I started rehearsals for my new show last week, which means I’m back in training: exercise, watching what I eat, no smoking, the whole nine. It’s nice to be back on this routine – I feel great, for one thing – and I’m trying to remain extra-diligent about it this time because I’m being called upon to do something that I have never done before.
I’m taking my clothes off. Onstage.
That’s right: your friendly neighborhood theatre reviewer is going to don the birthday suit. In front of a paying audience. I can tell you right now that it won’t be the full monty, but it’ll be close enough. My director and I are still working out the details, but let me put it this way: anyone who doesn’t want to get to know me that well probably shouldn’t come.
You may recall that I blogged about this topic earlier in the year. Back in April, I wrote that “until recently, I usually found onstage nudity to be frightfully distracting” and wondered if I had the guts to do it myself. Now here I am, five months later, doing it. I guess I have some explaining to do.
My decision to take this job was actually a no-brainer, for several reasons:
- The actors, writers, and directors involved are all folks whose work I’ve seen and liked, and/or who I’ve gotten to know socially. So I knew what I was potentially getting into when I went to the audition. I like and trust these folks, and that made my decision pretty easy.
- Also, over the past six months I’ve lost a lot of weight – about 20-25 pounds – so I’m feeling pretty good about my body these days. If someone had asked me to do this back in March, there was noooooo way I would’ve said yes. Now, it’s a different story.
- On a non-nudity related note: the theatre where we’ll be performing is within walking distance of my house. I would be lying if I said that wasn’t a consideration.
- Finally, though, I decided to do this because the current trend of onstage nudity now seems a bit like a rite of indie theater passage. As a friend of mine who has taken it all off in front of people twice recently told me: “If you’ve never done it before, then you have to do it.” Exactly. Not to mention that it’s a challenge, and I like challenges. I always know that if there’s something artistically scary about a potential new project, I should probably take it on and defeat the fear.
I imagine I’ll be blogging more about this in the coming weeks: firsthand experience seems like a good way to re-open this discussion. In the meantime, though, feel free to weigh in with your thoughts or comments. I’m sure you’ll all have something to say about this.