There’s tons going on in my world right now: I’m co-producing a film that I’ll later be co-starring in (big kickass fight in it!), teaching lots of private lessons, mentoring some new fight directors, and the usual professional actor pursuits.
The new one, though, is Intimacy For The Stage. When I first read Tonia Sina’s article in Fight Master Magazine, I knew I needed to take a workshop with her. I spent two years trying to find the right timing. Finally I made it happen this past April. You may remember the article that made is way around the inter webs. Since then more and more people have been showing interest, which began to snowball after the situation in Chicago made the news. In addition, Consent has been a big topic (as well it should be), and people are becoming more aware of various issues that can surround scenes of intimacy. I immediately began to pick Tonia’s brain about Intimacy For The Stage and becoming an intimacy choreographer. It turns out that my current skill set and training translates easily into Intimacy Choreography. In fact, once word got out, very quickly I began receiving calls to choreograph intimacy professionally. Finally, very soon after Tonia’s visit, we created Intimacy Directors International, along with Alicia Rodis in New York.
Meanwhile, Theatre Ontario contacted me, and we made plans for Tonia to return to Toronto and teach a workshop through them. I’m thrilled that she’s visiting again so soon!
But what is Intimacy For The Stage?
It’s not just “making out” or sex scenes, but can also encompass the intimacy found between parents and children, and between dear friends. It can also cover scenes of sexual violence. Oftentimes actors are told to “just figure it out” on their own, without an outside eye, which can lead to dangerous situations where an actor may unwittingly cross their own physical or psychological boundaries, and then the work may affect their personal lives. Intimacy For The Stage has been enthusiastically received as a practice which empowers actors to respect their own boundaries, while improving the quality and clarity of scenes of intimacy. Intimacy For The Stage workshops and the assistance of an Intimacy Director/Choreographer creates better storytelling, and is an important step forwards in supporting actors’ safety and rights.
In a very short span of time for me, Intimacy For The Stage has taken off. I’m so glad that I can glean expertise from Tonia’s experience of over a decade. She has worked tirelessly in developing these professional practices and this course of study, and I am honoured to support the promotion of this work throughout theatre and film communities.
Are you interested in attending the upcoming Intimacy For The Stage workshop at Theatre Ontario (November 12 and 13, 2016, noon to 4 pm)? Click here for more information.