Katherine Perry wants to talk about sex, baby. An inventively funny comic actor, Katherine is one of nine Bright Invention ensemble members performing an original creation this SoLow Fest. Her title makes its subject clear: SEX TALK. This is a subject that has always intrigued and confused Phindie, so we seized the opportunity to ask Katherine what it’s all about. [The Little Living Room Theater, 18th and Tasker] June 20+25, 2015; solowfest.com; whitepinesproductions.org/solow-festival-2015.
Phindie: What is so great about this sex thing people talk about so much?
Katherine Perry: ORGASMS! Duh… And, you know, connecting with your own body and your partner’s body in a way that is simultaneously daring and vulnerable and all at once in and out of control. But cumming is pretty damn great, too.
Phindie: That sounds icky, I don’t think I’d like it.
KP: I used to think brussels sprouts and asparagus were icky, but now I love them. But, listen, your body is your own so put asparagus in it if you want. If you’re not into it that’s totally cool, too. No one should make you feel pressure to do the icky. And if it’s not asparagus and brussels sprouts, maybe it’ll be something else you’ll love… like eggplant. Or pussy.
KP: At some point in school I know we learned about our bodies and puberty and reproduction, but I can’t totally recall the first time I heard about sex. I sent around a survey to get an idea of what other experiences of the “sex talk” were like from the hive. The responses I got weren’t too surprising: lots of birds and bees, “when a man and a woman love each other very much”, and “don’t do it; you’ll get pregnant”. What I think people don’t talk about, especially when learning about sex, is sexuality. This came up a ton in the survey. So many people wanted the acknowledgement that as a sexual entity you’ll want pleasure and it is totally okay to let yourself experience it.
We as animal human people are hardwired to hit puberty and then want to bang away and make tons of other little animal human people. Biology. Something that is lacking is the conversation about the sliding scale that is sexuality. We’re all different. We want some different things. And I think we are getting a bit better at recognizing it.
Phindie: Was that the inspiration for this show?
KP: The inspiration came from an improv scene, actually. I was a young girl who stumbled upon an anatomy book with her sister in their father’s library where they were definitely not supposed to be. The presence of the book and its graphic diagrams confused the sisters immensely—naturally, hilarity ensued.
Driving around I randomly decided I wanted to listen to some Broadway standards and these grotesque lyrics that totally tainted the original versions came oozing into my brain. I knew I wanted to force myself to sing in my SoLow show so this seemed like the perfect way to accomplish that.
Phindie: Which was the most fun to parody?
KP: “On My Own” [from Les Mis]. Every young singer has belted that song out at one point or another. My version isn’t about unrequited love though… I guess you can say it’s about self-loving (wink wink).
Phindie: Speaking of solo work, what else are you looking forward to this SoLow Fest?
KP: Oh man there’s so much great stuff: I’m excited for Jeremy to put on his tap shoes [Jeremy Gable in The Idaho Shuffle], and Steve to execute the epic meal he’s been dreaming of for so long [Steve Gravelle in A Brief History of Food], and Hannah to be her smart and charming selves [Hannah Van Scriver in Bicycle Face].
I’m most excited to see what the other Bright Invention ensemble members have created. Many of us have never participated in SoLow before or produced our own work. It’s terrifying. But what’s so lovely about the ensemble is that there is this warm and supportive net underneath you, so taking a risk is not so scary.
I’m still petrified.
Phindie: I’m a little scared too: It hurts when I pee, that’ll go away soon, right?
KP: Web MD that shit.
Phindie: Thanks Katherine!