Sometimes after a workshop or a preview of a stage play, the cast and crew asks the audience a series of questions to find out what worked, what visions the audience has for the show and allows themselves to be open for constrictive criticism. I did this with my director, William Alexander Runnels and my light and sound designer Leon Solomon. Will had an awesome question, “where do you see The Closet Bitch outside of this venue?” Almost everyone in the audience said they saw the show as an HBO special. As soon as I heard that I screamed inside and knew immediately I was on the right track with my performance.
And since I play 19 characters in my one woman show, he also asked, “who was your favorite character?” Everyone said Olga and Mook. Olga is my father’s hot, Puerto Rican girlfriend, with a bad coke habit and a comfortability problem. She’s honestly cool as hell in real life but has some of the most distinct mannerisims I’ve ever seen and that’s why I chose to make her a central character in the show. But Mook? That boy is wild for the night. He’s a live wire. The dude we all know and try not to bring to suit and tie functions cause he’ll straight embarrass our asses! Mook is hood with no chill button and doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks nor does he care about how uncomfortable he may be making them. Anyone like that is always an amazingly fun character to play.
My goal with The Closet Bitch is to inspire people to step outside of their comfort zones and live the lives they’ve always wanted to live, face fear, follow their dreams, and be relentless about doing what makes them happy. My character faces many challenges that we all face, fear of taking a risk, breaking bad habits, facing the elephant in the room, saying no, being okay with making people uncomfortable, and standing up to the one person that makes you feel small in the world. Everyone pretty much said they were inspired and felt like conquering their goals and dreams after the show and it even started many conversations that contained subjects that most people wouldn’t dare speak about unless someone broke the ice. I told my truth and bared my soul and that allowed the audience to do the same. What good is art if it doesn’t create a conversation?
I’m so happy my team and I decided to have the talk back after the show because it helped us not only strategize as to how to move forward in obtaining our goals with the show but made us feel amazing about all the work we’ve done to get to this point and put on a production that makes people laugh, cry, relate, be inspired to change for the better and most of all, talk to one another. Something that’s extremely rare these days.
This post is dedicated to the beautiful people in the world that crave good conversation with great energy and ideas to keep that passion pumping through your veins. I love you.