As anyone knows who has traveled for work or been on a long theatriacl tour, it isn't all curtain calls and air kisses. It's lots of lonely down time in hotel rooms in strange cities. In your jockey shorts, fortunately for us. While artist and dancer Mark MacKillop was touring in West Side Story he chronicled his downtime with an iPhone camera, taking over 80 high-quality, expertly composed black-and-white and color self-portraits in various hotel rooms, in very little clothing.
“Surprisingly, traveling with 30 cast members and a 30-piece orchestra left me feeling, at times, incredibly isolated and lonely. Admittedly, I started off with the cast on the wrong foot, saying things coming from a place of insecurity. I quickly realized I needed to change. Subsequently, I ended up spending a lot of time solo,” Mackillop reminisced, “I started this photo series as a way for me to connect with friends at home, to give them an intimate look at living on the road. This process ended up becoming quite healing and helped break down some of the walls I had created.”
And thank goodness for all of us he decided to collect the images in a book entitled Rm. XIV. The collection includes an introduction by Broadway performer, pop singer, film and television actor Billy Porter. The foreword was authored by renowned New York artist Robert W. Richards, who in May curated an exhibition of 20th-Century erotic illustrations at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in SoHo.
MacKillop recently performed on the stage of the annual charity spectacular Broadway Bares Rock Hard, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, where he personally raised over $5,000. On the subject of his experience MacKillop offered, “Being a part of the cast of Broadway Bares was a dream I had for such a long time. The camaraderie I shared with the cast and crew gave me a fresh perspective.” The money MacKillop helped to raise will provide medications, nutritious meals, health care, counseling and emergency financial assistance to men, women and children across the country living with HIV/AIDS and it supports the essential social service programs of The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
MacKillop is devoting a portion of the proceeds from the book to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. “After the welcoming experience I had with Broadway Bares, I couldn’t imagine not doing something more to further this important cause.”
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