So the Vagina Monologues is over--we actually went up (and down) nearly 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately the last several days of it were overshadowed by a truly creepy experience. One of the women in the cast was a writer for the Jersey Journal, so she set up an interview with me and one of their other writers. The article came out the day before we opened, Friday the 26th. I went on to the website to check it out and saw--to my horror
--a really creepy comment. Some guy had posted, saying it was disgusting, that I was unfit to direct The Vagina Monologues because this person had googled me, found my website and strongly disapproved of this clip
(the second one down, "The Promise"). The guy said "I didn't know that being in a low-budget porn qualified you to direct The Vagina Monologues" and "Mayor Zimmer really dropped the ball on this one" and urging a BOYCOTT of the production. Also, he "was going to bring my daughter to this, as I approve of the pro-vaginal message" of TVM, but not now.
My blood ran cold. I was seriously, seriously freaked out for many reasons--uh, what the hell are you doing googling me? My website wasn't listed in the article. Second, I'm an ACTRESS, I played a PROSTITUTE. That happens. No, it wasn't real. That wasn't actually I--that was a character
. Does this really need to be explained?! Third, what could possibly be more contrary to the message and spirit of TVM than to try to bully a woman out of the show because she played a character you don't like? The whole thing left me sickened--I was literally shaking.
Trish, one the the older actresses in the cast, had posted below this freak, ignoring what his comment and just saying what a great experience she'd had and how supportive and strong a director I was. I was shaking, and I tried to "report" the comment but our browsers at work are wonky so I was never sure if I was getting through. I checked the article a little later and both comments had been removed--in fact the entire article had been slightly rewritten. Interestingly in the first article I was quoted as saying "as a self-identifying feminist..." which I think is what triggered the guy. There is a certain kind of guy out there that is very, very threatened by even the word feminist. And by God he's gonna make the bitch pay for it. I frankly doubt he even has a daughter, much less one on whom he wanted to impress the "pro-vaginal" message of TVM. No one talks like that.
I saw Trish at rehearsal that night and talked about it with her, thanking her. Rehearsal went late that night--the process had been so compartmentalized (most of the pieces in TVM are single monologues, not group pieces) that the cast hadn't had any time to bond, so I'd had everyone bring in some wine or munchies or something, which loosened up everyone. But I did get out late! I got home well after midnight and was puttering around on the computer--I decided to check the article again. At about 2 am, the freak posted the exact same comment--the one that had been removed--again. I reported it again, and when I check Saturday morning, it had been removed.
Saturday afternoon. He posted it again. I reported it. Again. It's removed again.
Late Saturday night. He posted the same comment--the exact same comment that's now been removed three times--TWICE. And now he's escalating--he also posted a direct link to my website.
At this point, extremely upset that the Jersey Journal site hasn't banned this person, I email Summer (the cast member who'd originally set up the interview) and Dave, asking for help. Dave was horrified and said he was going to email the site directly as well. Summer said she'd seen the "disgusting" comments and had also reported them and was going to contact them directly. She also gave me a contact name/email, so I send off yet another email to this guy, John, asking them to please ban this obsessive poster who is slandering me.
I get back this email Sunday afternoon that starts off
"I think he's concerned about this video on your website--the one here [links to "The Promise"]...."
WHAT THE FUCK. Asshole, have you ever heard of the term "concern troll
"? WHAT THE HELL does it matter what his "concerns" are? No one forced him to google me AND then go to my website! That has nothing to do with the article. Who set up this freak as the arbitrator of who is fit to direct TVM? I sent back this painfully restrained response saying "I'm an actor. I've played prostitutes. This happens in the industry. But that has nothing to do with: a) this production of TVM, or b) the fact that this loser posted the exact same slanderous comment FIVE TIMES and is now escalating by posting my website directly."
Jesus. I cannot believe I actually had to explain this to "John." I'm also frankly disappointed with Summer--I forwarded John's response to her and she kind of defended it, saying they didn't want to interfere with his right to free speech (bullshit, then why bother deleting his comments in the first place) and how my website was "public" (so? The point is it wasn't mentioned in the article, and the guy is trying to get me fired). It's not about free speech. It's about whether or not you want your forum to be abused by a fucking psycho. Five times? The exact same virulent, angry, slanderous comment that was deleted before--five times?
So I will never do another interview with the Jersey Journal. Not if it means they won't do shit to stop neckbeards from typing out shitty pathetic slanderous posts over and over and over.
I've been checking that article ever since that weekend--every day I check it just to make sure. Thanks for looking out for me, "John"! A real boon to the community, you are.
The sad thing is I actually had a great time directing the show, and we did VERY well. More about that later. But God forbid a bunch of women put on a pro-woman show--nope, some fucking basement dwelling loser gotta shit all over that. Can't have that.