When my daughter, a college sophomore, told me she'd landed a part in a play, and that she'd be doing a politically motivated skit about HIV/AIDS, naturally, I was eager to see it. I have to admit, though, that when I saw the "Viewer Discretion Advised" I got a little worried.
I had no idea what was in store as I headed for the last empty seat, (front row and center) but let your imagination run wild, and let me assure you this will be better.
The theater was jam packed with college kids. Seems the entire student body had come to see Naked-Man. Now, you have to picture it. Sleek, nice looking college kids–kicked back–very cool. Me–Nervous-Mom, slumped in the front row having a hot flash–not so cool. Anyway, I smiled at the kids on either side of me and settled in just as the lights dimmed.
Each skit was a riveting, politically motivated rendition to drive home a point. I was glued to my seat during the entire emotionally charged performance ... and then, once again, the lights dimmed. When they came on again, front and center stage, stood NAKED MAN. Okay, so I admit, Alee had tried to warn me, but nothing could have prepared me for this. There stood naked man, ( and I do mean NUDE) with slur words written in black marker all over his skin. I have to say that once I got over the shock, the performance in itself I found to be very profound and beautifully executed. And I tried not to stare at the penis, which wasn't easy to do with the lighting guy upstairs shining the spotlight on it the entire time. (Laughing yet? Me too!) Those crazy college kids...
Alee's performance was next. You could have heard a pin drop as she spoke of what it was like to grow up with HIV, and what it was like to finally come out to her friends about it. I heard someone behind me whisper, "This is a true story."
I have to say I was incredibly proud of my daughter, and moved by her honesty and brave performance.
At the very end of what proved to be an amazing night, there was a Q & A with the audience. There were a lot of questions for Alee about HIV, and how that works in a committed relationship. It was great to see young people so open and unembarrassed to talk about condoms, relationships and safe sex–much more so than when I'd been their age. We must be doing something right.
Now, about that good news I've been wanting to share; I'm pleased to announce that my novel, The Silence of Mercy Bleu, sold on just its second read to a wonderful publishing house, kNight Romance Publishers. It's been an amazing experience from start to finish and I can't wait to share this story. Watch for it in bookstores and online beginning March 5, 2012!
To learn more visit: SuzanStirling.com and you can also follow me on Twitter for the latest updates.