Monday, April 09, 2012

So That Happened

As it turns out, all of my worry was for nothing.

We went in and shot the play last night and I actually had a lot of fun doing it. It was kind of amazing to me (and everyone else there) how fresh the show was considering we've not touched it in two and a half months. But I think we were all still finding new things in the script to play with and it was just plain fun.

The end product is not going to be posted on the interweb for all to see. It will be distributed to the five of us involved in the production on DVD to just...have. So we have it. In case we need it for something, or want to take a quick jaunt down memory lane for a few minutes. Meaning, I don't think I need to worry about the girls from high school or random dudes in LA seeing it and finding me physically repulsive. Beyond which, we got to watch it last night when we were done shooting and I didn't find myself nearly as physically repulsive as I had built myself up in my head to be. I'm not saying I have a perfect beach bod that I'm going to run around all summer flaunting it in a bikini or anything, but I also don't think I look like Jabba the Hut, either, so that's reassuring. I think it also helped that the cameraman was doing facial close-ups whenever possible so my rear end spends quite a bit of time not on screen, which is good. If I'm allowed to say it, though, I have super crazy long legs. Just sayin'.

Anyway. All that worry for nothing. It feels good to have that under my belt. And safely tucked away where I have some sort of control over who gets to see it. That makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fear of Exposure

I have to admit, I'm a little bit scared and nervous.

A couple of months ago, I was in a showcase of plays at the theater where I had been taking classes. All around, it was an amazing experience and I got to work with incredible people and just plain had a great time doing the showcase.

One of the pieces I was in had me playing a hooker that nobody wants, essentially. The show was about these two guys who have a fantasy and are confronted with a reality and don't really like the reality. It's a great piece and I loved doing it, even though it involved a rather small costume (nothing that would garner an X rating, barely R, if you ask me. All of the important bits were covered). The whole point of casting someone like me in this role is that I am not a size zero and in a way, it was empowering to be on stage every night in that role, possibly making audience members uncomfortable for how exposed I was physically and emotionally.

This coming Sunday, we're filming the piece so that we have the piece filmed. I don't remember whose idea it was - if the playwright wants it for his portfolio or if it is supposed to be the start of a "film bits of theater" type project that will include other plays down the line or if we're just doing it for the sheer joy of doing it, but we're filming the piece on Sunday. And I'm nervous.

That kind of physical exposure in live theater is easy for me to wrap my brain around and get comfortable with. It is sort of like ripping a band-aid off - you just take off the coat and there you are in a halter top and short shorts and you still have a show to do. Hopefully you can affect the audience enough that they aren't picking apart every one of your physical flaws in the four minutes you are on stage.

That kind of physical exposure on film is daunting. People will be able to freeze frame on me while I'm sitting down or twisting oddly so I'll look even bigger than I actually am. People who aren't of the mindset that they are going to see art that is making a statement may have access to see it. And while I am perfectly comfortable doing it and kind of flattered that I get to represent the non-stick girl in a "sexy" role, I know that not everyone who watches the film will see it that way. I know that girls I went to high school with will watch it and think, "Oh my god, she looks terrible!" so that they can feel better about themselves. Even random strangers may post comments (depending on how the film is distributed) talking about how repulsive it is to have a woman of my shape on film wearing so little. Depending on how the film is distributed, I kind of feel like I have to brace myself for an onslaught of "Sweet jebus, she's disgusting," because I'm not what you expect to see when you expect to see a hooker.

That being said, I'm not going to not do it. Yes, I'm a little scared and nervous, but I'm not going to let that stop me (is that what people are referring to when they call me fearless?). The people who saw the show live were impressed with my bravery and emotional presence in the scene - even people who didn't know me. I made a great impression on fellow actors whose work I have long admired. So I'm not going to let a little fear stand in the way of producing art I believe in. And I'm not going to starve myself between now and Sunday to try to lose two pounds before the shoot. I like food. Food is my friend. Food is necessary for survival and I would much rather look like this than be unhappy, groggy, and grumpy all of the time because I'm not eating enough carbohydrates. I think The Brothers Green will agree with me on this and as we all know, what The Brothers Green say is law. I mean that in the best possible way - I've been a little obsessed with watching their videos in all of their various forms recently because they're just, well, charming, intelligent, and funny.

But I digresss.

I'm looking forward to having a record of this project - that part is really cool. I'm just nervous about what people will say about my physical shape, which can best be described as "round." People can be mean. Especially people you don't know on the internet. So I'm apologizing in advance if I need to lean on the people who love me a little bit and ask for reassurances that you still love me even though I'm rounder than your typical Hollywood starlet. I do sort of hope that if more people like me get to play more roles like this and gain more exposure, maybe we can shift (albeit slowly) the general perception of female beauty away from something that is unattainable, unhealthy, and detrimental to so many. Baby steps, right? Here's hoping this can be one of them.

Or maybe I'm worrying about nothing because the only people who will ever see it are people who saw the live production anyway.I do tend to worry about things needlessly from time to time.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Grumble, Grumble

I've been angry a lot lately and I don't like that. If you are one of the people I have been angry in the general direction of lately, I apologize for that. I know who and what is making me angry (for the most part), but I don't necessarily have good mechanisms in place for dealing with those specific things or people. I don't know what to do when confronted with incompetence and pettiness and apathy and dismissal.  For the most part, I think I'm pretty good at keeping the focus of my anger where it belongs - toward the specific instance of incompetence or pettiness or apathy or dismissal - as opposed to just letting loose and being a bitch to every one and every thing around me.  But I don't like having this much anger.  It's not good for me to be angry so much of the time.

I also know that the Universe doesn't owe me anything. The only thing it could be argued that I really have a right to is oxygen, so I shouldn't get so bent out of shape when I follow the rules and am told there is a reward at the end and then find out that there is no reward. Nobody owes me a reward. I have no more right to it than anyone else. Though it sometimes feels like I have less of a chance to get it than anyone else. I know there have been instances in my life where it came down to the difficult decision of choosing me or choosing someone else and nine times out of ten, the someone else is chosen. I'm not the sort that gets picked. I'm not the sort that wins things. And I have to wonder if I don't get the benefit of the doubt (or whatever it is that ultimately makes someone else get picked over me) because people just kind of know I'll be okay without that opportunity. Which I usually am. It just gets frustrating to not get that opportunity, you know?

I think it is important to recognize anger. To be able to name it and place it where it is supposed to go. But I also think it is important to let it go once it has been identified, and I need to get better at that. Holding on to this much anger is detrimental to my well-being and makes me a person I don't want to be.

Sometimes, I just need to let it go.