I had rehearsed this piece for the dress rehearsal. As we took to the performance area I was relatively confident as I opened with the line "Good day my lord, why at your book so hard?". The scene started to unravel with some great moments. I think every time I have performed this piece I have discovered something new about the characters. Shakespeare uses a lot if imagery and if you can relate to that, I find it really helps.
Now on to Nick, I can't remember what I said about him last time. He is my scene partner, what can I say? This guy lives and breathes Shakespeare. He gets right into the language, and the character. He was familiar with this scene prior to going into this which gave him a head start over me, it also meant I have learned a lot from him. He is very much the underdog of the class, in the sense that he does not shout and scream, rather he has a touch of genius and comes up with things then brings them to life like no other. It is only in working closely with him that I have realised how much more he has in his acting toolbox than I first thought. He is superb, and if he wants to make it in acting, I honestly think he could.
Now back to my disaster. As I hit my monologue, something came over me. I can't really explain it - my focus was lost, I didn't even feel as though I was in the room anymore. Even with the prompts - nothing was there. I know they say a bad dress rehearsal is a good sign... but I am so pissed off like you wouldn't believe. I walked out of the room for a good 15 minutes to mull over the diabolical performance, and although it happens to everyone sooner or later, it just feels awful when it happens to you. I guess I have a week to get it right, but I won't lie, my confidence has taken a huge blow. I was the worst in the class on Thursday, hell even the guy who is usually rock bottom was better than me - and that is saying something!
I must admit, I was hoping this encounter with Shakespeare would inspire me, but I am yet to be convinced. Even seeing Kevin Spacey in Richard III (the play that follows the one I am performing) just two days before hand failed to reach me. Don't get me wrong. you can't fault the acting. I was just not inspired by it. Its long, the plot is unconvincing and a tad predictable at best. I have yet to work out why people see Shakespeare as one of the best play writes of all time. Though this said I did enjoy seeing David Tenant and Catherine Tate in a modernised version of Much Ado About Nothing... much lighter and energetic, but still not the best piece of theatre I have seen.