Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coach match!

Amanda Rogers. She lives in LA. She has been an actress, a producer, a director, and is most currently a playwright and screenwriter. Her ex-husband has a very successful one-man show. She said she was very impressed and inspired by the letter that I wrote (Shannon forwarded the letter to her). I explained my needs and goals to her and she responded by saying,
"Ok, this is great! When do you want to workshop your piece?"
"I don't know, I was thinking like, this summer?"
"Um, I was thinking more like, March. I think you need to push yourself a little if you want to get the ball rolling. So go ahead and find a theater, book a date before March 15th and let me know!"
"Whoa. Um, that's really soon."
"10 weeks is plenty of time."
"Great, talk to you next week!"

I hung up a little stunned. But motivated. I googled local SF theaters and started emailing inquiries. Just heard back from the Phoenix Theater today. They have March 17th available.
March 17th is it!

Now off to croak my way through new years eve gig...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coach fail, and editing

Still sick. I feel like I've forgotten how not to be constantly on the go...

Mwd and I have the piece 75 percent strung together and omg, it's just so so much flippin' writing. I am going to start performing parts of it at a weekly performance space that Mwd has put together which means more memorizing is imminent, which means the writing should ideally be as pared down as possible. The past few days I've been laying low in bed and editing my piece like a madwoman on a word rampage. I have been cutting and cutting and shortening everything. Will read the work to mwd in a week or so. Things are better between us; I apologized. I realized that I have issues around not paying her and trusting that she is still going to work at the level she was when I was paying her. I also worry that I am going to have to "pay her" in some sort of emotional way, like going out of my way to do this or that. But these fears are all projections based on the last relationship I had with my mentor, "N" (yes, the one that dissed me at my first performance). I feel I gave way too much time and emotional regard to her because she was letting me take her classes for free or a trade. Plus, I just really looked up to her because she had "made it" as an artist and I wanted to absorb as much of that as possible because that's what I wanted to do. But mwd is not "N". I just have to trust that it's going to be different this time around. But I still don't have a good feeling...

I interviewed my first potential coach today. She is a rep at a talent agency in NYC. I told her about my plans for my piece. She told me that because I was a "nobody" that I should not count on a thing happening with my piece. She told me that she thought it was therapeutically beneficial for me to be writing a piece about rape and wondered if I just needed to get more therapy to heal and move forward with my life. Then I learned that she had been brutally raped when she was 13 and her story was a public spectacle in Florida. She wasn't sure she wanted to be a part of making my rape story a public story because hers was so traumatizing. I got it. Her story shook me up though. I have been experiencing a lot of doubt about my piece since talking to her. But I have to separate my rape and my piece from her story.  I have to keep moving forward. I'll try out the other coach tomorrow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Coach search

Vanessa, my sister from another mister, has been encouraging me to look into getting a (omg am I really admitting this) life coach. She's been seeing one for a year now and swares by it in terms of meeting goals and getting shit done in a timely manner. Since my anxious flutter meltdown to mwd, I've been thinking it might be helpful to have someone to check-in with about my project and keep me on track. Vanessa suggested that I try out her coach, Shannon Ratay. Since the trial session was free, I decided to go for it...and...I loved it. It was not new-agey, it was not cheesy, it was not airy-fairy; Shannon was very down to earth, direct, encouraging, and responded enthusiastically to what my goals were. She called me back the next day and said she would love to work with me BUT she felt like there was a coach who was a better match for the goals I had in mind. She put a search out to her "coaching community" (is that what it's called??) and got several responses. So let the trial sessions begin...this is really weird.
Oh, I have gotten $400 dollars in donations from my mom's cousin and two other adult friends from my childhood. Woohoo!
Winter break, and I am as sick as a dog. Total bummer because I have to sing at this new years eve gig and my voice is completely gone. I hope it heals in the next week but I'm sensing that would be a christmas miracle. In the meantime, I am literally on forced rest.

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Response!

...from a good friend's mom. It made me cry.

On Dec 19, 2011, at 8:03 PM, Julia Brayshaw wrote:

Dear Heather!
Shivers are running through my body as I read this and feel your passion and conviction through your words. I am so very honored that you included me in this! I bow to your powers of transmutation and your courage, and I whole-heartedly believe in your deep healing. And I am so grateful to you for saying yes to the big work of alchemizing this trauma... thereby offering it to all of us for our collective, transpersonal healing. I am grateful to you for the mirror that you are holding, reflecting back my own powers of transmutation...for the mirror you are holding for all of us revealing this place of deep conviction and the depths of our true power.
Of course I am contributing to this. How can I answer your giant yes - to life! - with anything less than a YES!? The work you are undertaking is so, so, so, needed (has been so needed for so long) and its time is now!
Your writing is beautiful...I will watch the video...
whoa, I was feeling like I was about to go to sleep before I read this, now I am coursing with electricity.
Heather, may I remind you that you are in the middle (right now!) of your Saturn return -like Dayna, like Camillia - and like for the others in your amazing little "soul group", this is no small thing because Pluto (the dark forces, raw evolutionary force, death/rebirth, the power of transmutation) is part of this also (as is your path of destiny and it is co-inciding with a big, big time for us collectively, and, and...I could go on and on...but, in short, I'm amazed to see how you are undertaking this huge rite of passage...). So, I just had to include that little footnote in case you wanted the astrological perspective. ;-)
Ok, so that's all for now; you can count on me to be making a contribution, and to be cheering you on and holding you in my thoughts and prayers.
With love and respect,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Letter to the peeps

Ok I just sent my email out to 35 of my people. So now, it's like, real. I'm really doing it. I'm making a piece about rape. *#@#%! We shall see the response. Here's the letter:

Hi everyone,

I’m writing to only a few of you. You are the ones who have been there for me at one or many points in my life; you are the ones who are still there for me; and you are the ones who believe in me.

As many of you know, on May 16th, 2010, I went to the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race where I was drugged, then kidnapped and raped by a stranger. This was followed by a 4 hour hospital exam where I was scraped for evidence; put on post-rape HIV medication for 60 days; enlisted by the SF sex crimes unit for a do-it-yourself investigation and confronted with the shame and isolation of victim blaming and self blame. It was a strange, difficult, and complicated time.

Last October, 2010, I went to the Bioneers conference where I heard a woman give a speech about violence against women in India. It was a fine speech, but it was scholarly, statistical, and impersonal. I got a fiery knowing in my gut that I could do better and that I needed to perform about my rape. This performance was a way I could contribute my strengths as a performer and writer towards a greater and much needed cause; this was MY work.

In the past year, I have put in countless hours writing, performing, taking performance classes, rewriting, performing more, and so on. The piece I have written is about my rape and it raises awareness about rape against women. But it is equally about the complexity of being a human. Universal themes have emerged through the specifics and uniqueness of my story: self-doubt; shame; need; suffering; forgiveness; healing; and love.

I have exhausted my finances in the initial stage of this project. The writing is done. It is an edgy, fearless, moving, humorous, and strong piece of work. The next steps are crucial. I financial support to work with my director and dramaturge in order to transform my writing into a high caliber piece of theater that I will tour at colleges nationwide and theaters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. I am a solid performer.  My director and dramaturge are highly talented people who are deeply invested and believe strongly in me and my piece. With their direction I get better and better and my piece shines brighter and brighter.

FYI: Once the piece is further along, I am confident I can get financial backing from foundations, organizations and a producer. If you happen to have contacts in these worlds, or contacts of anyone who might want to support, that would be very useful to me as well.

I'm including a link to video clip of a recent performance in its most elemental, work-in-progress stage.

I’ve also included some text from the piece in the body of this email as well as attached it.

To sum it up, my piece is going to make change. And I'm impassioned, devoted, and oh so gratefull to be using my gifts towards it. I'm not stopping with this piece, like I said earlier, this is MY work in the world.

Thank you so much for reading.

Please contact me if you have any questions at all. I didn’t want to overload you with information. This is just the bones of it.

Please know that whatever you choose to do, I am so grateful to all of you for your love, your friendship, and your support.



Donation Options:

One time payment via Paypal:

By mail:
Heather Marlowe
1333 4th St. #5
San Rafael, CA

Writing Samples by Heather Marlowe

The Beast Women and Me

“Heather tell me your dream from last night,” my therapist says. I have the red fleece blanket around me. It smells like incense in her office. My eyes are closed and I can see my dream unfurling like a scroll.

"I am a carrying a torch and I am in a cave. I am leading half beasts/half women through the cave and we are running."

"And what happens next.”

“I know exactly where I’m headed. There is no doubt in my mind. We run and I start shouting. I can see him ahead.”

“Who can you see, Heather.”

“The king. Now I am roaring and the beast women have fallen behind and it is just me. I’m  running towards the king in my bare feet. And when I reach him I stab my hand into his heart and he starts to scream. Then I start pulling it from his heart.”

“Pulling what.”

“It’s my loss. I am moaning and seething and grunting and pulling and ripping it from the king. Then I turn around and run out of the cave, holding it above my head as it tumbles out. It is a golden, shimmering river and it twinkles and glows and illuminates the dark cave. The other beast women run with me in silence while I carry the river high above my head. And it just keeps coming. My sparkling loss keeps coming out.”

The Perks of Being Raped

1) Friends take you out for sympathy rape dinners and buy you treats. But it only lasts for a couple weeks tops. I got free Puerto Rican, pho, Chinese, Mediterranean, sushi, and ice cream from Bi-Rite.

2) If you’re in a shitty living situation, you can break your lease because you got raped. I left my shithole apartment immediately.

3) You can get out of late fees from parking tickets. You still have to pay the base level ticket but they will wave the late fee on the account that you were raped. I saved myself $356 dollars.

And that’s about it.

I did think about calling my chiropractor and asking if there was any kind of discount I could get if I’d just been raped.

Then I got to thinking about other things I could use that would make me feel better. Like, they really should give you a rape goody bag with these items:

Free massages and chiropractic adjustments, not done by a man

An on-call personal bodyguard for up to 6 months

A drastic haircut and color plus a backup wig

A gun of your choice

Some sort of Rape Bible -- like a be-all, end-all resource

A lifetime membership for self-defense classes, specifically the classes with the mock assailant so you can get your rage out in a contained, productive manner

Cooing my Bruises to Stay

For a week after the rape it was easy to understand that it wasn’t my fault. When the rape doctor took pictures of the bruises all over my inner thighs, my inner arms, my butt, my back. When I saw all the marks I understood. That there was a struggle. When she measured the bruises -- purple and blue blot evidence that something violent happened. The vaginal tears, the anal tears, the sharp pain in my pelvis. The semen all over my belly. All evidence that something wrong happened to me. Even though the rapist told me, that he raped me because I wanted it. The bruises were proof that it didn’t want it. That I tried to fight. That I was held down. I remember sitting in my friend’s shower hours after the rape examination and rinsing the rape off of my body. I didn’t want to wash it off because the stench, the grime, the fluids -- I wanted it to belong to me forever as proof. I soaped my body and I stared really close at my bruises. I remember kissing them and caressing them and cooing at them.  You are so pretty, I told them. And please could they just stay. Please don’t heal. Don’t go. Because when they go then it is just me left over. With no memory of anything. No evidence of anything but the words from the rapist saying, “you wanted to have sex.”

The same with the drugs, I wished I had taped the rape doctor saying, “oh honey, please let it all up. Just let it all come up. There you go. You were drugged, this is what drug facilitated rape looks like. Let me get you a pill for the nausea.” I would listen to that tape over and over.

Titles of some other segments of my piece:

I only know what I know

Hipster Invasion of Privacy

Stumbling and Vomiting through Geary Street

Sid the Vampire

Genki Ramen Rebirth

Waterbottle Drugging

Detective Work on my Own

Drug Rape is a New Crime

It’s my Fault because I had a Mimosa

Just my Hands go to 4th and Anza

Mining Rapeland

Tina says Get a Grip and Get a Job

Steely Sleep Retard

Seven Labyrinths of Hell

My Rapist Suckled Breast

How Comforting when the Rape Hotline is Busy

Why can’t I be a Straight A Rape Victim

My Maybe Rapist is Cute

My Daydreaming Body Parts

Rape isn’t a Big Deal

I’m my own Private Rape Detective

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The hustle and flow

December has been so hectic and busy! I have the all-school Christmas concert in 5 days and all the teachers are on edge with getting it perfect for the parents. I have been non-stop rehearsing with the kids for a month now and they are so beyond sick of singing the same songs over and over again. I can't wait for the concert to be over and to have two weeks off! Meanwhile, I've started up another babysitting gig with my buddy Alex Alouf. Her parents are going through a separation and Alex could use some extra support. I don't really have the time for it but I truly adore this girl. I've been with her for almost five years now and she doesn't have that many close friends at school so I want to be there for her. My private lesson clientele has also increased and now I am teaching ten kids. Oh and band practice has picked up! Did I mention I'm in a band? Winchester Revival (not too stoked about the name). Think Mazzy Star meets Radiohead meets The Police-ish-ish-ish. I play violin, write lyrics and sing. So I'm now rehearsing 4 days out of the week: 2x with my band, 2x on my show. Gotta hustle to make it all happen and somehow still pay the bills. This artist lifestyle is not so glamorous as evidenced by the pile of dishes in my sink piling ever higher...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stringing it togeths!

We are starting to put the piece together! We are, we are, we really are. I have archived the writing I don't like and the remaining writing is now to a complete enough place that it can be strung together. I mean, I think it could definitely use some editing but my director said not to worry about this right now. My director asked me if I could describe imagistically what I saw my piece looking like. The first thing I saw was an accordian opening and closing. Then I saw one of those flip-down pamphlets where the pages keep unflapping. I want my piece to be strung together through different glimpses and flavors of my rape while following a central story arc. My director said she didn't know anything about story arc which makes me a bit concerned but we agreed to have a first pass through and go from there. This is how the process goes:
Director: "um what about this part going first?"
Heather: "Ok, yeah, I was just thinking that."
Director: "Ok cool. Does any blocking come up for you."
Heather: "Yeah, what about this."
Director: "Yeah, I was just thinking that."
Heather: "You were not!"
Director: "Yes I was."
Heather: "We are such freaks. Ok, so what about this part going next?"
Director: "Ok. I was just thinking that too."
Heather: "You were not!"
Director: "Shut up. Yes I was."
On a financial note, I have totally used up all my extra money paying her for her services so I'm going to write a letter (and include a link to my most recent performance) to just a few friends and family to ask them if they would be interested in supporting my show through donations. I told my director about my plans and she kindly offered to edit the email as well as edit trailer of my video. She also told me that she felt like this show was going to be a success so that she was ok to work on spec for now and get paid back later. Ugh, I hate owing people money. It really puts me on edge.  So I am struggling with the fact that I have to trust that there is going to be a financial return and that I will be able to pay her back at some point.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rape and Opera

Performance debrief. I barely moved on stage. I walked to one area and stood then another area and stood but mostly I sat in a chair. And I said my lines in the most natural way possible while making eye contact with the audience. Which feels next to impossible when you're doing something SO unnatural like performing in front of an audience. About rape! I laughed too much, I know that for sure. And I missed lines. But other than that, I think I did an ok job for this new style of performing. It's hard to know when it's so different from the joking, more animated, way more physical style of my last pieces. But my director told me that, for now, I needed to go to this extreme in order to get the other style out of my body. I couldn't even more my hands! They remained in my lap the whole time. Afterwards a couple people came up and gave me what felt like sympathetic looks and said, "thank you for sharing your story." Totes annoying! But I can see why this bare storytelling style would provoke one to say these kinds of things. I could very well have been in a therapy session talking to my therapist! I snuck into the audience after I finished to watch the following act. Everyone's eyes popped out of their sockets as this overweight guy came on stage and started operatically belting out about being fat. Epic fail to whoever came up with the order!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rehearsal success

Rehearsed a bunch with my director for my upcoming show. She's been making me do all my lines in different voices, then while I'm moving about the room doing different movements, then back to my normal voice. Just a ton of awkwardness doing this in front of my director who I project is judging me and thinking how much I suck. I know it's not true but it's what's going in my head at the moment. Well, I did really suck a lot of the time. But we cracked up about it and I started over again. At the end of the rehearsal, I got it. I said my lines and my director was really impressed. I wish I knew what I had done to make myself perform the way I had! I wasn't even aware I was doing it! My director said my face looked really soft, my cheeks were warm, and my voice had a liquid quality to it. Now if I can just capture this essence for next week?! I definitely improv-ed some of my lines which is not allowed. We'll see how next week goes. Bah! In the meantime, it's memorizing in the car while commuting to work, on walks, in bed, while cleaning. I have no life!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Memorizing hell

Six months ago I was asked to perform at a local SF venue by Thao Nyugen, a friend of Martha Rynberg's. So yeah, those six months are up. I have two weeks. Mwd knows about the performance and said she would help me prep for it. Last week I read her the material from the hospital rape examination. She stopped me and said, "That's it. That's the section you should memorize for your show." So that is what I have been begrudgingly, bemoaningly doing. I have not had to memorize lines since college drama 101. My other rape related performance's were loosely memorized and blocked but my director said that my piece had to be word for word. It's awful. Like, the equivalent of memorizing facts for your absolute least favorite subject. And when I practice out loud I sound like a robot or a wooden log because I don't have the words memorized well enough for the piece to just flow naturally out of me.
In terms of the whole piece, I'm at a point in the writing process with my director that I now have a ton of material. So now the task is to read through it all and keep only the parts that I like.
Teaching is keeping me on my toes. I'm almost two months in and I think the kids and I have solidly established a teacher/student authority and relationship. Thank god for another one of Martha's friends, Maura Shannon, who generously agreed to mentor me in music teaching. Her lesson plans, classroom management tips, and general overall knowledge of this profession have been invaluable to me! I'm working three jobs right now: music teacher and nanny by day/artist by night.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friend crush

My director is a totally cool, weird, odd, funny woman with great taste in movies. Plus she's an interesting, captivating performer. I saw her perform a week ago and she rocked it. She does this blend in her performances: monologues, songs on guitar and accordian, juggling, cabaret. She's got a great stage presence. I was really impressed. I'm really psyched to get to know her better through this project and I think I can learn a lot from her.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing, writing, more writing

I met with my director for the fourth time today and read her some of the more recent writing. She liked some of it and got bored at other parts. She wants me to get into my rage and anger towards the rapist. Like, what I would do to him if I had him cornered. She wants me to make up fantasy sequences. She also had me move around and do some improvisational exercises. It was a bit awkward, and I was nervous at first since I don't know her that well but then I warmed up and had some fun. She gave me movement repetitions to practice so that I have good stage presence. I had a ton of fun with her. I feel like we have a good connection and that we're headed somewhere. I left her a message again saying that I think she's the bees knees and that I felt very fortunate for our connection.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Humor me, Inspector 3

I've been writing a lot about the rape and my feelings around it per my director's instruction. It got me feeling charged up about my (still!) unprocessed rape kit. I got the balls to call about it today. To be honest, it's confusing to call. Because it's been a year and a half now and I'm in a much different place. I have a job, I'm settled in my own place, I've been through a lot of therapy, I've performed twice about the rape -- I've waaaay moved on from the initial shock and trauma. So what's the use in calling? Calling about my rape kit has that joyful, magical touch of putting me right back to the place that I was the day I was raped. Powerlessness. To the justice system. So who cares, just move on, Heather. That's the stronger thing to do. But then I think, what if they processed it and they forgot to contact me. What if there were results? Maybe calling is the stronger thing to do?
The third inspector on my case talked to me for awhile. He said that my kit was still shelved in Nor Cal. The suspect's DNA still at SFPD. No funding at this time for "my type of case." He promised it would eventually be processed though and that I would be notified no matter what. He said that even if there was no match that the DNA found on me would go into a national DNA database of offenders so that if the offender were to re-offend and be id'ed, the DNA found on me would match up. He didn't have any idea how long it would be. I purposefully turned off any feelings for this conversation. I disassociated from myself. I hung up, I just stared at my computer screen for awhile. I blinked a lot. I cracked my back.
Now I'm writing this entry and then I'm writing for my piece some more.
It's not worth feeling anything. I won't let this affect me. Not. Worth. It!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

1st meeting with director

Yeah! It went really well! The director came to my place. She had on a cute black A-line dress and converse. She is 53 but she looks ten years younger. To begin, she asked me to just read some of my writing from the rape. Within the first few sentences she was cracking up and saying that she liked my writing a lot. I basically read my writing for two hours to give her a sense of the story. She asked questions and then asked me to write some more on certain parts of the rape; feelings, textures, more personal narrative around the emotional terrain of being raped. I said I'd give it a go. When she left I called her house and left her a voicemail saying that I really had a great time working with her.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New job

Started my new job today. I am the head music teacher at The Alta Vista School (grades pre-k through 2nd) in SF's mission district. I have never taught music to kids in a classroom setting before, (only individual lessons) so I was beyond nervous. The kids were loud, boisterous and talked back. I couldn't remember any of their names and my voice wobbled when I sang. The classrooms were small and the teachers remained in the room during my session which didn't help my nervousness. I left completely overloaded, overstimulated and with kids songs stuck in my head.  This always happens with a new job (well, minus the kids songs). Learning curves take awhile to catch up to. At least I'm making money at a legit job. Before this it was unemployment, occasional nannying, and private lessons.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A maybe new director

Today I met with a possible director at Scoop in fairfax. I barely made it, so did not want to go. I am still in a horrid mood from the breakup. But I'm off the Helen Mirren videos so that's progress I guess.
I auditioned for this director's piece last summer. I was in complete shock from the rape so pretty sure I wasn't as "alive" as the other actresses were. But my mentor (yeah, the same one who was so cold at my show) had suggested that, "I get over the rape and move forward" with something productive so I dragged myself to read for her piece. Shocker that I didn't get the part.
But I really liked her piece. It had magical, ethereal, emotional elements to it that I often struggle for in my writing. Plus there was physicality. So I contacted her on the hope that she might be interested.

The meeting went well. We ate ice cream and talked about rape. We dissed and laughed about the marginal theater scene in SF which led me to telling all the things I didn't want my piece to be. She said she was definitely interested in working with me but said that she's not really a director so we should just give it a trial and that either party could bail out anytime with no hard feelings. I told her I'd be in touch.

Now I am back in bed. Dude, maybe I need to get on a different anti-depressant. This breakup residual is really sticking; WTF I wasn't even in love.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

SF theater festival flake

I'm going through a breakup. (hmmm, did I fail to mention that yes! I did cross that threshold of dating again after getting raped!!) And even though it was a 6 month on and off shortish relationship, I am still going through the loss. And barely getting out of bed. And watching youtube videos of Helen Mirren and wishing that she was my mom. OMG, did i really just write that. If there was ever an indicator of depression.
So I am supposed to perform my piece at the SF theater festival tomorrow. I tried rehearsing it today for about 30 minutes and was quickly reminded about how much I am at odds with the last piece. So then I tried to dredge up my first piece and I could barely remember a word of it. So then I got back in bed and called Martha to flake. I'm such an asshole! I should have given her more notice!! But, as I've learned, there is nothing worse (performance-wise), than performing my piece about rape and then feeling like shit about it afterward. So I have to be ok with this and just move forward. Hopefully without Helen Mirren as my fantasy mom. Talk about true shame. :-/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pre-show cathart, post-show decisions

Ok,whoa. I dunno if I was pmsing or what but before the show tonight I broke down crying in my car. Our call was at 6. And from 6 to 6:30 I didn't stop crying. It was a deep, thick cry. From my bones. It actually felt great. And I wasn't thinking anything while I cried. Actually once I thought, thank you, heather. thank you for keeping going.
Jessica and my ex boyfriend, John came to the performance. Jessica loved it. She said that she felt "my voice" or more a flavor of me. I felt surprised. I didn't really feel like me at all. But I was thankful for the compliment. John said that I could be more vulnerable and not make so many jokes. He said, it doesn't need to be funny all the time. Rape is not funny. I agree with his direction.
I sat in my car after the show thinking and staring up at the glowing street lamp. This style of performance that Martha is trained in, which is very stand-up comedy based, is not quite right for me. I need humor but I also need someone who can direct me to depth and vulnerability. Who can I approach to help me direct my piece?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My new piece pretty much sucks

Just back from class. Ok, I am totes not happy with my piece. Like, at all. But we are at week 4 already and I don't know how to change it without starting over or taking it in a different direction. This piece feels too forced. It's like I am trying too hard to make jokes about the rape and not say how I really felt about the whole ordeal at the inspector's office: scared shitless. But to be honest and vulnerable would completely change the tone of the piece. I think? Plus I get freaked out that if I choose to take this tone, the audience will see me as a fucked-up, attention-seeking victim. Which I am not. Plus my onstage physicality. Ugh, so disorganized. Martha doesn't really give much direction in this arena so I am just bumbling along, trying to come up with movement that fits but isn't too influenced from my previous mentor, who BTW, I am still NOT talking to!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Solo Performance, summer intensive

I signed up again. Rape performance dabbling, part II. This time we have only six weeks (holy balls!) to put together a 15-20 minute show. Last time I performed about the do-it-yourself search for the house where I was allegedly. This time I'm gonna perform the conversations and meetings I had with the inspector at the sex crimes unit.
Today was the first day of class. Again, five girls, 1 bro. I more outspoken since I knew Martha and the format of the class. Still, though, it's uncomfortable telling people, "oh hey, yeah, I was raped. You go ahead and perform about your relationship problems, your family issues, your love of kung fu, you know, normal things, and I'll just be tackling the big R in 15 minutes. No bigs."
Met a cool fellow performer. Vanessa Alabarces. Puerto-Rican/Cuban. Fellow brownie! I started to jokingly diss her in class about something and she turned to me, looked me straight in the eye and said, "I don't appreciate you interrupting with your hasty conclusions about me." I felt embarrassed for a second but mostly thought, looks like this girl and I are going to be good friends. Again, everyone was shocked at how my rape had been handled by the SFPD.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Bay to Rapers", 1 year anniversary

I fled the SF today. Well, almost. I stayed at my friends last night and planned to meet her at my aunt's timeshare in Napa. But in order to get there I had to go through the city. I took the backroads, certain that I wouldn't cross any stragglers from the race.
In front of me, a neon dressed group drunkedly stumbling along a street corner. One of the girls was barfing. Two guys nearly walked into oncoming traffic. My vision completely blanked. I pulled over to the curb, gasping for breath. inhale, exhale. 10 minutes passed and I was able to drive again. I made it to Napa. I didn't tell my friend about what happened. I felt ashamed that I would be having this type of reaction.
It's been a year. My rape kit is still on a shelf. The suspect could have targeted another victim today. I watched a movie with my friend in a napa timeshare suite but I honestly don't remember what it was. I kept spacing out and re-entering the fragments of this day a year ago.
I feel Numb.
and Blank.
Blank like those first three seconds
when you wake in the morning,
when absolutely nothing fills your mind.
I talked with my friend about blah blah blah and her family while eating organic chicken and mashed potatoes in the bouge restaurant.
Hours later, after she fell asleep, I started shaking in my bed.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Busback Flash

This evening I was driving back from the city. I entered the tunnel right before the golden gate bridge and switched lanes. I was behind a bus. The bus back read in fluorescent green lettering Bay to Breakers 2011. Before I even finished reading, I spontaneously vomited all over myself and swerved into the next lane. So gross! I pulled off at the vista lookout and opened my door just in time to vomit again. oh joy. I tore off all my clothes and mopped up the vomit on my seat and steering wheel. I sat in my car in my bra and underwear and blasted the heat, completely hazed out, watching tourists come and take night photos of the cityscape. Omg, will this shit ever go away?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Post Show *%@**&

Ok so I think that I did a solid job performing. For only 8 weeks of prep time. The house was full. I closed the show. The audience clapped for a long time. I had a dozen or so friends come to support including a past mentor and close friend of mine whose style of performance has influenced me a lot. I used a lot of physicality in my show which I had learned to do in her class. After the show, all my friends were coming up to me, hugging me, congratulating me and telling me how strongly I had performed. When my mentor approached me she didn't look me in the eye, barely hugged me, said "we should talk", and then left. I burst into tears on the spot.
Today, I told her I needed space and to not contact me. She wrote back all confused and upset. I pressed delete. I am hurt and pissed. This was my first time performing a very unfinished, very new piece on a very difficult subject matter. You don't treat someone coldly like the way she treated me right after they perform. I feel very re-traumatized. I cried in my bed all afternoon. It should have been a very healing, successful evening for me. I don't want her in my life at the moment. I'm trying to focus on the positive things.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pre-show fretting

Holy balls. I can't believe I am performing in two weeks on this subject material. It's sort of surreal. People don't perform about rape. Let alone joke about it like I am planning to do in my performance. omg. omg. Maybe I am totally cray-cray. But Martha and the rest of the class think the piece is really strong so I have to forge ahead. My main concern is that people will think it's my fault and that I am a victim who is just messed up. Or an angry man hating bitch who is using her audience to cathart and rage. But I am an artist and I am trying to make good art. My subject matter just happens to be rape.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Starting a solo performance class

I have been trying to figure out the best way to go about creating a performance for my piece. I had seen a one-woman show a few months back called, I heart Hamas, by Jennifer Jajeh. I thought her show was interesting and followed the thread of where she had developed her piece. I signed up for an 8 week Solo Performance Workshop with Martha Rynberg immediately.
The class meetings are at Stagewerxs, a basement community theater right off of Union Square. Today we all met for the first time; five women, one man and Martha. We had to take the stage individually to talk about what we were interested in performing about. This was the first time I had talked about my rape to strangers. My classmates were all shocked, appalled, and intrigued with how my case had been handled by the SFPD. Martha gave me my homework: to come up with just one part of the whole story that I wanted to tell because I only had 20 minutes on stage.