The first Sell Your Body Show was inspired by my inability to fix my car.
As a stand-up working as a defensive driving instructor, I didn’t have a whole lot of money laying around. Two unexpected but necessary moves and a car trouble later- I was in huge trouble. I do not live a life of financial safety nets so it was most definitely the end of the world.
So I panicked and asked my friend to bring me chicken nuggets. For somebody that never asks for help, this was a huge step in my personal growth journey.
This was a little less than a year ago when I didn’t really produce stuff. I had booked a few things for fun, but not for profit. I was doing open mics and feeling out what stand-up was like. Then, on a trampoline eating nuggets with a friend, I said the words, “I could just sell my body,” right as she said the words, “Why don’t you just put on a show?” and an identity was born.
As a comedian, I was already selling my body. Kind of. I was taking a part of me and hoping they’d eventually pay for that. It’s what I’d been doing my whole life. Artist, writer, nude model, comic. Every little piece of my soul was projected out of me in the hopes that somebody might find value in it.
“So, anybody else have a violent and traumatic childhood?” I’ve been constantly asking the audiences in my life. "Am I right?"
It isn’t physical body parts and often there is not a lot of physical money in it unless you're at the top. I guess in terms of getting what you pay for, our economy does not allow for the luxury of intent or feeling behind a purchase. People can get their factory-made art at the grocery store and watch their stadium seating comedy special on Netflix. That's fair.
It hasn’t stopped me from being lead by creativity. The need to sell myself rather than products or boat insurance has never gone away. No matter how hungry I get or how broken my car is.
This is something I see in so many artists and I’m excited to celebrate. The term “starving artist” comes from a real place. A place that kept me out at open mics until way too late for crowds that were way too small. A place where I was putting my money into shows and sacrificing literal meals.
Although, this on-stage and online forum that I’m lucky enough to create enables me to communicate an idea that goes beyond the concept of artists sacrificing their lives for the sake of celebrating life. “The Ode to the Starving Artist” is the tagline and original inspiration for the show but there is something hiding in the wings.
You guessed it. It’s the “Sell Your Body” thing.
The idea that nudity, sexuality, and even some kinds of love are taboo because of their expected reactions. The ability for artists to celebrate these things in a safe space that does not assume their nudity is inherently sexual but respects their nudity if it is has given me more joy than anything else that I’ve ever created. This creation would not be possible without the artists that participate in it and the audiences that appreciate it.
There are even the left-leaning, tired-of-hearing-it, hip-to-the-trend ones that think because they see so much liberation around them all the time that these discriminations no longer exist. They join the this-is-a-sin and you-are-so-lost crew to create a wall of opposition that wants the “debauchery” silenced, behind closed doors, or out of their face.
There are no lectures, no sex ed pamphlets, and no actual prostitutes (that I know of ), but I am proud to admit that there are artists willing to communicate these very big, complicated, and sometimes difficult and rejected ideas on the Sell Your Body stage. Some of them have been doing it long before I came into the picture and do the same off-stage every day.
I am really grateful.
It was once a packed little shack with no air conditioning and a lot of supportive friends. Now, my car is fixed and I’m still really willing to sell my body.
This one is featuring all new performances and a gallery of art to fill your eyes and heart with.
You can check out an ever-growing list of performers by RSVPing to the Facebook event and/or signing up for the email list.