POST: FringeNYC's 'Cuntagious' - to become an escort
Wow, the weather was actually nice. As I was walking to the venue, I was nervous. I hadn't watched a show in a long time. So, I got to the performance 55 minutes early, confessing that makes me want to 'shake my head'. The truth was I didn't want to get lost. But as people started waiting in line with me, I started feeling at ease. I realized I wasn't alone.
This was the second one woman show I've seen. I look at the stage and I see three black boxes, which reminded me of my theatre class in school. The cool part about it was that those three black boxes were the only things that were used, just like in my theatre class.
The lights come on - It's show time. I’m excited! Kaytlin comes on and, as the room becomes quiet, I'm eager to hear her speak. After a twenty second pause, which felt eternal, she begins to tell her story. Kaytlin speaks about her childhood growing up in North Carolina. Being the only child led her to making a decision at the age of seventeen - to become an escort. Hard for me to believe at first, but she was only expressing her truth. That got me thinking about my truth, how my own story can have an effect on how people view me or interact with me. For example in high school I wasn't the nicest guy, and looking back on it I can imagine how people viewed me negatively (and might still...) and were careful to interact (or not) with me.
Every time the word prostitution is spoken around me I think of Pretty Women (Marshall,1990) I don’t know why but I just do. In watching this show, Kaytlin helped me view the escort community through different lens. Being that she was an escort herself, made me question her. Why? She wasn’t in need of money, she had the help of her parents. As Kaytlin continued, I found out the reason why she became an escort - because she wanted to feel in control. Being in control was important to her because in her life, at school or home, she was never in control of her life. I started reflecting about the decisions I have made in my life, which at the time I felt were right but looking back really weren’t. Yet, those decisions have made me the strong person I am today.
I could really relate to Kaytlin and her connection with her dad, it was really moving. I found myself reflecting upon memories of my dad and I playing baseball on a summer days just laughing and talking about sports. There was a point in the show where I completely lost control and laughed so hard I felt people staring at me, ‘sorry but I couldn’t help it’, I let it all out. Kaytlin was speaking about being in sex ed class and of course she said an inappropriate joke. The reason I laughed so hard was because, sadly, I was that hyper kid in high school who had a part in creating half of the perverted jokes in sex ed class - that brought a lot of unnecessary but funny memories.
There were so many moments that I felt Kaytlin was a version of me, her passion for politics and the law truly made me connect with her but at the same time she has this endless love for theatre and comedy, which I do too. Over the time she interacted with clients, she felt like there was a character that needed to be played. As her story was coming to an end I felt like calling my dad and letting him know how much I miss him. Unfortunately he lives in the Dominican Republic and I can’t see him as much as I did when I was younger, but watching this show me feel a little closer to him.