SO, I don’t normally talk about theatre here but this I just can’t resist.
You know when a person says that they wouldn’t ____ because their kids would grow up and find the evidence and say “Oh mom! why?!”
Well, I have my “Oh Mom” picture. And no, I’m not nude.
I’ve learned something…
When someone says to me “you’ll be perfect for this” I should approach it with skepticism.
I participated in an event called “Surprise Shakespeare” hosted at the beautiful Sycamore Rouge last night. To quickly sum up Surprise Shakespeare here’s what happens: the actors show up two hours before the show with no knowledge of what play they are in and put on a performance with absolutely nothing but team work, adrenaline, a script and a stage. The experience was similar (but different) to Henley Street Theatre‘s Bootleg Shakespeare which I was lucky enough to be a part of last October (if you’ve never seen one, it’s not an experience to be missed). For ‘Bootleg’ we knew the play before hand and had memorized (albeit poorly) lines before one day of rehearsal and performance. Surprise Shakespeare was just… a Surprise.
The Surprise performance last night was Comedy of Errors – an apt title for a production which was about to full of both.
I was not to entirely familiar with the show. I was also not familiar with the theater building itself. I was thankful for a small role.
My character was Nell.
Here is how she is described in the script:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE.
Marry, sir, she’s the kitchen-wench, and all grease; and I know
not what use to put her to, but to make a lamp of her and run
from her by her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the tallow in
them will burn a Poland winter: if she lives till doomsday,
she’ll burn week longer than the whole world.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE.
What complexion is she of?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE.
Swart, like my shoe; but her face nothing like so clean kept: for
why? she sweats, a man may go over shoes in the grime of it.
… this is the role I was told I was perfect for. An ugly, sweaty kitchen wench.
So naturally I dove right in, after all, this is how Oscars are won right?
And in about an hour, we came up with this abomination:
Hilarity ensued… and so did heartburn as my beautiful Nell ate cheese-it and chips during her scenes (I did not realize how long they were when I made the choice). The snacking included pimento cheese and cheese-it sandwich — the sandwich being a ‘Surprise’ from another actor, the cheese-its an impromptu addition– which was not as bad as I expected although I wouldn’t recommend it.
And when my kids are older they can say, yes, my mom was an actress in Richmond, she did a lot of Shakespeare — Oh look here’s a picture…
“Oh, Mom… why?”
Note: Future trauma and therapy courtesy of me. Photographic evidence by Green Eyed Photography