Scout read all your compliments on her chapeau and she says thank you. Although, to be brutally honest, Scout knows she is pretty. She just does. Even if I never told her how pretty she is (but I do – all the time) she would still know.
My pretty white kitchen table is currently covered in research materials. I have begun text work on The Merchant of Venice. Today I spent hours in my sun-filled kitchen reading, note taking and immersing myself in the play. Tomorrow I go to Manhattan to work with the lead actress, who plays Portia. We are doing a little pre-rehearsal work on the text. I’m not officially under contract until the end of the month. Since we are due for another snow storm Tuesday night and Wednesday (sigh), I scheduled my 2 sessions with the actress around the dreaded weather. The other session will be on Friday, which gives us enough time to shovel out, once again, from several inches of snow.
I have this pattern of behavior: I tend to put off gathering up all my research books and beginning my text work. ‘No, I’ll wait. Let me finish my crocheting,’ or ‘I have to do the laundry first’ or any one of a number of reasons I give to delay the process. But once I begin – especially with Shakespeare – I become immersed in the research and detective work. No matter how many times I have worked on a particular play, I always learn so much. There is such depth, such rich language and such truth in his work. I guess that’s to be expected when working with the greatest playwright that ever lived. And perhaps the greatest writer that ever lived. I’ve always said that if I could go back in time I would want to meet Shakespeare. We would sit down in a pub and I’d ask him how he knew what he knew. How did he become so wise about human nature? How did he know so much about the complexities of the human heart? How did he write in iambic pentameter and do it so beautifully? How?
That would be quite the conversation.
I’d like to talk to Mozart, too. And Gershwin. And Rachmaninoff. And Abraham Lincoln. And Fred Astaire. And Frank Capra. And Jane Austen.
And Harper Lee. But she is still with us. She just doesn’t grant interviews. Oh, I have a long list of questions for her.
If you could go back in time, who would you like to chat with? I’d love to know.