When a Stage is Not Safe Space

Photo Credit: Salvatore Vuono

This past Saturday, R and I didn’t turn on the TV. We didn’t get on the Internet. One of my best friends came to spend the day with me before I leave for the States.

Late in the evening, R and I turned on our computers.


The US of 2011 is not the US that I left in 2001.

The Mexico of 2011 is not the Mexico that I arrived to in 2001.

I have a performance tonight of my show, “The Deportee’s Wife.” The show is controversial. Emotions run high for audience members. I don’t provide a feel-good story of how love wins in the end.

The reality is that the location of the show where I am performing tonight here in Mexico is absolutely safe on a physical level.

But when I woke up today, this first thought:

The invisible “third wall” does not protect a performer against a point-blank single gun shot to the head.

During my US tour in 2009, there were two occasions where I feared for my physical safety during a performance. I don’t want to go into the details right now. But both situations involved me fighting off the fear during the entire show of being physically attacked.

One show in particular was a real fear of being shot at. My sound during that performance was a little off-balance. The sound person pointed out to me afterward that it was because I had my chin partially pointed down the whole time, as if to protect my chest. I was so deep in the fear that I absolutely did not notice what I did sound-wise for the entire hour and ten minutes of the show.

When I stand and perform tonight, I’ll be standing there as a woman with a Jewish paternal last name, and a Latina maternal last name. I’ll be standing there as a woman who speaks out strongly about my husband’s deportation from the US, and about my views on the state of the present-day immigration system  in the US. I stand there as someone with direct ties to LGBTQ issues. I stand there as a person of mixed-race, dual nationalities and multiple identities. 

All of us in our own ways take our own versions of those personal and public stands every day.

My wish to all of you today and always is to stay safe.

Please keep sending your thoughts and prayers to Arizona.


5 thoughts on “When a Stage is Not Safe Space

  1. @R-Thank you. @N-I'm thankful for your positive and helpful presence as well in my life.Friday was lovely:)@C-Thank you to both you and S for your kind vibes. I'm wondering the same thing as well about the US and Mexico. Very unsettling!


  2. Thank you for a thoughtful, personal perspective. My whole weekend was under a cloud so I was glad Fri evening had been so great. Very many levels to such (or any) tragedy! Ripples from one, and in this case many more, shots. I'm thankful for all the positive, helpful voices, including yours.Naurine


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