I Did Not Say Macb…
Blackadder: Oh, incidentally, Baldrick – actors are very superstitious. On no account mention the word ‘Macbeth’ this evening, alright?
Baldrick: Why not?
Blackadder: It brings them bad luck and it makes them very unhappy.
Baldrick: Oh, so you won’t be mentioning it either?
Blackadder: No… well, not very often.
Blackadder BBC TV show, Season 3, Episode 4 (1987)
Day Two (7-6-16)
Had two days off. Monday was just a warmup for the interns and then a full day of work on the company’s first summer production, Cyrano, which I’m not part of. Tuesday was move-in day for setting up the stage in Congress Park. I wasn’t required to be there either, and it’s a good thing.
You know how you wish an actor luck by saying, “Break a leg”? I guess I’m too literal. Actually, I didn’t break my leg, but just sprained a knee. I don’t know if that means I’m too committed to this project. Or maybe not committed enough.
And I never even said the name of the play that I’ve taught the past several years, Macb… er, the Scottish play. Okay, perhaps once or twice. It might be different saying the name of the play in the classroom, but ask any actor and they’ll warn you not to say it in the theater. I’ll try to heed their warning from now on. (Ouch.)
When the cast saw me walk in on crutches today, they of course wondered what happened. They didn’t know it occurred about 10 minutes into our warmup exercises on Day 1. (For the record, a spinning kick is not something I will do again as a warmup without 15 minutes first of pre-warmup.) I hobbled noticeably the remainder of that first session (making me feel really old, even if I am more than twice the age of most of the cast) but I didn’t notice a problem until I had trouble sleeping and getting up to walk in the morning. An UrgentCare visit on the Fourth of July yielded the crutches and an orthopedic visit the next day yielded the diagnosis (medial collateral ligament sprain), some therapeutic exercises and warnings to avoid jumping and side-to-side movement. In other words, avoid most of the physical activity we do to work on movement.
Fortunately, our instructors advised me to modify the movements and avoid anything I didn’t think I could do.
Speaking of which, I had a sudden realization (re: panic attack) that I have never read the play that we are performing. I’ve read a number of the Bard’s plays, and taught a few of the standards – Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Taming of the Shrew, Othello and of course the Scottish Play – but never the one that I will be performing, Much Ado About Nothing.
Hello, old friend Riverside Shakespeare (look for it on any English teacher’s desk or bookshelf). Time to crack your spine once again.
Roger Gaboury is a national board certified English teacher from Schenectady High School. He has degrees from Union College and the University of Idaho, and has trained with the Freedom Writers and the Capital District Writing Project. His last performance was in an Intro to Clowning graduation show at Schenectady County Community College. He will be guest blogging his experiences with our Intern Program throughout the summer. Check out his blog at www.outofthecentrifuge.blogspot.com.