Well, my lovlies, you’re getting a special installment of my Shakespearience today. I know, I know, Friday’s are the day I’m supposed to answer your questions, and I promise Mae, that I’ll get to yours. But, our time together is almost over, and I wanted to make sure that I got a chance to share one of the actor’s answers. I had a chance to ask Amber Reilly, who plays Rosalind, a few questions, and she had some wonderful answers for me…
I’m going to be straightforward here, most of my audience (myself included) doesn’t get the fascination with Shakespeare. What made you want to try out for As You Like It?
AR I have always been fascinated with the works of Shakespeare. There are so many layers to the characters and the story, and so many different ways to interpret the intentions of the characters in any particular scene. You are constantly evolving the character and finding new insights even through the last performance.
This is the third production you’ve been in this season, what makes As You Like It special?
AR I had been waiting since the season was announced last year for As You Like It to come up. And I just happened to be lucky enough to be cast in the show! I think what makes As You Like It special is that it can appeal to everyone... there are so many layers to the story and such a variety of characters that there is something in it for everyone. Plus, who doesn't like a comedy?!
So, I think that a lot of people might think that they’re going to struggle with the meaning because some of the language and phrasing is archaic. Did you struggle with the meanings?
AR Overall, I think understanding Shakespeare is easier than people expect and the trick is to just sit back and enjoy…stop thinking so hard! Though because some of the language is archaic, you won't pick up every little thing, but the intentions, emotions and actions happening with and between the actors inform the meaning more than the words in most cases. There are always certain lines or moments that when you first come to them make you go 'huh?', but the discussions between the director and other actors (also many handy resource books) help to flesh out the meaning and you work to put that meaning into your expressions and actions so that the words become less important for the audience to understand what is happening.
Was there a difference to your performance or understanding of As You Like It after you started interacting with the other characters at rehearsal?
AR Interaction with the other actors makes a huge difference with so many different things! How you see your character, how a certain line is read...your intention can completely change from how you think a line or scene should go when you are reading on your own, to when you get onstage with a fellow actor and you see their reactions and hear their delivery of lines. It's a fun and enlightening process to be involved in.
Do you have any interesting and or odd tricks for memorizing the lines? Is it like memorizing a poem?
AR I guess the only 'trick' I have for memorizing lines is to work on them right before bed…the last thing you do before you fall asleep... your brain processes the information over night and in the morning you have it! Other than that, most of the memorizing I do is from the repetition that happens in rehearsal. If something is proving more difficult to memorize, I may type or write out the lines as well.
AR I don't know if I'd say I'm a poster child, I would think I'm like most of the actors in the community/small theatre circuit.. Passionate about theatre and willing to work hard to put on a production that everyone involved can be proud of…and that the audience can enjoy too!
I met my husband in 2000 in Lyric Arts production of Annie. He was Rooster and I was Lily St. Regis. It was their last production in the little pocket theatre before they moved to the Main Street Stage. We have both been involved with Lyric Arts since that time. It is a very special theatre to us and it is very exciting to see it grow and expand in the types of shows and artists that are becoming involved.
Well, readers, like I said at the beginning our time here is almost over. The show opens this very evening, and I’ve prepared us as best I could to see As You Like It. Get those tickets now! I have one last extra special post coming to you this weekend, where I’ll be wrapping everything up, including the answer to Mae’s question, and then you’ll have to wait for until after The Club performance to hear from me again. And don’t forget, you can join me at The Club performance on April 16th. You can find all the info you need at Join "The Club"
Just finding me, and wondering what this whole Shakespearience is all about? You can find all the details at Jessica’s Shakespearience.