Romeo in Performance

March 24, 2010

By Evan Jonigkeit, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet

We are three weeks from the closing of “our little skit” as Mr. Fagan (Mercutio) has coined it. Though my heart is full from the people in this production and the audience response, my voice seems to have had its fill. Through the 9 show weeks and emotional roller coaster that has become Romeo’s 2+ hour life, my voice has started ever so slightly to fail me. I visited a wonderful ear, nose and throat specialist by the name of Vinu Divi (I hope I spelled his name right.) He has advised me to not talk unless I am getting paid for it, which is beginning to take a toll on my girlfriend, having a mute in the house. He also introduced me to turmeric root, which is a homeopathic wonder drug. If you were to Google it I think you would be astounded by all the reported health benefits. One of these benefits is serving as an anti-inflammatory, which is helping the surrounding muscles in the neck and the vocal chords themselves.

I have been reminded of the fragility of our bodies, as humans, and am forced to consider what I might be were I not an actor. Though I believe happiness is a state of mind and choice we have, I realize that I am most aware of the world and the people around me on stage. I breathe in every nuance that Tony Lawton sends my way and bask in every blown kiss Juliet bestows upon me. This is such a hard thing to know without being on stage, especially in a Shakespeare play. In Shakespeare’s world the highs are as high as stars and the lows are the center of the earth, and to be able to let yourself go there makes the choice of being happy and content with my station in life all the easier. I am confident my voice will return to normal as soon as the time to rest is granted, but the thought of not having the ability to tell stories like this is a dreadful one.

I have had an amazing experience with this show. I have explored, and am nightly, the depths of myself and this character. I am constantly pushing to find the truth of the love story we have all come to know as our own. Though some of us are tired, some homesick, some are working on other shows, at this very moment we all realize we have, together, done something special.

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