Being back stage, preparing for a show is where lifelong friendships are born. You arrive 60 to 90 minutes in advance, get dressed, do your hair and makeup, and wait for the audience to be seated, hold for latecomers, so to pass time, you talk quietly in the dressing rooms…. about anything and everything. During “Love, Loss and What I Wore” this year, the conversation somehow turned to bras and boobs. I was literally shocked at how many breast cancer survivors were together in this crowded dressing room in a show about memories of clothing. It was at that moment that “Breast Advice” was born.
Before I even had a venue, I posted a request on Facebook for people’s true stories about breasts. Fran Powers posted a comment that Powerstories would host this production, should it come to be. I then held my breath and waited. In less than a month, credited and anonymous writers shared their honest, funny, eye-opening, and heart-breaking stories about breast sizes and shapes, the space between breasts, uneven breasts, sports bras, augmentation, third boob syndrome, gender fluidity, men’s appreciation, man boobs, breastfeeding, and breast cancer. Some bravely are telling their own stories, performing in this production.
Once the monolouges were organized and compiled into something that felt like a show, I asked Fran if we could donate a portion of the tickets sales to The Affirmations Project, a local nonprofit that provides support to breast cancer and domestic abuse survivors, a group that helped a dear friend of mine, a breast cancer survivor. Of course, the response was “Yes.”
Inspired by performing in “Love, Loss and What I Wore” and “The Vagina Monologues,” “Breast Advice” is a play I hope that after seeing, you feel that I and my talented cast did for breasts what Eve Ensler did for vaginas.