Had we known when you were coming out to see our production, Hebe and I would have made it a point to be at that show. We really wanted to meet you in person.
As to the tribe member who received draft lottery position #1, all I can say is WOW! That is one story to be able to tell your grandchildren! Personally, I received a considerably higher number, but it was still low enough to get me my induction notice. So, I too faced the same fate. As Claude says, “Just another number.”
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I was quite surprised when you wrote that you felt that many of the exercises that I presented were too sexual. ALL of the exercises that I presented were designed to be NON-SEXUAL, and ALL were designed to be able to be performed either while fully dressed, or, in the case of the floats, body painting, and massage, while wearing a bathing suit.
It should be borne in mind that the people who participated in our workshops were people that we knew from a local church plus a few personal friends. Most were single, although some were either married or in a committed relationship. I believe the group consisted of people from various fields such as: teaching, homemaking, law, film industry technician, law enforcement, etc. I, myself, am an engineer. One participant had studied psychology, but none, to my best knowledge, were practicing psychologists, sexologists, or actors. Several had participated in Consciousness Raising sessions under different leaders, but I believe that none had attended a practicum such as ours.
I would be very surprised if there were any film or audio recordings of the tribal workshops that were conducted by Tom Oâ€™Horgan, irrespective of whether they were conducted clothed or “sky-clad”. Even a simple group discussion of feelings such as is done in a Consciousness Raising session can get very emotional. The issues raised are often are very personal, and the participants may be taking great risks in sharing them with the group. Recording these sessions would not only be a gross invasion of the participantsâ€™ privacy, but it would also present a major impediment to the establishment of the freedom and trust that is so necessary for these kinds of exercises to be effective!
One member of an early tribe told Hebe and me that one of the exercises performed by her tribe consisted of them getting together in a pitch-black room and crawling over each otherâ€™s bodies! I feel that this exercise, even if it were performed fully clothed, is FAR MORE SEXUAL than ANY of the exercises that I presented, even if my exercises were all conducted while naked!
I would love to hear from members of various tribes about 1) what kind of exercises, if any, their tribes used, and 2) what change the exercise made in their feelings of liberation, group and personal identities, etc. It would be very interesting to compare the techniques and outcomes of the ones used “way back then” with those that are currently used.
Incidentally, when I first got involved with “little theater” … many years ago … it was not uncommon to have “skinny dipping” at our theater company parties. We occasionally went up to a mountain cabin for “retreats,” and nudity was no big deal there, either. Though we produced mostly “standard” works over the years, we did mount two avant guarde works: Fernando Arrabalâ€™s And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers, and an in-house adaptation of La Ronde, aptly titled Lay Around. Both of these productions involved a considerable amount of nudity by virtually all members of the cast, and I do not recall our using any special exercises to prepare them.
Your posting also surprised me by painting a picture of the avant guarde New York theater community back then as being so much more conservative and demure than that here in Los Angeles. I had always looked on Los Angeles as a conservative, provincial town compared with the “decadent” Big Apple!
Blessed be with peace, love, freedom, and happiness!