Monday, July 13, 2009

Butterfly: Chapter Three

Those of you who saw the production of Butterfly know that the choice was made for David to remove his shirt during the transition scene. Since I was David, the reality of the situation was that the choice was made for me to remove my shirt.

A lot of people seemed to be disturbed by this initially. The strange thing was, that for the most part, I was not one of them.

Upon my first reading of the script I noted that David removed his shirt. I simply assumed this was part of the role and accepted the role knowing this. This wasn't the biggest challenge about the show for me. I'd seen and been a part of productions with nudity - sometimes partial, sometimes full nudity. My feelings on the subject have always been that artistic nudity is very beautiful. The human body is a beautiful thing. A powerful thing.

I'm not saying that removing clothing onstage doesn't require a piece of courage - it does, but not the same kind that people think, at least not in my opinion at present.

The only time I freaked out about it was the first time, in rehearsal, that I did the entire transformation. After that, it was just another part of the piece for me. One of my favorite parts, actually, if you include the entire transformation as a part of that section, which I think is ridiculous if you don't. Looking at someone taking off her shirt in isolation is almost certainly pornographic. Looking at it in context changes things considerably.

At rehearsal, the space was much more intimate than the stage.

We were in a classroom at the College of Southern Maryland and the classroom included huge windows to the hallway so that people passing could see inside.

I was set up against the solid part of the wall, so no one could really see me, at least not the front of me, but it was still nerve wracking - someone might open the door, etc. It was also strange because I knew the cast/directors would be studying me the first time I did it - not in a creepy way, but studying to see if they liked what was happening, the picture created, etc. Doing it right, for me, was always an important thing, since I'm admittedly a perfectionist, especially when it comes to theatre.

On stage, the moment passed like any other. It was sort of a breathless part in the show, the beginning of the transformation. I loved the silent hum of the audience behind me. It gave the moment an added beauty that never existed in rehearsals.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...