Welcome back Lovely Readers! Today, I am going to be talking about Destination Imagination.
Recently, on April 2, my team and I, (Insert Team Name Here), presented our solution to our challenge at DI provincials. We were the Fine Arts challenge, and there were three other challenges that were being competed in. PLP participates in DI every year, and this year, we had 17 teams competing.
DI is a long and multi step process. We started with planning.
Once we knew what our challenge was, it was up to us to make every single element of our solution; from the story, to the costumes, to the backdrops. Our challenge had four main parts.
- The story
- The trickster
- The costume transformation
- The illusion
We did a lot of brainstorming to come up with a story. Since we knew our Trickster had to go through a Tricky Situation, we broke our ideas down in order to accommodate all parts of our challenge. In the end, our story is about a Trickster named Felix who delights in his morning routine of making lives miserable. When one morning, his plan goes askew, Felix decides to use his secret special power to redo his day, but unfortunately, gets stuck along the way.
You can read our script here!
We also had to create our own original trickster. Felix, our Trickster, is based on a combination of Saci, the annoying prankster of Brazilian folklore, Hermes, the Greek god of mischief, trickery, and thieving, and Felix the Cat, a classic cartoon about a magical cat that originated in the 1920s. Our Felix’s personality is centred around the mendacious desire to trick that all of these characters have.
Another part of our challenge was our illusion. Our Illusion is our magical Time Machine, which is disguised as a clock. The Trickster uses this “clock” to go back in time, although it is not entirely accurate. The clock is run by a remote controlled motor, which spins the hand on the clock. We designed the clock face to be reminiscent of old fashioned clocks, with a trippy twist.
Our last major part was our costume transformation. The transformation was created using conductive thread, and small LED lights. Our Costume Transformation happens in two parts. When the little boy, who is played by Indy, gets stuck in Felix’s Time Machine, his costume begins to light up. This was done using conductive thread and small LED lights. The shirt and hat are both on different operating systems, and so Indy needs to reach into her sleeve to turn the shirt lights on, and reach behind her head to flip the hidden switch on her hat. Felix’s hat also begins to light up, and that is done with the same lights. While the little boy and Felix are in the Time Machine, the little boys costume changes into modern day clothes. The shirt and pants are lined along the seams with snap tape, which allows them to be “ripped” off by Johnny, our technical operator.
We also had to come up with two Team Choice elements, which are uniquely created parts of each teams solution. Our two Team Choice elements were paintings on our backdrop, each representative of a different era, and an audio backing track that fully immerses you in the 1920s.
Once we had everything planned, we got to work. We spent a lot of time after and before school making sure that everything was good to go.
Then, came the day of provincials. They were held at Saint. George’s School this year, and it was an added challenge to navigate the unfamiliar territory. All of the teams were set up in the gym, and we waited there until our challenge time.
When we got to our challenge room, things went downhill. Our backdrop paintings did not stay on the frame, the illusion did not have a great effect, and the costume transformation did not end up working how it had in rehearsal. Even though nothing went according to plan, I still feel accomplished. We still went on stage, and performed, and our story was strong regardless.
In the end, we came second in our challenge, as well as first in our instant challenge! I am proud of our perseverance, and how we maintained our positive attitude throughout.
DI is meant to test us. It’s truly the project to end all projects. Although it doesn’t seem like it when you are actively working on DI, in retrospect, it really builds up important skills, like communication, teamwork, creativity, and improvisation. DI also teaches you so much about being ready. You have to be ready for anything, because anything could happen. This year was a challenging one, but I learned a lot, and I’m excited to apply my newfound DI skills to things that are not DI.