katherine learns to love…again.

So I had an interesting experience during the show today. I discovered something that I hadn’t discovered before. Again, this may make no difference to the audience, or it may. I think it did effect the ending, but again, that’s from my point of view. 

Off-stage I had been thinking about the arc of my character. Every character should change or grow in every play. It’s the actor’s job to find that arc and discover their character’s arc or story and how it serves the larger story. I had thought about the arc during rehearsal, and had come up with things, but as the run has continued I have kind of forgotten it, or put it to the wayside. So discovering this arc today is more for me as an actor, to keep things fresh.

I was thinking about my sister after I wrote the entry yesterday. Jen and I had discussed that my sister’s death is responsible for my resistance to the idea of falling in love, my skeptical opinion of the men, and my general desire for a light, good time (except in my work, of course). So I went with that today, as usual, but that leads me, if I stick to it unfailingly, to a character without a whole lot of arc. If she starts that way and ends that way, what has changed for her?

So today, at the proposal, Katherine was suddenly face to face with the idea that Dumaine’s love is serious; that it is possible that he truly loves her. This, first of all, is a total shock. She has pushed love away for so long that she had no idea it might show up for her. But the sudden appearance of this possibility of real love could also have the opportunity to open her heart. And when the Princess accepts (with a test) the love of the King, Katherine is sort of given the permission to take this situation more seriously (by someone she respects). And so, although she cannot accept Dumaine’s proposal in this instance for many reasons, she is suddenly taken by the idea that this love is possible. So that last exchange between Katherine and Dumaine isn’t necessarily just plain skeptical, but it is inviting the opportunity for love to come in the future. That doesn’t mean that I think they end up together, but Katherine is changed because of what she experienced. She is open to the possibility of what could happen. 

Perhaps that all seems slightly corny, but it just goes to show what an actor can discover during the process, and how those discoveries can keep the story and the character fresh and interesting performance after performance without harming the integrity of the story. So heap on the corn. I’m not afraid.


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