Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Heels of Destiny

Let me first say that I have greatly appreciate all the advice that the women of the theatre community have given me as I prepared and develop the role of Drag Queen Fury Tisiphone. But one thing has become clear to me in the process. Women do not agree on the proper way to walk in heels. Moreover; no one can tell you how to walk in heels. They may be able to show you if they are:

1) wearing the same pair of heels, and
2) a physical therapist.

The best advice I found was a British article sent to my cast mate Gwen, which gave the very good advice to walk heel to toe. This too, was disputed as to whether or not it was good advice, but since getting my shoes I have also found it impossible to walk any other way. The swinging of arms and hips is also a necessity, but fortunately this two is unavoidable in order to move in the shoes.

If you are lost as to what the shoes look like, there is a photo of them a few posts down. Three of
us wear the shoes, two of us male and one female. Lee might have different insights. But what I can say is: for someone who is only 5’9”, the experience of being 6’2” has been fantastic. In theatre men tend to be either very tall or very short (with the exception of Catalyst Theater’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, in which most of the cast was in the 5’8” to 5’10” range.) But there is an inherent power in being able to either look everyone on stage either straight in the eye or down to the eye. I have spent much of my development as an actor cultivating the technique of projecting a larger size or power on stage, but with these shoes I can let that go and just focus on the very difficult task of being a women (not that I will pull this off, but I am trying to be as honest with it as I can.)

So far Rough Magic has turned out to be one of the more interesting acting challenges I have had in my time in DC, both physically and mentally. But there is much fun to be had in this show, from every actor and in every role – it’s definitely not to be missed.

-Dispatch from Grady Weatherford


Anonymous said...

One of the most fun things about wearing heels (if you don't customarily) is that tiny quick look in the person's eyes that you're talking to - a little flash of suspicious suprise that you are 3" taller than normal. It's satisfying. I think you and Lee are doing an astonishing job - these are not exactly 'training wheel' shoes.

Anonymous said...

I remember in college during a makeup class I had with Grady we had to do drag as one of our projects, and Grady came out stunning. He's a little more refined now, looking good! *snap*