Create memories by living in the moment

Columnist

Being in college is not only about getting good grades to ensure a great future career. It’s also about taking opportunities as they come to you, because they may never come around again.

For example, I was part of the cast for last week’s production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” From the initial casting to the rehearsals and finally to the final curtain call, I have to say that being part of this production was a highlight of my college career, along with the opportunity of writing for The Sunflower.

If you would have told me last semester that I would be in a show having to perform lines from Shakespeare (notably the final lines of the show), wear a fake beard, along with having three death scenes, I wouldn’t have believed you.

My only exposure to performing Shakespeare came after memorizing half of a monologue from “King Henry VI” as a high school sophomore. I barely understood what I was saying. I can now fully embrace what those lines of Shakespeare mean.

I always had an appreciation for actors who had to endure long make-up sessions for their characters, like Roddy McDowall in “Planet of the Apes” or Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in “Star Trek.” Now my appreciation is at an all-time high, because I better understand how difficult it can be when make-up effects are added to your face.

Thankfully, my make-up wasn’t as complicated as having realistic pointed ears or being made to look like a chimpanzee. The application of my beard through the use of spirit gum required adapting to another acting method, due to it limiting the facial features you could do without the beard coming off.

I also have to give a major thanks to Fine Arts senior Janet Wiggins, who not only applied my beard, but also handled my overall facial make-up that aged me appropriately to the character I was playing.

Working with the show’s director, Brett Jones, was something I had always wanted to do after taking his playscript analysis class. He was always passionate when he spoke about the plays we read and discussed in class, and that quality no doubt transferred to working with him as the director. I won’t forget his direction for one of my death scenes, which was, “You’re bacon on a skillet.”

Spending the evenings with the cast in rehearsals was all fun. By the time we did our first cast reading to the final show, our cast really came together, where we all knew each other’s names and got along well.

It was a real joy to work with the actors that I had seen in previous productions I reviewed. I not only hope to both see them again in future productions, but also that I will get to work with them on future projects.

So, take my word for it. Opportunities in college, such as being a part of a theater show, are experiences to be, well, experienced before you can’t do them again. The grades show the effort, but moments like these create the memories.