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The Funny Thing About Blood was a solo performance that I directed, performed and designed with the help of Nicole Lang ’16, Augusta Klein ’17 and Rebecca Silbert ’14. It was performed in Resnick Studio at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College on the weekend of April 10th, 2014.
On March 8th, 2011 Lucas Baumgart took me to have an abortion. Over three years later, I made the decision to create The Funny Thing About Blood, a performance that incorporated both verbal comedy and nonverbal physical comedy to navigate the event as I experienced it. I have found thus far in my life that I, like many others, often use comedy as a shield to protect myself from tragedy and to disconnect myself from the reality of tragedy. I wished to explore that version of comedy, the disenchanted verbal comedy that we see so often in stand up comedians, and then take the training I had received from Geoff Sobelle, Jim Calder and Jack Ferver in clown and physical comedy and juxtapose these modes of performance to tell my story, having found that in clown our most innocent and vulnerable selves are inevitably forced into visibility. It was through the use of clown, and the naiveté that often comes with it, that I was able to look at my story with fresh and unaffected eyes, and find within it the absurdity, and the fun, and the childishness.
The Funny Thing About Blood is the story of my abortion, from the moment I was standing in the Tewksbury bathroom on a Sunday morning throwing up, with glitter in my hair from the night before. It is Audrey Wollen’s story, who held my hand while I peed on a stick, and Lucas Baumgart’s story as he drove me to the clinic in Poughkeepsie. It is the story of the forty some people standing outside of that clinic with pickets shouting “baby killer”, and of the one nurse who was nice to me and of the other nurse who thought Lucas was my boyfriend. It is, beyond a story, a conversation with the audience about how we have all been through this: whether it is getting off at the wrong exit when you are late for something, or cringing while you put on a hospital dressing gown, or reading a magazine to distract yourself. And it is a conversation that is by no means finished.
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Gilbert, Mary Elizabeth, "The Funny Thing About Blood" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. 245.
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