Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting My Duke On!

After several dozen informal run-throughs, I finally have all of my lines memorized for my role as Duke Orsino in "Twelfth Night".  The final act is coming together nicely despite the complex blocking involved. All that is left for me to do is fine-tune my performance which has led me to watch a few adaptations of "Twelfth Night". Each actor brings a little something different to their Duke Orsino. Here's a list of actors who have portrayed him and what I thought of their performances:

Gary Raymond (1969) - He's got great energy, but not a lot of range in this role. He certainly pulls off the "in love with being in love" aspect of Orsino's character very well, but I would have liked to have seen some melancholy in certain moments.

Clive Arrindell (1980)  - I like how regal he sounds. He has a great presence about him that suits how Orsino should be presenting himself, but I'm not feeling a lot of emotion behind his performance.

Christopher Ravenscroft (1988) -  I like his intensity, but his interpretation of Duke Orsino is completely emo. You get the feeling that Orsino is clinically depressed doesn't want to be in love because moments of happiness actually cause him pain. He's a great actor, but his Duke Orsino made me want to write a rambling, maudlin note and hang myself.

Channing Tatum (2006) - I didn't need to sit through the entire run of "She's The Man" to realize that Channing Tatum has no acting ability. For the life of me, I don't know why I wasted 105 minutes on this.

Nick Martorelli (2010) - He was part of a cast that did Twelfth Night for the Curio Theatre. I love his approach to Orsino as it is very well balanced between regal, melodramatic and melancholy. I particularly like how he handles the friendship between "Caesario" and Orsino. This was, by far, my favorite performance out of those that I have seen.

James Sutton (2011) - He did a great modern adaptation of Act 1 Scene 1, but much of his interpretation doesn't apply to what I'm doing. I do like how he reacted to the music playing around him. It's something that many of the other actors I have listed seemed to ignore.

Of course, when acting a well known part, one should always try to avoid completely copying someone else's interpretation. I'm going to put my own spin on Duke Orsino and bring a little TommyMac to his soul. But, that's not to say that I won't carry a few influences from past performances with me.

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