Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reflections on My First Performance

Stained With a Kiss
residue from performance 1

For my first performance, I decided to do a piece that shows femininity, simplicity, the obscure, and surprise. I was dressed in a knee length black floral dress, which gave an over all feminine appearance. To give a softer over all essence, I dimmed the lights. I wanted everyone to be able to see, and to be in a close environment, so I placed all the chairs very close to each other in a half circle around the table. From there, I proceeded to "gracefully" climb on top of the table. I had a mostly gone roll of toilet paper and a tube of lipstick with me. At the time I was not exactly sure where this performance was going to go. I had a lot of different options that I had planned out. In the moment though, I am happy with the path I chose. I put on a thick layer of lipstick on my lips, ripped a single square off the toilet paper roll, kissed it, and placed it gently on the table. I repeated this action, ritualistically, placing the individual squares in a grid like form on the table. As I did this, the lipstick on my lips faded, showing on the toilet paper. Eventually, my kiss marks stopped showing up on the toilet paper. However, I continued to do this ritual. At the end of the roll, the squares were not easily rippable, and I was left with a rectangular piece, which I decided to kiss twice. This ritual created a steady beat visually (the grid), through the sound (rip & kiss), and through the process. I found it relaxing, and it really matched my aesthetics. However, at the end of the piece, I decided to take the cardboard center of the toilet paper roll, and blow through the hole, turning my fading lipstick grid into a scattered mess. I then proceeded to get off the table quietly and join the audience.

There were many reactions which I did not think about when coming up with this performance. Some people said it was cute and sort of romantic; toilet paper has never had a better outcome.  Others said it reminded them of fading love, or blowing kisses. I was given suggestions to give out the kissed paper, or end in a different way.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this piece. I was super nervous going into it, I could see my hand shaking as I ripped the toilet paper, square by square. A couple times it caused me to rip imperfections (which I think made my grid look eclectic, like me). After the performance though, I felt really great, and I was excited to get the feedback from people. I did not know what to expect out of a first performance. I feel slightly more prepared now, but I don't think those nerves will ever go away.


  1. I really enjoyed the intimacy for the space you created. It kept me engaged with the actions you were performing, even when I was unsure when the ending would happen or what your goal was. I really enjoyed the use of toilet paper because it is such a common item that you elevated with your performance. I'm really interested to see where this exploration in femininity can take you. Great job :)

  2. Good reflection! The photo of the residue makes it all come together. Very successful piece overall - of course I say - keep going!