Good Hamlet, cast thy knighted color off And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark

The first sentence I spoke in my first job as an actor –
The first words I was paid to say –
I still hear it as I said it when I was 22 years old
Playing the mother of a man.
I may always hear it that way. It’s like a song in my head.
I will hear it that way and
See my friend Dwayne, as Hamlet
As I say them.
Forever, I have this bit of Gertrude in me
But Gertrude as a 22nd year old Emily
High on theatre
High on her first job with the very company
I always dreamed of working with.
Despite the knighted color of the text, there is
a halo of optimism around these lines.
They were the first ones of my new life
The one I thought I would have
The one I knew I’d revel in
The one that was off to a rollicking start.


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