They All Want To Play Hamlet
Truly Martha, Josh, Hilda, and AnonySmiths it does call to us--a sirens song to be sure--and we come back to it over and over drawn by those "wise, keen, beautiful words". They are the essence of our craft, the bricks from which we build our stories, the essence of the song itself. Remember the first time you truly "heard", the words someone had written and had them touch you on some deep level without your quite knowing why?
The lure of the big roles and the big words, the frustration of not being able to get them quite right, the possibility of never getting anything right or never even understanding, perhaps, the authors words and intent. And also the joy of the work itself, and knowledge of our own foolishness and fixation. These are the echoes that Mr. Sandburg's poem make resonate within me.
Hey, will you keep me posted if I'm using too many Italics? Thanks.
I talk of being frustrated at times, and I think most actors do get frustrated sometime during every production, and yes I suppose that feeling can build up, but I've gotta say Martha, that just one good experience, just one really fine show with a good cast, director, concept and staging will have us coming back to drink from the well for the next 10 years. Addict or Artist -- you make the call.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia dying with a dust gagging the heart,
Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,
Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of flowers - Oh flowers,
flowers slung by a dancing girl - in the saddest play the
inkfish Shakespeare, ever wrote;
Yet they all want to play Hamlet because it is sad like all actors are sad
and to stand by an open grave with a joker's skull in the hand and
then to say over slow and say over slow wise, keen, beautiful words
masking a heart that's breaking, breaking,
This is something that calls and calls to their blood,
They are acting when they talk about and they know it is acting to be
particular about it and yet; They all want to play Hamlet.