I stripped down again for my art (I did this summer as well, in Note to Self, but with a sheet wrapped around me I was more covered than I normally am) yesterday. I performed an autodrama for my acting class with Kent Gash (I did one last year as well, and it would appear I didn't bother blogging about my experience with it, which is unfortunate, because it was quite a moment) - to explain briefly, it's a themed, theatrical performance of the high points or influential moments of your life, done in ten minutes, and no more.
Last year my life metaphor was a script with the scenes out of order, this year it was removing the armor I have created because of things that have happened to me. I'll get pictures of the suit up soon - it's stashed at school since I didn't have a chance to bring it home. As my pieces of armor were taken off, I told the stories that had affected me to create my psychological and emotional armor in my life, and beneath my armor I was in nothing but my bra and underwear. I had decided that if I was going to be exposing myself emotionally by telling these exceptionally painful and unflattering stories of myself, why not go all the way and show off my whole body? Physical exposure was a part of my stories, it mirrored what my brain was doing, so I decided to brave my class staring at the completely exposed version of myself.
I've gotten stark on stage before, so why was this different? I was being overtly sexual in Some Girl(s), I was standing still while speaking in my autodrama. Why was it a different kind of danger?
Because it was all me. It was my life, it was my face, they were my words. I couldn't hide behind a script, I couldn't blame it on a character. Whatever they got to see was me and no one else, whatever ugliness and shame and hurt and strangeness they got to see could not be tucked away or filtered. It was not just for audiences of people I did not know - it was for peers I have to face every day and socially survive with.
But I chose to do it for myself, to challenge and be real and risk things I would never have done years ago. I'm so glad I did it.
Kind of neat to have a follow-up blog post about a topic I got to explore down the road. Maybe there will be a part 3 someday if they make me go nudist on y'all.