I changed my ideas for this performance at least fifty times, but decided to go back to my original plan: to brush my teeth with clay. I had thought about it for a while, but reading "I Am for an Art" by Claes Oldenburg solidified the idea in my mind, especially the lines:
"I am for an art that is combed down, that is hung from each ear, that is laid on the lips and under the eyes, that is shaved from the legs, that is brushed on the teeth, that is fixed on the thighs, that is slipped on the foot."
I knew that I wanted it to be an intimate experience*, both for me and the audience. I feel that the mirror introduced this, as well as the lighting, amplified sound and use of many readers interspersed throughout the audience. I wanted it to feel somewhat enveloping and overwhelming, much like the relationship it refers to. I wanted them to truly feel what I had felt- creating discomfort though my actions and sound.
Having changed my mind about what I wanted to do an hour before class, I allowed for a great deal of improvisation. I didn't practice at all, and gave the readers vague instructions, trusting their judgement.
Part of this improvisation was that I began putting the same clay and water I had in my mouth before back in again and again. Someone brought this up in our discussion afterwards and I didn't realize that it had added to the feeling of guilt and submission to the treatment.
I'm happy with how this performance went, and want to continue to use this intensity/vulnerability in my future performances. Being vulnerable is scary, but I like it.
*When I decided to use messages from my ex I didn't think about telling people about it outside of class- I had planned to keep it private, between us. I'm still working through this.