Evolution of an Act: Hillary Clinton

The idea to even put together a Hillary Clinton came about when I heard the song “Sabotage” in the latest Star Trek movie. Man, that is an awesome song. And it was around the time when news about how the Democratic National Committee may have tipped the scales for Hillary Clinton’s nomination, and I was a HUGE Bernie Sanders fan.

Phaedra Black as Hillary Clinton
Photo by Singing Raven Photography, Sept 25, 2017

I envisioned strutting on stage with sunglasses on and Blackberry in hand. Then at the first yell in the song, chaos would ensue. There would have been something like grabbing ballots from the ballot box and ripping them to shreds, or ripping a Bernie Sanders headshot in half. There probably would have been humping of the ballot box, because of COURSE there needs to be humping of a ballot box. It would have been powerful and a hell of a lot of fun to do on stage.

And then I started paying attention to her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, more. Where at first I thought he was just an opportunistic narcissist, now I was noticing the really scary aspects about his policies. And then I saw her speech for accepting the Democratic party nomination. I really wanted to support her, and feel good about supporting her, because this dangerous buffoon couldn’t be President. Maybe not looking too much into the DNC scandal and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it made her easier to swallow as well. I also saw how much Clinton had been villainized in other times during her career that seemed less that fair, and the fact that despite that, she still chose to run for President. All of that made me feel uncomfortable portraying her as a saboteur. I wanted to change gears.

I needed a new song, so I looked to the Katy Perry song that the Clinton campaign had been using as their campaign song, “Roar!” It’s catchy, poppy, easy to dance to. I observed some of the movements Clinton used to greet the crowds, like waving to supporters as if her hands were sock puppets, and pointing to people she knew to inspire some of the movements.


I still wanted to add some critiques of Clinton to the number though. A big one I have of her campaign is how little attention she gives to the issues of people of color. During her speech for accepting her nomination, she mentioned communities working together with police, but addressed nothing about police brutality. It certainly seemed like she didn’t get it. So for my number, I injected some dance moves that are identified as being created by people of color, and utilized it as a sort of cultural appropriative pandering. I even used a bit of really bad salsa dancing as a nod to the “mi abuela” madness.


But then…it happened. She didn’t win the presidency.

As much as I wanted to poke fun at her with how she was still a bit out of touch, I ultimately supported her. For me, she was the one that was going to fight for women’s rights. While she may not have been as strong of a proponent for POC rights as I would have liked, I didn’t fear for their deterioration like I did (and still do) with the Trump administration. I felt like, deep down, she wanted to do good for the American people, and she would work hard.

So I needed to change up the act. I wanted it to now be less poking fun and more of a rallying call to fight for what we believe in.

So I took pieces from Clinton’s concession speech. Also, I entered from the audience,  shaking hands with audience members, almost comforting them. I still kept many of the dance moves, and the piece started to feel celebratory of how far a female candidate had gotten in the race, instead of lamenting what could have been. I felt very powerful in the end where I added “I won’t give up, and neither should you,” from Katie McKinnon’s take of Hillary Clinton singing “Hallelujah,” as I drop my bra in the fashion of a mic drop.


The political climate has been hard to bear, especially since November. However, it’s through the creation of pieces like this that I feel I can work through the ups and downs of what is currently happening in our country. I hope that the act was also helpful to those that were able to see it.

Since you read all the way through this post, you get a bonus glitter spanking gif. Enjoy!


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