Dear friends and followers,
Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who have already treated yourselves to a night of Shakespeare at Carroll Park in Brooklyn! For those of you who are now thinking, “Oh man! I wish Katie’s thanks were directed at me right now!”, you have 4 more chances to include yourself in that group! July 11, 12, 13 and 14th are our last 4 performances of Julius Caesar, and you should get there by 7pm and share in the political intrigue with us!
In the days off between shows, I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that this weekend will be the last time I get to do this particular show with these particularly wonderful people. As Cassius will tell you, indulging in reflection has the tendency to “modestly discover to yourself, that of yourself which you yet know not of.” And it is in that spirit that I have learned a very important life lesson, which I will attempt to convey through anecdote. This is what people call a parable, I think.
“I was sitting outside Park House at Carroll Park, stroking my signature summer sweat-goatee and running lines with Joby Earle, our supremely talented Brutus and a supremely wonderful person to boot, when I felt an eery premonition. Was there a bug on me? Was it about to rain? No. I assuaged my paranoia with a swig of iced coffee. Then it happened. A squirrel pooped on Joby’s script. I froze, terrified of the fact that 1. I was going to have to find a way to tell Joby that there was poop on his script and 2. I was being pooped on (in that order of priority). The man has been on Broadway, ladies and gents! And I failed to protect his script from an assault by a dyspeptic squirrel.
Somehow I think Shakespeare would have appreciated the direct dichotomy of high- and low-brow in a single moment. On one hand, “In we do meet again, why we shall smile, if not, why then this parting was well made”. On the other hand, potty humor (a brand of humor that both Joby and I discovered we share, thank the gods). In a twist of fate, the squirrel had merely managed to ruin about the only page in the script on which Brutus has no lines.
What I realized after the fact, after finding a new spot for running lines, after Joby had assured me that there was no poop in my hair, and in fact, after getting the chance to perform with my crazy talented cast for an audience so supportive that they came out against the recommendation of every weather report, I had the thought that if I had been pooped on, getting to do this show would have been worth it. The experience of doing this show outdoors under the unpredictable and beautiful open sky, of having to trust my own ability to work under conditions that are beyond my control, of working with an insanely talented company of actors and directors with equal parts passion and playfulness are daily sources of inspiration. Every night I go to work and risk being pooped on…so what?! Every night I also have the chance of seeing the sky turn pink while Brutus and Cassius exchange their final goodbye. I have the chance of seeing fireflies courting each other and cloud castles drifting by and heat lightning flashing, witnessing the strange perfection of a scenic design that will only ever occur once, and be totally different the next night.
Joby Earle and Jonathan Hopkins under our one-night-only proscenium arch.
What I learned, ultimately, was that I want always to do the kind of work which would make being pooped on worth it. I found one such extremely worth-it experience at Smith Street Stage, and will forever be grateful for it.”
It’s no “Good Samaritan” or “Prodigal Son”, but it is my firm belief that the lesson gleaned stands as valuable in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) the true events of the story. Thanks for reading!
Adieu for now,