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
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 dont 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 70s.
2. Freds 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 didnt 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 hasnt 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 didnt hurt
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 Feeseys
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! Ill
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 anothers nude bodies, melted into a tribal body.
After Feesey and I finished our very erotic dance of gestures,
I was wheeled out in my bedthat now had become my directors
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
9. Bath ritual ... Paul had originally gotten the old-fashion
tub for just me because I cant 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,
.all with a watching audience (melting into the performance
our normal daily life with more "theatrical" rituals ... mmm,
as if the tub ritual wasnt 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
anywhere, do anything ... but have fun. This was the hardest ritual
for some. Having fun?! Thats 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 Harrys
car, Paul entertained L.M., Mikee, and I by singing I WONT 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 Freds 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 didnt want to disturb
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,
and when she lost her inhibition, Ana.
So people kept running up and down the stairs
because on the ground
floor a "porn" (Feeseys 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 ... lets make a porn film about a nurse and her patient.
We did ... which is why the people kept running up and down the
stairs! Cant 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
toilet paper, plastic wrap, and tin foil appeared,
flew, wrapped, creating a living web.
16. This tribal body dance didnt 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
didnt 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 well
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
such false myths as "deadwood" and peak experiences.
22. Linda and I did a final bath ritual while Paul read my poem
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!