Being a Bride v. Playing a Bride

Since I have been a little busy running around like a crazy person working on a show with my new theater company, I thought I'd bring this into my wedding blog, since I am playing a bride/newlywed in the production (if only for a few scenes). It's like a cross-over post from my other blog! Here's the dealio (in a VERY condensed nutshell): The play's the thing! Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, that is.

Titus Andronicus, Roman general, returns from ten years of war with only four out of twenty-five sons left. He has captured Tamora, Queen of the Goths, her three sons, and Aaron the Moor. In obedience to Roman rituals, he sacrifices her eldest son to his own dead sons, which earns him Tamora's unending hatred and her promise of revenge.
Tamora is made empress by the new emperor Saturninus. To get back at Titus, she schemes with her lover Aaron to have Titus's two sons framed for the murder of Bassianus, the emperor's brother and Titus' daughter Lavinia's husband. Aaron advises the lustful Chiron and Demetrius, Tamora's remaining sons, to kill Bassianus and rape Lavinia, after which they cut off her hands and tongue so she cannot give their crime away. Finally, even Titus's last surviving son Lucius is banished from Rome; he subsequently seeks alliance with the enemy Goths in order to attack Rome. Each new misfortune hits the aged, tired Titus with heavier impact. Eventually, he begins to act oddly and everyone assumes that he is crazy.
Tamora tries to capitalize on his seeming madness by pretending to be the figure of Revenge, come to offer him justice if Titus will only convince Lucius to cease attacking Rome. Titus, having feigned his madness all along, tricks her, captures her sons, kills them, and makes pie out of them. He feeds this pie to their mother in the final scene, after which he kills both Tamora and Lavinia, his own daughter. A rash of killings ensue; the only people left alive are Marcus, Lucius, Young Lucius, and Aaron. Lucius has the unrepentant Aaron buried alive, and Tamora's corpse thrown to the beasts. He becomes the new emperor of Rome and orders a slow, painful death for Aaron. (SparkNotes.com).

So. What does any of that mess have to do with weddings? Let me illuminate. I am playing Lavinia. The most tragic role I have yet to play. As you can tell, it's an extremely dark show, and I have been preparing a lot for it. But that's not why I am posting. Lavinia is a newlywed who endures the worst pain imaginable. Not the physical pain, the pain of the loss of her love and of her dignity.
Lavinia and Bassianus
Julie Taymor film version
It is interesting to me, that since I have been with Patrick, every character that I play is enhanced because of my love for him. I don't mean for this to be a sappy post, but finding Patrick has made me more able to channel deeper emotions. I'm not at all saying that you can't be an actor if you're not in love, but for me, it helps. Before I was engaged, I was completely clueless (except my obsessive Weddingbee binges) about anything wedding; planning, budgeting, dresses, cakes, officiants. And I realize that with my ::cough:: 10 months ::cough:: of engagement, and as I have said, Bride on the Brain, I may not appreciate what a wonderful time it is in our lives. Playing Lavinia, has brought that again to my attention. She is a bride/newlywed for one day before her husband is slain before her (great tragedies by Billy Shakes).

I have an extremely valuable subscription to Brides Magazine, and after I got the role, I was browsing my issue and I found a beautiful picture that screamed Lavinia to me. It was in the September 2011 issue. I immediately brought it to our amazing costume designer and she will be building me one! I will be wearing a pink tulle veil in one of my scenes (post nuptials for Lavinia)!!! I am so excited!!! We decided that the veil was sort of the symbol of Lavinia in this show; as a bride, and to veil her shame and pain.So, it was necessary to have it as a part of my costume!

This is NOT the picture because I can't find it ANYWHERE
But it's the most similar, with three straps holding the veil/blusher over my face and hair
Ugh, I'm cranky that I couldn't find the right picture, but this one is close! The head straps that go into a bit-like thing? Ignore that (slightly inappropriate image) and imagine for me if you will, that they connect beneath the chin. It had a similar look to those tooth-ache medical straps that people wore way back when...
But not as thick, and multi-satin ribbons securing the veil/blusher to the head. I'll be sure to post a photo edit update when I have it, but we tried the trial veil on a few days ago and it looks cool! Hee hee! Anytime I can dress like a bride! ;-) Meanwhile, in real life, my mother has picked up my dress from the salon, as you may have read it came in! And it now waits for me in my closet in my old room next to my veil and slip!

Another bride I played actually was married onstage! This was before I even spoke to Patrick, way back in college when I was a sophomore. I played Amy March in Little Women: The Musical. I had a GIANT wedding dress made for me to fit the time period (mid to late 1800s). Here's a picture!
OH! Sorry - forgot to warn you,
I was Blonde (in wig) for this
I know, I know...It won't happen again.
I guess the point of this post is to muse over my past bridal roles as I grow into a bride for my own wedding. As acting is a big part of my life, I think it is nice to remember and think about the times and characters I played that were brides, and to see how now, I feel so differently than I did in college. Anywho --- thanks for reading, if you made it past the blood, revenge, and doom of the Titus description!



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