Monday, March 07, 2011

The Sticking Place

Recently, I had to memorize and perform a monologue from Macbeth for my acting class. I have to admit, it was rather fun to act all castrating and crazy. But apparently I wasn't fully embracing the spirit of the thing, as evidenced by my trial run for David and Jarrah.

Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now to look so green and pale at what it did so freely?
From this time such I account thy love.
Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire?
Wouldst thou have that which thou esteemst the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem
Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
Like the poor cat in the adage?
What beast was't, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man,
And to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both.
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this. If we fail?
Screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail.

I delivered the last few lines in an evil hiss while miming something akin to throwing the baby across the room. Then I narrowed my eyes and spit out those last couple of lines.

As I finished, I had the fleeting thought that this was not really appropriate material for children, Shakespeare or not. Whoops. Too late now. Jarrah was nodding her head thoughtfully, and then she began to speak:

"Okay, Mommy. That's pretty good. But I have a suggestion."

"Um, okay."

"When you take the baby and dash its brains out, you need to look scarier."


"Also... (she stood up to demonstrate)...when you screw your courage to the sticking place, try this (she contorted her face like she was sucking a lemon) and do this (she twisted her hands in front of her face like she was squeezing out a particularly recalcitrant dish towel). I think he'll like that a lot."

"Okay, I'll give that a try."

"Otherwise, very good."

He did like it a lot. Oh, sure, my own ideas he had some questions about, but Jarrah's were spot on. Directing in her future?


LunaMoonbeam said...

Hahaha...for reals?! That's too funny. Jarrah must have inherited the Drama Bug from you!

Stephanie said...

Love this!

Jen said...

Fabulous!!! Wish I could have seen this!