I came in contact with Shakespeare the same way that anyone does these days: through the Lion King.
Okay, so maybe that's a little cheeky, but when you consider the impact Disney has on the world today, it's hardly objectable. Of course, I had no idea that I was being EXPOSED to a Shakespearean concept until later--when the name Shakespeare no longer twisted my tongue and made me think of some crazy Indian dance--but hey, I was three.
I can't remember for certain when I was TAUGHT about the 'Great Bard', but I can remember my first experience of understanding it. Picture this: A fourteen-year-old young woman, blonde, innocent, and naive, playing Lady Macbeth. Not very intimidating. Now I tell you this: my final scene, shrieking at the unseen blood on my murderous hands, was enough to make grown men shudder and not-so-equally-innocent young women confess to repeated nightmares in peer-mediated counseling. Yeah, I learned to grasp that character really well.
But while acting always has been and always will be a major interest in my life, my fascination with Shakespeare has taken something of a shift. Because of his reputation as quite-possibly the most famous writer in history and of the world, Shakespeare's literature holds an intoxicating power over me. I want to dissect his style, disassemble his characters' inner workings, decipher his plot shifts. Because once I get to the bottom of the Shakespeare 'essence', I can recreate into something even better. I want his power to become my power: I want my writing to be as timeless and confounding as any line from Hamlet.I want 'to be' the next Shakespeare.