Sep 26, 2008


A key ingredient of my teaching philosophy is to provide students with opportunities to link what we learn inside the classroom with the "real world" that exists beyond the university's walls. This is the reason why in my telenovela class and seminars I've always included phone conferences with people who work in the telenovela industry. (In previous years, I've had as guests Julie Restifo, Daniela Bascopé, Carlos Cruz, Edgar Ramírez, Marisa Román and Leonardo Padrón).

This week we had two guests that visit my class every time I teach it because they're very generous with their time and insights. And because both of them have taught me a lot as I continue my intellectual journey through the beguiling landscape of telenovela research: Marisa Román and Leonardo Padrón. This time we benefitted from technology since we used video conference thanks to the facilities provided in the Faherty Lab here at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. We enjoyed the experience even more than in previous opportunities because we could see our guests and they could see us. 

Thanks to these conversations, my students were able to hear Leonardo Padrón explain the details of his creative process, describe the everyday life of a telenovela writer, list his major concerns and satisfactions as he tackles the difficult, absorbing and exhausting process of writing a telenovela, which is a product of industrial dimensions. 

The students were also able to ask Marisa Román about the construction of a character, and which have been the most difficult and most satisfying characters she has interpreted. Román explained the differences in the actors craft when she/he faces television, theater and film. 

It was a truly special class in which all involved learned a great deal thanks to a couple of conversations that were enjoyable, sincere and gratifying.

No comments: