I went to the afternoon performance of Falling Petals on Thursday and the evening show on Friday, and I have to say Wow!
Every story they shared was amazing. The opening story was that of a Korean immigrant who over time became legally blind, the second of a guy who grew up with an abusive and addictive father, followed by my story, and then a woman who told her own story onstage (ironically enough she later told us that she had originally intended on remaining anonymous) of depression and the experience of raising a special needs daughter. The closing story was that of a man who lost his brother to suicide, for which the play takes its name “Falling Petals.” I am happy to say that despite how heavy the nature of my backstory can be sometimes, mine did provide a good amount of comic relief and lightheartedness to an otherwise intense production.
Each and every story carried such powerful elements that really reverberated. The most amazing thing about the show was simply how universal a lot of these stories were anyway, despite the details being radically different. It really served as a beautiful reminder that in the community of mankind, we all deal with very similar thematic issues in our lives as human beings. You may be blond and green-eyed and male, but fundamentally you and I are the same — this is exactly what Erasing the Distance seeks to gently remind us through their art, to open our awareness to the human condition especially in those groups that suffer most from stigma and social prejudice. It was an intense demonstration of just how broad the spectrum of mental illness can be, that we all pay most attention to the two extreme ends, but that most people fall somewhere in the middle and are forgotten by society.
And obviously, disability acquisition isn’t a mental illness, but it is just the same misunderstood.
I’m so proud now to have been part of their mission. And to think, I almost didn’t do it!
To our healing,