Okay, unnecessary and completely unrelated preface: I was glancing over my stats and someone read a post recently that I have no memory of writing. Like, it’s a personal anecdote of my life, and I know it happened, so I know I did write it. But I have no memory of doing so. First of all, it’s highly amusing, I don’t know how I don’t have a Netflix stand-up special yet. Second of all, it makes me wonder how many other posts I’ve just completely erased from my memory. I’ve been doing this for three years and I have over 300 posts, there must be many. Anyway. That actually has NOTHING to do with the topic for today.
The topic is: Shakespeare! (Which should be good luck, because my blog posts involving Shakespeare get the most hits).
As you all should know, if you’ve been around for a while, I adore Shakespeare. It’s kind of, like, the Pumpkin Spice Latte of literature/theatre nerds. You either love the Bard to the point of obsession or you think he’s gross and overrated.
I am the former.
I am well acquainted with consuming the works of William Shakespeare. I own his complete works, I’ve read a good number, I make an effort to see as many of his plays as I can when theatres around me are producing them. I’ve watched all the classic film adaptations (you know, the Romeo and Juliets, the Hamlets, the Much Ado About Nothings).
In all my years of loving Shakespeare and acting, however, I have never had the opportunity to be in a Shakespeare play as an actor. A player, if you will. There was just never an audition opportunity for which I was eligible. The closest I’ve ever come is performing some Shakespeare in English classes, which, though fun, is just not the same.
I’ve never even had the opportunity to perform a Shakespearean monologue, because ALL AUDITIONS EVER that aren’t casting an Elizabethan/Jacobean show very specifically forbid actors from auditioning with non-contemporary monologues.
So you can imagine my excitement when, on orientation day, I saw that my beloved theatre department is producing The Tempest this spring. Auditions September 24th.
Who loves Shakespeare? Who loves The Tempest in particular? Who is a theatre major in the very department producing it?
You’d best believe that’s me, on all counts.
I scrambled to find a monologue (Portia, Act III Scene IV. Good monologue. Others did it. It’s okay, I’m not bitter). I memorized it, I got excited that I was being allowed to audition with Shakespeare. I polished it up. I got myself good and nervous.
You should have seen me going into auditions on the 24th. Dudes, I was pale as a sheet and mildly jittery. It’s the worst audition nerves I’ve had in a while.
But I went in and did my monologue, and I felt very good about it. I knew it was the best I could give them, and I felt like I hit all the notes I needed to hit.
They kept me (reading sides) through until the last wave of auditioners, so I left feeling pretty optimistic. However, they didn’t call me back, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Not getting called back can mean one of two things: they already know exactly what they want to do with you, so they don’t need to see anything more, or you’re completely off the table.
And there’s no way of knowing which until the cast list is posted.
So I let myself get good and nervous again, and checked the cast list with great anxiety when it was posted five days later.
I’m in, fellas! And I’m so excited.
They, very interestingly, cast the show with almost all women. Which I’m intrigued by and totally down for. The only characters that remain male are Ferdinand, Caliban, and Boatswain.
I’m Alonzo, King of Naples – or, in our production, Alonza, Queen of Naples. I’m part of the traitor party and Ferdinand’s mother.
I am thrilled to have been cast, and so excited to be part of the show. It’s a huge compliment to be cast as a first-year (girl) regardless, especially in a Shakespeare show, especially among the cast I’m a part of.
I’ll be keeping you posted on how it all goes, because it’s all going to be new for me. First time in a University show, first Shakespeare, first time working with this cast and crew. It’s gonna be gnarly. Rehearsals start the day we get back from Christmas break.
Anyway. That’s pretty much it. I’m in The Tempest! I’m so pumped and grateful, and so I’m writing about it. (Albeit almost a month after I found out).
I am a little worried because the rest of the cast is all farther along in their theatre and acting education than me, but I also learn fast. It’ll be a good growth experience for me, and I can catch up.
More later! I’ll try to post more frequently, sorry. Maybe go back into the archives a bit. I have some stuff in there that’s not total trash.