Last month Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition officially launched at the Science Museum of Minnesota, for which I am portraying Miss Evelyn Marsden, First Class Stewardess and Nurse for the First Class passengers.
Our preparation included regular improv rehearsals (it’s not as much of an oxymoron as it sounds) in addition to an obscene amount of hours researching on our own. We were expected to spend at least 20 hours with our noses in books; and I’m nearly certain I, and everyone else on the crew, have easily topped 80 hours. Piles of books, a 10-inch stack of homemade flashcards, online “Titaniac” forums, constant fretting over discrepancies between sources...the list goes on.
80 hours of mind-numbing minutiae and yet I still catch myself periodically weeping as I read or write about the events that unfolded in the middle of the North Atlantic the night of April 14th, 1912. There is always some new discovery or some particularly moving imagery that strikes me, re-humanizing that night, re-humanizing the roughly 700 people who survived, and the more than 1,500 who did not. They are not numbers, they are not historical factoids, they are people – each and every one of them – many of whom were the sole bread-winners for their families - concentric circles moving outward from a drop in the water. An amalgamation of beautiful devastation.
If you’re interested in seeing the exhibition, we highly recommend reservations via phone or online. Starting July 23, my schedule will generally be: Mondays: 3-8 p Tuesdays: 8-11a Wednesdays: 8-11a Thursdays: 1-5p ...but is subject to change, so if you’re dying to see me in particular, give me a holler first. I can assure you, however, that you’ll have a great experience, whichever actors are in the room.