Friday, October 1, 2010

Graduation? What?

Uta Question #3: What Time Is It?

Well...this question is totally appropriate for today. Time. Today was definitely about managing my time. In 6 months from now, I will be graduating. I had to turn in my graduation paperwork today, which was a surreal experience. Days are just flying by! Currently it is 10:30 PM, on a Friday night. It's 2010. It's also the very first of October - one month closer to graduation. I am 4 month away from my 21st birthday. It's currently fall....the leaves are starting to turn, the air is turning crisper, and mid-terms are approaching. It's even starting to smell like fall...the precursor to that biting winter wind and the smell of hot apple cider. Can you tell I'm looking forward to winter? :)

Anyways, today was busy and I totally didn't expect it to be. It was like I was being tested on time management today. I had my Shakespeare Lit. class from 12:00-1:00, and afterwards my Shakespeare scene partner and I met in the green room to run over our scene before meeting with our professor for some one-on-one time to work the scene.

The scene we're doing is from Twelfth Night. It's the scene in which Olivia unveils herself, and Viola, still masked as a boy messenger attempts (and succeeds) in wooing her. It's such a fun scene to play because I've got the role of Viola, which means I have the task of playing a girl, playing a boy in a very convincing manner (at least, in Olivia's eyes.)

Rob, (our professor), is simply fantastic to work with. We worked the scene for roughly 40-45 minutes. We had a lot of stop and starts and he just had a lot of great, insightful things to say. He said, "I love your energy, I can tell you're excited about this, just give yourself time to live and breathe in the excitement, as the character." My tendency is to rush into my lines, especially when I feel comfortable in what I'm doing and saying. My confidence, excitement, and emotion get the better of me, and my mouth gets ahead of me. I  feel like I made strides in correcting that today, just in this working session.

My partner and I had some rough ideas of blocking that we wanted to try out, and most of those ideas actually ended up making it into the final ground plan, which is fantastic. Rob was very patient and urged us to experiment and act on our impulses, which is something I need to be more confident on. But today, I acted on my impulses more than once and it felt great! I had some really bold ideas swimming around and I just wanted to try them. There were so many images I had in my head when reading this scene, of how Viola would move, what she would do to seem convincing as a male. I experimented with standing in a very Restoration-esque pose, with my feet in 3rd position, flexing and showing off my calf muscle as men often did.

I'm very excited to work and develop this scene more on Monday. I have recently discovered how much I really enjoy working on Shakespearean text. It's something I would love to do professionally.

I also discovered that I'm not afraid to make big choices and act on strong impulses when I'm doing Shakespeare as compared to when I approach other text. It's interesting.

OH! And in the working session today, all 3 of us had a revelation about a line that I say toward the very end of the scene. Even Rob, who has been working with this material for decades was surprised to find something new in the text. Before my exit, my lines are:

Viola: "Love make his heart of flint that you shall love.
            And let your fervour, like my master's, Be plac'd in contempt.
            Farewell, fair cruelty."

Notice my parting sentence. Isn't it amazing that Shakespeare can write something so simple, yet so perfect in language? It's no mistake or coincidence that there is a play on the word 'fair', but it's SO easy to overlook those things! Viola is searching for the right parting message, and this is what she says. If you place the emphasis on those words in your line delivery, it gives the line an entirely different feel.


It's also the weekend.

Tomorrow night: You Can't Take It With You at the St. Louis Rep!

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