Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Without Bombast

Went to class last night. This is the first exclusively Shakespeare class I've taken in America, I think. It's definitely the first new Shakespeare teacher I've had since I met my teacher, David Perry, in 1994. He passed away a few years ago and it became clear I'd have to explore other avenues.

1. I am taking this class from my friend April.

2. It is 3 Mondays in a row from 6:30-10:30. I get home around midnight.

3. David had diabetes so you could always count on him giving you a break every 60-90 minutes so he could get some tea to regulate his blood sugar. April kept going Energizer Bunny-style with just one brief bathroom break. I am seriously not used to that.

4. We did articulation exercises to this Barenaked Ladies Song. I haven't checked my iPod yet but really hope I have that already. It's fun!

5. There are 6 people in class. 4 women and 2 men. I am the oldest. There are 2 college students who are, I'm sure, the youngest. Experience levels vary. All American save one Brit.

6. April says I read mid-thirties (for theatre, I'm sure it'd be different for film). This is very useful information to have. I can never tell how old people are supposed to be so making that call for myself is especially difficult.

7. I worked on a monologue from this scene. It sort of starts at "Boldness comes to me now and brings me heart." I had worked on it a lot with David but that was many years ago.

8. We worked a lot on specificity of place, which was a revelation for me. I did actually know where I was but I'd never told anyone or set it down anywhere for myself and doing that made for a lot of differences.

9. I was given direction and asked to put it immediately into practice and I was able. I've still got a long way to go but I made a lot of fairly ginormous changes to the way I'm working the piece.

10. Homework is to work on the same piece and approach a new one. April brought me one from Queen Margaret (can't remember which play) and a very famous Titania speech which I've worked on some before. I can't decide. It would be nice to work on something I'd not dealt with at all before but the very fact that I'm shying away from Titania suggests I should give it a shot. In a third, entirely different direction, she also suggested Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. That intrigues me mightily. I would love to work on that. But it's prose not poetry so.....I don't know.


  1. Beatrice was my first Shakespeare role...so it's always always always a favorite. I'm so proud of you for taking this leap! way to go sister!

    -surely milady you were born at a happy hour.
    -nay milord, my mother cried...but then there was a star danced...and under that I was born.

  2. How wonderful that you are taking something to grow and stretch. Risk taking! It's a great thing. Scary, but so rewarding to work through the fear of the unknown.

    Sounds like a great class!

  3. I am crazy happy for you. Took guts to take this on -- GO KIZZ!

  4. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I studied with David Perry in England for a summer at RADA..That was late 1980's..I am a transplanted New Yorker living in L.A. He and I would have lunch when he came here to visit or teach workshops..then lost touch.He smoked alot..I have all the cassettes (remember those) as I recorded that summer of his classes..Treasures! Was he later teaching in N.Y.?? He was wonderful.

  5. Anon, after I met him in 1994 he would come to NYC every year or so to teach private lessons and one 4-6 week group class. Usually another teacher would sponsor him or set up the class. It was an enormous gift. What I wouldn't give to listen to those cassettes!