Monday, December 13, 2010

'Oh, I Was...'



When I tell people what I do with my time in Los Angeles, I inevitably get this response:

"Oh, I was Bottom in 'Midsummer Night's Dream'!"

or

"Oh, I was Lady Macbeth in high school!"

or, from our current principal,

"Oh, I was a witch in 'Macbeth'!"


Perhaps to prove the veracity of the statements, or because they loved their experience, they go on to quote lines from the play. Words that have remained inside their heads for lo, these many years....

BOTTOM
I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream; past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.

or

LADY MACBETH
Out, damn'd spot! out, I say! — One; two: why, then 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky. — Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt? — Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

When I watch the performances of The Shakespeare Club I sit either to the far right or far left of the audience and take notes. It's also a great perspective for me to view reactions.

A theatre director told me that during previews and on opening night he liked to stand on the side of the house in order to study the audience's movements. When they sat back for too long a time he felt he was in trouble and had more work to do. When they leaned forward, he breathed a sigh. We've got 'em.


At our one o'clock performance, our principal curled upon the floor of the front row with a kindergartner in her lap. I had a perfect vantage of her profile and smiled as she leaned forward and mouthed along with the witches:

WITCHES
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Our principal was with us, in the auditorium and watching, but she was also somewhere else. Somewhere in her younger self. Somewhere when she discovered she was capable, had power and potential.

WITCHES
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

It's in moments like this that I know we're on to something. Something far-reaching and full of possibility.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
What I will miss about Shakespear club I will mess everything about Shakespeare even the bad times and good times exepacally the show. I might go to another school but I will be doing acting in Hollywood and doing commercials on T.V.
Krystal, 3rd grade

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