I'm posting for 60 days straight, leading up to my early December birthday, and I'm making the time to write on behalf of slain UCC Professor and aspiring novelist, Larry Levine. And now we have CSU Long Beach design student Nohemi Gonzalez, gunned down in Paris.
Back in my acting days, I used a monologue of Benedict's from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing when auditioning for theatre. In fact, I used it when auditioning for grad school, including CalArts, where I was accepted. Here's all I can remember, in my current NFW condition.
I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is fool when he dedicates his labors to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow folly, become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love.
And such a man is Claudio.
I have known when he would walk ten mile a foot to see a good armor, now will he not like awake carving the fashion of a new doublet.
I have known when he would play the drum and fife, now he plays the tabor and the pipe.
Rather poor, to be honest. This is maybe 1/5 of the speech. The rest dances around my exhausted mind but never lands. Only phrases, snatches of the prose. Sigh. Lost to the passage of time and atrophy - I haven't said the monologue out loud in over 15 years. Maybe 20.
That first sentence is a doozy. At first glance, constructed poorly. But I came to believe Shakespeare structured it this way to slow the actor down, compare and contrast the two men's actions, have some fun with the comparison.
For those keeping score at home, here's the correct complete monologue, which, like, I would've totally nailed if I could've looked it over once. Or thrice.
I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn by failing in love: and such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabour and the pipe: I have known when he would have walked ten mile a-foot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God.