Putting your script down for the first time feels like you’re alone at sea, floating on an island only as wide as your feet can stand. This is the feeling that overcame me in tonight’s rehearsal as I laid Act 3 on the floor.
I was facing Gareth, who was in Cassio’s vest, getting ready to help her transform into Desdemona when I realized my hands are needed for the many costume changes much more than holding my script. So I laid it down and did a quick leap of faith. My stomach fell, I gulped, and instantly my mind went blank. Yet somehow, Emilia spoke and the right words fell out.
That’s the beauty of Shakespeare: sometimes the poetry, the rhythm propels you forward. It takes you over and you have no control and somehow the right words come out and it feels wonderful. It’s one of the things that I love about Shakespeare’s language over our own. And other times you fumble, can’t find the right page and say “uhhh” a couple of times before grabbing back on to a piece of land.