fantastic story about your costar, I can well believe that, also i appreciate hearing from someone who knows the atmosphere of that sort of environment.
My concern is really too fold. Firstly, I've been in that sort of position before, but haven't really known how to respond, it's always felt like something I needed to endure, for ll I know how well meant it is, and while my guard has gone down (especially over a long production), it's taken time and I've noticed I've never been quite as included in the tactile affection side as others. So that is the first question. heck, it's actually been an arguement betwene me and my mum which has gone on for the last few years, since to accept a hug or kiss from her feels like a duty and is something I do rarely, and I never! spontaniously hug her myself, (remember my abuse happened at school not at home), for all we are close emotionally.
The second is to do with appropriateness, since I've known that both as a friend, and in initiating romantic relationships touch has been a problem. one friend of mine for instance (who I met during a production of The Sorcerer), was someone many people including my parents were fairly certain wanted to be closer to me, however the first time she hugged me outside the theatrical context I went utterly tense. I have no idea whether she actually was! interested or not, indeed part of me regrets not telling her about my abuse since that would at least explained my reaction, however I am fairly certain if she was! interested it was the physical affection angle that hit things dead.
It was taking ****'s hand in 2007 that dropped me into recovery since I was battling my own phobia to make my feelings known then got no where, so this is something I'd like to get round yet even if as a merely friendly gesture in that sort of environment I considder patting someone on the back (of either gender), I feel disgusting.
I have noticed a change in the way people react towards me, even in this environment, and as I have noticed a change I'd like to grab it with both hands (yes, irony!), so some rational advice on what people may or may not find acceptable physical affection, either as friends or if I was interested in someone, something I can stick to as a rational individual much like the director's instructions on stage.
Quite ironcially the only friend of mine I am! comfortable with physical affection with is someone who is not only as close as my brother, but also is someone I know absolutely, as an extremely strong and independent person, indeed she has a black belt in karate and does viking reinactment, her honesty and self confidence (she once walked around colidge in a dressing gown), makes her very easy to be with sinse I dam well know! if anyone ever did something she wasn't comfortable with physically she'd dam well let them know! and unlike me on several occasins wouldn't suffer in silence, indeed anyone who tried anything would probably end up with broken bones.
This has meant I know! exactly where I stand with her, both physically and emotionally, which makes things easy and meant I have! been able to accept a casual hug.