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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Acting Teacher Doubts You’ll Make It After You Mispronounced 500-Year Old Word You’ve Never Heard

by Elanna White. @ewelannawhite.

NEW YORK, NY - Tensions were high this morning at a conservatory in New York City during sonnet study, when a tragedy rivaling Shakespeare’s greatest works occurred: a student mispronounced "recompense" because it’s 500 years old and they’d never heard it before, and sadly, will now most likely not make it in the industry.


“This was like the time I messed up the iambic pentameter in my Prospero monologue, but worse," fellow student Tina Shepard nervously recalled mid-sun salutation. “Martha just yelled ‘HOLD’ mid-sonnet so loud I thought she must have gotten a text that her dog died or something. When I realized it had something to do with the performance, I thought she was going to ask them to leave the room. That’s when it hit me that it had to be another word someone had never heard out loud before. Martha loses it over that sort of thing.”


Third Year student Michael Slayton was all too familiar with this sort of bombshell.


“Oh yeah, I’ve seen this happen,” Michael solemnly explained during a 10-minute break through a puff of cigarette smoke. “It was second semester of Freshman year. The word was 'Puissance.' You know, King John. Martha sent the kid to what the teachers refer to as ‘The Gray Room.’ Rumor has it, she’s still in there. Takes every class alone and gets her lunches delivered. No one’s spoken about it since”


Former pupil Harley Lloyd had some insight on how one may be able to handle this situation in the future.


“Ah yeah, recompense. That is a tough one,” Lloyd remarked during rehearsal for the alumni performance of Coriolanus. “I got tripped up on that one once. Martha yelled at me in front of everyone that if I hadn’t known how to pronounce it, I should have either looked it up or asked. But how the hell was I supposed to know I didn’t know how to pronounce it?! Anyways, to get back at her I once spent an entire hour and a half long class asking about every single word in my monologue. She ended up forgetting that I never actually performed the thing. Honestly, that was a pretty chill semester.”


Martha herself was unavailable for comment. Sources reported that she was busy running repetition drills of only flubbed Shakespearean words for the rest of the afternoon.

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