What's in a name.
I've had a lot of stagenames in the past, Mary Magdelane on a Stretcher,
Flying Jesus, King Leah. In 1998 I joined the Church of the Subgenius (if
you aren't already familiar with it, it's probably not what you think)
and needed a new one. I wanted something that was tough and cool like
Cleopatra Jones and something that was feminist, sexy and silly. A friend
suggested the name and it fit. I thought it was so perfect as my aim in
those days was to make awkwardness sexy and sexy awkward. I wore my
underwear over my clothes and used props like a dildo harness with a three
headed plastic hypodermic needle, duct tape, giant metal boots, plastic
hands and funny hats. I wanted people to say vagina when they saw me and
feel strange about what they thought it was before. I'm a woman, so it
fits, but what does what I do have anything to do with this organ? Vagina
means everything you think it means, but it also has connotations to it I
like to explore: sex, blood, birth, pleasure, pain, etc
When I do performances on stage or with video I purposely go in unexpected
directions, ones that appear to have absolutely nothing to do with it. By
doing so I create new meanings and question again and again how I define
Vagina. It's not just a hole to pee from or have sex with, it's not just
something I protect and pamper and it's not the only thing that makes me a
woman. (That said, I don't believe all women have them.) If I am
redefining it's connotations, I hope that the audience will do the same.
Viva La Vagina!