01 November 2004

Geeky Me, Part II

After I gave Michael (my director) the 5-page print out of geeky facts about Dinner, he announceed to the cast that I was the dramaturg for the show. Other directors might have ruthlessly suppressed me, but Michael has decided to encourage my geekiness. He'll probably come to regret it. I have geekiness to spare. But if I get a program credit as dramaturg, I'll be dead chuffed. 'Strewth!

Anyway, it occurred to me that it is probably a very good thing that I didn't audition for Henry V because there is a limited number of "interesting facts" I can come up with about the show I'm in, but the chance to rant to a captive audience about French history .... Let's all just be grateful that they were spared that.

On the plus side, when I was considering auditioning and did what I regard as the least amount of reasonable prep, I got familiar with a reasonable chunk of French and English history, which reminded me of why I like studying history in the first place. And I really do like it. I love the jigsaw puzzle aspect of fitting together who knew whom, who fought whom and why, the whole deal. For instance, in reading Scots history (and it was never, ever a good time to forget who was standing behind you in that country - whew!), I can much more clearly see the see-saw that the English kings were on. If the Scots were left alone, it was because the French were too risky to ignore.

The problem with studying history in school is that it is so isolated. Countries all interconnect. Foreign policy - even if it's the foreign policy of stomping anyone who speaks a different language - always drove more decisions than we realize. Richard III didn't travel north and stomp on the Scots, nor did he travel east and stomp on the French, but he had an older brother who made enough enemies that he spent his time - his very brief time - mending fences and shoring up relationships.

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