Twelfth Night is opening tomorrow night. I’m not so much nervous as I am weary. There has been road block after road block and even after we open there are still road blocks to face. It has been frustrating and fulfilling at the same time.
I wasn’t going to audition for this show. I didn’t want to book my summer up and over work myself. My eyes were set on September and the San Francisco Fringe… but then a friend talked to me and I decided to audition. I was only going for the lead roles, one of two roles that embody powerful women (I like playing those types…). At the audition I was asked if I would be willing to take any role. I tried to remember the movie and the characters I saw in the movie and I said “sure.” I read a few times for Viola and Olivia (the 2 female roles I was wanting) and I read for Feste the Fool. Well… you all should know how it ended up. It’s strange how you think you want something and then you get something different and it’s a better fit. The 2 women playing Viola and Olivia are so strong and phenomenal actresses that I am truly blessed to be able to play with them on stage.
Rehearsals started and I started working on my character. This character is different than any of the other characters I have played. The director and I had to decide if I was going to play a man or a woman. The role is supposed to be male and after the first read through I felt that Feste needed to be a man. So my transformation began. I went from a preening female to a rag-tag male and it was a blast! I remember reading my lines a few times and wondering what the hell I was saying. I had no clue. I worked on it and still had troubles memorizing. I felt that my character only talked nonsense… and then I realized it wasn’t nonsense it was wit… my character was wittier than me and I needed to step it up.
Trouble with the stage really made it hard to completely submerge myself into the role. I was still feeling like I was on the outside. Last Saturday we performed for the Rotary’s re-opening of the ampitheatre (the only home of WSF) and I really understood how much power my character had. I had a blast. Being the first character on stage and having to overcome the audiences wondering… is that a female, or a male… it was a challenge… but I never back down from a challenge.
Last night we got to tech the show. A full dress rehearsal and run through. Sure it was choppy and clunky at parts, but we know we need to fix those areas now. I got into my little costume, I’m very proud of my jerkin, and I started getting in the mood to play. My character is intoxicated in the show and there is a lot of physical work necessary. The bruises I have all over my body make me look like a battered woman! Last night I earned a few more too! 🙂 Yes, I am proud of the stage wounds I get. I earn them. The breast binding is my least favorite part of the process, but it gets me into character. I don’t feel so feminine when I look like I have defined pecs. Last night I was having fun.
Tonight is final dress rehearsal. Tonight is the last night we can hiccup without people realizing we totally messed up. Tonight is the night we put the youngster to sleep and we allow the older, wiser show to emerge and it’s SHOW TIME.
I can’t wait for opening night. I hope to see you all there!