St. Joseph’s Villa Week of October 23

As I seem to say in every blog post, this week was a huge improvement on the last few.  I’m learning that the relationships the students have with us is much more important than the relationship the students have with the material.  At first, I wondered if the students’ apprehension was fueled by disinterest in Macbeth, but have grown to realize that the apprehension is simply a product of not being comfortable around us.  Now that we’ve begun to forge somewhat personal relationships with these students, they seem considerably more interested.  I try to make a comment about something personal to each student throughout our sessions, and I think them knowing that I have individual interest in each one of them is really important.

Hopefully, this was the final week of casting.  We’ve been having trouble finding a Macbeth, as our Macbeth’s have either been kicked off of the company or grown uncomfortable with the amount of potential lines.  Thankfully, an awesome and enthusiastic young man named Deandre decided to join us this week.  When he came in, I could feel his enthusiasm for the project and almost immediately knew that he genuinely wanted to be there.  With that, I asked Deandre how he felt about the play and acting in general.  He responded by telling me he doesn’t have much familiarity with Shakespeare or on-stage acting, but he is excited about the project.  So I asked, “Would you be comfortable with a lot of lines, maybe as a main character?”  Deandre responded extremely gratefully by saying, “If you’ll allow me,” as a smile stretched across his face.  With that, we sort of finalized our casting.

Now, and I think this is something the students are actually looking forward to, we get to employ some of our more creative urges.  When leaving we announced that we would be talking about props the next week and everybody kind of lit up.  They’re really eager to have their own input, their own fingerprints, on the production and I am really eager to see how they want to construct some of this.  Its become clear that we aren’t going to make progress if the other mentors and I decide what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.  For that reason, I am really looking forward to seeing what these kids and their imaginations have in mind.  Tomorrow should be an interesting day!