I’ve known Jaguar for almost five years since we worked in same office for almost that long. It’s funny (and awesome) to discover new things about the people you’ve known forever and I had never really realized that Jaguar was such an actor! Even though I knew he had a theater background from school. I’m possibly a really bad and clueless friend.
I was so excited for him when he told me that he wanted to audition for a play and then got even more excited when he told me he had become a part of the cast. I did not know much about a Lovely Bouquet of Flowers when I arrived at the theater but I walked out feeling inspired and thoughtful.
I’ve never seen Jaguar act or perform (besides when used to goof off at work) and I was delighted to witness a part of him on stage that I have never seen before.
The play is a series of different monologues or scenes played out by each actor on stage. Each story was about another person’s life who had gone through or is still going through a non-traditional gender transformation. The idea came from David Hays Gaddas and Jazzmun. Transgenders who had to worked as escorts; individuals growing up and what it was like to explore their sexuality at a young age; one boy who had to leave his home to avoid his father’s abuse and finally become a woman; a husband/father who secretly went out at nights to dress like a woman and so on. It was two hours of captivating performances, funny stories and very emotional dialogues.
The production itself was simple — very few props and projected images at the back of the stage to indicate each flower and the theme of the story. But the truth is, each actor had such a presence and such a strong performance that they didn’t need much to work with but their own, well, voices. A stand out performance was by Skip Pipo who had a great delivery and made us all laugh. His scene with Ms. Karnayshun (Lana Houston) was one of my favorites because they played off each other so well. Plus the scene made me very thoughtful as Karnayshun — a transgender woman — revealed that she believes marriage is for a man and woman only. Pipo’s character, who was her therapist, questioned why she would feel this way at all since she should share the same beliefs as the rest of the LGBT community.
Not one story was the same, not one person felt the exact same way. The play served as an open discussion to tell the audience that everyone has their own humanity and beliefs despite having to be categorized under the labels of “trans.” They even talked about how sometimes, it was even difficult for their LGBT sisters and brothers to fully understand what is “trans.” It was interesting to be presented with the fact that although society tend to lump the gay community into one thing, a lot of transgender people actually do not identify with them. There comes a point when a man becomes a woman, or a woman becomes a man and they are a woman who love men or men who love women. Is that straight? Is that gay? What is it exactly?
Of course, this is a discussion that can be long and one that needs to continue to happen, but all I can say is that even though I know I am an open-minded person, I have a lot to learn from other people. I am just lucky enough to have a heart that can easily accept someone who is not the same as me.
I loved this play. Watching Jaguar dance on stage and flip invisible hair was worth it! Also, I was really jealous of everyone’s sexy bodies and fabulous hair. Why doesn’t my hair ever do that?!
It was a one-night engagement as of right now but like them on Facebook if you are interested and let them know that you’d love to see this show go around the country and perhaps the world. It is time to give them a voice.
Visit www.lovelybouquetofflowers.com for more information.