Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sex Machine

Today I literally pulled a muscle and popped an ankle trying to be "sexy." The fact that it was in rehearsal as a prostitute character does not mitigate the shame or magnitude of this epic fail. But it does lead inevitably and conclusively to several indisputable truths about my life that settle once and for all certain doubts and knock certain people off their high horses - while simultaneously raising some interesting questions.

The facts are these: 1) never should I ever try to be sexy, it's obviously bad for my health; 2) strippers are to be envied and admired for their skill, control, and athletic prowess, and I should fall at their feet in reverence as so many other members of the human race are wont to do; and, finally, 3) I should just stop. I'm not a sex machine. I'm not a twerking goddess. Being on the Education For Life - i.e. abstinence - Team in high school has left it's permanent scar. Yes, that was a real thing that I did. This fact is also indisputable and epic. Fellow former EFL-ers (I know you're out there) know exactly what I mean.

The questions today's little incident raises, for me, are these - in this particular order: 1) SEX; 2) what is the line in acting between trying too hard and not daring enough; and, lastly, 3) how did I roll my ankle? I was barefoot.

I do not have answers for any of these questions, especially #1.

Anyway, embarrassing as it is to admit, "sexiness" onstage is rather an Achilles heel for me. The moment a director says, "Be sexy," I try to be sexy, and it's a disaster. I grow an extra left foot and begin to aspirate. Not sure why. Oh yes, that's right, because I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS AS AN ACTION. No doubt therapy is in order.

My take away from today, though, is actually a throw-back to graduate school. In voice class, which was usually my favorite subject throughout the years of training, our insightful guru Margaret Jansen was fond of saying "Trying is dying." (This always echoes in my head in Yoda's voice, no offense to Margaret..."Do or do not, there is no try...")

Anyway, trying is dying. Perhaps even literally. I'm lucky it was just my ankle this time.


  1. You crack me up, and add such spice to life. Love you friend!

  2. Your post makes me think of an ongoing conversation I have in my head and with friends about sexuality. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have trouble or complicated feelings with sexual identity, whether it’s from trauma, religious or ideological influence, or popular culture representations of sexuality and gender… or all three! I think it’s so cool that you talk about your complicated feelings openly as an artist and as a person. The more people who write about their experiences, the more space is dedicated a much needed dialogue about the complex nature of human sexuality.

    In short, I’m so happy, in a broad teacherly way and on a personal level, that intelligent people like you talk about sex and sexiness, all aspects of it, and make it something that’s approachable and human by acknowledging that 1. Everyone is different, 2. Everyone has fear, and 3. Everyone wants to and deserves to feel safe, comfortable, and satisfied. Thanks for being awesome!

  3. Yeah, when people say "be sexy" or "that's so sexy" all I wonder is: what the HECK does sexy mean??!? It is NOT a useful word. If you want the result of your actions to be what our culture calls "sexy," then you need to be other things, other words, other actions. But what exactly they are still mystifies me. You don't need therapy for not understanding that. Maybe for other things, but not because you can't "act sexy." ;-)

  4. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.