Activist applies ‘up-front’ approach in performance

By Jen Bland

When Tim Miller, gay performance activist, said students could expect “full frontal nudity” from his performance Wednesday, he wasn’t kidding.

As part of Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual Awareness Week, Miller brought his performance “Sex/Love/Stories” to a packed Players Theatre in the Stevens Building.

Miller said “Sex/Love/Stories” is pulled from different works he has performed. He said he tries to gather the “funniest, juiciest, sexiest stuff” from his other performances.

“I even surprise myself,” Miller said.

He said he started his performances because “it’s important for people to use different forms to tell their stories and break the silence.”

Miller said he was angry and wanted to get dates and this seemed like the best way to do it.

Wednesday’s performance began with Miller groping his way through the mass of students asking them for various things. He asked audience members for fingers, the back of a knee, a foot, mouths, brains and hearts.

Miller then asked for audience participation. He said students were to call out their favorite parts of the body while he devised an impromptu dance.

Students began screaming as Miller danced on stage and when he was done he said NIU students could be proud because as long as he’s been giving this performance, they were the first group to call out “butt” and “penis” first.

Miller then began telling about his experiences from conception to the present. He said the doctor spanked him three times and when he was done Miller turned to the doctor and said,

Actually doc, I won’t be into spanking until I’m 24.”

He then told the audience about his experiences trying to find an apartment in New York. One place he concentrated on was what he referred to as “The maw of death.”

At “The maw of death” Miller met Gordon who would be a friend and a lover. Miller and Gordon vowed to escape “The maw of death” someday.

Miller told the audience about the day he and Gordon bought a surf rider and went to Brighton Beach and how it felt so private floating on the surf rider and waving to everyone on shore.

Miller then told students Gordon died of “You know what” soon after. He then “spray-painted” A-I-D-S into the air.

“I thought I had escaped ‘The maw of death’,” Miller said. “Silence equals death and action equals life.”

He then went on to describe the scene in front of County General Hospital where hundreds of people were living to try and get the hospital to build a facility to treat AIDS patients.

He said NIU sounded like an abbreviation of an STD and maybe that was why they wanted to change the name to UNI.

Miller said he wanted to throw a surf rider to all the people with AIDS and pull them into shore, but he couldn’t.

“The world makes no sense,” he said. “Why am I so lucky to be here in DeKalb?”

Next, Miller surprised the audience by removing his clothes. “Uh oh, I’ve got myself in trouble again,” he said. “You’re standing naked in front of 183 NIU students.”

Miller went on to have a conversation with his penis. “You missed your cue,” he said.

“Get hard because it still feels good to be touched. Get hard because it’s the least we can do. Get hard because so many people have died. Get hard because once you’re gone you can’t. Get hard because I want to get these boners before I’m a bag of bones,” Miller screamed. Finally he said, “Get hard because those right-wing f—-heads can’t tell us how to f—-.”

Miller grabbed a megaphone from stage-left and said all the audience members were under arrest. He then told the students of his experience of being arrested.

“The policeman put the handcuffs on so deliciously tight,” Miller said. He said the activists were put into their holding cells: men in one and women in the other.

Miller said “Civil Disobedience Weekend” then began. “We looked at each other and realized this was an awful cute bunch of civil disobedient dudes locked up together for the entire weekend,” he said. And, thus began the orgy.

Miller concluded the performance with a request for students to get involved because it’s their future.