Caton Yang ’20 is the technical director for the Triangle Club. We caught up with him during midterms week as he finished his assignments and prepared for “build week,” when he and his team would construct the set for the show that premiered Nov. 10.
Starting the day I usually start my day around 7:30. I have a pretty strong circadian rhythm, so I just wake up. Because we have midterms going on, I was looking through Chinese notes, sometimes I’m reading through the Bible a little bit, then I eat breakfast in the Whitman dining hall. I have an omelet — three eggs with tomatoes, peppers, and onions — and then I usually grab a muffin or a bagel. I eat with my roommate or whoever else is available.
Chinese 405 At 9 every day, I have Chinese 405 — it’s Chinese language. I’m Chinese by ethnicity, and I spent five years in Hong Kong, between the ages of 9 to 14. The class was just a review for the midterm, so we went through a couple of chapters and a lot of grammar pattern work. The texts we’re studying are a little more interesting as far as topics go: adoption in China and the public’s perspective on homosexuality and premarital sex. It’s really trying to equip us with everything we need to discuss, like political and social topics that probably would come up in regular discussion.
Economics 310 I go to the class [“Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach”] a little early, do some studying, and then help the professor set up the projector. Thursday was the beginning of game theory. It was especially fun because the professor brought in candy bars, and essentially we played games where he had different rules where we could either get candy or not get candy — just playing around with probability.
Lunch I went to lunch with my friend Mark. Right after economics class, because we’re in the class together, we ate in Wilcox dining hall. It was Southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes. We had a conversation about voice acting for animations, Japanese animations, and we also talked about economics class.
Study at Marquand Library I was working on a paper for History 270 [“Asian American History”] — it was our take-home midterm exam: two short essays, each 750 words. One was about how labor systems affected the racialization of Asian immigrants, and the other one was on Ex parte Endo, which was a [Supreme Court] decision that came after Korematsu v. United States.
Trustee run-through We have a location on Broadmead Street where all rehearsals take place. Members of the Triangle Board of Trustees come to watch; I believe we had 11 trustees this time. The show is called Spy School Musical. It’s the final stages of the show, when we’re really solidifying what we keep and what we might want to alter for our final production. It’s sort of a bonding event for a lot of the Triangle members. I grabbed some beef brisket, some rice, veggies, there’s salmon there — it was good. Actors typically have all their rehearsals before we enter into fall break, and tech really kicks off during fall break.
The technical director’s job I oversee all the operations with regard to the set, lights, and sound to make sure everything can come together for the show. During build week, I’m coordinating everything as far as getting lumber, how we’re going to build the set, how we’re going to make everything happen. The set is rather difficult this year: It’s a bunch of really tall letters that can be pieced together and moved around to form the terrain for the show. So you have a lot of abstract shapes, a lot of angles you have to cut out; there’s a lot of surfaces and weight-bearing units that have to hold the actors’ weight. For the actual show, I’m backstage — I’m on a headset, and I’m helping with set pieces. I’m helping make sure everything runs smoothly.
Ending the day I walked back to my room and finished off my paper around 11. I always do some praying before I go to bed. I only got baptized this summer, and I’m trying to start a ministry group on campus. The whole idea behind the new group is to create a more intimate space, one that really promotes vulnerability, but also, more importantly, social and political discussion.
Hotline Typically I go to CONTACT training on Thursday. CONTACT is a crisis hotline that I’ve geen getting trained to volunteer for. The hotline accepts calls for any issue. Especially with the environment on campus where there’s a lot of stress, it’s really important that we have people in the area. It’s better to try to help than to not try at all, right?
Edited and condensed by Anna Mazarakis ’16