There’s a T-shirt that plenty of actors have, it reads, “I can’t, I have rehearsal.” As I enter my third week of rehearsals as Beatrice in Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” I can’t really complain. My weekends are shot, but I still have plenty of time for writing the rest of the week. This is a fun play for me, Beatrice is not only a huge comic character, but it’s also a very emotional piece. My favorite line? “Would that I were a man, I would eat his heart in the marketplace!” I mean, come on, that’s fun, right? That Will, he wasn’t bad.
I’ve played quite of few of the Bard’s leading ladies, and this one is the most developed. My fellow cast members are fun, professional and funny funny funny! It’s too great to go in and laugh for a few hours everyday. The most fun I ever had on a Television or film set was working with the classic comedy team of Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. It was an episode of “Diagnosis Murder” and so I got to work with another icon, Dick Van Dyke. Tim Conway was the funniest person I have ever met. From the moment he walked into the makeup room in the morning, Tim was ‘on.’ The man was a constant stream of one liners and hysterical commentary, we must have lost twenty takes because of the crew laughing.
The funniest character in “Much Ado” is, of course, Dogsberrry. In our production it is being played by my elder daughter’s high school drama teacher, a fabulous actor, and I know it will be all I can do to keep a straight face on stage. Of course, ‘breaking’, (actors laughing at the scene instead of in it) was Tim and Harvey’s legacy. So if I loose it when Dogsberry sobs and blows his nose at the wedding of Hero, I’ll be in good company.
We can only hope.