|Lord, what fools these mortals be|
|Written by Dan Oag|
|Thursday, 08 December 2011|
The stage is a cruel yet intoxicating mistress as first-year students discover
What does it take to make it in theatre? First-year student Jonah Lerner knows. Lerner is part of the cast of A Midwinter’s Dream Tale, a Shakespearian mash-up production put on by A Company of Fools and the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC).
He says he got a chance to audition as a result of one of his teachers, also the director of the production, Al Connors. “Al is also a teacher here at the college, part time. He held some auditions at Algonquin, so after class one day they were doing an audition that was at the school.” For Lerner, this is an important step.
“I auditioned, we had to do a Shakespeare piece and we had to sing and dance, we had to learn choreography. I was surprised when I got selected afterwards,” he says “I didn’t think that I’d done well.”
According to Lerner, it’s not at all uncommon to think that you haven’t performed at your top. “When you finish an audition you always feel like you haven’t done well, there’s never a time when you’re like ‘I rocked that.’”
But what about the play? According to Connors, A Midwinter’s Dream Tale is a combination of improv and musical, with the fairy cast of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream thrown into one of the plots of A Winter’s Tale.
What advice does Lerner have for other would-be actors? “Audition. Audition and get out there. Don’t take your time, if you have to do things for free, do it for free. The sooner you get your name known, the more you network, people realize you’re great to work with, strong knowledge. Strong learning skills, even just a work ethic will get you really, really far.”
Appearing in the play isn’t without work. “During the week we’ve got two or three, three-hour rehearsals and both days on the weekend, all day.” Which isn’t even the half of the schedule “This is tech week and tech week is a lot more, so I’m missing a lot of classes for tech week.” According to Lerner, he spends around 25 hours a week on the play outside of tech week, closer to 40 hours a week during tech week.
And all that work is worth something? “The main cast members, I learn so much just from watching them.” Says Lerner “I get to work with the Fools. Who does Shakespeare in Ottawa? The Fools.”
For Lerner, the real benefit is in the networking opportunities. “It’s great, most of them are students like me, they’re all my age so you can already see the connections being made, so when we finish school, there’s a strong chance of working together in the future and they recognize your work ethic.”
Of course that isn’t the most important question. Does he feel ridiculous prancing around in a dress? “Yes. You gotta do what you gotta do, and it’s so much fun that after a while, when you’re on stage, you just forget about it and start having fun.”
A Midwinter Night’s Dream Tale runs until December 18 at the Irving Greenberg Theatre.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 December 2011 )|