What to Expect
Interested in working with an intimacy director or coordinator, but not sure what to expect? Here's a brief guide to how I work with producers and directors to create safe, ethical, and effective intimacy!
BEFORE THE WORK
I'll meet with you to ask a few artistic and logistical questions to get us on the same page. This can happen in person, over the phone, via email--any way that works best for you. This can also happen right when I first get to the rehearsal room/set. I usually like to know:
Staging intimacy usually takes a few hours, depending on the nature of the scene. Please have your stage manager or 1st AD build room into the schedule for intimacy work.
DURING THE WORK
I'll speak with the actors about how they're allowed to have boundaries and give them tools to communicate them. If time allows, we may do a few exercises.
Once boundaries and expectations are established, we'll all collaborate to create the intimacy with the actors' boundaries in place! In my experience, this runs smoothly if I take the lead while checking in with you often, and you are welcome to chime in at any point to change things.
For film/television, I will remain on set to supervise scenes of intimacy, assist with modesty garments, and handle actor intimacy-related requests.
After intimacy has been created, I'll guide actors through a brief closure practice for them to utilize at the end of the day on set, or at the end of rehearsal/performances.
At all times, I am guided by the following principles in my work as an intimacy director & coordinator.
The Five Pillars
Intimacy Directors & Coordinators
What is the story being told? How can we tell that story?
Must be given freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific.
(Based on Planned Parenthood's FRIES model)
Actors and crew must have tools available to communicate their boundaries, wishes, discomfort, and apologies.
Intimacy should be specific and repeatable--no surprises.
Actors must be given the tools and time to separate themselves from the work as needed.
Practices & Philosophies
Theatrical Intimacy Education
Provides actors with a code word to help them communicate that they have a boundary surrounding something.
Breaks choreography down into specific components.
De-sexualizing the work
Utilizes inclusive language to communicate choreography.
We are more creative when we are sharing our ideas and trying new things.
Everyone has a right to both safety and respect, regardless of ability, gender, sexual orientation, size, shape, race, color, religion, etc.
Integrity to the story
Related to context, our duty as artists is to honor the story being told.
Allows actors to maintain control over their own mental health and create some space between themselves and the work. (This is a different approach from "trauma-focused" art, in which actors use each other and their projects to work through personal trauma, which is unsustainable and disrespectful.)