Zachary Johnson (Costard) on his experiences “playing the fool.”
I have never played a fool, let alone a natural fool. As a beginning actor, I sometimes have trouble connecting with and fully understanding roles. I have never blamed directors for challenging me with priests and the like, but I would like now to thank Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company for giving me a role that I totally get! Well, not quite yet. I’m close, though. I’ll get him totally by the time we open, I promise.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m having a ton of fun playing Costard in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Almost too much fun. Alright, I admit it; I’ve adopted some of his qualities into my everyday personality. I describe Costard as a lovably vulgar, idiotic, hobo-clown. As one might infer, the adoption of such qualities can be taxing on my personal life. However, I still do it (Hah! I wrote “do it”) for the craft.
Costard, the Forester and Constable Anthony Dull bring the completely uneducated man’s perspective to the play. Costard, comically, understands about half the words in any given conversation. This complicates things, because Costard always manages to confidently toss in his own halfpenny farthing’s worth back into the conversations, no matter which body part he mistakes any given word to mean.
This is my third Shakespeare show, and the second I have done with Pigeon Creek. What amazes me is the amount that I have learned with each new character. From acting with thrust staging to learning to play the concertina, I’ve learned much more than I had ever expected to doing Shakespeare. I’m not done, though. Do you know how many characters Bill’s got? I plan to actually obtain that information, but I’m going to do it Costard’s way: one thing at a time. For now, I’ve got to focus on having a broken shin, getting paid by two yahoos who won’t speak plain English, and learning how to play a tiny accordion for a country wench. Come watch Love’s Labour’s Lost!