Name: Lily Kaufman
It’s fun. My inclination has always been to entertain, to express not only myself, but to express the thoughts of (sometimes I think maybe for) others. I started ballet when I was 3 and felt the magic of being under the stage lights. I always loved to sing and dance-- the gamechanger happened when the movie version of Evita came to theaters. Once I realized that there was an area you could sing, and dance, AND act, I was sold. That, and in all honesty I thought Madonna was just the coolest... So I started performing in musicals in third grade, pretty consistently till I graduated high school. Musical Theater is my first love, but not exactly my calling. It wasn’t till Junior year of college did I decide that I was capable of performing without the safety net of music. I started acting in plays and films, and started to realize that what I always loved about musical theater might be it’s most restrictive quality-- it gives you so many of the answers without the soul searching of building a character with words as your only hints. I plan on continuing till I stop having fun.
How and why did you get involved with Hampshire Shakespeare & this production?
I study Theater at Umass and found out about Hampshire Shakespeare’s upcoming auditions-- I had yet to have any summer plans, so I figured I’d let the audition fates decide where I landed.
Two. One, The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz; I’ve never had so much fun playing a part, and dubiously never felt so confident in my portrayal of a role. Two, a character named Sancho in Tirso De Molina’s, Marta the Divine at Umass. It went up in the fall of ’09, and in March of ’10 we performed at the Chamizol Theater Festival in El Paso, Texas. It wasn’t the role itself so much as the show, but the experience helped me to define my goals. After Marta, It was clear that succeeding wasn’t/isn’t (tense stresses me out) just a hope anymore, it’s vital-- this is what I want.
What is your Favorite Word?
What is your Least Favorite Word?
What sound or noise do you love?
Snow... magical silence.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Don’t have one specific noise that sticks out to me as particularly traumatizing-- But I particularly dislike the torture of having to listen to two noises at once, like a radio and a TV being on at the same time. It makes both noises have a static quality to them, and really if you aren’t going to give one of them your full attention why have either? I’ll spare you the full rant, though.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I dream, sometimes literally, of training the Orca whales at Sea World. If life as I know it now falls apart, that’s what I’ll work towards.
What profession would you not like to do?
I wouldn’t want to be a parking meter attendant. Not even a parking meter attendant specifically, any job where you run the risk of getting yelled at by your patrons for the sheer fact that you’re just doing what you got hired for. That’s so scary.. and sad.
What is your earliest memory of theater?
I was Ducky Lucky in Chicken Little in Pre-school, and I remember wondering why everyone didn’t think it was the coolest thing. When I was 11 I saw Phantom on Broadway, and when that Chandelier fell, I almost lost it. I was already sold on musicals, but really, who needs film when they can make a chandelier go from the stage, to hanging like it’s supposed to be there, then to CRASHING BACK DOWN TO THE STAGE with the illusion that it could possibly be really falling. Ugh, so awesome.
Why is Theatre Necessary?
Learning valuable and sometimes painful life lessons without actually having to go through the experience of learning them for yourself. Actually seeing the energy exchange between actors for yourself in front of you, for me, validates the energy exchanges I experience in real life.
Has performing Shakespeare given you any interesting insights into Shakespeare?
YES. Yes, yes. Always something new. Wait-- insights into Shakespeare like the man, or his work? Okay, in regards to his work, this experience has made me think a lot about the information he chose to include about each character in the writing, and maybe more importantly, the information he chose not include. Shakespeare’s writing is a gift to actors. It’s not merely that the answers you need in order to build a complete character are in the text, but that the questions are so clearly in the text for an actor to find. Once you find the question, if the answer isn’t there, then you know that he left it up to you to fill in the gap. I don’t know if it’s bold to say “you know” that he left it up to you, but it’s what I went with this time around.
What’s next for you?
Keep learning, always.