Hi everyone! The Philly Fringe production of More Than Tracy Turnblad is several months over, but I'm not done talking about fat representation in media and theatre. I'd like to expand More Than Tracy Turnblad into a larger collective of fat voices.
I plan to keep updating this web site and writing this blog, and I'm inviting other fat performers to write guest posts for me. So if you're a fat (or whatever term you prefer) or formerly fat actor/performer/artistic professional of any kind, or if you just have ideas regarding size and the arts, consider this your formal invitation to write something.
Topics I'm particularly interested in:
- the intersection of size and gender
- the intersection of size and race
- any notable experience where you feel like your size limited your casting
- how the roles you booked/were seen for changed when you lost/gained weight
- experiences being cast in roles that are not traditionally played by fat people
- working in film/TV as a fat actor
- being told you shouldn't be an actor because you're not thin/conventionally attractive enough
- how to empower fat actors from the other side of the table
- writing fat characters and breakdowns that go beyond stereotype
- being a dancer of size
- fatness and comedy: can we joke about size in a way that doesn't harmfully fatshame?
- eating disorders in the theatre community
This can be a tricky topic, and I'd like to let it be known that while I want to hear specific experiences with sizes in musical theatre, I'm not trying to come for any director/producer/theater company that has marginalized fat people. Most of the time, people don't even realize they're being fatphobic. They're just doing things the way they've been done, or trying to use an audience's preconceived notions to communicate story, or assuming that stereotypes are simple truth, or at least harmlessly funny. So what we're aiming for isn't a bunch of callouts, but education in the hopes that the industry can move forward, even at the most micro-community-middle-school-theatre level. I really, really want to start an open dialogue about this. Please let me know if you are interested by messaging me on Facebook and/or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Also, if you're interested in having me come and perform the show in your area, you can also inquire about that at the above email address!)