"This person I'm projecting is not the person I feel on the inside" says writer/performer Mary Dimino in her very funny and inspiring one woman show. Dimino, who has struggled with her weight her entire life, tells her life story from her first very sloppy and unwanted kiss to her determined efforts to lose the weight. Her performance is utterly captivating and serves as excellent motivation to others struggling with their weight.
Dimino's story is very much what you may expect from a person in her position. She is a sweet girl with all the same desires for love and acceptance that anyone has, but her weight has always been an obstacle. She begins by describing her childhood in Queens. She was a miracle baby who was raised for a time by her grandmother who was extremely paranoid about the lustful desires of boys. She dated a string of men who were all wrong for her before she finally settled into taking care of her ailing mother. Eventually depression set in and she began to gain a lot of weight and that led to other health problems. One day she had an epiphany. She finally saw herself as others saw her and she decided to lose the weight. She describes all the crazy weight loss programs she attempted before she finally realized that a little exercise and a healthy diet in small portions is all she really needed to do to lose the weight. And she did it. Most importantly, she kept it off.
Dimino is a great performer. She has a standup-comedian-style delivery and that works great for her well-written, funny script. I found it very easy to connect with her because she doesn't attempt a lot affectation. She is natural and likable. Sure, she does impersonations of several characters in her life and these impressions are hilarious but she doesn't try to make this a one-woman show filled with character work. She is a storyteller and she uses these characters as nuance rather than trying to show off her acting skills. I really liked that about this play. It makes the show honest and moving.
Scared Skinny is a show that is equally entertaining as it is motivational. FringeNYC has a lot to offer but this story strikes me as something very urgent considering that there are so many of us struggling with weight loss. Dimino captures the essence of this struggle with humor and honesty like I've never seen before. Definitely catch this one. If you do you may find that you have your own motivational story to tell.