I don't care what anyone says, performing Shakespeare is hard. We're all supposed to pretend that it isn't - we don't want to terrify the newcomers after all - but deep down I think even experienced performers are full of anxiety when they pick up Hamlet, Macbeth or The Tempest.
But why is it difficult? I think because you have to make a leap of faith. Throw yourself in. Trust the writing. There are no half measures in Shakespeare.
There's something about Shakespeare's language that sucks you in as a performer. The words can only work if you put every fiber of your being behind them.
It reminds me of an interview I conducted a while ago with actor Ben Crystal:
The plays are hard to perform because Shakespeare was so darned good at tapping into the human heart - so, as an actor you can't allow yourself to hold back. If you can't go to the depths of your soul, explore the extremes of yourself, go to the bad place as Othello or Macbeth, then you shouldn't be on the stage.
Do you have advice for actors new to Shakespeare? Then visit the new "Tips on How to Perform Shakespeare" page where you can share your thoughts.