Almost two months ago to the day, I took the stage at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso as one of 14 cast members in the 2016 Chicagoland production of This Is My Brave. I feebly announced my participation in this important event with a blog a couple of nights before the one-night performance. See: previous post “TIMBer”
A few days after the event, I shared this post: “Happy Rebirthday”
And now, as promised by the This Is My Brave (TIMB) Team, videos of all of our courageous performances are online on YouTube. I knew going into the audition that these stories would be recorded and shared online. I knew this going into the performance, and I knew this during and after. The very first day after the Chicagoland show things really started to look differently. I was no longer hiding behind certain emotional veils. I was standing up tall and using my voice to let others know that they aren’t alone. To let people know who may be too scared or unsure of how to raise their voices. To those who need to ask for help. To those have stories that need to be told.
I’d go into why my sharing the video is terrifying, but it’s actually part of the story itself. The text from my writing of the piece is included in the blog post “Happy Rebirthday,” but you can hear most of what I’m saying in the video. There is one part towards the end where the microphone gets muffled where I’m talking about the text of a tattoo.
The tattoo reads: To err is human. To forgive is divine.
My participation in the event is not the culmination of my storytelling efforts or anywhere near the end of my journey in the ongoing discussion of mental health. It is actually only the beginning.
Below is video for “Reflections on Reflections,” my contribution to the 2016 Chicagoland production of This Is My Brave.