Friday, October 23, 2009

Nathan: Rich, Rich, Rich

March, 2009

Nathan, as Orsino, languishes on a green rag rug I've brought from home.

If music be the food of love, play on
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! It had a dying fall.

Will you go hunt, my lord?

What, Curio?

The hart.

Why, so I do, the noblest I have.
O, when my eyes did see Olivia first;
Methought she purged the air of pestilence.

Orsino's servants pop in and out with fun ideas for the afternoon. They attempt to end his obsessing about Lady Olivia, the attractive neighbor, who doesn't care a whit about him. Apparently, his musicians play the same song over and over. The scene ends with Orsino taking to his bed, where he plans to continue torturing himself with Olivia's rejections.

Eight-year-old Nathan has taken hold of this role with a firm grip. He swings his arm skyward and cries out: If music be the food of love, play on....

Then, like any actor in rehearsal, he stops and looks to his director for some clarification.

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"Am I rich?"

"Yes, you're rich. As Duke, you pretty much run Illyria and here you are in...well, I think a good-sized house...with servants and so on."

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"I like this...lying on my rug with a pillow and musicians playing for me....I really like this."

"Yup, it's pretty great. Are you ready to go on and finish the scene now that we've established your wealth situation?"

"Yeah. I guess...." He lolls back onto his pillow and lets his arm float down to the floor. He gazes at the tacky portable schoolroom ceiling as if studying gold leaf and bouncing cherubs.

"Okay, everyone ready...Beth and Darby...instruments?"

"One second, Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"What do you think I eat anyway?"

"Whatever you want is my guess. Grapes, chicken, cakes...stuff like that."

"Yeah...probably ice cream whenever I want it, right?" and he leans back with a banquet of delights passing over his head as in a cartoon bubble.

What amazes me is how very patient the girl servants are as they stand around waiting for Orsino to finish up in fantasyland.

"Let's start again from the top...ready?"

"If music be the food of love, play on...."

At three years old, Nathan told his mom when he grew up he wanted "to be King."

Crown the boy. He's there.


I am Orsino I have pillows to sit sit on, musicians that play for me, and many advisers. I am very rich.!
—Nathan, 3rd grade


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