LP, unknown Shakespearean actress*
As mentioned in passing, I cast myself as First Witch (or, Witch #1 as I refer to her) in a scene (4.1 to be precise) from MacBeth. After going through “We don’t have a MacBeth – Oh wait, we do! – Awesome! Let’s rehearse – Oh no, we’re down a witch because she’s off to Scotland – Bwhahaha! That’s funny! – No really, she’s in Scotland – Oh shit, now what? – Hey, the other group wants to merge so this is going to work!”, everything turned out awesome and parts of The Scottish Play were performed to great enthusiasm.
Seeing that I am now a seasoned professional, if only because my first thought when I came back home that evening was “Damn, this place looks like someone was late for the theatre!”, I have made a handy list of protips. In case you want to
make a grandiose mess of your house act in a Shakespeare play too.
Protips for Prospective Shakespearean Actors of All Ages and Genders
- No talent = no problem! I can’t act my way out of a paper bag, but deflected from my abysmal acting by looking awesome. This is where The Wig for All Occasions comes in handy. Don’t have one? Get one right this minute on Ebay. I’ll wait. *waits* Ok, wig bought? We continue!
- Typecasting also helps. Knowing that my acting is about as subtle as Gerard Way’s stage persona during The Black Parade, I made sure to be cast as a witch and not as some Juliet-or-other;
- Make a list of all the stuff you and everybody else in the theatre might at some point need. Got everything? Put “duct tape”, “sharpie” and “pepper mill” on there, and you’re set. Oh, and maybe start packing the day before, not an hour before;
- You WILL forget your lines. Try to find a creative way of hiding your text somewhere. As a witch, I went for the Veganomicon cookbook and basically “acted” all my lines from paper; *yells “Vegan witches unite!”*
- On a related note: when you decide to memorise your text and do end up forgetting your lines, don’t drop character and yell “F*ck”. I saw this happen to quite a few awesome actors during the evening, and it’s really too bad. The audience most times doesn’t even notice that you’re lost, don’t alert them to it. The Show Must Go On, peeps. Just continue babbling something Shakespearean-sounding, paraphrase whatever you think you are supposed to say, take a moment to look at your script, preferably while staying in character. This is where that pepper mill comes in handy, though I’m not quite sure how to make it work if you’re doing one of Hamlet’s soliloquies. Which is another reason why I stick to playing witches;
- Do not, at any time, be dissuaded by The Group Process. Shit will start to go down many times during the whole pre-rehearsal, rehearsal and pre-performance stages, and the least attention you pay to it, the faster things manage to sort themselves out. Theatre magic;
- And most importantly: just have fun with it, really. Because it will be over in a blip. Oh, and don’t forget to take pictures. Vain as I am I only managed to snap a selfie: