Obviously, that is what this week has been, both for myself and Britt. This is the first week that our long-distance-dual-blogging schedule broke down a little bit, due to the fact that Britt and I are both CRAZYBALLS right now.
crazyballs: adjective, adverb \ˈkrā-zē-ˈbȯlz\
The state or quality of being out-of-control, busy, or otherwise in a state of madness.
“Did you see Brent is Scene Study class today? Boyfriend got CRAZYBALLS.”
“I’d love to get together but my schedule is super crazyballs right now. Hit me up in a couple of weeks.”
If you desire further explanation, please enjoy the image of this dress, which was emailed to me by my friend Liz, and which appeared in a Nordstrom ad on the Merriam-Webster website when I went to find the official pronunciation of the word “Balls.”
Aside from the fact that my acting program relentlessly pushes us deeper and deeper into our own psyches, Aside from the fact that it stretches our physical capabilities and challenges our notions of what we think we are capable of, Aside from the exhaustion that comes with total honesty… Aside from all of that work that happens in our actual classes, there is part-time-job work, there is backstage-work on plays, and most recently, there is work on my class’s production of Don Quixote.
Miguel de Cervantes’ 900+ page masterpiece novel Don Quixote begins like this:
“Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and greyhound for racing.”
And it tells the story of a 50-year-old gentleman of reduced circumstances whose primary joy in life is to read books of chivalry, which tell tall tales of knights and damsels in words like
“…the heavens on high divinely heighten thy divinity with the stars and make thee deserving of the deserts thy greatness deserves.”
Cervantes explains, “With these words and phrases the poor gentlemen lost his mind…” and changed his name to Don Quixote, changed the name of his horse to Rocinante, fancied a young village girl named Aldonza was actually his great Lady Dulcinea, and sallied forth into the land as a knight errant to right wrongs, seek adventure, and gain eternal renown.
In other words, he went crazyballs and went off on a grand imaginative adventure to expand his greatness and increase the good and nobility in the world. ….Hmmmmm….. Yesssss…..
Wait, hold up! Turn into a play? Reading a novel? Rehearsals? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE??
This semester my class is being placed in the fire of “devised theatre” to be refined and molded into an ensemble. Devised theatre is also known as collaborative creation, and in this case the creative process is centered around the source material of Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote. This program being incredible physical, we are using the common ground laid by the head of our program Andy Robinson, as well as our physical work with David Bridel, as well as working with Edgar on Mary Overlie’s viewpoints, as well as the work in all our other classes, to create the story of Don Quixote from scratch with our bodies (and our voices).
So that is that in a nutshell. Don Quixote saddles up with his trusty squire, AKA his hapless peasant neighbor Sancho, and the two go off to claim glory and adventure.
There are many things I love about this story. One is the fact that, despite the fact that everyone is somewhat shocked and horrified at Don Quixote’s madness, he brings true magic into a lot of people’s lives. At first, he is a source of mayhem and ends up getting his ass righteously kicked a lot, but he ends up inadvertently uniting young lovers embroiled in the most romantic, imaginative and unlikely romance of all times. He ends up bringing joy, wisdom, and entertainment into the lives of a bored Duke and Duchess who decide to play along with his madness. He counsels wisely as much as he rambles madly, and as much as people dismiss him, he ends up changing a lot of lives. I begin to wonder whether or not the people he encounters see that they really are romantic heroes themselves. He blurs the lines between the possible and the impossible, the real and the unreal, and he reminds us to be our most noble, our most selfless, and our most true selves.
So this weekend as we kick off March, trekking onward and upward through the madness of 2013, here’s to Don Quixote and his crazyballs.