Broadcast Intimacy; or Confession Goes on Tour
Confessional performers may seem on intimate terms with their audience, but this relationship can often, in fact, be complicated or thorny. In part, this is because true intimacy is impossible under the circumstances. After all, for whatever reason, confessional performers have consistently relied on touring as a business model—each night, a new audience; each week, a new town. Exploring Sexton’s ambivalent relationship to her fans and Spalding Gray’s interactive theater piece Interviewing the Audience, this essay asks how confessional performers have constructed a public from the various audiences they encounter on their travels. This public, when it’s conjured, is defined by an ambivalent affect, which this essay names “broadcast intimacy.”
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