Zero to Sixty, Theatre Style
This month has been ridiculous and I only have myself to blame.
As a senior, you would really think I’d have this whole college thing down, but after the lazy lack of real responsibility during summer, the return to COI always smacks me upside the head. There’s always so much to do and so many people to see and sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get back into the swing of things.
Of course, we do, because we’re the college of “I Can Do Anything”… and also we have no choice but to eventually stop procrastinating our homework.
I’m really happy to be back.
The Theatre Department hit the ground running this year; we have already casted and started rehearsing for our fall show, A Winters Tale, written by the one and only William Shakespeare. I could audition for ten thousand shows and always be a nervous wreck the day before, the day of, and the two days after. No matter how many years I’ve known Joe Golden and Mike Hartwell, who are arguably my favorite professors and the ones I feel closest to on this campus, I will always feel the sweat of anticipation and anxiety when I get called in to perform my monologue in front of them. When you’re an actor and you’re auditioning here at COI, you essentially sacrifice yourself and your dignity on the alter of their good opinion every season. It used to be that I was nervous to prove I could, in fact, act. Nowadays, after multiple classes and performances with them, I know that they’ve ultimately seen what I can do and are resigned to my skill level, so now it’s not about impressing them (they will never be impressed, they know me too well) it’s about not letting them down, which is equally traumatizing but with the added bonus of familiarity.
On the other hand, auditioning can be real fun, because all the theatre people come together and we feed off of each other's nervous energy, and it’s exciting to be around so many people all focused on the same thing; getting our bootays into the show. There’s something a little hilarious about walking into the foyer of Langroise on an audition day and seeing twenty (plus) people all randomly dispersed around the halls, appearing to stare dramatically into thin air while frantically muttering their monologues to themselves at intensifying volume. It’s even more funny when you realize the absurdity of it… and then join in anyway because you have no choice and your whole being is screaming at you to practice practice practice!
Why do we put ourselves through this madness? Because being cast in a show is one of the most extremely gratifying feelings in the universe. There’s nothing like staying up all night frantically waiting to hear the news, and then getting the “IT’S UP” text from whichever theatre kid camped out in Langroise, and then rushing over feverishly to see if you made it into the show. Your heart beats and you feel sick to your stomach and you love it, and that crash of relief when you see your name on the cast list is unreal. Since it’s my senior year of school, I don’t want to miss a second of the theatre going on. It strikes me that this is really my last chance to perform as a Yote, and that makes me a little sad and weepy, so it really mattered to me that I get cast (though honestly I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t always matter).
This play has a great cast, and it’s cool because it’s a far larger group of people than the COI Theatre Department is normally able to accommodate. We’ll have roughly twenty people performing in this show, which is wild. Most of the shows we do tend to be more around five-to-eight people in size. Shakespeare likes to play large though, and Joe Golden, who is directing, has a lot of big ideas. A Winter’s Tale is going to be a spectacle show, with lots of bright colors, big personalities, and SILK DANCING, which I’m just too excited about. I was lucky enough to get the part I wanted, which does not always happen, but forever feels reaaaaaal good. I’m playing the character Paulina, who acts as a confidant to King Leontes, who is being played by lovely John Wicks. John is by far one of my favorite actor people at COI, and I’m glad to be working with him again. Quite a bit of the show involves me chasing him around the stage and putting the fear of females deep inside his heart, so that will definitely be fun. Paulina is a very sassy, saucy character, who tells it like it is and isn’t afraid to do the right thing even when it puts her in hot water, and I’m already completely in love with playing her. I think this rehearsal process is going to be a lot of fun, and a ton of work, but very worth it.
With theatre stuff and class stuff and homework stuff I know I’m going to be a very busy bee, but now that I’ve got my head above water and have acclimated back into that ol’ college routine I’m feeling a lot better. I love being at school, especially this school, and just knowing I’m gearing up to be in another show makes me so happy. I know I wasn’t alone in feeling a little overwhelmed with this new year starting up, but I hope everyone else’s first few weeks of school are going well and that ya’ll are ready for whatever October has to throw at us. Have a good one guys