I am about to re-tell some awkward truths. Re-open a few old wounds.
Currently preparing for a first raw run of autobiographical show Topless - a show which opened at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre and played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1999. Fitting slightly differently into the same dress is one palpable reminder of things changed since then. Cutting the cigarette smoked onstage is another.
Even more strange is revisiting a tone of voice I can hardly recognise. Sentiments and syntax reveal a different mindset.
Content-wise I am revisiting a time when I felt disoriented, helpless, lost.
Given recent world events we all now feel disoriented, helpless and lost.
Doubt has always been a big part of my process (who knows whether it's a vital part or simply an annoying side-affect). One commits to a performance date. Progression towards that date moves through spikes of fear, occasional elation and regret. (I even lost my voice on the run-up to the very first performance - nods to Freud and Louise Hay).
Back then it was the transgression of revelation which woke me in the middle of the night. This time the discomfort is different.
Topless was written in the present tense. I am having to mouth thoughts and attitudes on which I have since closed a door.
In the making of recent show Chastity Belt I embraced Artemis.
'I am not who I used
to be. I am not used.
I am not touched.
I no longer burn scorch smoulder with fire -
like an angel
-or a bathroom sponge-
I am the opposite
Topless recalls duvet days of bison grass vodka, the euphoria of pre-op medication and kitchen sex - it's a little scary remembering the power of the libido and having to embody it again.