Sam Koon: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures


So interim reports came out. And it was bad. It was bad for a lot of people.

A lot of friends said E-school was to blame but I knew it wasn’t true. They knew it wasn’t true. When life is menial a person puts a lot of focus on menial things, so I was freaking out trying to find ways to boost my English grades; it was around the time that groups we reassigned to portray a scene from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.

I don’t think my other group members knew the lengths I would go for my A. It’s not to the length of murdering my best friend and consulting three bearded ladies for advice. It’s far more sinister: I murdered my social life and consulted the bewitched website known as Sparknotes.

So I tried to perfect an evil voice, which by the end sounded by a lung cancer patient
mixed in with a slightly annoyed meth addict. I think I nailed the voice really well.

I looked at adaptions online, and ended up coming up with a scene which was this sort of monster mash between ten different adaptations. I tried to get the brazen voice of Casson’s adaptation and the craziness of Goold’s adaptation. I think it was wise to leave out the statutory rape part of Polanski’s adaptation, though i’ll certainly get flak for doing that, with every other person being a child molester now.

I read up on method acting. While I wouldn’t go to the lengths of putting dead mice in my fellow actors luggage like some, I contemplated sharpening the wooden swords so the stabbing motions we did during a swordfight would be “realistic.” What makes stabbing more realistic than actually stabbing someone? But that idea was quickly shot down. Fascists.

Still, I practiced by part regularly and embarrassingly, in public areas. Another group
member and I went to a local park to tight with wooden swords while joggers and soccer moms
stared at us. I‘m honestly surprised nobody called the cops. Someone remarked that I looked like
the Slur Wars Kid from the olden days of the Internet.

And then the day of reckoning came. With wooden sword in hand and paper crown on
head, I read my lines and tried to act as crazy as possible. My hair was nappy and the crown fell
off all the time, and one actor who played a dead body kept laughing, and my drug-addict voice
had the effect opposite of the intended sinister, but I’m pretty sure we got an A.

I don‘t remember acting the scene at all, which is the strangest part. Even though I memorized the lines and practiced the mannerisms, I seriously can’t remember the scene at all. It was quick and exhilarating, being one of the most evil characters depicted in English canon.

And that’s probably why it was so scary for me. It’s pretty weird that to discover yourself you have to portray someone else.