Thursday, December 21, 2006

Am I an exhibitionist?

Doing the performance 24 days in a row in Edinburgh was a life changing experience. I hadthe opportunity to tell my story over and over and over again every day to an audience. And some days I really didn't feel like it and did it anyway. Those days, I felt exhibitionistic. Can telling my story be a form of prostitution? Other days I couldn't get enough of it, it felt grounded and I was clear about why I was doing it. Since Edinburgh I have felt a reaction to that kind of "expose". I have found myself reluctant to talk about myself too much, except in very private settings. I need to realize that "exposing" myself is a choice. I do wonder about this tendency, maybe even desire to be an exhibitionist, and wonder whether it is the healthiest path for me. On the other hand, I know the value I always receive when people share their lives openly, and I am so grateful to them for that. The other day I read an article in the New York Times about the Broadway star Raul Esparza. He was so open about himself in this article, about his sexuality, his difficulties, his ambivalence. I felt inspired and thankful to him for being willing to be open. It encouraged me to keep talking. However, the part of me that checks in on myself has also grown. The part of me that checks into whether I am being gratuitously exhibitionistic, or whether in every moment I am truly choosing to say what I say is more alive and present. So as more performances of Two Men approach, this new "watchful" part of me, will be present, and may have something to say on stage, either out loud, or to me silently, something like "you really don't need to tell them that, that's yours and it's okay to keep it that way" or something like "tell them that baby, go for it!"...time will tell.