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,” 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!