DYING IS SEXY
A 48-HOUR PERFORMANCE
BY FRANK MOORE
FOR FADO'S
TIME TIME TIME
TORONTO, CANADA
AUGUST 27-29,1999

The hardest part of the performance was flying to and from Toronto. 4+ hours sitting in the uncomfortable seat created a raw ass. And my hip got caught getting out of it, creating a great multi-colored bruise, which I kept showing people during the performance. So the rest of the performance was a piece of cake! Linda, Mikee, Heidi, and I took the redeye. Paul Couillard was busy putting the finishing touches on the great warehouse space he got for the performance ... a giant L-shape room with high sky-lighted ceiling ... with a second enclosed roomy room ... with a loft above it. Paul, a master host/promoter, had gotten everything we needed to make our stay cozy and homey ... including an adjustable bed on wheels and an old-fashion bathtub on a dolie ...both became major props in the production ...and my new trademarks! Anyway ... after breakfast, sleep, and dinner, we prepared the space. This was thursday night.

About a hour before "showtime", Fred Hatt arrived from n.y.c. via a tough bus ride. I sent him and Heidi out to re-enter as auditioning actors/audience.

1. Audition ... we had put ads out for actors/ dancers/ musicians ... nudity, eroticism and improv required with no pay. So at 3p Friday male actors started showing up ... starting going through changes as I talked to them. Actually at 3 a.m….as we were getting ready for bed ... my pants were off…a sweet stripper came wanting to audition! Performances don’t begin. They fade in over months!

In addition to the actors, real and planted, there was Harry who came from Denmark to be at the performance. Harry is in the e-salon and had come to my OUTRAGEOUS BEAUTY REVUE in the 70’s.

2. Fred’s Dance Lesson — For the "audition", I had Fred ... who, among other things, is an incredible dancer, create a dance using everyone who came to the "audition" [including Harry]. It could be call THE DISAPPEARING DANCE because each time we blinked, another actor had disappeared! When the dance ended, the only "real" actor was Philip, a writer of "the dark side" who didn’t like the darkness.

3. Street Improv w/Heidi, Fred, Philip, Harry ... Their task was to get more "sexy" people for the performance. I meanwhile talked with an audience member about art, sexy, and divorce ... and the freedom of surrender. The video maker Linda Feesey arrived with her brand new [bought that day] camera ... and the manual which she intensely poured over. Feesey had contacted me about filming the performance for her erotic/disable film. It was only when we got back home and watched her previous works did I know how powerful of an artist she is. Between her, Paul, Fred, etc. I had a lot to work with artistically! Feesey agreed to do the rituals before she filmed them. She is my kind of an artist…she puts her body where her camera is!

4. Fred, Paul & Frank dance ... nude dance, Feesey filming. They lifted me up out of my chair, moving me high and low ... in ways my 53-year old body hasn’t moved for quite a while! I was thinking "I know this piece is called DYING IS SEXY…but why do I have to prove it?! Ah, Art! But the funny thing is my body didn’t hurt afterwards!

5. Dinner Ritual: while the others when to a restaurant, feeding each other & talking nonsense ... Linda, Mikee, and I held down the fort, ate food to-go ... while Feesey poured over her manual!

6. The Cave ... first with Linda Feesey ... intensely intimate. The cave was the enclosed room with LaBash panels over the door and windows. After Feesey had finished playing, L.M. removed Feesey’s blindfold so she could pick up her camera to film the others coming into the cave. This was the first time I have ever let anyone in the cave without a blindfold ... much less to film it! I’ll not describe the shamanistic rituals here. You will have to come to a performance to find out what THE CAVE, etc. is!

7. Gestures ... again I first did this ritual with Linda Feesey in the cave while outside the cave the others played live Body Music on one another’s nude bodies, melted into a tribal body. After Feesey and I finished our very erotic dance of gestures, I was wheeled out in my bed—that now had become my director’s chair! -- out of the cave to direct the others through gestures.

8. It was now 3 a.m. It was time for the Dream Ritual. Lights were turned off. The only light was from the hall. I asked Fred to lead us into dreams with a dance. He was back lit by the light from the hall. I started shamanistically wailing. Paul, coming from the bathroom ... not knowing my directions ... joined/melted into the dance with Fred. What came through was an intensely beautiful altered state!

9. Bath ritual ... Paul had originally gotten the old-fashion tub for just me because I can’t use a shower. The ritual was lifting me into a high tub on the rolling dolly, nude Linda M. climbing in for our daily scrubbing and facial, getting me out of the tub, towel drying….all with a watching audience (melting into the performance our normal daily life with more "theatrical" rituals ... mmm, as if the tub ritual wasn’t theatrical!). But the bathing ritual also included Paul cleaning the tub out, taping the drain hole up, rolling the tub through the halls of the industrial/office building to the bathroom, filling it up via hoses, rolling it back to the space, and then after the bath, rolling the tub to the freight elevator to tip the huge tub out, putting the rusted legs back on and heading back to the space. (To get the tub from the rental place, Paul & Ed rolled it on the city streets!) We had thought the building had a shower. But when we arrived Thursday, we found THEY had picked that week to remodel the shower. So the tub became a major ritual through out the performance!

10. Breakfast ritual at a greasy spoon!

11. Pairings ... I "paired" people up to be together for 2 hours…go anywhere, do anything ... but have fun. This was the hardest ritual for some. Having fun?! That’s scary ... especially with another guy! I had promised Feesey an interview. So I paired Feesey, Linda, and I to fulfill this ... talking about the power of vulnerability.

12. It was so hot when people came back from their treks, we fell into a collective trance. The door was wide open, so passers-by could look in and new audience could come and go. Fred started drawing the people there, giving them their portraits! It was so hot, the tub was kept being filled with cold water for people to do bathing rituals. Meanwhile Paul read my poem "Out of Isolation", and Linda M. read my "Magical Cave Lovers". We faded in and out of light sleep.

13. Dinner ritual ... while the others drove to dinner in Harry’s car, Paul entertained L.M., Mikee, and I by singing I WON’T GROW UP and other show tunes until naughty Ed picked us up finally. While we ate dinner, we talked about ritual art with Paul, looked at Fred’s amazing photo book of a body painting workshop. The waitress told us that a woman who said she was an actor asked for/about us (we were on the patio), but didn’t want to disturb our meal.

14. Erotic film/Body Painting ... Well, within a piece like this, it is absolutely impossible for anybody to see the whole performance in all of its aspects. This was true when we got back to the space. Fred with some of the people headed up to the loft to prepare his body painting studio. Meanwhile, I auditioned the actress, Ana, who was waiting for us. She was a rather straight but striking personality. So I cast her as a straight person who will lose her inhibitions as the night went on.

I had Paul put a sign up saying UPSTAIRS TO BODY PAINTING/ GROUND FLOOR TO EROTIC FILM SHOOTING ... something like that! So upstairs there were amazing masterpieces being done on the bodies of Fred, Heidi, Paul …and when she lost her inhibition, Ana.

So people kept running up and down the stairs…because on the ground floor a "porn" (Feesey’s term) film was being shot. I told Feesey that Linda M. and I would be directed by her for an erotic film. She asked if it could include actual sex. We said she was the director and we give ourselves over to her hands. I was picturing a documentary exploring our sexual relationship. But Feesey gleefully said ... let’s make a porn film about a nurse and her patient. We did ... which is why the people kept running up and down the stairs! Can’t wait to see how Feesey will use/edit it!

15. Strange, brilliantly beautiful, darkly bright creatures came down stairs ... or from the back-lit multi-colored liquid-erotic LaBash backdrop. I was pushed in my bed onto the jamming area. An incredible vocal chorus plus Paul on accordion ... Mikee warping the sounds through the mixer. Listen to the jam with your G2 RealPlayer! Before us there was a magical dance of the creatures which evolved beyond time, frightening, comic, chaos .. Paul, Fred, Ana, Heidi, sometimes Harry lost in a myth dance ... while the Lindas, Philip and I wailed, melting with/shaped the dance by joyous sounds. People were afraid to come in…that was before the glorious mess dance started…toilet paper, plastic wrap, and tin foil appeared, flew, wrapped, creating a living web.

16. This tribal body dance didn’t end until 3 a.m. But that was when the tub became a magical trial, breaking through into the realm of surreal visions. Each creature had to be scrubbed by others in the spotlight. After each bathing, the entire preparation ritual which I have described earlier had to be done ... but in the cold dark hours of magic. Riding in the tub through the halls became a powerful surreal trance ... they tell me! This bath ritual didn’t end until well after 5 a.m.!

17. This dream ritual was very short indeed!

18. Closing ritual with Feesey, who had to leave early. She talked about how transformative the performance had been. I hope we’ll work together again!

19. Breakfast ritual

20. Fred created a dance for Heidi, Harry, Philip and Fred which actually gave birth, not to Philip as they had planned, but to Harry as a cute creature of curiosity!

21. One on one w/Frank, Linda, Paul & Heidi in the cave…debunking such false myths as "deadwood" and peak experiences.

22. Linda and I did a final bath ritual while Paul read my poem "Tortures".

23. That was the official end of the performance. But then Paul interviewed me on tape about the performance and the magical dynamics of extended time rituals ... and I revealed the meaning of DYING IS SEXY! Check out the cd-rom!










PHOTOS BY
LINDA MAC &
MICHAEL LABASH


 

 


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