We slept in late, on the last day of the 2006 Month-Long Intensive at Shakespeare & Company. At 9:15, we began the day with an hour and a half physical and vocal warm up for our scene presentations in the afternoon. Then, for another hour and a half, we said our goodbyes to one another is a going-away ritual, which had me in tears, as we sang our fair-wells, and acknowledged our gratitude to one another for the charity, artistic commitment, and personal honesty that we all brought to our work. It was so difficult to say goodbye. Goodbye. To members of a tribe of gypsy artists with whom I will always feel a tug of connection.
In the afternoon, we performed. Melissa drove down from North Adams. It was the first time she's seen me on stage, so that alone excited me. Twenty scenes were put up. The Friar Lawrence-Romeo scene that I did with Rob went up right at the beginning, second, just after one of the three different versions of the balcony scene. How did we do, you ask?
Well, I enjoyed myself. That alone was something of an accomplishment. Sunday night, I desponded at the condition of the scene--and at my prospects as an actor (I mean, what am I thinking?)--and just felt mentally thick, sluggish, and a bit stupid. But, Monday morning, something happened. I turned on a dime and decided, sometime during breakfast, to say "fuck it," and "let 'er rip." And I kept that head for the rest of the day.
No, Rob and I didn't connect as compellingly as I would want, and I may have played too angrily (I really don't know, and no one is about to tell me the truth about this,) but I shed my physical tension (thank you, to the makers of proprananol), moved through the space in a motivated way, and brought myself back again and again to Rob/Romeo. Rob/Romeo--save this boy's life. If I had to make a choice that wasn't ideal for a full-on performance, but would connect me, I made it; e.g., at one point, I knelt beside Rob/Romeo and took his face fully between my palms and squeezed his head like a melon, tenderly, strongly, holding his eyes. I don't know how well it played to the audience, but I knew this: at least it played. If I hadn't grabbed his head, there might not have been anything to watch.
Scene presentations took nearly four hours, after which we had a wrap-up session. The faculty took this opportunity to give us some advice for re-entering the real world, such a: be patient with yourselves; don't make any life-changing decisions for a few months, until the dust settles; be respectful of the experience your friends and loved ones have ALSO had--in their own lives--during the past month; don't prostelyze for methods you learned at S&C when working with others (model them, instead); and remember, always, that you don't have to "change back," since this experience may have changed you in some ways that your friends, colleagues, and loved ones may not be entirely comfortable with. Ah, yes. That later was the most important message. Anyone who has allowed themselves to change will nod and murmur, "yes," as they read this.
And that was it.
After dinner, I packed my bags, stuck around to party for a bit, then spent the night with Melissa at a local bed & breakfast, where I am writing this, now. We're hanging out for the day, getting some rest that we both need, and driving down to NYC, tomorrow. This coming Sunday, I fly home.
Over the coming months, I'll let my experience at S&C percolate down, and perhaps some things will stick. We'll see. Meanwhile, this is my last posting from S&C. We're going back to our regularly scheduled broadcast, now. Thank you for tuning in.