healing · intimacy · school · vulnerability

The Gaze.

So, despite my declaration (or desire to adhere) to a cozy,
yummy 9 pm bedtime, there will of course be exceptions.

Like, every Tuesday night. My new poetry workshop ends at
9:15 on Tuesday nights, and my painting class begins at 9 am on Wednesday
mornings, so these are going to be quick turn around days, and I’ll have to
learn how to work within these parameters. Mainly, sleep enough within them!
Also, despite my saying yesterday, “Theater, I lay you down,” … my
poetry course is mainly, almost entirely focused on performance. Not just
poetry, but, performance art. I’m SO
freaking excited. Like I said, this teacher is a pretty big deal (Guillermo
Gomez Pena, look him up, you’ll get what I mean), and his methods are NOT your
typical poetry workshop, where everyone brings in a poem, reads it, murmurs
comments of assent or dissent and move on.
This, will be much different. And I can’t wait. Last night,
we did all kinds of spontaneous verbal exercises, then some pretty awkward and
intense physical interactions with each other, the other students. It was a
series of looking into another student’s eyes for minutes on end, with
different attendant variations – to explore the gaze and being fully present
with another human being. It, as you can imagine, could get a little awkward.
These were not the ice-breaker activities we did in summer camp! It was weird,
and telling, and opening, and closing, and awkward, and just interesting to
notice the experience.
Further, I had training for the artist’s modeling yesterday
for about 2 hours in the city, and the facilitator said that there are two
reasons that people get out of the business. 1) it’s too physically demanding.
(and after actually running through some 1 minute, 5 minute, and then a 20
minute pose, I assure you, I completely
agree – my muscles are going to be learning a thing or two about what works
with my anatomy… and blood flow – yes, my fingers are numb if I hold them
over my head for 5 minutes…!)
The 2nd reason he said people get out of the
business is because they can’t take “the gaze” anymore. That although, in
reality, the artist and students drawing the model are really only seeing what
they want to see, that mainly they’re interested in form and shadow and
contour, the model can begin to get hyper-sensitive to the gaze, and feel too
vulnerable underneath it.
He said to remember that what they’re seeing is only what
you’re giving them. That still, we’re in control, even if we’re nude, and eyes
open, we still, like most people walking around fully clothed all day, get the
chance to allow people to see only what we want them to see.
In one of the exercises last night, the 3rd woman
I “stared” at, well, I’ll tell you, she was pretty powerful. And after so much
outflow, which is my natural setting (“She’s gone from SUCK to BLOW!” … Spaceballs reference), it was interesting to feel that
actually,
she was going to be the one with the outflow, and I could choose
whether to let her in or not. (And if you’re rolling your eyes right now, and
being like, “Molly, you are sooo Woo-woo hippie shit,” meh, c’est la vie.)
So, I did let her, and several minutes into the exercise, 
I actually began to cry. Not
on purpose! But because, I could feel that as exhausted and raw as I’ve felt over
the last month or so, I’ve still been outwardly focused.
Like with the 2nd girl, I could feel her pain and
loneliness, and she actually said afterward that she realized how little
physical contact she gets these days (we were holding hands as well as eye
contact in this one). And I was sending her all kinds of love and healing.
But with the 3rd girl, I tried to send it out,
but it was like, no buddy, This Bud’s for You. And she sent that healing, and
that love, and that gaze into me. And I felt myself seen, and held by it. And
just let go, into her power, and saw my own vulnerability and raw places by riding into myself through her gaze. I told her afterward, to explain why I’d cried, that my energy had been so
outwardly focused and I’ve felt so raw lately, that to let someone else in, to
allow the energy to go the other way ‘round was really powerful for me, and a
relief to let myself sit in it.
So, yeah. Although I’m not trolling the casting call website
at the moment or going on auditions, I’m pretty sure the HP is arranging for
me to engage in my body, my emotions, and my performance in a variety of new
ways. Even woo-woo hippie ones.
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