Merry I Can Tell!! Mass I Cannot Tell....

June 8, 2009
By Knikia Dantzler BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
Knikia Dantzler BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My eyes sweep the interior of my room as I search for interesting props to bring to school. “What would you expect to find in a grave?” I think to myself. Selecting the obvious, rather clichéd objects, like a rusty can, or an old boot, I realize that this is exactly what the audience is going to expect to see. “I want to really surprise them into laughing,” I think again. After recycling the can, I think about common objects that people in class would be able to relate to, and I remember the suggestion to pull out old books. After summoning the courage to enter my closet, I pull out Beowulf, a book I didn’t particularly enjoy, and toss it beside the boot. Then I turn my attention to the stack of books by my bed, which consists of mostly the Harry Potter series, a few books from A Series of Unfortunate Events, and a couple of strays. This is when my eyes glimpse that familiar cover, with its single word title, and a sly grin crept over my face as I added it to the prop pile. I mean, what gravedigger wouldn’t love to read Twilight?

When I found out I would be portraying an assistant gravedigger and Horatio, I knew I would have to make some choices if I wanted my characters to be more that background filler. The grave diggers’ scene is built around jokes and wit, but because I am just not as smart as the other gravedigger, I knew I needed to find a way to make my character stand out and not have to rely on the other digger. So I made some choices. I decided to make myself the funny, slow witted friend that everyone has, that has a bright moment occasionally, but not often. I played off of everything that Nezar was saying, reacting to his explanations of things as if all of this was beyond my comprehension, and letting him lead me into the conversation by the hand. I think this dependent choice really worked out because it allowed some lee way to do some funny things, like with the props we set up in the grave. I, being the slower digger, threw away a famous classic for a tale about some chick and her vampire boyfriend. Then I find a watch and bite it, as though I’m testing gold. These stunts before the scene even started allowed the room to become prepared to laugh, which is exactly what I wanted. So I scratched my head, answered slowly, and looked disappointed when I couldn’t remember the answer to my own question. All of this built my character into a humorous dunce, rather than just a quiet background character.

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