Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Belinda: As Boundless As the Sea

When she was six years old, she stood on tip-toe at a microphone and announced her first-grade class and their song.

I froze, tingled, grabbed her teacher's arm and asked, "Who is she? I want her for The Shakespeare Club."

"That's Belinda."

Belinda arrived on Planet Earth with a voice, a point of view and raw talent. When she was eight, she played Juliet, but I couldn't for the life of me get her to look at Geoffrey, her Romeo.

"Belinda, you're spot-on. You understand the language, the character and the actions, but you have to look at him when you say, 'My love is as boundless as the sea.' "

I took Belinda and Geoffrey into the library to work privately, away from the rest of the group. They giggled, they half-looked at each other, they scanned the ceiling, the floor, the door, but...nope, they could not play the scene to each other.

"You know what, guys? When the audience comes to see the play, they know that they're not really in Verona and they know that the swords are we have to give them something real. That's the stuff that goes on between the actors. The real stuff you to do. You have to mean it or the play won't work."

They listened quietly to me, shot each other sidelong glances and agreed to try once more for my sake...and...and....

Belinda kneeled, as if on Juliet's balcony, she spread her arms wide and looked right at her Romeo.

My love is as boundless as the sea.
My love as deep. The more I give to thee
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Geoffrey stuck his hand inside his jacket, pulled out a lollipop and handed it to her.

Real stuff. I'm not making this up. Worth the price of admission, wouldn't you say?

What I learned today is that Romeo didn't want the name Romeo Montague because he liked Juliet Capulet and the Montagues and Capulets had war.

The prince said "We must stop this fighting."

The Capulets and the Montagues fighting remines me of my mom and dad.

William Shakespere was telling us about theme because people just can fight and fight until their son or daughter dies.

My character is Juilet. She lives in a castle.
—Belinda, 3rd grade (Year Three)


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