A couple of weeks ago I had my first performance with A Crew of Patches, a company that performs Shakespeare for high school students. I’d auditioned for them once years ago, and I like to tell myself I didn’t get the gig because I had scheduling issues. Doesn’t matter, because I finally got in the old fashioned way: I made friends with the people in the company.
If you have never dragged yourself out of bed at the ass-crack of dawn to perform Shakespeare for two hundred less-than-interested teenagers, then believe me, you have not lived. I am having the time of my life with this group. I have great roles to play, and every show is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation. We swoop into a new school each day, throw on some costumes, and off we go. No sets. Few sounds. Maybe a light cue or two. No intermission. Barely any rehearsal, even. Every show but one so far has been Macbeth. I play Banquo. Last Friday we did Romeo and Juliet for the first time. We’d never run the entire show before. Most scenes had only been rehearsed once or twice. I have a small part in that one and was properly stressed out by it; I can’t imagine what Romeo and Juliet were feeling.
It was exhilarating.
We are on break right now – schools are wrapping things up for the winter break, so there’s not much call for our services right now. In January we finally rehearse Julius Caesar, in which I will play the title role. If you aren’t familiar with the play, I won’t fault you for being impressed. It’s a great role, but it’s also kinda like Janet Leigh in Psycho: If there was an intermission, my guy wouldn’t last long enough to see it. Nonetheless, I’ve got a few more lines to learn.