A few weeks before school was to be out for the summer, I received a text from my dad asking me if I would like to see a play at the Clarence Brown Theatre located on the University of Tennessee campus once I was done for the year. I had only seen one professional play before and it would be a nice way to start off my break, so I quickly texted back a “Yes!” and looked up information about the play. Spamalot, I read, was a playoff of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a movie my dad and I are both fans of. Many reviews I read lauded the entire performance, from the venue and costumes to individual actors and the comedic value of the whole show. I was so excited to go! The last time I had been at the Clarence Brown Theatre was in middle school with my Beta Club to see Seussical the Musical. I loved that show so much that there was no doubt that I would enjoy this one.
Being able to take pictures during LMU’s Godspell rehearsal interested me in all the aspects that go into making a production happen. Seeing Spamalot made me see how enjoyable it is, not only for the castmembers, but how a fantastic performance can get such a wonderful reaction out of the audience. I’m not one to voluntarily speak in class much or handle speaking in front of crowds, but having these experiences opened my eyes to the possibility for my future in a production. I’m not looking to become a Broadway star or anything; I think it would be something new and fun to try. A majority of my friends have taken part in the productions we’ve had on campus and thoroughly enjoyed them, whether they were actors or worked as stage crew. In the fall, the LMU Players, the students who take part in theatre, normally put on a regular play. In the spring each year, a musical is usually done. I was able to see the performance last fall of Daddy’s Dyin’… Who’s Got the Will? in which so many of my friends had acting roles or worked behind the scenes. There were hard times, especially when rehearsals became a little rough, but I was told that the good times certainly outweighed the bad times.
In high school when we would read short plays, or even some of Shakespeare‘s work, I enjoyed reading the parts aloud so much that I would voluntarily sign up for roles. I hated speaking in class, but for some reason it didn’t matter so much when I was pretending to be someone else. My senior AP Literature and Composition read Death of a Salesman aloud and I frequently switched between the salesman’s two sons, Happy and Biff. There were far more girls in the class, so it was always likely for girl to land a male part. Those were always the most amusing ones to both read and to listen to! Having characters with different speech patterns or actions is even easier for me since I get to be someone so unlike myself that I would not even mind acting out their actions. My thoughts are that once you enter into character you no longer have your own fears or characteristics; instead, you are now that character and you need to convince the audience that you are naturally them. That sounds simple enough to not deter me away from trying out for a part, but it sounds challenging enough to make it interesting for me so that I can come out of the experience a new, better person. I know that acting a play would be much different than just sitting in desks and reading when my turn comes up, but I believe that kind of change would be beneficial. I will think about it over the summer, and I will keep the idea of trying out for a part in my mind.
One of my biggest fears has been public speaking and I’ve already started working on getting better at it with participating in the Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference this March. I enjoyed it so much that I even wrote a blog post about it! At LMU, it is required that each student take COMM 200, a speech class in which students learn how to prepare and deliver a wide range of speeches. I honestly have dreaded the day I would have to sign up to take that class, since formal speeches are not my thing. However, with all the excellent feedback I got from my presentation at Blue Ridge and how good I felt for weeks afterward (I still do!) I cannot help but think that I’m not as bad at public speaking as I think I am. I may even enjoy it every now and then!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me or leave a comment on my blog!