concerned about cleavage

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Postby Jastroch » June 19th, 2011, 9:57 am

sara farr wrote:THEN, as a creative and/or programming director, you need to let the performers make their OWN informed decision on what they want to wear.

Otherwise you are censoring their performance.


I totally disagree with this. It seems like I'm obligated to give notes on people's performances and on stage choices. Otherwise, I'm not really a director of any kind.
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Postby York99 » June 19th, 2011, 10:10 am

When I think about appearance on stage, I remember this quote from the movie "Bull Durham"
Crash Davis: Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You'll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you'll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press'll think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob.
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Postby Jessica » June 19th, 2011, 12:16 pm

So, since someone else mentioned it, and it is less of a hot button issue, what about performers who smell? Not the occasional whiff, but the guys who is always a little ripe, to actually difficult to be around.

Is it our job as directors, theater owners, friends, troupe mates, etc. to let them know? I have found myself feeling that I should, but being really really hard pressed to actually have the conversation.

Or should we just get over it and move on?
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Postby Brad Hawkins » June 19th, 2011, 1:17 pm

Jessica wrote:So, since someone else mentioned it, and it is less of a hot button issue, what about performers who smell? Not the occasional whiff, but the guys who is always a little ripe, to actually difficult to be around.

Is it our job as directors, theater owners, friends, troupe mates, etc. to let them know? I have found myself feeling that I should, but being really really hard pressed to actually have the conversation.

Or should we just get over it and move on?

Well, getting over it and moving on is what we generally do in life, and that carries over onto the stage.

There are some people that really can't help it, and you never know if it's a case like that. It's usually considered rude to point out body or breath odor... a troupe should be close-knit enough to be able to talk about things we don't usually talk about in society, but there are still boundaries of comfortability. I myself don't care to cross that one.

Me, I want people to tell me if I smell, or my breath is rank. Consider this an open invitation to all other imps -- tell Brad if he stinks! (in person, not on the forum, please)
The silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe. A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee. She says "My body is the life; my body is the way." I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet.
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Postby Jessica » June 19th, 2011, 6:13 pm

One more thing - I was thinking that for all the people who say something about being uncomfortable with the cleavage on stage, isn't it possible that there are lots of people who are perfectly fine with it, or even like it, but just don't say that out loud because it is a bit creepy. (I happen to know several people of both genders who have confided this enjoyment to me.)

Could we in fact please more of our audience with a little cleavage, then the number of people we make uncomfortable. Or at least please the audience with players who feel happy in their self expression and comfortable rather than controlled on stage.

I'm not sure this is totally relevant, but once during a Bridesmaid show we had actual costumes meant to convey a mood, so cleavage was necessary to the show. I had a costume malfunction...and ended up showing a brief bit a nipple. The audience found it hilarious, especially since it took me awhile to figure out what was going on, but from that moment on, the audience was totally on my side. They loved us and cheered for us at the end. As they left everyone (even older women) looked happy and not the least bit offended. So, this is at least one counter example.
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Postby acrouch » June 19th, 2011, 10:21 pm

I don't remember who said this to me, but someone did, and this is what I say to students, young improvisers or people I'm directing in a show: "Dress nicer, hipper or sexier than the audience."

It's an aesthetic choice, not an absolute, but I think we're professionals putting on a show and we should be admirably dressed in some way. And anyone can pull off at least one of those three things: Kareem is always dressed way nicer than the audience; Aurthur is usually slightly hipper than your standard audience member; and Ace Manning and Kacey Samiee are consistently bringing the sexy.

Like it or not, people are going to get distracted in an improv show, so it might as well be by how nice that suit is or how that guy or girl is pretty cute.
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Postby jillybee72 » June 19th, 2011, 11:46 pm

Jessica wrote:So, since someone else mentioned it, and it is less of a hot button issue, what about performers who smell? Not the occasional whiff, but the guys who is always a little ripe, to actually difficult to be around.

Is it our job as directors, theater owners, friends, troupe mates, etc. to let them know? I have found myself feeling that I should, but being really really hard pressed to actually have the conversation.

Or should we just get over it and move on?


Yes, it's a horrible conversation and very delicate to broach, but they need to know because they might not know.
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Postby jillybee72 » June 19th, 2011, 11:50 pm

Andy, thanks for making me think about Kacey Samiee, I think she's a good example of someone who gets away with it because it's her, it's her honest-to-God style. It's effortless. And the Bridesmaid show gets away with it because you guys are in a context of a costume. CONTEXT! That's the key word.
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Postby mpbrockman » June 20th, 2011, 2:22 am

jillybee72 wrote:Andy, thanks for making me think about Kacey Samiee, I think she's a good example of someone who gets away with it because it's her, it's her honest-to-God style. It's effortless.


Yah, she's been in the back of my mind during this whole back-and-forth, and the idea of asking her to cover up a little more or not wear the fishnets (or what-have-you) strikes me as utterly loopy.
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Postby Jastroch » June 20th, 2011, 9:41 am

Jessica wrote:So, since someone else mentioned it, and it is less of a hot button issue, what about performers who smell? Not the occasional whiff, but the guys who is always a little ripe, to actually difficult to be around.

Is it our job as directors, theater owners, friends, troupe mates, etc. to let them know? I have found myself feeling that I should, but being really really hard pressed to actually have the conversation.

Or should we just get over it and move on?


It's your duty as a human as well as a theater owner to call em out. Privately first, then a good public washing.
--Jastroch

"Racewater dishtrack. Finese red dirt warfs. Media my volumn swiftly" - Arrogant.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 20th, 2011, 11:40 am

i keep coming back to a phrase Kaci used earlier in the thread: "purposeful choices." as long as you're aware of what you're doing and there is intent behind it, then i think it's fine (for the most part). if you want to look conservative and professional, do that. if you want to look young and cute, do that. if you want to look like the only thing holding your boobs back is a thin layer of fabric and the fickle will of fate, do that. but KNOW you're doing it and know WHY you're doing it.

likewise, if someone's regular dress habits are distracting you on a regular basis, approach them and have a discussion. maybe they don't know. maybe your goals for the show are on two different wavelengths and they either need to match up or harmonize better. if one person is trying to make a family friendly all ages show and the other is picking out corsets and thinking about Brechtian aesthetics, a conversation might be needed.

(and yes, same goes for hygeine...i like being able to have intimate and vulnerable moments with people onstage, and it's hard to do that when they reek. :p)
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Postby sara farr » June 20th, 2011, 7:33 pm

Jastroch wrote:Why does this get it's own thread? :)


Jastroch wrote:I totally disagree with this. It seems like I'm obligated to give notes on people's performances and on stage choices. Otherwise, I'm not really a director of any kind.


Aha! Then you've answered your own question, which is why I started this extra thread. Perhaps this is the end of this thread? :)
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Postby kbadr » June 20th, 2011, 9:06 pm

I think anything that happens on stage that is unintentional and could be considered dangerous in any way will distract the audience. Whether that's a toe getting stepped on, an ass-crack showing, too much cleavage, or someone haphazardly jumping on a set-piece or fellow-player. Our instinct is to be immediately concerned in at least some small way when the players are uncomfortable or out of control.

Be aware of your choices and that you are being watched closely by 50 people.

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