concerned about cleavage

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Postby KathyRose » June 17th, 2011, 5:46 pm

PyroDan wrote:I am also bothered by men's underwear often making an appearance.

Underwear itself (male or female) doesn't bother me. Ass cleavage, on the other hand... Eww. Just, ewww... Dude. If your waist measurement is greater than your hips, it's time to explore suspenders. It's also distracting if you're constantly hitching up your trousers. If they don't stay up by themselves, get a belt.
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Postby sara farr » June 17th, 2011, 11:00 pm

Kaa-Cah!
Kaa-Cah!
Kaa-Cleavage!



(Ann Wilson made me post this)
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Postby mpbrockman » June 18th, 2011, 3:24 am

PyroDan wrote:...my attention varied from the content of the scene to the content of their blouse.


PyroDan wrote:Perhaps you made the assumption that I was distracted by tits.


Seems like a reasonable assumption to me.

Deano wrote:If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.


I'm with Deano on this.

And I'm really fighting the urge to say, "Oh grow up, people" in a bigger font.
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Postby Brad Hawkins » June 18th, 2011, 6:56 am

mpbrockman wrote:
PyroDan wrote:...my attention varied from the content of the scene to the content of their blouse.


PyroDan wrote:Perhaps you made the assumption that I was distracted by tits.


Seems like a reasonable assumption to me.

You're assuming that there were only tits inside that blouse. Perhaps there was a ferret in there.
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Postby Jessica » June 18th, 2011, 10:42 am

I kinda of hate jumping in on these threads. But something occurs to me, first of all I assume that guys are pretty used to dealing with seeing cleavage. So, Deano's point is pretty valid. If you get a thrill off of it, enjoy it, if you don't - then look at her face.

Also, I'm pretty uncomfortable with men (and this thread has a much higher percentage of men than women) telling women what they should and shouldn't wear. It just feels icky from a controlling/power dynamic point of view.

However, I do agree with the Teresa and Kaci that we ought to look out for each other. I don't have a huge amount of clothes, and nice clothes are mostly bought for Improv. It really sucks when I buy a blouse and pay good money for it and then I perform and realize that there are certain movements that just won't work in it.

Also, I like to wear leggings or long shorts under dresses. It makes me feel invulnerable. But I'm not going to tell someone else how to dress.
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Postby York99 » June 18th, 2011, 11:07 am

So what's the final ruling on this? Cleavage or no cleavage? The rule book goes to print on Monday morning.
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Postby Roy Janik » June 18th, 2011, 11:58 am

It may or may not be the audience's fault if they're distracted by cleavage, but they are. I mean, I can't speak for all of them, but I've had loads of people (not just improvisers, but actual people) tell me about seeing shows where they felt nervous for the people on stage wearing low-cut outfits when they wind up playing animals, or losing contacts, or whatever... and personally, I don't want anything to take an audience out of the show unless it's an intentional choice.
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Postby Jastroch » June 18th, 2011, 12:22 pm

Jessica wrote:Also, I'm pretty uncomfortable with men (and this thread has a much higher percentage of men than women) telling women what they should and shouldn't wear. It just feels icky from a controlling/power dynamic point of view.


So let's go back to my original scenario:

Several experienced female improvisers approach me as a theater owner and say that women performers are showing too much skin in shows and that it needs to be addressed.

Because I don't want to offend anyone, I don't act on it. But should I? If there's a dress code for performance at our theater that includes the phrase "distracting clothing" that's not being adhered to, isn't it my responsibility to address that?

Is it the right thing to do to ignore the existing power dynamic of theater owner-performer out of fear of creating a male-female power discrepancy? Is that the right course of action?
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Postby mpbrockman » June 18th, 2011, 3:21 pm

jastroch wrote:Is it the right thing to do to ignore the existing power dynamic of theater owner-performer out of fear of creating a male-female power discrepancy? Is that the right course of action?


Tough call. My gut says no - but not out of fear, rather because I'm difficulty seeing where this is your problem. Personally I would have responded to the ladies who complained with an "I'm sorry you feel that way" and let it go at that.

But you're the theater owner and have more to think about than "Who's toes am I stepping on?" I'm afraid you're going to have to pro/con this one out for yourself.

If it's any help - my gut is about 80% wrong. I have to use my head (this is why I stick to music and avoid improv acting - I'm not built for it :) ).

jillybee72 wrote:Most of the people I've met who dress sexually provocatively for improv seem like they are doing it out of an insecurity of some kind.


This is true, but let's not forget the flip side. Many of the people who would complain about sexually provocative dress are doing it out of insecurities of their own.
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Postby sara farr » June 19th, 2011, 12:41 am

Jastroch wrote:So let's go back to my original scenario... If there's a dress code for performance at our theater that includes the phrase "distracting clothing" that's not being adhered to, isn't it my responsibility to address that?

Jastroch wrote:Is it the right thing to do to ignore the existing power dynamic of theater owner-performer out of fear of creating a male-female power discrepancy? Is that the right course of action?


You are playing two roles in your theater:
Role #1 = Teacher and Mentor
Role #2 = Creative Director and Programming Director.

As a teacher, you can train your imps that the question of "what to wear" includes both comfort, ease of movement, and professionalism. You can remind them that improv can take them anywhere -- including rolling around on the ground -- the dirty, grimy ground. You should let students know that their clothing choice -- whether a loud "funny" shirt, or a super low-cut "sexy" one -- may become a distraction when on stage, and that they need to take that into consideration when choosing what they will wear. (You can include a note about good hygiene -- how it can make you more fun to play with and be close to you on stage -- another thing that seems to fit in the world of "dressing" for shows.)

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.
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Postby mpbrockman » June 19th, 2011, 1:03 am

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
This makes sense to me.
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Postby trabka » June 19th, 2011, 1:55 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.

Stage time is a privilege, not a right. If anything, creative/programming directors have the most say as to how performers present themselves on stage.

If they feel it best represents their theater to give the note, "You should dress nicer on stage than cargo shorts and flip flops if you want to perform here," then that's totally within their sphere of influence. Considering their other option is to just not book a troupe, I'd rather have the dress code.

I'm not saying that all theaters have to hand out uniforms to performers (nor should they micro-manage every creative aspect of every troupe), but they totally have the right to tell performers that their choice of clothing is unacceptable if it doesn't fit how that particular theater chooses to represent itself.
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Postby jillybee72 » June 19th, 2011, 4:30 am

Deano wrote:If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.


It's not about the other players, it's about the audience and what they're comfortable with. Your quote may still apply to them, but I wanted to be clear.
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Postby mpbrockman » June 19th, 2011, 5:37 am

trabka wrote:...they totally have the right to tell performers that their choice of clothing is unacceptable if it doesn't fit how that particular theater chooses to represent itself.


Likewise, troupes are within their rights to say, "Seriously? A dress code? Count me out."

I'm just sayin'...

I myself would probably walk on a situation like that. Not because I wanted to show my a** crack off (I don't), but on general principle.

Ha! This from a Jesuit School boy :lol:
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Postby trabka » June 19th, 2011, 9:23 am

mpbrockman wrote:
trabka wrote:...they totally have the right to tell performers that their choice of clothing is unacceptable if it doesn't fit how that particular theater chooses to represent itself.


Likewise, troupes are within their rights to say, "Seriously? A dress code? Count me out."

I'm just sayin'...


Absolutely. Both parties need to do what they think will encourage the best possible audience experience. If that particular Venn diagram looks more like cleavage than a circle it probably won't work out.
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