“The majority of heteronormative relationships are between a 20-year-old actress and a 45-year-old man”

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Its curriculum combines artistic and creative training with therapeutics. In addition to being an actress and teacher, Andrea Isasi is a casting director and has worked with directors such as Daniel Sánchez Arévalo or Yolanda Centeno, as well as coordinating the intimacy of filming for Netflix. In this professional facet, she works in tandem with Maitane San Nicolás, with whom she has also collaborated on her projects for Amazon. With a mother from Vigo, she moved from Madrid to Val Miñor two years ago. And next week she will carry out at ESAD the first intimacy coordination workshop in a dramatic art school in Spain.

–Where did the idea of ​​this workshop that makes ESAD a pioneer come from?

–Dramatic art schools are places where you arrive at the age of 19 and 20, open and open to everything, ready to conquer the world and avid for knowledge. But they are also spaces of vulnerability because there are many power dynamics and, therefore, consent protocols are necessary. It is important that students connect with their needs and set their limits and we want to provide them with these tools, which are actually tools for life, and also that they know the figure of intimacy coordinator that they are going to find as future actors and actresses. And a school in which situations of abuse have also been reported, we thought it was something fundamental.

–That they know their rights from school is vital for their future career, especially at the beginning.

–Just because a director asks you to show your breasts in a scene, you don’t have to assume that it should be like that. Now there is the figure of the privacy coordinator and there are situations that continue to happen a little less, but they continue to happen. An actor or actress is very vulnerable and it is very difficult to say no to a director or director. Imagine if it is also very important and you are the protagonist. The coordinator appears professionally in all intimate scenes, from kisses or caresses, to simulated sex, where there is intercourse, rape or aggressive situations. And his job is to create a consent protocol in which the needs and limits of the actor or actress are established. The importance of taking this to schools is that creating a protocol objectifies abuse and bullying situations. They are spaces of great physical vulnerability and therefore emotional. You can feel overwhelmed, restless and harassed, but the person next to you still doesn’t see it that way. However, the moment there is a protocol and someone breaks it without consent, everyone sees it objectively. In series, for example, it is common to establish that there is no physical contact between directors and actors.

Andrea Isasi. assigned

– What is the process of elaboration of these protocols?

–At ESAD we are going to be pioneers with a protocol that I have prepared. In the series they call us when they already detect intimate scenes in the scripts. I just did the coordination of “Sagrada familia” (Netflix) and, first, you meet with the director to find out his vision of the scene. Then I do it with the actors involved separately. It is a process that I base a lot on non-violent communication and in which I help them to contact their needs, so that they do not go overboard because everything goes very fast. And, from there, clearly establish limits. There is a color protocol to indicate which areas can be touched or shown or not. Each one sets their own. For whatever reason. They are all absolutely respectable. We live in a patriarchal society and all of us, to a greater or lesser extent, have suffered harassment for being women. A situation of simulated sex in which the limits are crossed can reopen a wound or retraumatize. The reality is that the majority of heteronormative relationships are between a 20-year-old actress and a 45-year-old man. Obviously, a beginning actress who has been given a precious role has a pretty big yes to everything. She doesn’t have the same tools as another 45-year-old.

–And she also has to fight with the idea that if she doesn’t, she’s not a good actress.

–Under the role of privacy coordinator there is a whole sociocultural ballast. In every school there has been a teacher who takes the license to tell the students, from his position of power, that undressing is normal and establishes it as a belief. And the one that doesn’t go through that starts to be frigid or weird, it’s not cool anymore. That’s where it all starts. And what’s more, what we are experiencing now has nothing to do with what happened fifteen or even ten years ago. I graduated in 2003 and then the naked body was a way of vindication, of rebellion. That was already modern. Now it is different.

Students at the Galician School of Dramatic Art (ESAD), in Navia. MARTA G. BREA

–The figure of privacy coordinator is very recent in Spain, how is it being received?

–Created in the US as a result of the Time’s Up movement and Me Too. She has been there for about 8 years, in England about 4, and in Spain about a year and a half. We are very few because we need some tools and training and I think I’m the only casting director working on this. From my experience, in general, the reception is very good. The filming crews for the series are vast and there is wonderful care and respect. The social reality is that we are the ones who suffer the most harassment, with which in the teams, where there are more and more professional women, there is an empathy with the vulnerability of acting work. There are directors who find it difficult because they believe that it affects the creative part, but it is not like that. The artistic thing can be resolved in many ways, but opening a wound and generating trauma for a 20-year-old actress is for life. And that is what I want to take care of, that the actors and actresses know how to set their limits and that this is protected by the entire team.

–The existence of this role responds to pure logic. In recent times there are many actresses who have related experiences in their beginnings related to filming sex scenes on sets full of men.

–They endured it at the cost of a lot of trauma and paying for therapeutic processes. And thanks to these movements they have begun to be counted. Maria Schneider was raped in “Last Tango in Paris” and she was unable to report it until years later. There have been many situations of vulnerability and abuse in movies that we have seen and that we did not even imagine. The coordination work also includes the part of choreographing the simulated sex scenes and avoiding contact with another person’s genitals. It’s incredible that we haven’t been doing this for twenty years now, but it has a lot to do with the society in which we live. There are professions that imply greater vulnerability, but in any sector consent is necessary.

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