I Wrote A Musical About Mental Illness: video, more info, how to get involved!

Ten months ago I started writing a musical about mental illness. (See video below where I explain more about the show, share clips, and let you know how to get involved) I started writing the show on the notes app in my iphone (on the subway) on my commute to NYU. Part of me thought the project would never see the light of day and be more like just a diary for me. (Of course my diary would be a huge, wacky musical- it’s so “me”) What I was writing was so personal, and I didn’t think I was ready to say, “Hey everyone! I know this world of mental illness because I’ve lived it!” It made me feel scared and vulnerable.

Eventually I realized that sometimes we need to trade fear and silence for bravery and making noise, especially when our writing may help others and serve a bigger purpose. I realized that by sharing my show I was saying, “Hey- here I am- and I’m not ashamed to be this way. I don’t need to hide,” and that might help other people with mental illness feel the same way. “I’m not a monster. I’m not weird. I’m not damaged. I’m not violent (I can’t even kill bugs) I’m not weak. I’m not what the stereotypes may tell you.” More of us need to come out and shout from the rooftops, “Hey- I’m awesome, ok?” LOL

My musical, called “We Have Apples,”Β  is set in a psych ward and my characters have various diagnosis. (read whole synopsis on musical’s website) They are intelligent, hilarious, quirky, wonderful people who happen to also suffer from mental illness. Although there is heartbreak, raw emotion and tragedy in the show, there are also stories of triumph, success, recovery, great relationships and happy endings. Just like in real life, there are many stories. We have many different stories.

I’ll be writing much more about the show and sharing different songs and videos soon. Also, you can sign up for our email list at http://www.wehaveapples.com (hear more music as well) and be kept in the loop at performances, concerts, etc! I’d love to have you as an “apple.” BIG LOVE!

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54 thoughts on “I Wrote A Musical About Mental Illness: video, more info, how to get involved!

  1. Ya- it’s scary but it’s so important! πŸ™‚ I don’t want anyone to feel the shame I felt when it all started. I feel like it’s with us writing and sharing of it helps one person! Muah! So great to connect w you!

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  2. I honor you for telling your story about yourself in such a public way. just think of all the people you’ll touch. the people that will say, “crap, i’m there. i’m glad i’m not alone,” to the the potential supporter who have it all wrong and at least start to turn from their “wicked” ways from the experience you offer them. i wish i didn’t live clear on the other side of the country so I had a chance to see it. maybe you’ll get it to the big screen πŸ™‚

    i, myself, am working on a book aimed at supporters. let’s face it, we support ourselves, so it is also for those who face a mental disorder. the books introduces oft overlooked simple ideas and action that serve as a pick-me-up to those of us who face unwellness.

    I admire you and encourage you to continue to spread the message.

    my work happens primarily on my ipad. I use notes for my blog entries and longer replies(this doesn’t qualify btw πŸ™‚ ) I’m composing my book in evernote. it has better organization and a better x-platform support.

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  3. I can’t wait to look at your video and hear some of your songs! (Can’t right this minute, but will later tonight). I’m a huge fan of both musicals and making brave noise. I also wrote a short story about people in an intensive outpatient psych program, which is probably the story I’m most proud of, but haven’t shown to anyone, ever. Maybe your musical will help me change that. πŸ™‚

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    1. Really enjoying your blog, girl! Thanks so much about the show! I think you should definitely share your story! I’ve had such a heartfelt reaction to the show that I never expected. A few people don’t get it (oh well! That happens when you share work!) but the people who do- it really touches them! It’s so worth it!!! It can be awkward when someone at a party or bar is like :
      “Ooh what’s your show about?!”
      And I’m like “mental illness!!”
      And they change the subject hahaha but 95% of the time they share that they have struggled or someone close to them has— it’s been the best decision to come forward with this even though I had to push myself a bit to be public w it. So happy to connect w you! Xo

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  4. Hey, thanks for dropping by and following my mostly poetic writings. I love that you are creating this musical. Can’t wait to see how it all works out. I might even have to come over from Australia to watch it! Ever since I saw the movie Inside Out, I’ve realised how much potential there is for presenting stories of mental health in a creative way. Wishing you all the best.
    Peter

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      1. Well I just checked out the actual website for “Apples” and I took time to really listen to the music from the show. Honestly It’s amazing! Like I was blown away by how well executed each song really is… I especially loved the song “I have an Ocean” That song is beyond beautiful and definitely powerful, plus whoever is actually singing, has a really beautiful voice

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      2. Thanks SO much! I’m going to write a blog soon about that song! I saw you write songs on your YouTube- I haven’t checked out yet but I definitely will! Really happy to connect with you! What state are u in?

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      3. Your welcome πŸ™‚ yeah i love musical theatre so i’m always fascinated with these sort of projects… I actually live in Montreal, so i’m a Canadian girl haha. that would be really cool if you do check out my songs… do you have an email, i actually some questions about the show

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  5. Hi Rachel, thanks for following my blog. How exciting that you wrote a musical!! I wish I lived in the U.S. so I could come see it. I’m a drama/music teacher and wanting to develop some of my own creative projects about OCD – so you are an inspiration!! Keep up the great work! Xx

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    1. Oh my goodness! I will have to make a video and show you when it’s up on stage! The first scene has OCD in it in a sort of interesting way– we’ll have to keep in touch- i want to hear about how your creative projects develop! Xo

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      1. Yes please, I would love to see it!! Well now I’ll have to get to some creative work so I have something to show for it hehe. Yes let’s keep in touch – I signed up for your show’s email list so I can keep up to date πŸ™‚

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    1. Hahaahaha I won’t take it personally! Maybe you’ll like some of the songs on their own. Thanks for supporting- it does feel scary at times to come out with this musical but it’s worth it if it helps others! πŸ™‚ xo

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    1. Omg! Cool! Will check out the link!! πŸ™‚ I’m putting out a music video for the musical soon! There’s a post about that, too, if you want to send a message or a pic (details in the blog) stay strong and that’s awesome that you taught hs music!!! I’m in getting a masters in music Ed!

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