"Dr. Theresa Hines is a Bad Gynecologist"
a solo performance on vulnerability
a work in process....
In November of 2015 I had the opportunity to travel to Nosara, Costa Rica as a part of an amazing workshop and retreat for New York actors, started by Alaine Aldaffer. During our time in Nosara we did yoga, jumped into waterfalls, went to sleep to the sounds of geckos and were awaked by the sounds of howler monkeys... we also worked on our craft, and reconnected to our hearts as artists. One of the most important and powerful parts of the Costa Rica Actors Retreat is the Genesis Project -- everyone who attend the workshop needs to bring with them some sort of project or idea to present to the rest of the group at the end of the week. The ideas for your Genesis Project can be ANYthing, and in any stage.... Prior to heading down to CR I was brainstorming all sorts of ideas of what to create as my genesis project... but nothing felt quite right, I felt very stuck and frankly was sort of freaking out a bit about it.... I looked inward and I recognized that the reason I hadn't been able to satisfactorily land on any one of the ideas that I was swirling around was becuase all of those ideas, "good" though they might have been, were safe. something I had done before, or something that would help support OTHER people's ideas or projects.... I thought, "ok, I have to WRITE something then...." but still no ideas came, and I found myself thinking, "well of course I can't write something, I have nothing to say." And when that thought came to me I realized that both it was completely "true" because I really did believe that, but also that that is COMPLETE BULLSHIT - EVERYone has something to say.... So why didn't I know what it was that I had to say?
Once you ask the right question it is amazing how quickly the answers come... I didn't feel like I had anything to say, I felt stuck, because I have spent so much time worrying about what I think other people want me to be, to say, to act like... whether on a first date or at an audition I think I "know" what the other person wants, and I do my best to try to be that.... I'm so out of touch with my authentic self that I don't even know how to be that, let alone show it to other people.
What I ended up creating and sharing as my Genesis Project I hadn't intended to develop further, I thought it was something that I would just "leave in the jungle" - and to be honest a part of me even felt like I was being selfish by sharing this work... that it was an exercise that would only be of value to me as I struggled to "unblock" myself... But then upon sharing this exercise, this piece of performance art, the effect that it had on everyone else involved was palpable, and I received the feedback that this is something to develop further....
However, I was stuck once again at how to do that.... it is certainly not a traditional performace piece, and how would it work with total strangers? WHERE would it work?
Back in NYC I was sharing a bit about my experience in Costa Rica and with the Genesis Project with a filmmaker friend, and she asked me to share this project as a part of an upcoming episode on a series she co-produces for a public access channel in Brooklyn - MIXED SIGNALS is a bi-monthly immersive multimedia series. Not surprisingly, all of the different factors surrounding the same construct that I had presented when a part of the retreat, created different challenges to being vulnerable and present, and resulted in a very different experience as the performer. You can watch the video of this iteration below -
This is from the MIXED SIGNALS episode #3 "BOUNDARIES" - taped August 12 2016
My segment runs for just under 10 mins (8:40 - 17:00)