Monday, May 12, 2008

The Wrong kind of Ruts

Memorizing Henry IV is breaking me. I have to get down a minimum of 40 lines per day to have any prayer of getting off book cold for BOTH shows before June 1, but some days are better than others. Today, I felt sick and exhausted, so I spent a couple of hours bogged down with a 12 line section. The day before, I'd gone through about 25 lines in the same time. It's the syntax that kills me. The words don't fall into a familiar pattern in my mind the way contemporary text does; the grammar--as well as archaic and lyrical usage--has to be forced in on top of and against the ways my mind seems to ingest language. I don't have well-worn memory channels patterned in the right way, ruts into which the lines might just slip. Argh. I mean, just, "ARGH."

Of course, I am doing my text work at the same time, which helps a LITTLE. Knowing what the hell I'm saying is important. Knowing well that Henry is up to his neck in a crisis of authority which he helped create (though he's not responsible for Richard II's failure to align his mortal virtues with his divine right as king) helps, as does fully getting that his fear of Hal's dissipation is as fully about nation building as it is about paternal disappointment. But, I find the task difficult, nonetheless.

On a positive note: I can feel that the year's work in voice and acting will help me a lot. This summer my acting should be both more grounded and more varied than it has been in the past.

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