Monday, October 24, 2011

I Joined The Cast Of Twelfth Night

It started with a conversation with a lady friend of mine who is very into community theater. She remarked that I'm "on" all the time and that, if forced to play it serious for more than a few minutes, I would give in to my comedic urges and end up making some small gesture designed to garner a few laughs. I began to enumerate examples of times where I stayed completely serious such as funerals....and...um...funerals. I had to admit that life didn't often force me into situations that required a complete lack of humor. I expressed confidence, however, that I would be able to "rope it in" for any situation that required it.

Next thing I know, I'm being told to put up or shut up and I've joined the cast of a local production of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" in the role of Duke Orsino. Twelfth Night is a comedy that centers on mistaken identity. Viola is shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria and loses contact with her twin brother, Sebastian, whom she believes to be dead. She disguises herself as a page boy named Cesario and comes to serve in the court of Duke Orsino who is in love with a local noblewoman named Olivia. Olivia falls in love with Cesario, not realizing that Cesario is really Viola. When Sebastian turns up in Illyria very much alive, the play begins to resemble an old episode of "Three's Company". If you've seen the movie "She's The Man" starring Amanda Bynes, then you'll get the gist of "Twelfth Night".

My acting ability has never been in question. I've created enough radio and youtube goodness to have developed at least a modicum of talent. What's really getting me is context and direction. Since this is Shakespeare, I often don't know exactly what I'm saying or who I'm saying it to. I also find it difficult to understand where I'm supposed to be standing and with which hand I'm supposed to be gesturing. Thankfully, I'm working with a great director and an experienced cast, so I've been getting a lot of good pointers.

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