Thursday, May 13, 2010

Acting class - Shakespearean clown monologue (revisited)

So I brought back the clown monologue from "Merchant of Venice" last night. It went well. Really well. This was a different take than last weeks. As per Steve's request I was a lot more specific about the placement of the "fiend" and the "conscience". (side note: Shakespeare is obviously pre-Freud, and this monologues fascinates me because of is all about a battle between the id, ego and superego.)

Steve had to stop me during my initial attempt because I was "acting with my mouth". I had to agree. I was consciously choosing to protrude my lower lip to add some depth a-la Bill Murray's character in "Caddy Shack." I need to consider how acting choices will look to the viewer. Obviously, that will look like mouth acting and not a character choice.

In the second take everything came together in a beautiful way. The "game play" aspects of the piece were strong and my specific placements of the fiend and conscience were.....well, specific. There is however, room for improvement in the "game play role play" aspects of the piece. I need to come up with specific voices for the fiend and the conscience. There could also be a lot of room for planned mistakes. Like.....I start to say a line that is meant for the conscience but in the fiends voice, or vice versa. Smell me?

Yeah, Shakespeare is tough stuff. Here is the monologue again:

Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow and tempts me, saying to me, 'Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot,' or 'good Gobbo,' or 'good Launcelot Gobbo -- use your legs, take the start, run away.' My conscience says, 'No. Take heed, honest Launcelot; take heed, honest Gobbo,' or as aforesaid, 'honest Launcelot Gobbo -- do not run; scorn running with thy heels.' Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack. 'Fia!' says the fiend; 'away!' says the fiend. 'For the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,' says the fiend, 'and run.' Well, my conscience hanging about the neck of my heart says very wisely to me, 'My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son' -- or rather 'an honest woman's son,' for indeed my father did something smack, something grow to; he had a kind of taste -- Well, my conscience says, 'Launcelot, budge not.' 'Budge,' says the fiend. 'Budge not,' says my conscience. 'Conscience,' say I, 'you counsel well.' 'Fiend,' say I, 'you counsel well.' To be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil incarnation; And in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel. I will run, fiend; my heels are at your commandment; I will run.

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