Moments of Magic
Week Four: Imogen's Journey
Happy Thursday! Welcome back to Acting Class Daily. Today we’re personalizing the work with a themed knicknack from this week’s class, a formative moment of magic … and, most importantly, Bauer’s chance to say hello.
Imogen’s Journey (Cymbeline - 2012)
Just passed the 10 year anniversary of a moment that shaped my artistic life.
If there is any show that feeds my hunger to unlock raw, textured, truthful humanity it’s Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
I remember first seeing it as a workshop production - bare bones in a studio at NYU. My next chance to see the show came at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). They were hosting Mark Rylance and Shakespeare’s Globe, who were putting on the performance. It was a magical night that I’ll be talking about more in a future class.
Cymbeline was always known for being complicated.
Folks wrote it off because Shakespeare was old when he wrote it, at the end of his career and retired back in his cottage. This was a writer lazily rehashing old themes. Trying to put all his greatest hits into one swelling story.
This was complicated, they said. This was my type of show, I thought.
How can anyone ever count out the greatest writer who ever lived? Because he’s old? Because old themes echo throughout the piece? His was a soul filled with the Romeos and Juliets, Caesars, Iagos and Lady Ms…
I knew I wanted to do right by this piece. Celebrate what the writer left behind.
One morning my alarm went off to KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic … and I woke up into Imogen’s Journey. That daring, brave, fearless, (all the words) risk of leaving behind her life, her royalty, and heading off into the dark forests of the unknown … all to find a love that no longer believes in her.
She faces her fears.
She goes for it.
This song, this moment, is what my soul knows of her journey - her heart! - and it shaped my storytelling confidences forever more. Here’s Young Blood by Birdy ... plus a bonus, treasured peek into our production filmed almost 10 years ago by the super-talented Desi Bee.