He loves me, he loves me not

For my durational performance study, I am curious about how exhausting my emotion can affect my physical reaction. I decided to perform the game “he loves me, he loves me not” where one seeks to determine whether his or her love interest returns that affection by pickling one petal off a flower per phrase.

The original game itself has a very strong feminine association which I wanted to enhance by purposely dressing in baby pink. I chose to perform with roses instead of daisies because of the romantic symbol of rose and also the thorns they come with that could increase the chance of hurting myself during the game. I envision myself going through an emotional roller coaster while pickling petals off the bouquet of roses I have on the floor. There would be one point that I would start feeling thirsty yet have to continue the game. There would also be another time that I would be crying thinking that the result is “he loves me not”.┬áIn the video, I only got to perform for five minute in class which is not enough to experience mental exhaustion and physical challenge. However, during the five minute performance, I was able to gather several important observations that are helpful for me to study before moving forward.

A few people came to asked me questions about the man I was trying to seek love from. I answered their questions in short sentences and then resumed pickling petals. It was unexpected for me that people would ask pretty specific questions other than simply how he was like on paper. Surprised and a little nervous, I ended up rambling a lot with some truths and some made up stories. I went back and forth between how I should design audience interaction because for the in class demo it felt like somewhat of an in between state.

If audience interaction were not involved in my piece, I would be living in my own world while playing the game, preferably at a corner on the floor of ITP or somewhere in the Tisch building, while ignoring any people who tried to speak to me. The audience’s role would be pure observers.

If audience interaction were to be involved in my piece then my next step is to further design my character. Am I who I am in real life? Or do I become a different person by putting on the pink wig? If I exist as an alternative identity, what is my persona? Who is the person I am attempting to seek answer from? What is his character?

As a storyteller who is passionate about modern day romance, I am more drawn towards the latter. I will need some time to work on the narrative as well as finding a place that makes sense to perform. I will update my progress in another post.

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