Tomorrow morning begins a new quarter of classes. I think it’s safe to say that we Wildcats are all some combination of excited and nervous. I’ve given myself a decent challenge in my course work, but after an invigorating winter break, I feel refreshed and ready to give it everything I’ve got. Here is a bit of a flash-forward of the things I’m going to be taking on in the next ten weeks and what you can expect to hear me debrief you on slash complain about.
Classes: Acting (Shakespeare quarter), MT Ballet, Text Analysis, Advance Spanish Grammar, and Bioethics (you probably won’t hear much about the last two, because they don’t really pertain to this blog, but if you have strong thoughts on cloning or abortion, hit me up.) Shakespeare is something that I’m very interested in, but only mildly comfortable with. I’ve only performed it once (playing Nick Bottom in my high school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which made quite the splash in Rochester, let me tell you.) I’ve already taken two Shakespeare courses: one literary-based and one performance-based, but I feel like I could use a lot of work before I will be comfortable going into an audition with a Shakespeare monologue. I am actually considering maybe going to England this summer to take a Shakespeare intensive. There is a lot of Shakespeare being done around Chicago and I would really like to be as proficient in that area of performance as I am in musical theatre. The actors that I really admire are the ones who can do ANYTHING, of which there are quite a few. (Sean Blake, I’m looking at you.)
Ballet is going to be another lol-fest in my life. I know that the point of me attending this institution is to be learning the things that I don’t know how to do and build a toolbox for success, but my dance skills (or lack thereof) are simply laughable. I am just going to cross my fingers, suffer through that dance belt, and hopefully make a lot of progress since I will be starting from square one. As much as I love doing musicals, making a career for myself without some sort of dance ability will be nigh impossible. So ballet will suck, but I need it.
Play text analysis is going to be an obscene amount of work, but I think the knowledge will be very valuable to have. The class is taught by David Kersnar, a Lookingglass ensemble member, and is restricted to seven or eight juniors. Of those, only myself and one other classmate, Elizabeth, identify primarily as performers. Everyone else in the class is a director. This scares me to some extent, but also excites me because I think I am going to be learning just as much from them as I will from the instructor. We are going to be analyzing the shit out of a ton of quintessential plays and there are a handful of exciting extracurricular opportunities that may be involved (including sitting in on a first day address at Lookingglass!) I have been advised from older students that the class is the most work I will ever do for a theatre class, but I have high hopes that it will really pay off and teach me to think like the smartest actor I can be.
Outside of the classroom, I am rehearsing for a production of My Fair Lady at Northwestern and I am assistant costume designing Buzz22 Chicago’s production of She Kills Monsters at the Steppenwolf Garage. I am incredibly excited about My Fair Lady, as I’ve mentioned before. In case you haven’t read previous posts, it is this year’s Dolphin Show at NU, which is the largest student-produced musical in the nation. Working with the director, Tristan, has been an amazing experience, as it is our second show together and he was my peer adviser my freshman year, so we know each other somewhat intimately, I would say. I am in the ensemble and I will be understudying the roles of Harry and Jamie. (Since when did I become queen of the understudies?) The past few days I have been in Evanston
pretending to help build and load-in the sets, which are absolutely gorgeous. If you’re interested in coming to see the show January 25 – February 2nd, follow this link! http://www.nudolphinshow.org/
She Kills Monsters is also going to be epic. It is part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep series this February through April. The show is basically about Dungeons and Dragons which means the costumes and other design elements are bonkers awesome. Unfortunately, I found out tonight that our costume team has lost a member and is now just me and the designer, Rachel, who costumed Master of Dreams last September. Working with Buzz22, who are entirely made up of Northwestern grads, has been an absolute treat. The company members all graduated Northwestern the year I graduated from high school, so we never overlapped at NU. I am super happy to be helping out with this very ambitious, but very exciting production and that I’ve gotten a chance to develop relationships with these people. I’ve learned that what we’re doing is not necessarily dissimilar to how things run in student theatre at school, aka StuCo. The mentality is very focused on: let’s just dream big and make it happen together. I can’t wait to see how it ends up.
Anyway, that’s the bulk of the stuff I’m going to be telling y’all about as far as my theatre life goes. Hopefully, some auditions will be sprinkled in. I haven’t been on one in about six weeks and I’m incredibly out of practice. Generals at school this weekend will be… interesting. But before I get to that, next stop: ballet in the morning.
Stay hot and keep it messy,