After working with Melissa on “pURe” as “Anais” in 2012 , I jumped at the chance to work with Melissa again. “pURe” was an incredible experience. I knew “Whore” would be the same.
Playing a Ukrainian refugee and a married woman ‘sex worker’ presents many challenges, all of which I am throwing myself into, with gusto. I actually started research for this back in 2011, when I arrived in NZ not knowing that prostitution is legal here. I was fascinated, so read forums and policies surrounding the issue. Fast forward two years later and (actually now) cast as two sex workers, I have investigated further! Research for my Ukrainian character has sent me in the direction of a Ukrainian accent coach, in order to fully understand where my character is coming from culturally, historically and socially. My accent needs to be spoken with truth and authenticity from within. “Married Woman” is proving equally challenging (as the life she leads is incredibly different from my own); as I haven’t dealt with violence, discrimination or psychological problems that she experiences daily. I have been reading and chatting to a lot of people (who are victims) about violence, drugs and discrimination and the effect it has on their lives. I hope to expose their reality – with truth. Protected by the ‘Prostitution Reform Act 2003’, yet unprotected on the street. I have realised that ‘sex work is work’.
The girl sits with attitude
Wearing chocolate-scented fragrance
Wrapped in colourful reflections
She dreams of the ocean
Running with the wolves
Clad in skin-tight femininity
The girl sits with assertion
Hearing nothing in her path
Drowned in memoirs of iconic Marilyn
Written for ‘Lilly’ by ‘Henry – ‘salt’ by Melissa Fergusson