Reported by the drama guru, staff reporter
The actor: an instrument of human emotion and a catalyst for the collective catharsis of society. We worship them, adore them, and place them atop our monuments. Monuments that many times we imagine them actually sitting atop…straddling, thrusting, moaning: gyrating in ecstasy and giving us just a glimpse to the sweet ambrosia of Olympus. Yes, everyone seeks to make the beast of two backs and engage in coitus with an actor.
So, do we care that the experience may very well be a performance itself? Is it okay that our mere mortal offerings may not be enough, that they are simply placating us? Can we truly tell if the actors we jump into bed with are pretending? Are our raucous shameful lovemaking sessions simply an opportunity for them to hone their craft?
Yes, they are faking it.
This intrepid reporter took the blow to his self-esteem (and his member) and managed to coax three actors/actresses into bed (all of different acting disciplines). After I revealed the purpose of my investigation and promised complete anonymity, the subjects agreed to explain how their individual acting techniques influence their incredible ability to fake an orgasm.
The first night, I managed to charm my way into the dive studio apartment of a Stanislavsky actor. Before we could begin our encounter he sat me down and asked me what I looked for in an ideal partner. I was a bit put off, but who was I to argue? The level of detail he required was astounding; he asked for the birthday, hair color, childhood traumas, hopes, dreams, and objectives of my ideal sexual partner. Using these answers to craft his set of “given circumstances,” he drew upon his own experiences to find a common ground with this character I had constructed. His transformation was believable, but in the end left me wanting. His orgasm felt a tad rudimentary and I attribute this to us both, since he never asked and I never described how my ideal person would “go.” With little to go off of, he was left to his devices and creative interpretation, in the moment. Needless to say, he fell short- It was close but no cigar.
My next encounter was with a Chekhovian actor—a technique that relies heavily upon using physical actions to elicit inner emotional responses. She began the night with physical gestures, or psychological gestures, as they call them. She rubbed her hands together trying to kindle the flame of passion, presumably so I’d believe she was into it, then placed her hands over her heart and claimed she was “focusing her center.” I was confused, but such matters are above my station. I was absorbed in her performance as I watched her hands slowly work their way from her chest to her sacred temple. It was on. I began to disrobe but was nearly assaulted when her hands flung out and she began to scream, “I want to penetrate!” over and over again. Only during our post-coital embrace did I learn that this was her own psychological gesture that allowed her to experience the inner sensation and emotional journey of someone who could actually feel penetration. Having practiced the teachings of the great Michael Chekhov she was able to deliver a performance worthy of the Globe, and I walked home believing I had been delivered a showstopper.
Feeling pleased with myself I quickly proceeded to my next lover, a student of the Meisner technique. This may have been the strangest encounter, which began with us sitting in bed face to face, repeating the same word back and forth. At first I believed she was suffering a stroke—or maybe the realization that she was sleeping with a reporter from The Athenian was just too much for her. Thankfully this was only an example of the Meisner technique, an exercise she neglected to inform me I was participating in, and she explained that her art relied on repeating words or actions with the hope of finding spontaneity and truth. After this explanation she proceeded to jump my bones and the bow chika bow wow commenced. In the end, much like the Stanislavsky technique, I was left confused and unsure whether or not I had pleased my actress. She lay writhing on the bed repeatedly yelling the word “shazam” with different inflections and moans until she finally settled on one she believed was the most honest. The “shazams” were thirty-two in total and it took until the twenty-fourth time for me to realize she hadn’t achieved lift off.
In the end who’s to say the players did anything wrong? I left satisfied and like any night at the theatre it was a mixed bag. These actors were simply carrying on the sacred duty of their passions and delivering a performance that, despite being half-assed in some cases, still didn’t feel like it was as much of a rip-off as devised theatre. Number one tip: Go hang out at Eldred more often.