Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I AM an ACTRESS

Conception is a successful audition. Sperm and egg shake hands. Congratulations, you’ve got the part. You get the role because of love, obligation, casual sex and carelessness- either way, you get the part. It’s a coerced casting. Unless you believe—somewhere, somewhere, negotiations took place, that love is scripted, obligation was moaned in monologues, careless sex was crafted in scenes of laid-out lust and designed desire.

It was an unknown, ambiguous accord, two networks, two individuals deliberating through skin, heat, and passion. Shapes coalesce, patriarchy and matriarchy collide. Corporate power decides to take you on. You come spilling out of a mother’s womb. Signed, owned, contracted…gasping for air.

I am an actress. Because I don’t know where fiction ends and life begins.

Because yesterday’s slow motion minutes reel through my conscious as I decide what I should have, could have done to create different outcomes, as if I can override life’s reluctance to undo the done, unsing the sung, unthink the funk of what’s finished. I am an actress because I am told how to feel (the aerodynamics of tear movement), what to desire (the constant positioning and placement of cerebrum in people’s hands), people are continually correcting me—telling me to move this way or that. Rolling die and moving my plastic body around…expecting, expecting…everything, nothing. Squish-squashing stereotypes in pores of skin, assuming an empty brain that’s really insatiable.

Because I can love and hate in split intervals, change my mood in milliseconds, millipede and mammoth is me mimicked in self-esteem metamorphosis.

I am an actress because you wont separate me from my role, my assigned part of brown skin, vagina, mediocre money from the part time job, as if that’s all I am—all I’ll ever be. Because if I yell, scream, outburst for out of this role, I’ll be locked in creative restraint, in insane asylum—a place for those who defy their contracts, overstep boundaries, adopt new roles and fire them sporadically on set. Security takes them away.

I am an actress. Overhyped, sensationalized, tabloided, critiqued. Me.

7 comments:

Imogen Mutama said...
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Julia said...

I like how you introduced the "I am an actress" in the third paragraph.

I can actually see this as the beginning of a movie monologue. It's sort of garden state to me. The scene opens up with a video of the sperm, egg, and all that's said in the first two paragraphs.
Then audiences hear "I am an actress. Because I don't know where fiction ends and life begins."
After that, the movie follows up on a dysfunctional (or not..... sort of like Zach Braff) girl and how she discovers herself.

Anne the Pan said...

I like this one! because I understand it a bit better than the others. One day, we should sit down and you should just explain all your posts to me...because I don't know how to analyze/interpret poetry, lol.

Imogen Mutama said...

Julia--haha, omgosh thats so funny..but i can totally see it there as well, now that you mention it! Thanks for your comments!

Anne! it's been so long!!! i'm sure you're not that bad at analyzing poetry, i'm sure the posts mean what you THINK they mean, haha. Thank you for commenting!

jonina kirton said...

wow!! imogen, you really capture the feelings that go with the roles that are expected of us. i love the end "secirity takes them away". women have always been restrained, our emotional selves the very place our strength lies put in straight jackets.

Jonina said...
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Imogen Mutama said...

thank you jonina! Yes, that exactly what i was getting at...how we restrain one another by our perceptions, etc. I'm glad you could see that!!