Nina, a young actress, has returned to her hometown after two years
Why do you say you kiss the ground I walk on? You should have killed me instead (Leans on the table). I'm so tired! I want to rest, I just want to rest! (Raises her head) I’m the seagull... No, that's not it. I'm an actress. That’s it.(From the other room we hear Arkadina and Trigorin laughing. Nina listens for a minute, goes to the left door, and looks through the keyhole) He’s here, too. (Crosses to Konstantin) He is, isn’t he? Well, never mind. He never believed in the theatre, he laughed at all my dreams, and little by little I stopped believing in it too. And then all the emotional stress, the jealousy; I was always afraid for the baby… I started getting petty, depressed, my acting was emptier and emptier… strains of love, jealousy, constant fear for the child...I didn't know what to do with my hands, I didn’t know how to hold myself onstage, I couldn’t control my voice. You don’t know what that’s like, to realize you’re a terrible actor. I’m the seagull… No, that’s not it… Remember that seagull you shot? A man comes along, sees her, and destroys her life because he has nothing better to do… subject for a short story. No, that’s not it… (Rubs her forehead) What was I saying? Oh, yes, the theatre… I’m not like that anymore. I’m a real actress now, I enjoy acting, I’m proud of it, the stage intoxicates me. When I’m up there I feel beautiful. And these days, being back here, walking for hours on end, thinking and thinking, I could feel my soul growing stronger day after day. And now I know, Kostya, I understand, finally, that in our business—acting, writing, it makes no difference—the main thing isn’t being famous, it’s not the sound of applause, it’s not what I dreamed it was. All it is is the strength to keep going, no matter what happens. You have to keep on believing. I believe, and it helps. And now when I think about my vocation, I’m not afraid of life. Shh… I’d better go. Goodbye. When I become a great actress, come watch me act, won’t you? Promise. It’s late. (Takes his hand) I can barely stand. I’m so tired, I’m so hungry… No, don’t come with me, I can go by myself; it’s not far to where the carriage is….So she brought him with her, didn’t she? Oh, well, what difference does it make? When You see Trigorin, don’t say anything about this… I love him. I love him even more than before. Subject for a short story. I love him, I love him, I love him to despair. Things were so lovely back then, Kostya, weren’t they? Remember? We thought life was bright, shining, joyful, and our feelings were like delicate flowers. Remember?
More about this monologue