatest rewards in sketch comedy always come from new and unexpected ideas.  Therefore, nobody should feel limited when writing material for S.T.E.V.E.  Since one of our highest values is showing off different personalities within Smile and Nod, we expect the subject and form of creative ideas to vary. 

     Everyone is encouraged to write as much as they can.  The more ideas there are to choose from, the better off S.T.E.V.E. is.  Try experimenting with different forms.  While sketches and improve will be the main focus of the DVD; songs, standup, and performance art may also be included.  Furthermore, we encourage writing material that can be performed and taped live at Smile and Nod shows.

     All sketches can be submitted to Sam or Jeff, or emailed to steve_dvd@yahoo.com 


How to make S.T.E.V.E.

Selection of scripts:

     Not all sketches can be included in S.T.E.V.E.  At the beginning of winter quarter, the Smile and Nod board members will select the best scripts to be included in the DVD.  The criteria will be based on both the quality of the script, and inclusion of many writers.

     Ideas will then be presented to the rest of Smile and Nod in order to get feedback.  The strongest ideas will then be chosen.  These chosen few will be given back to the creators for elaboration and the adding of detail.  Roles will then be filled for each of the sketches.




     Each member of Smile and Nod is guaranteed equal exposure.  This will be accomplished by the use of a tally system.  A tally mark will be placed next to each member’s name every time they participate in any portion of the DVD.  This includes improv performances.

     Casting for sketches will be based on input from the writer, and the desires of individual Smile and Nod members.  Sam and Jeff will do the final casting with help from the Smile and Nod board.



     We have definite access to the equipment provided by Jeff, including his camera, editing equipment and DVD burner.  Though this is true we will most likely have access to Cal Poly Audio Visual Department’s cameras and editing software.  All Smile and Nod shows will be taped, so sketches may be performed live in shows.  A schedule for taping sketches will be made early next quarter.  Sam and Jeff will help with all shoots.


 S.T.E.V.E. Timeline

December 8 – General meeting in 212.

First week in January – All scripts must be submitted.

January 12 – Meeting to share ideas, cast roles.

January 31 – Last day to finish scripts.

March 16 – All sketches taped by this date.

March 31 – All sketches edited by this date.

April 6 – DVD finished.


Benefits of S.T.E.V.E.



 Memories:  What better way to remember the time you spent in Smile and Nod than by watching S.T.E.V.E.?


Understanding of Comedy:  The great thing about S.T.E.V.E. is that it will force us to think about comedy in new ways.  Through writing and performing, we will analyze structure and character—which will make us better improv performers


Advertising: S.T.E.V.E. will be a great promotional tool to expose Smile and Nod to new audiences.  When people realize how great the S.T.E.V.E. is, they are sure to show their friends! 


Strengthen Relationships with Customers:  It is one thing for audience members to go to a Smile and Nod show.  It says much more if Smile and Nod can come to their home. 


Team Bonding: S.T.E.V.E. will bring us all closer than we’ve been before!