the sacred and the sexual


i actually wrote this last night on the train home from portland after a book i was reading.  when i got home i heard about the miley cyrus vanity fair “scandal” and decided to post this as it is very fitting.  and to comment on the miley situtation, i echo what donny deutsch said on the today show.  the view gals added more interesting talk on the issue, as did rosie.  i think the vanity fair shoot was a calculated career move – they’re media-savvy.  the “apology” was necessary to keep the air clean with disney, nervous parents of teen fans and the shoot was “necessary” to begin propelling her into a credible career once she hits 18 and the hannah montana gig is over.  miley professes that she is a person of faith, many morning commentators reminded us, which make her actions more “dishonorable”.  i don’t think that is necessarily fair either.

whether or not we believe the photos were appropriate, whether or not we chide the cyrus family’s “values” – we do realize this business, show business requires sexuality, at least some element of it.  so really, why are we making miley an example?  are we that surprised? 

so what’s a performer to do?  what do we do to find wholeness in sexuality and spirituality as it pertains to our profession  and our personal lives?  we are often hired, paid and required to be found “sexy” or at least romance-inducing, attractive or desirable?  how do we reattach the sacred in public life?  part of my job as a striving, sometimes-working actress is to be appealing.  and to be genuine in it, through it and despite it.  maybe my industry friends will chime in and say this better than i, but how do i balance the dueling tensions of the sacred and the sexual, the private and the public and the deeply personal? 

what happens to our souls when we must channel a private experience (sexuality) in the public sphere.  are we damaged by pouring ourselves out into the public realm?  does public sensuality, as in what is required to sustain a successful acting career rob me in any way?  how do we seek reconciliation?

all these ruminations have been brought about by well-meaning church ladies asking how i can “say curses” or “seduce” in an audition.  while i am a more “liberal church lady” who adores her gays and needs a savior, i rarely have an answer that they find suitable, except for:

 a word is just a word and this is acting. 

but still, that answer seems to not calm their reservations.  i get that hollywood and church seem to be fighting, but i truly love them both and want them to be honest, genuine friends.  reserve judgment. :)

am i making any sense?  i’m not sure.  what do you think?


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