I performed Juliet in an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet for the first time today. It was my first time performing Shakespeare on a stage and it was exhilerating. Luckily I was sort of eased into it because we are doing a 45 minute abridged version of the show, so my lines were cut down quite a bit from the full play. Nevertheless it was tough work. The more I dig my nails into Shakespeare, the more I am amazed by him. He has a way of writing direction right into the dialogue. His choice of words and purposeful use of iambs, spondees, and trochees tell you exactly what the character is feeling.
What I found recently is how much I am Juliet. I'm sure every girl that gets a chance to play her feels this way. But she really is a girl who will do anything, unless she stops herself first. I'm not quite as quick as she is, and I certainly don't have the same energy as a 13 year old (yes Juliet is two weeks from turning 14 in the play), but I have the same constant struggle between my heart and my brain.
I had fun falling in love with Romeo today in our performance, and I had a few honest moments, which is all you can ever really ask for as an actor. Although I know I can never perfect her, I'm excited to keep working on this character.