I spent the last 7 weeks taking an Intensive Shakespeare class... which in essence means I paid someone $500 so that I could stand up in front of room full of ego-maniacal, creative types and humiliate myself by attempting to speak the words of, what most literary analysts consider, the greatest wordsmith that ever lived...
The class was comprised of a few college theater majors, some amateur local actors (which is to say some who didn't pay 6 figures to learn what can't be taught), one or two literature buffs (nerds) obsessed with Shakespeare's cannon, and our instructor, the greatest, ball- busterest, hard-assed, Queen of Shakespeare. She is a former teacher of mine from college, and essentially the ONLY reason I took this class. I do love me some classical text, but probably not enough to mortify myself in front of a room full of strangers twice a week for seven weeks.
Amongst the group, the Mean Girls. The girls that threw me right back in to the paralyzed, insecure, yes-man (gal) of my younger years. Mere moments after the start of the first class, these three had teamed up, formed a gang, no doubt called The Plastics or The Sorostitutes, and started whispering judgments to one another whilst cackling and inventing secret handshakes...
Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I felt shunned nonetheless. And I'm no table 9er. I have no major deformities, my style errs on the side of fabulous, generally people like me once they get to know me. It's possible I appear the bitch upon first glance, and I'm a skosh sarcastic and dry humored, and I say mildly insulting things to get a laugh. But they didn't know any of this yet! And still, I was not invited to the tea party.
Class one, in a nut shell, went as follows...
Teacher: "Now we're going to go around the room and tell everyone a little bit about ourselves and our relationship to Shakespeare text."
Queen Mean Girl: "Well, I've ALWAYS LOVED Shakespeare. Ever since I was born. I'm pretty sure I played Lady Macbeth in utero. I was the BEST! Growing up I was in EVERY SINGLE Shakespeare play that was ever written. I pretty much wrote them myself. I guess you could call it a collaboration, but I think we could all agree that it's mostly my voice. I'm perfect for every role Shakespeare, or rather I, ever wrote. I teach Shakespeare for the Stage as my day job. And my fiancee is hot."
(Insert oohs and ahhhs from the two adopted minion Mean Girl followers)
Teacher: "Anyone else?"
Queen Mean Girl: "I've prepared a monologue. To be or not to be..."
And as the bile rose up into my throat and my eyes began to water, I thought, 'Mutha trucka, this is going to be a LONG, expensive summer."
4 weeks ago