Thursday, December 24, 2009
Update from the road on our last tour of 2009
Silence is Violence at Lafayette!
Josephine Baker writes…
We performed this evening in Easton, PA at Lafayette College and what an awesome and fun show it was! We kicked off the night with my wig flying off. No worries, though. I caught it in mid air!
We had the best student volunteer to help us out. His name was Chris, but he later chose Frida Kahlo as his Guerrilla Girl On Tour name. During rehearsals he was amazing! He knew all his lines and was game to learn the improv that we threw at him. What was really funny, though, was that when we called him onstage it was obvious that he wasn't really expecting it. He had gotten quite comfortable in his audience chair. When we began our first improv, he sort of stood there, waiting for us to give him some clue as to what should happen next. It was apparent that he was a little shaken by the rousing welcome he received from the audience and so had forgotten a lot of what we rehearsed. After a few nervous minutes, he relaxed and fell completely into his stage persona as Frida. Chris/Frida was by far one of my favorite volunteer's to date!
All in all I won’t forget Lafayette….it was a great show, volunteer and audience. I can't wait to hit the road again.
Julia Child writes…
Whirlwind tour to Easton, PA. We hopped in our rental car, threw on the tunes, sped through the Lincoln tunnel to what we thought would soon be Pennsylvania. After about forty-five minutes of driving, we found ourselves at the Holland Tunnel. It wouldn't have been embarrassing if I wasn't publicly posting this diary, but I am and it is so there's a little lesson about staying humble. They say, "well-behaved women rarely make history," and we disobeyed THE RULES OF THE ROAD to make this mistake. trailblazers I guess.
Nafis our gracious host, welcomed us with hands ready to carry prop bags and bottles of water for thirsty soldiers marching through the deserts of sexism. I wish we were marching through the DESSERTS of sexism! It would have been a more fun story for the grandchildren, but as they say, "you can't live life through the eyes of the grandchildren." Too much candy from the floor, I guess.
The crowd was totally into our student volunteer, Chris--- as were we. He was a fabulous actor and game for ridiculosity. A total double whammie. Our tech folks were quick on the draw, and for that I was grateful--thanksgiving style. My favorite moment of the show was pretending to be a drunk co-ed in the date-rape intervention skits. Pretending to be drunk is actually more intoxicating than actual drunkenness. None of that pesky nausea and memory loss. It's like being your own stunt woman.
Lafayette treated us like queens and I wouldn't have it any other way. We left with the sweat of catharsis on our tongues and the bulge of college tortilla wraps in our bellies and headed back to the Lincoln Tunnel. We tried not to make eye contact with the Holland Tunnel.
Anne Sexton writes…
After taking the scenic route through the industrial back alleys of Jersey City (why do Josephine Baker and myself always find ourselves there?) we finally made it to the sprawling, picturesque campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Aphra Behn was busy developing the play-writing genre, but we knew she she was only a tweet, text, blog or page away.
What did we GGOT's find at Lafayette?
Liberal campus? Check. Astoundingly equal ratio of male to female faculty members? Check. The feminist uproar caused by a PA Representative Joe Pitts, co-author of the Stupak Amendment in the Affordable Health Care for America Act? Check.
No one seemed to protest when we voiced our disgust over Pennsylvania's own Representative, Joe Pitts. The amendment encroaches on a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion by putting several road blocks in her way. Namely, by making the woman purchase riders--supplemental policies that would cover abortions--on a private insurance program if she accepts federal affordability credits from the new insurance plan, which may lead many back to the days of back alley abortions. Joe Pitts, we know you're a member of the Pro-Life Caucus and a chairman of the Fatherhood Promotion Task Force (Huhh?!), but how about joining the "Freewill Motherhood Promotion and Women's Rights Task Force?" (If someone does start said group, please let us know!)
And there were several men in attendance who nodded in agreement at our ideals and raised their hands loud and proud when asked if they were feminists, which always make me happy and hopeful that feminism is losing it's "dirty F- word" reputation of late.
There was so much love at Lafayette, including a standing ovation (go girls!) that one of the questions in the post-performance talk back stood out to me. "Do you feel like you're preaching to the choir at most of your college campus shows?". Well, no, actually. Quite often our shows are mandatory assemblies during women's history month or violence against women week where we are met with a barrage of scowls and stoicism. At those times we roll-up our sleeves and become the Rosie Riveters of Feminism, breaking down stereotypes and building awareness one block at a time. But Julia Child answered this question best with "That's great; we love preaching to the choir!". It's true, we love rallying the troops with the latest statistics and political hot topics so people will become even more inspired to make change.
Thank you Lafayette College for being such gracious hosts and being our choir of feminism!
Oh, and for the record, Rep. Joe Pitts was actually born in Kentucky.