Shakespeare on the Fly

I had one of those dreams last night where I'm in a play, but haven't rehearsed any of the lines in weeks, don't know the part very well, and don't have a costume, and am also playing someone against type (in this case, I think I was Falstaff. Perhaps I feel like I've been eating too many Christmas cookies?). I had to go onstage first. When I peeked through the curtains, the seats were mostly blank, but when I went onstage (with the play strategically smuggled in the front of my shirt), it was a packed crowd. I warbled and chortled about (as Falstaff does), while also realizing that I wasn't emphasizing the right words. The line would be something like, "Is that a dagger I see before me?" but I'd say it like, "Is THAT a dagger I see before me?" As if there 4-5 things in my line of vision. The cast and director were not pleased with me and told me so after the show. I was upset, not just because of my poor performance, but also because I felt like it was unjust--it seemed that the director purposefully cast me in a part where I would fail.

This hearkens back to an acting class I took at Florida State; some kind of upper level Shakespeare scene study course where most of the students were in the BFA program, except for 3-4 of us who were in the lowly BA track. The teacher, Jean someone, would only pair the BA's with other BA's for scenework, as though our acting would permanently mar or impair the gifted ones, something akin to allowing a Special Olympics member to assume a first -string position on the JV basketball team. In addition, she assigned me a scene from Othello, a play that was at that time in production for Main Stage. The girl playing Desdemona was in my class, and so I guess it was the teacher's way of showing the girl what not to do. I sucked and it was humiliating, but hopefully, Keely learned something from it.

Comments

Leigh Ann said…
I bet you didn't suck! Well, not that much, anyway.
Aimee said…
I think I changed accents in mid-scene--like, maybe I started out with a Southern lilt and ended up with a heavy Irish brogue.
Anonymous said…
Hi,

This is a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at butcallmebetsy.blogspot.com.

Can I use part of the information from this post above if I provide a link back to your website?

Thanks,
Peter

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