Shia LaBeouf, 33, put his personal hygiene and intestinal health on the line on July 1, all in the name of art and charity. The Transformers star hosted a Sacred Spectacle fundraising concert for the Slauson Rec Theatre Company, a free performing arts program that he co-founded in 2018. The event, taking place at the Hudson Loft in downtown Los Angeles, saw Shia engage in a series of “bizarre games,” according to Daily Mail, including eating an entire cabbage. He also acted as a human water fountain, using his mouth to squirt the liquid back in the mouth of a man in a tuxedo. While this all seems rather gross, what Shia did was not. These stunts were done to raise much-needed funds for this rapidly developing theatre group.
The Sacred Spectacle also allowed Shia and his group of actors a chance to preview the play they have developed since launching the group in September 2018. Shia said that he got involved in the project after meeting two local LA residents while filming his latest movie, Honey Boy. “We met these people on the movie who became really friendly with us, who pretty much run the area down there,” he told radio personality Big Boy in June 2019. “They took us down there and said look it’s a really marginalized area, we don’t have sh-t going down, and we need opportunities. There’s a way that you can make opportunities happen down here.”
During that talk, Shia opened up about how he’s maintaining his happiness nowadays. “Getting sober helps,” he said. “I didn’t know how to pace those things. I haven’t had a drink in 17 months. I haven’t smoked weed in 34 days.”
“It’s not like I’m working in Hollywood,” he said when explaining how he’s navigating the film industry. “I’m working in and amongst Hollywood. I ran from it ’cause was not serving me. It was destroying me. It’s when I was getting real drunk and f*cked up and all during that [Transformers] time when I just felt like I was becoming soulless. I couldn’t navigate myself anymore. I just felt like I was dissipating.”
“I’m trying to allow myself some kind of happily-ever-after scenario,” he told Dazed about Slauson Rec. “That’s really what I’m out here doing so I find that when I’m able to – how do I say this without sounding cheesy – take joy in the flourishing of other people, especially when it happens through a shared struggle, which is what these workshops are, then it strengthens me. That solidarity, it’s giving me power, so I’m experiencing this collective joy that is helping me to generate myself, you know?
“I’m in the happiest period in my life in general,” he added. “A big reason I was such a f*cking alcoholic is that when I’m fully absorbed, or lost in something, or immersed in something bigger than myself, it’s a high. So I drank because it allowed me this freedom for a time from this constant chatter, this self-monitoring of my daily life, right? This f*cking anxious self-scrutiny, this non-stop chatter, and I lose that in these workshops when I’m caught up in the work that we’re making as a group. It is a high. I’m chasing a high.”
The fundraising event also featured performances by Jaden Smith, Vic Mensa, YG, Baby Keem, David Blaine, Kamaiyah, How To Dress Well, Baths, Slayyyter, Ka5sh, Daisy, Human Fountains, Elijah Daniel, Shlohmo, and Nao Bustamente.