An interview with Amethyst Dovgal with photography by Strawberry Singh

Amethyst Dovgal is Mercutio in our Second Life Production of Romeo and Juliet
Amethyst Dovgal is Mercutio in our Second Life Dance Production of Romeo and Juliet – Photo by Strawberry Singh

I came to know Amethyst shortly after she started dancing at the KamaSutra in 2012. I remember being immediately impressed with her thoughtfulness and quick wit. How fitting that she’d play Mercutio, one of the most beloved and memorable of characters in Romeo and Juliet.

Today I consider Ame one of my very best friends. Her help and support in transitioning from the KamaSutra was absolutely invaluable and I will always be grateful. She continues to be, since our opening in January of this year to this very day, our staunchest supporter, always lending her time, effort and ideas.

Romeo and Juliet is the first Second Life performance that Ame has been involved in as a player. Yet, she took on a tremendous amount of work as part of the commitment. She helped choose the music for her three scenes, and choreographed them too.

Her scenes include the scene that opens the play, where Mercutio rouses Romeo from his doldrums and invites him to the Capulet Ball (“Straighten Up and Fly Right”).

Her second scene is the most pivotal one in the play, a fight scene with Tybalt, where she dies by his hand (“Kung Fu Fighting”). This is really the turning point in the Romeo and Juliet story, an act of murder that brings about a cascade of terrible events that eventually lead to everyone in the play meeting their end.

Finally, being the first of the cast to die on stage, she is the first to rise up in the last number (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”) where she leads the troupe in a group dance to finish off the play.

When it became clear we needed a replacement for Juliet’s part, Ame also took on Juliet’s role for two numbers, namely “Fever” (also known as the balcony scene) and “Let’s Get It On”, which is a cheeky sex scene we’d figured we’d insert to portray Romeo and Juliet’s one night of passion. But more about Juliet later…

Considering she’s never done this before, she was a natural, taking part in five fantastic and highly memorable scenes that really frame and set up the story of Romeo and Juliet.

I sat down with Ame and asked her a few questions about her experience on working on the show.

Becky: Hi Ame 🙂 What did you first think when you heard about being part of an Second Life Dance Production?   

Amethyst:  I knew from the moment I discovered you were doing a Burlesque show at Basilique that I wanted to be part of such a production.   I was very happy to volunteer and be chosen to be part of the next.

Becky: Do you think the story of Romeo and Juliet is still relevant today?   

Amethyst: I think it absolutely  is or we wouldn’t still be enjoying it so much.   I think it captures the timeless quality of love and love lost.

Becky: How would you describe your Mercutio’s personality? His strengths, his weaknesses? 

Amethyst: In taking on this role, I of course researched Mercutio a bit to really understand his role in the Romeo and Juliet story.   Some critics of the time claimed Mercutio was gay or bi-sexual, and thus Tybalt’s accusation of “consorting”with Romeo” takes on a whole other tone….   Mercutio’s name came from “mercurial” … volatile, and I believe the story shows that clearly and he paid for it with his life.  Maybe his weaknesses and strengths came from the same place.

Becky: Wow, that’s very insightful, but then, you always are insightful! What were some of the challenges in preparing and performing this show? 

Amethyst: The biggest challenges came with finding dedicated, uninterrupted time for the shopping, training and rehearsals and the technical difficulties that sprang up during the shows themselves. Though playing live with so many variables is exciting, it was also nerve-wracking because I had a sense of responsibility for the guests that had come to spend hours of their time with us.  I was just thankful I didn’t forget anything, (laughs) and that the problems were beyond our control.

Becky: I know what you mean about responsibility. It’s clear  in the effort you made throughout the rehearsals as it was during the performances. What was your most memorable moment during the making of the show?  

Amethyst: When I look back a year from now and think about this show….  what will I remember first?   I think the general fun and laughter involved.  Creating something is a wonderful process and a bit of a high when it clicks into place.   I’ll always remember and laugh at Becky coming onto the bedroom set as Romeo in socks. 😉    That’s comedy and tragedy all rolled into one.

Becky: Ha! Would you do something like this again if you have the chance?

Amethyst: Not only would I, I’ll make sure I find a way to.

Becky: What kinds of shows would you like to be involved in, in the future, and what would you like to do in them?

Amethyst: I have a bit of “performer” in me from way back…. I enjoying making people feel something…. I have been highly encouraged that there’s interest in such a thing here and that people come out for it.  I’ve been very appreciative of the praise and compliments and I hope we can continue on from here to bigger and better.

Becky: Are there any new projects you’re working on that you’d like to talk about? 

Amethyst: To be announced…. stay tuned… or something like that.    *curtsies and blows a kiss*

7 thoughts on “An interview with Amethyst Dovgal with photography by Strawberry Singh

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