October 19

Brief Thoughts on Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch at Barbican Theatre’s Stage Door

I meant to post my thoughts about Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch over the weekend, but got sidetracked by sleep deprivation and a mad dash to get the house cleaned before my parents arrived.

It’s no surprise (or it shouldn’t be) to anyone that I love Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s an amazing actor, capable of making me forget it’s him I’m watching, regardless of the project – that isn’t always the case for me with big-name actors. Unfortunately, it also wasn’t the case with Hamlet. Not sure why, but there you go.

The acting, though, was amazing as was the set design. The costuming was a hot mess, in my opinion. I don’t care that it wasn’t period dress, but there wasn’t a single thread of commonality that I could find. The range went from 20s suits to slacks and a David Bowie t-shirt to lacy dresses. I found it all very distracting.

I also realized I don’t enjoy Shakespeare with Benedict Cumberbatch any more than I do without him. I want to like Shakespeare, really, I do—I’m an English major, for Pete’s sake—but whenever I watch movies or other productions based on the Bard’s plays, I always feel like I’m watching a foreign film with no subtitles. Which makes me feel incredibly stupid. During a conversation about it with a friend of mine, he suggested I forget about the dialogue and just focus on the story—That the language would settle in and I’d see the beauty of it by doing so. He’s probably right and so I will approach any and all Shakespeare from that viewpoint just to see how that works out.

Hamlet wasn’t a waste of money by any stretch, and I’m glad I went (even though I actually missed the live performance which ran at 2 instead of the 7pm showing I went to—that was disappointing…), especially with great company. But I won’t be watching it again like I did with Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch. I went to see that one 3 times! 🙂

October 15

Tonight’s the Night!!!

Tonight’s the long-awaited Hamlet night, streaming live from London. As much as I bitch about technology being the bane of my existence, it’s pretty damn cool it can let me watch a live performance thousands of miles away in the comfort of a local theater.

And dream about kinda sorta being in the same place at the same time as this man:

12 Years a Slave 52
He’s excited about date night too! 😉

Benedict’s lasted a while as my celebrity crush, though the light did dim a bit when he got married and he and his wife had a baby. In real life, I can’t – and won’t – poo-poo love between anyone. It sure puts a damper on the old, inner fantasy life, though. There’s something mildly disconcerting about going all dreamy over a married man. Probably because in real life that’s where my line is firmly drawn. In my world (and in certain circumstances) flirting and the like is okay if someone’s dating, but ring on finger? Nope. Nada. Not a chance in hell.

Anyway, I had an exchange with my awesome and much loved sister-in-law last night that went something like this:

 

Me: So… tomorrow night’s Hamlet. I’m excited! It’ll almost be like being in the same place at the same time with Benedict.

SIL: (cue mildly disdainful look) You keep telling yourself that… if it makes you happy.

 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – I can’t imagine a life without the random “What ifs” that give me butterflies, even if I know they’ll never happen. My SIL is scientifically brained. She’s literal and would probably describe herself as a realist. I’m happy to trip down whatever path my creative brain shoves me and think reality is boring and overrated, regardless of the necessity of dealing with it.

I’m pretty sure she thinks I live in a state of arrested development.

I’m totally okay with that.

Tonight’s date night with Benedict.

May 28

The Note that Started it All

IMG_1443The craziness around here continues as the tale end of the adoption saga for my brother and sister-in-law finally comes. Only a couple more weeks and everyone will be home. Then the real fun starts with getting my niece and nephew firmly established into the family with a younger sibling, my nephew, Monkey, and a niece, Le Woah, on the way. It’s going to be kid craziness with some extra special loving going on to account for the orphanage time. I can’t wait!

Amid all that is the need to get the house I live in ready for my parents to move in. They own it and there’s a ton of stuff to be done. First thing to go will be the nasty-ass carpets. Those will be pulled up by my dad and me this coming Monday and Tuesday. Which means I have to pack up everything in my room so it can be moved, etc.

As I was going through the pile of papers I invariably have, I came across the index card you see above. And laughed.

That’s how the idea for From Poe to Know started.

At the time, I’d been sort of keeping an eye on the media coverage of Benedict Cumberbatch and he was all golden boy, all the time. I knew it would only be a matter of time before the gossips got bored and the news coverage went south (That actually started happening just a few months later. Nothing major, but you know it’s a slow news period when the rags start going on about his attire and how tired he looked after he just got off a lengthy flight).

I jotted that note down right before I passed out for a nap. In my tired brain mode, I started thinking about celebrities and stalkers and absently wondered what would happen if the stalker became the stalkee. Usually it’s the Average Joe who does the stalking and the celebrity who has to put up with the shenanigans, but what would happen if it were reversed? If the celebrity was the stalker and the Average Joe the recipient? I scribbled the note you see so I wouldn’t forget my train of thought while I was sleeping.

A couple of days later I started fleshing out the idea. It didn’t turn out anything like I initially thought it would. I had planned for the “stalking” bit to play more of a prominent role and for the romance to be the sole focus. Turns out I had much more to say on the matter and discovered my original thought was only a small part of the story.

And so it goes. Book 2 is in progress, for those following along. My starting point for that is the idea of what it would be like to actively date a celebrity. That’s making me laugh just thinking about it. It’s taking far longer than expected to write due to the adoption and the prep and work and life, but stay tuned. Izzie’s story has only just started.

Ceit