Shakespeare Week: Julius Caesar
The past two weeks after the brief Thanksgiving break has been all about preparing for the "showings" of Hamlet and Julius Caesar. It has been both a challenging and rewarding time. What is especially unique about the Shakespeare slot is that because both casts of each production are so small, each person's storytelling responsibilities becomes more magnified, at least that is what I felt. Julius Caesar was the production in which I felt most part of the creative process compared to all the other Juilliard Drama Rehearsal Projects I've been in so far.
A lot of second year has been about going in deeper into the work that has begun in first year in a more specific way. I took this Shakespeare slot as an opportunity to delve in deeper into my practice of the Alexander Technique (both in rehearsals and in life beyond the school building) and the Standard American Dialect (or the practice of good speech in heightened text). Some of the key challenges in this slot was the balancing of technique and humanity in the storytelling. Most of the time I felt like a juggler with three or four balls up in the air at once (speech work, Alexander technique, intentions, circumstances, scene partners, etc.). I also came up against several of my habits (i.e. my Filipino dialect coming back with a vengeance when I am in a heightened state). There were a lot of frustrating moments as I oscillate between old habits in the process of reinforcing new ones, but this is all part of growth.
One of the gifts that revealed itself at the end of the process was that because our director, Jenny Lord, never "fixed" any specific blocking, I was forced to come to the playing area in front of an audience with an awareness of the possibility of change. My level of "awakeness" became heightened, as opposed to being locked into a certain choice or a certain way of going about things "show after show."
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I am a Filipino actress alternating between New York and Manila. I received my acting training at The Juilliard School. Take a look around!