Name as you’d like it to appear: Jeanny Rouge
Gender as you’d like it to appear: male / female on stage
City you live in and/or improvise in most: Stuttgart, Germany
Personal website or another project that you’d like to link to: https://www.instagram.com/
How does your gender influence your impro(v)?
One of my goals in acting is to display diversity of any kind on stage. To a large extent I am driven by the desire to play roles on stage that I cannot (or do not want to) fill in my own everyday life. I am still very much a beginner when it comes to impro(v), but I hope that my performances encourage people to critically reflect on social norms in general and gender roles in particular.
How do you feel about playing different genders generally, in terms of naming gender and of expressing it?
I love playing and expressing different genders. Being able to show on stage how boundless and beautiful diversity can be if we only dare to follow our imagination instead of binary gender categories, that’s something truly precious to me.
Does your local impro(v) community know/understand your gender? If so, how has that been in terms of acceptance/understanding?
I received mixed reactions when I announced to other impro(v) players that I would like to appear as a female actor on stage. This took me very much by surprise. Fortunately, there were people who strongly supported me. My first appearances in female roles have been received very positively, but gender is sometimes still a puzzle to myself, so I don’t expect others to understand it.
What are some things that teachers/directors/other performers can do to make sure trans*/NB improvisers feel safe and welcome?
Encourage honesty. If someone is bothered by gender roles that do not comply with their social norms, I would like to hear about it and discuss it openly and honestly. What I am most afraid of are people who pretend to accept/respect when they don’t really mean it.
Who do you look up to/admire as a trans*/NB person in impro(v) or the world generally?
Maybe it is a strange answer to this question, but I am fascinated by the self-confidence with which drag queens convey socio-political messages. I don’t know who actually identifies as trans*/NB, but conversations with drag queens have ultimately encouraged me the most to perform on stage in female roles myself.
What’s something special that you and/or trans*/NB performers have to offer?
As artists, public performances give us the opportunity to reach parts of society that would otherwise not have any personal contact with trans*/NB topics. Therefore, I see it not only as something special but in a sense also as a duty that we raise awareness of the trans*/NB community in a respectful way.