“nothin’ to see here”

So…we wrote a really funny sketch at rehearsal yesterday. It really is funny. I think people will like it. The rub? It requires total nudity.

Watch as pamie’s spine shrivels into the back of her neck…

I just can’t do it. Now, look, I’ve thought a lot about it and everything, and I’ve decided that this sketch is about comedy. It’s about making people laugh. My naked body is not funny.

It’s more like an exhibit on Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Okay, maybe I’m being a little hard on myself or whatever, but it’s my decision whether or not to parade my body around in front of strangers, but the guys in my troupe are so disappointed that I don’t want to bare all…well, the guys and the girls, I was using the term “guys” collectively. Here in Texas we refer to that as “All Y’all.” That’s the plural form of “Y’all” in case you didn’t know…

I mean, what would make me do it? How would I get over my fears of being naked and pointed at? If I was getting paid? Nah, not really. If I was getting whistles and grins? Most definitely not. If I was being filmed so I couldn’t see anyone’s reaction? That’s too creepy. Maybe if I had a bag over my head so I couldn’t see them.

So then I was feeling bad that I was letting down the group think of the troupe and I was like, “Okay, it’s time for me to stop being a baby and just do it. Just say I’ll get naked.”

I didn’t say this aloud, of course, so I can still back out at anytime.

But if I just decide to like my own body more, become more comfortable with who I am, I won’t have this problem. Let’s see, for me to become more comfortable with my body, I have to like my body more. For me to like my body more it has to look like someone else’s body. For me to have someone else’s body, I have to live in a Science Fiction novel. For me to live in a Science Fiction novel, I’d probably have an alien body, and for me to have an alien body I’d have a whole new set of body issues about having my father’s antennae and my mother’s nine eyes and I’m probably not ready to deal with that.

So then I decide that to be comfortable with my own body I have to just change my body to how I want it to be. I start exercising like a moron…”Oh, since I’m sitting at this red light, I should do some butt squeezes. Boy, am I changing my life around. That’s so good for me. Look how much healthier I am.” Five butt squeezes and suddenly I’m Susan Powter. I drink five bottles of Naya a day. You know, those 1.5L bottles? I convince myself that I am burning more calories on my nineteen trips to the bathroom every day at work (even healthier) and my smoking is a great appetite suppressant (health, health, health). Who needs deal-a-meal when you have float-away?

Then I start feeling thinner (because peeing every half-hour makes you feel pretty svelte) and I decide to stand naked in front of the mirror.

And then that evil critic in my brain starts shouting like Carrie’s mother, “THEY’RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU! THEY’RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU!” And I know that the whole point is that they laugh in the first place, and what are the chances that the entire audience is only starting at my thighs, but my brain is very, very paranoid. I convince myself that I should probably be in a shroud and not visible to the public again and then I try and cry but I can’t because I’ve peed all fluids out of my system and I convince myself that food is the enemy and that I can sustain on a power bar a day and then I remember how power bars taste like rice crispies soaked in molasses and I get nauseous and then I decide that maybe if I only think of power bars I’ll never be hungry again.

Then I decide I’m being silly again, and that there’s nothing wrong with my body, and my boyfriend loves me, and he loves my body, so why shouldn’t I? And then I think, “They just don’t know I’m the master of disguise. Without my protective baggy T-shirt the world will know. I’ll be like the Phantom of the Opera without the mask. The Incredible Hulk without the ripped shirt. Divine without a dress.

Then I get depressed again and decide that it’s time to like my body. I decide that the only thing keeping me from liking my body is the way it looks. I decide to lose X number of pounds. I decide it will take X number of weeks (this number is usually the countdown to a major event– wedding, show, seeing old boyfriend, seeing current boyfriend’s family, etc.). I convince myself that I have total control over myself and what I eat. Then I realize that I don’t eat so much, it’s just that I don’t eat things good for me because I’m so busy I never have time to cook. Decide to cook more. Go to store, buy $200 worth of groceries. Start doing yoga. Lots of yoga. Butt crunches in car. Start buying Subway sandwiches for lunch. Get home very late, very drunk on weekdays, do show on weekends. Get wrapped up in some friend’s crisis. Realize a week and a half has gone by. Throw out $200 worth of rotten stupid vegetables and skinless, boneless meat.

It’s hard to love your own body. Even when my boyfriend is talking about how much he loves my body, I’m thinking, “Wow. Love really is blind. Or he’s not wearing his contacts.” Then I start thinking that maybe he doesn’t wear his contacts on purpose when he’s with me. Then I realize that I’m truly, truly paranoid, and of course I look fine.

Then I go home for the weekend and my mother says, “Oh, you gained a little weight, huh?” And I try to explain to my mother that I’m carrying 4 Liters of water in me because of the car trip and I’ll be a much skinnier person when I get out of the restroom. She just sighs.

So, I’m trying to decide whether to take the plunge and just get naked on stage in front of many strangers and a few industry people. Aw, man, I’m a puss. I’m just a big puss.

Nudity is a very private issue, I guess, and in this business it becomes a bit public. (I accidentally just typed “pubic” and had to change it, but I’m cracking up right now) I’m not the only one that’s hesitant about dropping trou, but I’m the most vocal about it. There’s something funny about a naked man, but a naked woman becomes an object to scrutinize, and if she’s not perfect, worked on by a pack of highly skilled physicians, squeezed and molded into Perfection, then there’s a gross-out factor there that I don’t think I can handle.

But it’s a funny sketch.

But what if no one laughs because they cannot believe that’s actually my butt?

What if my troupe members can never look at me again?

What if a fan club starts for my tummy?

What if it’s no big deal?

What if– gotta pee.

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