As I said: Vladimir was Iago, and John was Othello.
I was so irritated with John because he had only shown up for one rehearsal. I was dreading the show because I was so sure he’d end up fucking it up because I thought he didn’t care. At the last dress rehearsal he was not there again. I called him and screamed at him before throwing my script and storming out of the auditorium. He had apologized, but I was fed up.
I took my theatre seriously.
Eileen, our English teacher, followed me out to check on me. I was still yelling out my frustration. “NO! I’m fucking DONE!”
“Please, Emma, calm down,” Eileen said. “Go to the toilets – wash your face – take your time. It’ll be alright,” she assured me.
I clutched the sink with both hands, head bent down as I tried to focus on deep breathing. I was that frustrated. So I splashed my face, I slowed my heart rate, and I returned to the auditorium still with the conviction that John would let us – me – down.
We had only had one rehearsal with him. In my mind there was no way he’d be able to pull it off in front of the school.
I did not see him again until right before the show. One of the other guys came running and asked if I had seen John yet.
“You’ll see,” he said with a grin.
Moments later, John bounded up the stairs headed for the auditorium before turning to see me standing by the stairs. He strode over to me with a big grin spread across his face.
He had shown up with a shaved head and a tattoo drawn on his scalp with black sharpie – to match the Othello from the 1996 movie. I couldn’t help the smile that crept across my face.
He blew it out of the park. I don’t know if he was actually just that good at remembering lines, or if he had realized he was going to let me down if he didn’t buckle down and do it right.
His lips brushed past mine while I feigned sleep; I won’t deny it was …ummm… not unpleasant. Ha.
“Kill me tomorrow; let me live tonight,” I begged him clutching at my pillow.
“Nay, if you strive – ”
“But – Half an hour!”
He pulled off serious determination effortlessly. “Being done, there is no pause.”
“But while I say one prayer!”
“It is too late…”
…And while on stage, as the story goes, Othello smothers Desdemona with her pillow… and as the story doesn’t say – Desdemona kicked Othello in the face.
I struggled as convincingly as I could – clutching at his arm and trying to put space between us with my legs.
I didn’t realize I had assaulted him until I was told by Maja afterwards; nor did I realize that my blue underthings were especially visible from stage as I was dressed only in a white nightie and my legs were flailing about.
Luckily John thought my assault on his person was and still is hilarious. He has actually apologized to me, with tongue in cheek, for his “iron jaw.”
Ha. Turd… 😉