Kissing, Touching, Groping and Moaning

Lotta in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Thespians Anonymous 2013

It’s all about trust. Now, I know this is not very original and I’m sorry I’m not giving away any “deep secrets” because it really is all about trust. In the upcoming musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, I play 5 different characters and I’m romantically involved with 3 different guys – thankfully not all at the same time. I happen to be lucky since the people I work with and share scenes with are close friends of mine, one of them being as close as he can be since he’s also my boyfriend. As the other two are very dear friends, being at ease with them when it comes to physical contact or portraying a romantic couple has not been a difficult task.

I’m very touchy-feely, which some people find strange, uncomfortable or even alarming. I give hugs, even to people I don’t know very well and I’m very talkative and open about things. That doesn’t mean that I’m always comfortable in a room full of new people or that I wouldn’t have a problem kissing a stranger on stage or being (half) naked in front of an audience. But this is where trust comes in. Working in theatre, you will end up doing scenes with people you’ve never met before and you will have to work past your shyness or your insecurity. Trusting others also helps you believe in yourself and you become more comfortable with the situation.

Because it’s not really a kiss when you’re doing it in front of an audience with a person you’re not romantically involved with. It’s just mechanical, and yet, you have to make it seem real or otherwise the audience will see right through it. And, just like in the movies, every line and movement is scripted. You have a choreography for what is going to happen in the scene: I’ll put my hand on your chest, you’ll slap my butt, I’ll kiss your cheek and you’ll grab my boob. One, two, three, four – done. It’s actually not all that magical and that’s when you start acting – in order to make it real.

So, just like in any relationship, you have to find out what the other person is like and what they’re OK with. If something makes them uncomfortable, you need to talk about it or try something else; if something is OK then you see how far you can take it. Touching, kissing, being (half) naked on stage – it’s all up to the actors to become comfortable with each other and decide on what’s right between the two of them and the director. And me? Well, I’m just a lucky bastard I guess since the guy I’ll be kissing on stage will be my boyfriend.

Lotta Heikkinen is doing her second musical with Thespians Anonymous and hopes her voice won’t let her down during the performances. Bubble wrap, beetroots and British men are her obsessions for this season and she eagerly awaits the first day of spring.

Thespians Anonymous proudly present comedic musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change on 12, 14, 15, 21 and 22 April 2013 at Gloria Kulttuuriarena in Helsinki. For more information see Thespians Anonymous website.

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