(Notable Quotables is a meme originally brought to you by the Bewitched Bookworms. Every Monday you’re invited to share a favorite quote or two from the books you’ve been reading.)
Acting is fantastic, because it allows you to become someone you could never be in real life. It’s fun to put on different masks, and walk around in a character’s skin. You get to do things you could never do before. The Brazilian playwright Gonzales (I mentioned another quote of his recently) sums it up the best:
“Each one of use dies only one rare time. The actor can die every night and twice on Saturdays and Sundays on discount-priced matinees.”
Several years ago I stumbled upon the film “Stage Beauty,” the somewhat historically-based tale of the scandal surrounding the ascension of women to the Elizabethan stage. Actor Ned Kynaston is famous for his abilities to play female characters — and he plays no one better than Desdemona, the doomed heroine of Shakespeare’s Othello. A double dose of bad behavior and terrible timing ends with Kynaston ejected from the theatre and replaced by Maria, his almost talentless but enthusiastic costumer.
It’s a great movie and definitely worth a watch, but one of the best scenes in the film is when Kynaston and Maria finally go head to head. Kynaston’s indignant explanation of the harsh training he received leads Maria to thunder in with the following:
“Your old tutor did you a great disservice, Mr. Kynaston. He taught you how to speak, and swoon, and toss your head, but he never taught you now to suffer like a woman, or love like a woman. He trapped a man in a woman’s form and left you there to die! I always hated you as Desdemona. You never fought! You just died, beautifully. No woman would die like that, no matter how much she loved him! A woman would fight!”
And the final performance of the film, with Maria as Desdemona and Kynaston as Othello? Not to be missed!
What are you reading this week?