Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preparing to Audition--Vagina Monologues, 2011

My vagina is so much friendlier.
I cherish it.
It gives me joy.

-- Eve Ensler, "They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy...Or So They Tried," The Vagina Monologues

Yesterday marked exactly 5 months until surgery, and 3 months until I stop taking hormones in preparation, and, as I find myself having memorized the "They Beat the Girl..." since Friday, it marks exactly 2 months before I am delivering a piece that was first written as a Greek chorus as a full monologue.

Since the last time I did them at Fort Worth in 2009, I have missed doing The Vagina Monologues. When I moved to Louisville, Kentucky, I discovered that the auditions were closed to students only. So I missed out.

Then I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for a permanent software development position. I wound up getting invited to a pre-screen performance of "She Was My Brother," directed by Jerry Rapier of Plan-B Theater. When I heard that they are an intentionally diverse acting troupe, I contacted him with positive results. He is anxious to meet with me in January to see how I can be involved. At his request, I sent a head shot and a resume I threw together.

I discovered Westminster College is giving belly dancing lessons, and I enthusiastically registered, especially since I now have my coin garment to go with my skirt.

On Tuesday, during a TransAction meeting, before leaving to watch a historic vote at Salt Lake City School District, which added sexual identity and gender identity to the list of protected attributes in the district's non-discrimination clause, I discovered through the grapevine that the director for Vagina Monologues at the University of Utah, Victoria Nones, has been looking for transwomen to perform a monologue for the last couple of years. 

When I finally got in contact with Ms. Nones, I found out the auditions have passed and, even though the rest of the parts have been cast, she wants me to come audition sometime this week for "They Beat the Girl..," delivered as a monologue. After not even a day of read-throughs, I surpised myself at my ability to have it almost memorized from end-to-end, and am confident I'll be able to perform it in February.

"They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy...Or So They Tried" has never been performed at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, home of the LDS Church. This monologue was written as a Greek Chorus of 5 by Eve Ensler to be added to the Vagina Monologues as an optional monologue based on interviews with transgender women, and first performed in 2004 by a cast of all transgender women, including names such as Calpernia Addams, whose story is told in Soldier's Girl, and Andrea James.

Over time, the number of cast members has shrunk, making the performance more realistic. In 2009, I had the honor of performing this piece as a dialogue. Now, I have the chance of delivering lines written for 5 people as the monologue of a single character.

As far as I know, I'm the only candidate, since the few other transgender actresses in the area have already committed to performing at Westminster College. The rest of the cast has already been set, and this is a late fill.

If I get the part, I will be involved in three performances Valentine's Day weekend. If you haven't ever been to Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, I strongly encourage you to make plans to go. The proceeds go to help stop the battery of women around the world. The University of Utah is going to be having their performance on Valentine's Day weekend at the Utah Fine Arts Gallery.

Hugs and God Bless,

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool for you to do that piece. You have jumped into the fray haven't you, and I think that's wonderful.

    I was able to perform the piece the first time I joined the cast 3 years ago, the director filled the other parts with lesbians, but I was the only trans person withs the cast. I performed other pieces for the past 2 years but have decided not to audition this year (too much going on).

    I wish I could do the piece as a dialogue but that won't happen. Getting to know the other girls in the show was more important for them as it was for me. I have befriended several of the girls that I performed and I believe it is more important for them to get to know me as a person as it was doing the monologues.

    Hang around the girls as much as you can, enjoy their company and break a leg.