How Do You Zoom?

This is how four students set-up their layout for Zoom classes this semester.

Sanskar Agarwal, Tisch Acting Program

A makeshift desk is made out of paper towel roles and a stacking drawer storage system. This desk also houses the computer screen that Sanskar Agarwal uses for zoom acting classes and performances during the pandemic. (Photo by Sanskar Agarwal) (Sanskar Agarwal )

The biggest impact of Zoom theater has been going from cleaning my floor once a month to three times a week. I primarily spend 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rolling on my own bedroom floor. I’ve done it for so long I can now close my eyes and walk around my room without bumping into a thing. 

Acting over Zoom is weird – making physical gestures and connecting with a partner over a computer screen is weird. Zoom plays means you not only do your own costume, makeup, lighting, and cinematography, but also that you stage a play with people you’ve never met in real life. Backstage banter is reduced to a few funny Zoom chats and audience anxiety to a few numbers at the bottom of your screen. I don’t feel as much of the physical freedom or the emotional rush of being on stage. 

But hey, I’m in a South Asian Theater group, performing with actors and for audiences across the world (“Come watch my show at 11:30 a.m. EDT/8:30 a.m. PDT/8:30 p.m. PKT/9 p.m. IST”). We sometimes fake passing objects across the screen, and I can’t think of a better cheap thrill. We get innovative and go anywhere from dancing around with the camera to having multiple scenes operating simultaneously all around our room. We keep the art going, even if only from our distantly connected bubbles.



Morgan Warren, Tisch Acting Program

A desk is positioned right next to a window overlooking New York City. The desk is the hub for zoom learning but also serves as a drop off station for notebooks, water bottles, and coffee mugs. (Photo by Morgan Warren) (Morgan Warren)

Finding a room in New York that feels like more than just a place to sleep is a challenge. Finding one in which you can sleep, talk to friends, take classes, do homework, read, and occasionally freak out about the impending post-grad future is an Everest. In true New York fashion, my desk is a street find, but completed with an ever-present cup of coffee, a rotating pile of notebooks, overpriced but aesthetically pleasing pens, and of course, a photo of my dog. Throughout the day, it gets progressively more cluttered, but beginning each day with a clean desk makes me feel as though I’m not slowly losing my sanity during my final semester. That being said, the key element of my Zoom setup is the window just to my right that is there at the end of every day to remind me that the greatest city in the world is just beyond my desk.






Emily Brown, Stern

Emily Brown’s desk features a dual computer screen set up. The desk has a flower pot to hold up the laptop, which keeps it at eye level for zoom meetings. (Photo by Emily Brown) (Emily Brown)

1) The best part of my Zoom setup is the space heater under my desk – an absolute game-changer on cold days, $20 on Amazon, best purchase I’ve made all year.

2) I killed a plant in like the first week of September and accidentally discovered that the pot that I had kept it in is actually the perfect height for a laptop stand, so that’s what that is.











Chen Zhou, Stern

Chen Zhou’s desk featurres a dual computer screen set-up. The use of two screens allows for multitasking between lectures and other activities. (Photo by Chen Zhou) (Chen Zhou)

“I’m majoring in finance with minors in statistics and philosophy, so it’s important that I have two monitors for multitasking. I can watch lectures while keeping an eye on other things.”











Email Vaishnavi Naidu at [email protected] and Ivy Zhu at [email protected]