Thursday, July 2, 2009

What I Want

As I was reading “Acting Shakespeare”, John Gielgud’s words struck me. He said that he never got into a Shakespeare play until he was part of it. This is exactly how I feel about Shakespeare. I have been part of four Shakespeare plays and the only ones I really like are those four. Not only that, but I took a scene study class in which I concentrated on a single scene from The Tempest. From now on, when I see the play, I glaze over the rest, but my eyes light up when I see that scene. It makes sense now.

This is what I like about Shakespeare. On the surface, they’re boring outdated plays. However, when you take the time to understand it, it suddenly becomes genius and is perfect. Without good teachers, I never would have given Shakespeare a second thought.

I feel that appreciating Shakespeare is much like understanding anything else in life. You need someone with an intense love for something silly for you to become fascinated yourself.

There are so many things that I missed out on in life because I never had someone to show me their love for something. I simply don’t get sports, I have trouble stomaching a horror movie, I get no joy from shooter games, and I never learned how to swim properly. All of these things define people’s lives and I want to understand them, but at this point, they’re just things, not loves.

I know that acting is amazing and am deeply fascinated by it, but I’m not at the point at which I love it or, honestly, really understand it. I won’t get this by merely taking a few courses and whetting my appetite. I need to learn as much as possible. I want to find the joy in spending my free time memorizing lines. I want to learn how to turn my stage fright into stage lust. I want get so into character that I forget who I really am. I want to be an actor.

1 comment:

Penny Wolfson said...

Toby: Your post reminded me of this poem by Thom Lux, Mom
An Horatian Notion
The thing gets made, gets built, and you're the slave
who rolls the log beneath the block, then another,
then pushes the block, then pulls a log
from the rear back to the front
again and then again it goes beneath the block,
and so on. It's how a thing gets made - not
because you're sensitive, or you get genetic-lucky,
or God says: Here's a nice family,
seven children, let's see: this one in charge
of the village dunghill, these two die of buboes, this one
Kierkegaard, this one a drooling

nincompoop, this one clerk, this one cooper.
You need to love the thing you do - burdhouse building,
painting tulips exclusively, whatever - and then
you do it
so consciously driven
by your unconscious
that the thing becomes a wedge
that splits a stone and between the halves
the wedge then grows, i.e., the thing
is solid but with a soul,
a life of its own. Inspiration, the donnée,

the gift, the bolt of fire
down the arm that makes the art?
Grow up! Give me, please, a break!
You make the thing because you love the thing
and you love the thing because someone else loved it
enough to make you love it.
And with that your heart like a tent peg pounded
toward the earth's core.
And with that your heart on a beam burns
through the ionosophere.
And with that you go to work.

- Thomas Lux

For more on Thom Lux, see