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Melissa Carter: Lessons from ‘Angry Fags’

Melissa Carter

I have only a few performances left before the curtain falls on Topher Payne’s world premiere of “Angry Fags,” in which I played a lesbian state senator — my first acting role.

The knowledge I have gained these past several weeks has been invaluable. I have been scared, nervous, humbled, excited, proud and relieved. But I wouldn’t trade anything for what I have learned and so many of these lessons apply to all of our lives.

First, be comfortable with your body. One element of theatre that was not explained to me beforehand is that you all change in front of each other in a tiny space. There isn’t time to run to a private bathroom every time you have to switch into the next outfit.

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Topher Payne: If you see something, say something

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

I’m on a Delta flight from New York to Atlanta, awaiting takeoff. I have the aisle seat. In the middle, a baby-faced guy who I’m pretty sure is a Mormon, or at least he dresses like one.

At the window, a fiftyish businessman type, brandishing a copy of an Ann Coulter book called “Mugged.” Ugh. I just cannot stand Ann Coulter. That woman is not a conservative, she’s a provocateur. Ann Coulter is like one of those performance artists who work with body fluids — there’s no meaning behind the action, they just want everyone to notice their poop on a wall.

So already, I’m not a fan of Window Seat, as I watch him tapping out very important texts on his Blackberry.