Although shes been telling stories professionally since 1996, Elizabeth Lord admits shes pretty nervous about her latest one-woman show.
Usually before performing, maybe a half hour before the show, you get a little nervous flutter in your belly or your chest, Lord said this week. Thats to be expected. But this flutter business has been going on for two weeks.
The Swimsuit Area is playing this weekend only at The Midnight Sun, and as the title suggests, its about a sensitive topic.
In the shows press release, Lord defines it this way: Those areas on a womans body (the breasts and the crotch area) that are socially forbidden to touch, reveal, or even gaze at too long, unless you know the woman, and she agrees to that touch or gaze.
More specifically, the show is about what Lord is calling unparenthood.
I think there are a number of people who are choosing not to be parents, she said, and I wanted to explore why that is, if it was a big deal for them or not.
Those extra flutters are about the fact that shell be speaking very personally about the topic and to her, it clearly is a big deal.
Its terrifying, she said. I am really wound up about it because of the personal nature. Its one thing to say, I worked in a bar, and one night, this funny thing happened, but its another to talk about my own personal life choices on an issue thats important to many people.
She didnt consider holding back out of fear, though. Whenever I think, Thats going too far or Thats a little scary, thats when I have to say yes, she said. Thats usually the story that when I tell it, people will come up to me later and say, Thank you for telling that. Thats my story, too.
This show has been two years in the making, though Lord usually aims to mount at least one-woman show per year. Not that she has a lot of free time, since she also tells stories in a variety of other settings, and acts, directs, hosts Lord Franzannians Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show and manages The Midnight Sun.
As if all that werent enough, Lord recently performed for the first time at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle over Memorial Day weekend.
They only gave me 20 minutes, she said. I thought, What am I going to do in 20 minutes? But I told three stories.
She told a personal story and two folktales, one aimed at kids. I got to show them the range of what I do, she said.
They applauded me, she said. They loved me. I felt like a star. All these people tried to hug me afterward.