Lindsey Hansen as Poins
In April, I auditioned for Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet at Aquinas College. We had a new director as well; Katherine Mayberry from GVSU. Having a guest director always gets people on their A-game and I’m no different. I prepared my monologue, performed it and hoped for a call. I was fortunate enough to get a callback (which was a great sign for me because I must have made an impression, whether bad or good). And, lucky me, I ended up getting cast!
About a week later, I received an e-mail from Katherine. She told me that Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company was doing an all female cast of Henry IV Part 1 and had an open spot that she told the director I would be really good for. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! I went out that day and bought Henry IV Part 1 and 2, did every Google search I could on the play, Shakespeare and Pigeon Creek. I went to my audition, shaking. I didn’t want to mess up my monologue and definitely didn’t want to make Katherine regret suggesting me to Scott Lange, the director. I made it through the audition in one piece and was offered a part. I kept my composure until I got to my car. I sat in my car for a good five minutes smiling and screaming and doing a little happy dance.
This whole experience has been incredible for me. This is the first time in about three years that I have done something other than an Aquinas show. It is the first time I’ve worked with a professional theatre group. It is the first time I have worked with Shakespeare outside of the classroom. It was my first time ever experiencing stage combat. It is the first time I have had to play my violin in a show. And I was also introduced to the wild and crazy world of Welsh.
I was the newbie in the group and also the youngest, which would intimidate most people. Now. I would love to sit here and say “but I’m not like most people.” That would be a lie. I was terrified. Here I am with all of these incredibly experienced people, hoping and praying I don’t mispronounce the word ‘zounds’ or ‘capon.’
After a few weeks of rehearsal, I opened up a lot more. Not only to everyone around me, but also to my characters. Poins is (how should I put this) energetic. I like to think that Poins doesn’t ever sleep. If he does, it is for about five minutes then he is out and about trolling the town and drinking lots and lots of Red Bull. He so badly wants to impress Hal and everyone around him. I can see how Falstaff might get annoyed with him and think that Poins made him drink medicines in order to love ‘the rogues company.’
Now from Poins to Lady Mortimer; what a transformation. Lady Mortimer has been actually a lot of fun. Without fail, someone always comes up to me after a performance and asks if what I’m saying is actually Welsh or if I make up the song. Yes, the Welsh is real. No, I do not make up the song. When I first got the Welsh, I went into a mini panic. How was I going to memorize this in three weeks, let alone a song? Scott helped me so much and I definitely credit him when it comes to the Welsh. Claire Mahave has also been a great help. She has made me so comfortable and we have really developed a nice love for Lord and Lady Mortimer outside of the sexual love they share.
Of course we can’t forget Vernon. It was fun to have three totally different characters to play around with. Vernon is still younger, like Poins, but he carries himself differently. He is learning all of these new things and tactics, yet still is a man. He has opinions and even though he is new to the rebel camp, he is still going to speak his mind. Even though he still believes in the rebel army, he can’t help but be in awe over Prince Hal, which has definitely been fun to play around with, and also equally as difficult.
I don’t think I can say thank you enough to the Pigeon Creek family. They really have welcomed me with open arms and totally accepted me. I am excited that this journey won’t be over once we close the show next weekend because working with this fantastic group of women has been an incredible experience. I feel as if a whole new world has opened up to me and it is all because of the people I’ve worked with on this production.
And if I haven’t said it enough…THANK YOU!