How would you describe your role?
Ita O’Brien: As an intimacy coordinator, we’re bringing to the industry a shift to help everybody know that just as with a dance or a fight, we’re doing intimate content, we’re bringing a skill and a structure that allows everyone to work professionally, which wasn’t there before. In that, we’re inviting clear communication from the get-go, right through the whole process, so everything’s understood, everything’s out in the open, and that the invitation is to speak openly, in a professional way, with adult language about intimate content.
How much of the characters do you consider when crafting an intimate scene?
Ita O’Brien: Intimacy work is about serving character, serving the writing, serving the director’s vision. And then, with that clear focus on character, you’re just making sure to honour what the scene is and putting it in place.
You’ll speak to the director about what he or she wants from the scene and make sure the director has spoken to the actors. Once that’s happened, I’ll check-in with the actors as to any concerns, and once we’re on set, I’m present while they have the director rehearsal in that scene.
It’s about the intention, where the characters are at this point in time. It’s about observing what the actors are offering, observing how they’re being in their body, and from that will emerge a basic shape, physically, in the scene. Then, once they’ve already got a basic shape, I’ll step in and start agreeing the touch and choreography.
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