Othello Reflection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
I acted in an Othello scene and this explains how i thought i did and how Cassio felt.

Submitted: June 06, 2010

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Submitted: June 06, 2010

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Othello Reflection
On Friday morning, I woke up extra early to rehearse the fifth act of Othello with my group. We had rehearsed before school multiple times, yet on this day Mr. Lessing had agreed to meet with us to help and give advice our lines and choreography. This rehearsal was important because it was our last. Mr. Lessing sat in the third row while Emilia and Othello were in position ready to begin. I sat in the front row because I, portraying Cassio, entered the scene later. Emilia exclaimed her first line. However, Mr. Lessing interrupted her saying, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe that you just found your mistress dead… Start over.” Emilia said her line again yet Mr. Lessing stopped her for the same reason, again. This repeated a few more times and Emilia became agitated. We finally got past the first line and the play proceeded. We got to the point when Iago enters. Mr. Lessing stopped them because he still did not find their emotions believable. He had them repeat one part over and over again until they were practically screaming at each other. Everyone was becoming frustrated. I felt agitated as well, because, at that point, I realized that I was not even going to get a chance to rehearse my lines because of the slow rate at which we were going. Finally, Mr. Lessing got so fed up with the lack of energy that he stormed out of the room. We were confused but just kept going with rehearsal. At 7:55, Mr. Lessing came back in and pulled our group to the side. He asked, “Are you irritated?... Are you angry?” We answered “yes.” He then said to us to use that energy on the stage and to use that energy to get into character.
After Mr. Lessing said this I realized that he made my group reenact our part of the play over again so many times, so that we would become angry and irritated. We would then use that energy to help us be our character.  It worked! Also, I found that choreography doesn’t really matter as long as one is in character and acts as their character. Mr. Lessing hinted at this after rehearsal. Although my group met several times over the last two weeks to discuss staging and timing, I realized that acting with strong emotions is more important and sends a more powerful message to the audience. In our scene, my character should have been mad and felt betrayed. Cassio looked up to Othello and when he learns that he killed Desdemona, Cassio feels let down and angry. I, however, felt like I did not live up to that expectation and had not acted mad enough. At this point in the play Cassio is feeling multiple emotions: disbelief, anger, sorrow, and possibly fear. As an actor it is very difficult to display numerous feelings. An actor must also make decisions on emotions and actions of a character. I decided to go with anger and betrayal. I tried my best to communicate to the audience these feelings by yelling. Another choice I made was to point at Iago as in shame. I hoped this would show that he was to blame him for everything that happened. I tried to look disappointed when looking at Othello to make him realize he made the wrong decision in killing Desdemona. By doing these things, I hope that the audience realized that Cassio looked up to Othello and was disappointed in him. Also, when I was screaming at Iago, I wanted the audience to know that I was enraged at Iago for beginning these events.
I regret not reacting more when Othello kills himself. I should have acted more shocked and angry. Also, I spoke much too fast during my longer speeches and it may have been difficult to understand. If I had done these things correctly, I believe the audience would have better comprehended what Cassio felt.  Another thing I wished I had done better was to have more interesting gestures with my hands or movements. I think I lacked this even though I believe that choreography is not the main priority.  I just stood in one place for a majority of the play and it was probably boring and dull to watch. I regret not moving more too.
In conclusion, I believe that my group did a great job overall in portraying our scene of Othello. The other members of my group depicted their characters very well and I think the audience saw that. From this experience, I learned that acting takes a lot of energy and emotion. Honestly, it was not that enjoyable for me since public speaking is not one of my strong qualities, but it was fun to watch the other groups perform their scenes.


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