Today I am honored to tell you about my upcoming theater project The Body Stories - an original production I am creating together with fellow Actors Studio Drama School MFA alum and fearless truth-teller Larissa Dzegar. While together at school, Larissa, myself, and a gaggle of bold performing artists discovered a uniting passion for physical storytelling that has developed into this collaboration. We're taking our secret obsession public in a performance on January 22, 2012 in New York City and we couldn't be more excited to share our work with you!
We all have complicated relationships with our bodies - I myself am no exception, and that is my inspiration for creating The Body Stories. Here's a bit of my story: bodies always confused me. Puberty hit me way too early. I was wearing a D-cup bra by age 10 and routinely experiencing the humiliation of sexual harassment. Much of my time was spent being embarrassed and uncomfortable and ashamed of my body. My habits, posture, and clothes were designed to hide my body. I didn't know how to handle the attention I was getting, or how to connect my body with my personality and the world around me. It all got even more complicated when I couldn't figure out how to reconcile my religious culture with the realities of my physical life and desires. I wore an abstinence pledge ring but spent the night at my boyfriend's house. I advocated healthiness but starved myself down 30 pounds. My body often felt like the enemy. Why was it was so hard to live in my body? What did my body wanted from me, or I from it? These questions haunted me throughout my teens and early twenties. My person was torn in two, afraid to let one part of me know what another part was doing.
It's only over my years working as a professional artist in New York City that I've re-thought my body and yearned to explore these questions about bodies as a theater piece. I am emboldened by the discovery that I am not alone in my struggles. My body's journey is culminating in this project, where my body - along with the bodies of a team of incredibly brave and talented performers - gets a taste of freedom, connection, and liberation. My body, finally, gets to tell its side of the story!
The Body Stories is a blessing and a triumph for me, and I firmly believe that this project can inspire hope, acceptance, compassion, and healthy body awareness in others. I have never felt this strongly about a theater piece before, and know that this will be a life-changing production for me - and not just for me. We all have bodies. That's why The Body Stories is truly for everyone.
Myself, Larissa, and our team are willing to work for no pay but I'm sure you can imagine that even an efficient production in New York City requires funds for rehearsal and performance space. Our goal is to raise $1500 by November 1st, 2011. We are now requesting the contribution of our friends and families in making this project possible. Your support will breathe life and possibility into our show, and any monetary amount that you can invest is a lifeline for us.
Please visit our indigogo fundraiser website to make a donation and learn more about The Body Stories.
To learn more about The Body Stories, or to find out other ways you can get involved, please contact us! Your body also has a story...if you'd like to share it with us, don't hesitate to reach out! We are open and curious to learn and grow, confident that this is simply one rendition of an ongoing project. We welcome any of your questions or comments.
Thank you very much for your attention and consideration. And thank you for being a part of our story.