Body/Courage Story Snippets from Over the Years

As we approach the Fall I would like to include short snippets of interviews I have portrayed, or would like to portray. I have been working on Body/Courage since 2011.

As many of you know, I have interviewed over 300 women, men & children for this production. I take the interviews and transcribe them verbatim. Then I portray the interviews in a live performance.

Some of these interviews will not end up in the final version of the show, but I wanted a space where I can share some quotes, snippets and life-altering knowledge on body image I have garnered from these people over the years. I will be including short snippets once a week.

The accompanying photos below are of me portraying some of the characters on stage.



Cheryl Williams (Joey Delisi) wide

What got me through it?
Laughing about things
Um … I dressed up …
I would go into my chemo treatment
I would be bald as an eagle
I would be sort of …
I was starting to become sort of emaciated a little bit
Because, I couldn’t swallow properly and I had a lot of mouth sores.
Um … But I always put my make-up on,
and I always tried to wear something really fun!
and funky!
and act like it was a party when I went to treatment!
and the nurses all really liked me and appreciated that
and were very kind to me.
But sometimes you go to the dark place, you know?
This is, like, an epidemic!
Many of us are survivors walking around the street
But, if you have cancer, I just want to say:
“don’t feel that you are different than or other than.
And find people to talk to, you know,
and share your experiences and laugh about it,
cry about it,
Whatever you have to do!


Primetime television actor starring on Chicago PD, African American, 20s

LaRoyce Hawkins (Joe Delisi)

Man. I like women.
I love women, actually.
I think women are powerful
And as far as the types.
I’ve dated very, very big women.
I’ve dated very, very small women.
I’ve dated women that were in between.
I’ve dated women that were 2 cupcakes away,
And I’ve dated women that were 2 cupcakes overdue.
You know what I’m saying. I, I’ve been with them all.
I’ve experienced them all.
I think, I can imagine when God made women right, he was just showing off.

Rashda SHAFFI 

Muslim woman from Birmingham, UK, parents are originally from Kashmir, 30s

Rashda Shaffi

My confidence is just…boosted
I just feel a bit of a calm in myself.
Everyone has a different definition
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The definition of beauty is something I find within.
You know, size doesn’t matter
ColoUr doesn’t really matter…
Beauty is something that you find within yourself


Anglican priest with early onset Parkinson’s, Northern Irish, late 60s

uncle david photo

But ahem
It’s reality
And you have to live with reality
I can cope with reality as long as it’s defined (beat)
It’s gonna get worse
And I know that…
But ahem
I don’t worry too much about the future
Cause, you never know what the future holds anyway
I think you have to accept what is real for yourself
You know you have to say
Can I change it?
If not, I have to accept it.
And you have to be firm in accepting it
That’s one thing
If you could change it by diet or exercise or self will feel free to try it
But if it doesn’t make much difference
Don’t fret about it
Don’t let it ruin the rest of your life
Does that make sense?


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