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Making Deposits and Withdrawals at Your Own Personal “Help Bank”

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“Giving does not only precede receiving; it is the reason for it. It is in giving that we receive.”Israelmore Ayivor

If I read that quote a few years ago, I would have dismissed it phony and trite. Receiving the help from another person has always been a delicate, touchy subject for me. The question, “how can I ever hope to pay this person back?” is at the root of this anxiety.

But I need help—I need it bad. I always have and there’s no other way around it. At this very moment in my life, people are coming out of the woodwork offering their help on this albatross of a four performance run of The Gospel in NYC in May—photographers, well-meaning acquaintances, cinematographers, and new and old friends alike. How am I supposed to pay them back… what can I do for them that makes their help worth their while?

The answer: I’m not supposed to pay them back… not directly at least. I’ve had to reconcile that there are times when my personal or financial resources won’t come anywhere close in return to what I’ve been given. But I can help a different person with the time I give, the money I donate, or the personal resources I allocate. The gift of help I give is a twofold gift I give myself: 1) I feel better for having helped someone, 2) I put a deposit into the “Help Bank” inside my brain—a place where when I make enough deposits, I feel comfortable asking for withdrawals when I need them.

Of course this idea of a “Help Bank” works with two caveats 1) You can’t actually keep score because it defeats the purpose of the delicate relationship between the giver and the recipient of help, 2) You must not overtax putting in deposits or taking out withdrawals on either side. As difficult as it may sound, the relationship one has with their “Help Bank” must be an organic one.

Give with reckless abandon. And receive help when you need it because you deserve it.

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Guest Writer, Mike Bauer: “The Circus of Winning with Collaboration”

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The best thing I learned in the last two years is that if there is someone in a high position that you want to work with on a project you feel passionate about, your best bet is to approach the situation as if you are already a collaborator.

Say you’re an actor and you want to be a part of the next big Broadway musical and work with a high profile director. What will make a more attractive audition, someone who comes in auditioning with the same polished song she uses for every show, or someone who comes in with a specific take on a character from the show with a new version of how to play the scene or sing the song? My money is on the second actress. She sees herself as a collaborator already and even though she didn’t get the role yet, she came from a place of power with something to offer to the conversation. She is a fully relatable human being. How do you relate to the first actress who puts on the same, albeit polished facade every time?

That was the same question I asked myself as Artistic Director of Loom Ensemble Theater Group when we cast our new show “Olympus,” a Circus Theater show based on Greek Gods and mythology.

As a producer/director I was in charge of casting the show. We saw circus act after circus act and met with many different performers. In the end, it was the people who came into the room as if they were already collaborators with new ideas about the piece I hadn’t considered yet, that I chose to cast. They didn’t know what the script said but they knew enough about the project to invest some time in thinking about what they could offer to this specific subject matter.

I even passed up superior skill for ability to collaborate. There was a performer who could juggle nine balls which, in the circus world, is pretty impressive. But I passed him up for a five-ball juggler because this guy came in with specific ideas about how his juggling could fit into our Greek God project. He had the idea that the balls could be the grapes of Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, and that his juggling bottles could be painted to look like wine bottles which he would then drink out of in between juggling tosses. I thought this was genius and immediately wanted to work with this guy because he had already placed himself on the same page as this project.

Now a quick word of caution, there is a big difference between walking into the room as a collaborator and just being presumptuous. There is definitely a wrong way to do this—can you picture it? Someone walks into the room throwing their ideas and weight around acting as if he already has the job, assuming he will be cast in the show. There is an assumption to be made here but it is not that you will get the job. The assumption to hold on to is that your ideas are worth hearing. And they are, but there is a big difference between telling someone your idea, and offering it.

***

Michael Bauer is an Artistic Director of Loom Ensemble theater company as well as Svindelic Circus Troupe and you can see “Olympus,” a Circus Theater show about Greek gods and mythology April 10, 11, and 12 at Dixon Place Theater, NYC. Tickets can be found here: http://dixonplace.org/performances/loom-ensemble-presents-olympus/

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A Sneak Peek from the New Script for the May 16 NYC opening of “The Gospel According to Josh”

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So, I’m bringing a new incarnation of my one-man show The Gospel According to Josh (the heart of my Arts Entrepreneur-y activities for the past several years) back to New York City Off-Broadway on May 16, 2014. We’re doing it as a benefit for suicide prevention and mental health services. To commemorate this, I wanted to share with you a piece of the new script. This following segment of the script comes just after getting help from my mother after I nearly make a suicide attempt. I hope you enjoy… and I hope to see you in May :)

***

Finishing up at my desk, I staggered over to my bed to lie down, exhausted from all of the activity of the day. I had a lot to process: my three reasons to live, seeking professional help, and getting better. I wasn’t going to die that day, not by my own hands. How I would live—that part wasn’t initially so easy.

The next morning I woke with the sun shining directly onto my face and a cold breeze circulating through the room. I had forgotten to close the window before I went to sleep—that and the stinky fact that I still hadn’t showered in a week was a harsh reminder from my brush with death the night before.

My thoughts turned again to jumping out the window until I started repeating the mantra that cooled me down the day before. “Please help me connect to positive people, positive thoughts, positive experiences.” For the next year, I struggled and repeated that mantra religiously and kept my sheet of paper of three reasons to live on hand whenever my mind sought to betray my spirit and will to live. During my next semester at college, I did extensive research and found that suicide and depression wasn’t just a problem within my family unit. One million people across the world take their life each year—a horrifying statistic that somehow, I needed to reduce and change. While on campus, I met an enchanting college psychologist named Tina and began to see her as a patient. One of my big discoveries while in therapy was the idea that I needed to feel useful and be in service to others to be able to recover from my depression and feel whole again.

But how would I do that? I spent nearly my entire life being in the service of one person—me. And so, I vowed to quit my selfish show business pursuits for good. While into my fourth week of my retirement I had an epiphany about Not the Hemingways, the speech I created during my previous college semester as an indictment of my father. I decided to restructure it and turn it into a one-man play called The Gospel According to Josh. I would pair the show with suicide prevention education so I could help others struggling, in crisis, or in need of healing. This Gospel was good news that both my mom… and my dad saved me from ending my own life.

But this Gospel was merely a concept. For two months, I pitched it to hundreds of college psychology professors across the country and with zero luck. Finally, a professor at Baruch College picked it up and we did the show in late April 2011, sponsored by the psychology department. I had no idea how it was received by an unresponsive student audience until one young student approached me after the show.

  LATINO KID

(Reticent)

Hey man… I liked your presentation. And, like, I think I been dealing with being depressed, like the clinical kind you talked about. I’ve thought about dying. And, um I just thought it was normal. But…I want to feel better. … can you walk me down to the counseling center?

NARRATOR JOSH

All of the painful ordeals of the past two years with my father, my mother, my girlfriend, and my own depression—it was all worth it to help this one young man get help and stay alive.

Over the course of a year, I performed my Gospel thousands across the US and Canada. I made new and lifelong friends with whom I was able to commiserate, hold, and hug—a feat that had me on a stage in August 2012 at a high school in Hawaii, about to take a bow staring at the tattered note in my hand.

(Lighting change. JOSH stands under bright lights. There’s SFX of soft applause. JOSH waves and is about to bow. He’s holding a piece of paper )

NARRATOR JOSH

1) I’ll feel so guilty. If I kill myself, Erica and Jacob will probably be very upset. I can’t let them lose their father and their brother… not like this. 2) There could be other adventures, many of them that I’ll never experience… Macchu Picchu. Hawaii. Antarctica. Outer space. 3) A family of my own. A soul mate… a happily ever after, a fairytale ending…

(Beat)

And now there’s a fourth—and it comes from my father. I thought he had ruined my life but he gave me the greatest gift—meaning and a purpose.

(JOSH becomes erect again, smiles, and crumples the sheet of paper, throwing it high into the air into the blackness of the unlit stage behind him.)

I have no need for fairytales. I’m already living my own, and warts and all, it’s shaping up to be a damn good one.

(Blackout. A TDB song with a fun and introspective electric guitar plays into the blackout and through the bow)

 

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Save Money and Become Your Own Fortune Teller

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I think I had a lightning bolt moment this week—a second of pure genius that will simultaneously put every fortune teller out of business, put some dollars in your pocket, and a smile on your face (from time to time).

Let me explain.

I’m a big believer in the power of storytelling. A great film, a compelling play, or an engaging speech can change the lives of millions in ninety minutes or less.

These forms of media are quite accessible and available at the click of a button or swipe of a credit card. We hear about them through advertisements and through word-of-mouth from friends.

But it’s not often we spend time looking at or listening to one of the most beautifully written and magnificent stories one could ever tell—that is the story of our future self.

On a personal level I spend time with two very extremes on the spectrum of life—1) People who are working hard, making things happen for themselves, who feel in charge of their destiny no matter how close or far away they feel themselves to be from their life’s goals; and 2) People who may or may not work hard, but who feel as if they have zero control of their destiny and that their lives and goals are entirely conditional to the current state they find themselves in.

I happen to love some people in the second category, but it breaks my heart to know that they don’t understand how much power they have to influence their future.

People can’t be forced into realizing their own power—they can only be led to it and even then, they have to find it and understand it on their own.

Just a wee bit more preface to the lightning bolt moment

The power of storytelling: In the past three years I’ve done a bit of life coaching, business/project coaching and consulting, written a book, done my one-man play in more than sixty locations across the US and Canada, and made hundreds of new, and life long friendships. And all of that is made possible by storytelling—not only the things you tell yourself during the course of your day, but the things you write down in the weeks, months, and years prior to the day you’re in.

So here we are at the lightning bolt. This week I’m doing a little prep work for a class I’m supposed to teach for a entrepreneur friend on “monetizing your passion project.” Most of it’s just going to be me gabbing away but I need to come up with some kind of class activity. But what kind of activity could I possibly give these early-stage business-owner students that could keep them engaged and productive in class, and leave them feeling changed and empowered to take action after class? (Like, zoinks, Scooby!)

Duh—a writing exercise. Essentially it’s The Good News Project, meets a bit of fortune telling, with a little bit of creative writing thrown in the mix.

It’s roughly a thousand words written in twenty-five minutes that foretells a future you want to see for yourself. The first paragraph is a quick intro about who you are and what you do (or what you’re all about). The middle few paragraphs should not be about you but someone else—a person who’s benefitted from the actions your future self has taken (could be a business, philanthropy, or a new attitude). The second to last paragraph should be about what you learned or an insight gained from the positivity someone else received because of your future self. The last paragraph will be left blank—a conclusion, something to be written once you’ve gained perspective after set into motion, actions to achieve this future outcome you desire.

The exercise is the beginning of what will be a series of actions that sets the writer on a long and winding course toward the life they wish to create for themselves.

I actually created this little exercise for myself once. It was in March, 2011 after a long bout of debilitating clinical depression. The writing exercise I gave myself wasn’t as structured as what I set out above, but I outlined what I wanted out of life. Slowly, piece by piece the things I wanted started coming to fruition.

Feel free to take on the same writing exercise (or come to the class my buddy has me doing on 3/29/14 at 1030am).

Stay the course and watch your prognostications come true. One of the cooler things you’ll find as your story comes to life—you’ll have many more stories to tell about the next chapters of your life… and your abilities to predict the future will get better and better.

We need your help! After a three year, sixty city tour we’re bringing our “Little Engine that Could” The Gospel According to Josh back to the biggest stage in the world: New York City, Off-Broadway in May 2014. We’re using the Off-Broadway run to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and mental health services. Please consider donating to our IndieGoGo campaign (HERE) to help bring this back to NYC and help save lives.

Please help me show the world that it’s possible to fall down, to struggle, to come to the edge of hitting the self-destruct button… and to fight and claw your way back to find love, hope, health, and life.

I need your help! Donate HERE or consider sharing it with a friend or loved one. Every little bit of support counts!! Thank you!

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What History Can Teach Us About Ourselves

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Just after the new year a friend recommended a new book for me to read based on my love for European and Middle Eastern history. The Arabs: A History is a fascinating read written by a British man, Eugene Rogan, who learned Arabic and Turkish so he could interpret both from a Western perspective and a Middle Eastern perspective.

He records that in 1921 during the colonial period of British rule (the French had a large hand in cutting up the former Ottoman empire as well), Faisal, the British puppet king of an artificial nation of Iraq made of multiple ethno-religious peoples, writes of being shunned by his fractious subjects. “There is still – and I say this with a heart full of sorrow – no Iraqi people, but unimaginable masses of human beings devoid of any patriotic idea, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, connected by no common tie, giving ear to evil, prone to anarchy, and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatsoever.”

It’s almost as if Faisal is writing an epistle to modern-day Western politicians, warning of an impending pattern of un-winnable wars with and for people whom we don’t understand.

As much as I find that all captivating, I find it of the utmost importance to use our own historical information to examine our own lives, our recent and ancient pasts, to look for patterns of success and triumph—and patterns of our own versions of entering into un-winnable wars. Life is short and there simply isn’t enough time to be repeating mistakes that lead to misery.

Your successes—what were the basic elements (not the details) of how you achieved success. Persistence? A specific time of day, week, or year? Research? Partnerships?

Your defeats—what were the basic elements of how you feel into defeat? Lack of passion? Minimal preparation? Rushing into a decision?

There are thousands of conclusions and outcomes, if modern Western politicians heeded (or even knew about) Faisal’s ominous letter from 1921. But there are probably far fewer, and more controllable combinations and permutations when we work to draw from our own past to improve our future.

Read your tea leaves or take a stab in the dark and future results will vary.

Read your history and results will be closer to the future you desire.

We need your help! After a three year, sixty city tour we’re bringing our “Little Engine that Could” The Gospel According to Josh back to the biggest stage in the world: New York City, Off-Broadway in May 2014. We’re using the Off-Broadway run to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and mental health services. Please consider donating to our IndieGoGo campaign (HERE) to help bring this back to NYC and help save lives.

Please help me show the world that it’s possible to fall down, to struggle, to come to the edge of hitting the self-destruct button… and to fight and claw your way back to find love, hope, health, and life.

I need your help! Donate HERE or consider sharing it with a friend or loved one. Every little bit of support counts!! Thank you!

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Five Words That Will Take Your Career to the Next Level—My latest article from UCAN! magazine

From UCAN! Magazine (Editor: Star Davis)—Five Words That Will Take Your Career to the Next Level

-By Josh Rivedal

“How Can I Help You” — these five little words followed by a question mark are the vehicle that will drive your career in the arts from good to great.

It’s much easier to sell and promote your work as an artist coming from a place of wanting to help and not from a place where you’re looking to make a quick buck.

There is no longevity to your career or even a specific project without first asking your target audience (substitute: casting director, agent, gallery owner, producer etc. for the word “audience”) how you can help them. If you’re working to help your audience, it means you’ve listened to them and know what they want. People who are listened to feel supported and are more inclined to want to listen back when you have something to say (like when you’re selling them the benefits of attending your Techno-themed, post-modern ballet show).

Listening and truly wanting to help your target audience will improve your… (To read more click HERE [turn to page 15])

 

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He Who Knows When He Can Fight and When He cannot, Will Be Victorious

quote-he-who-knows-when-he-can-fight-and-when-he-cannot-will-be-victorious-sun-tzu-188543

“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.”

~ Sun Tzu

When the enemy (forces within or with out) is closing in and the battle seems un-winnable, when the odds are good but slightly stacked against you, when giving up the fight seems like the only course of action to take—this is the time to ask for help, a help that will help you hold onto or win a crucial victory.

Conversely the idea to strike the proverbial iron when it’s hot is always a good idea.

I’m using this post to do something I’ve never done before in the 2.5 years of this blog’s existence—ask for help.

This battle I write to you about seems winnable, but the odds are heavily stacked against me. I can’t be the single flag bearer on this battlefield. I need your help.  I need a regiment, a brigade, an army, YOU.

If you know me, then by now you know I’m a huge advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. I lost my grandfather (1966), my father (2009), and nearly made an attempt on my own life (2011) before getting help (More on my personal story HERE). On a global scale, 1,000,000 (one million) people die each year by suicide— it’s a deadly, yet preventable public health issue (In the US, the number is 38,000 deaths by suicide).

This particular battle I speak of is one where I’m putting on a benefit (funding and awareness) for suicide prevention May 16-18… and I’m using theatre to do it. I’m bringing back to New York City my very own one-man play The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah, Off Broadway, and with a new script.

Why? The iron is hot. The Gospel… has been on an international tour for several years and it’s been helping save lives (A sample list of testimonials HERE). But we can do MORE. It’s time to bring it back to the biggest stage in the world—New York City—and it’s time to bring suicide prevention and the emotional wellbeing of humans into the public conscience. I… no WE can do this together.

How can you help?  Simply, you can tell someone you know about The Gospel’s … return to New York City in May… and of course I’d love to have you there as well. We’re also working on an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign to raise funding so we can stay open for longer than one weekend in New York City. With your help we can stay open for eight more weeks!! Theater rent along with marketing and advertising costs are quite large but we can do it together. Check out our IndieGoGo campaign to learn a little more about what we’re trying to do (and to get tickets to the show!!). If you can drop in a couple of bucks, or if you know of someone else in your world who can help—it truly makes all the difference in the world. We only have till April 1, to complete funding on this.

No celebrity will lend their name to the cause of suicide prevention, no organization outside of the non-profit or government arena will do this work, and so it’s up to me, no US to do this work in such a unique way using the power of theatre.

I know when I can fight and I know when I can’t. And I can’t do this one alone. I need your spirit and your voice—to help me honor those who we’ve lost and to help those people speak who need an extra helping hand to stay alive.

With humble thanks,

Josh

Once again, check out the link to our campaign here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-gospel-according-to-josh-back-in-nyc-a-benefit-for-suicide-prevention/x/1909340

:)

PS. in bounds of good taste, I promise not to continually ask for help with this nor will I spam you about it either. Small, brief reminders will be at the bottom of blog posts only through April 1.

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Jumping Through the Flaming Hoop of “No” to Find a “Yes”

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Someone just told you “no” — no you can’t sell your wares here, no you can’t sing your song on this stage, no we don’t care enough about you to sign you to a deal, no we don’t to partner with you… no…

“No” is taurus-poo (i.e. BS).

If you were in tremendous physical pain and the first doctor tells you, “No, I can’t help you because X, Y , or Z,” you would search high and low until you found a doctor who could help you. You’ll sign any required form, travel three hundred miles by car, find the loophole in any insurance policy, and jump through any other flaming hoop until you get the help you need.

Think about that relentless persistence you would employ for survival and good physical health, and put it to good use for the sake of your mental health in the healthy pursuit of a goal. Succeed or fail, there is much to gain while on the path toward a personal objective. It is not enough that you merely survive on this spinning ball, but that you run toward the things that make you physically and mentally whole. Putting yourself on the line to fail (or succeed) is scary… but think about the consequences of not pursuing your physical health while in tremendous pain… now think about the consequences of not pursuing your mental health through following your dream(s)—the physical danger does not appear as imminent but is something of wolf in sheep’s clothing, hiding under the guise of a long and slow death.

“No” is simply one round in the process of elimination—a lesson you learn while working to find a “yes.”

We need your help! After a three year, sixty city tour we’re bringing our “Little Engine that Could” The Gospel According to Josh back to the biggest stage in the world: New York City, Off-Broadway in May 2014. We’re using the Off-Broadway run to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and mental health services. Please consider donating to our IndieGoGo campaign (HERE) to help bring this back to NYC and help save lives.

Please help me show the world that it’s possible to fall down, to struggle, to come to the edge of hitting the self-destruct button… and to fight and claw your way back to find love, hope, health, and life.

I need your help! Donate HERE or consider sharing it with a friend or loved one. Every little bit of support counts!! Thank you!

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What are the Stakes? Building an Emotional Connection into the Sale

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No one likes to be sold to. No one. Cold calls over the telephone. Spammy Facebook messages inviting you to another show or product launch. Pop up ads over YouTube videos asking you to watch some asinine movie trailer.

As the old sage Sweet Brown would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The cold call, the Facebook message, the YouTube ads—they’re all too impersonal. We need to give the customer or audience member an emotional connection to the product or art you want them to consume or buy.

What happens if they buy a ticket to your show? The promise of entertainment might not be enough. You might need to promise that the actors will be available for a talkback after the show or that a percentage of ticket proceeds will go to the ASPCA.

What happens if they don’t buy a ticket to your show? Put your personal fears on hold (losing money, bruised ego, etc.) and focus on the audience member. Maybe your show was bringing awareness to new treatments for sickle cell anemia. No show. No increased awareness.

If the consumer or audience member has an emotional connection to your work (product, service, or art), it will instill within them a sense of ownership and a responsibility to the success or failure of your work. Now you have someone who will go to bat for you—someone who will make it so you’re not the only one walking around touting how great you and your work are. As the emotional connection increases, so too would the odds increase to not only buy what you’re selling but for this new customer to engage in organic word of mouth marketing.

We need your help! After a three year, sixty city tour we’re bringing our “Little Engine that Could” The Gospel According to Josh back to the biggest stage in the world: New York City, Off-Broadway in May 2014. We’re using the Off-Broadway run to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and mental health services. Please consider donating to our IndieGoGo campaign (HERE) to help bring this back to NYC and help save lives.

Please help me show the world that it’s possible to fall down, to struggle, to come to the edge of hitting the self-destruct button… and to fight and claw your way back to find love, hope, health, and life.

I need your help! Donate HERE or consider sharing it with a friend or loved one. Every little bit of support counts!! Thank you!

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A Recap of Month 1, Writing for HuffPo

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In the last month, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of writing regularly for The Huffington Post. For the moment, I’m writing on a smattering of topics that include mental health, men’s health, and the arts. Since not everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, or G+ I’ve decided to post parts of the first two articles here plus one bonus, which is the German translation of the first article that made it all the way to HuffPo Deutschland. In the coming months I’ll be writing about the intersection of faith and mental health, more on the business side of the arts, and some TBDs.

Thanks for reading this first month… and here goes:

Real Men Talk About Their Feelings — For Real

Men are willing to talk about the size of their prostate glands, or how much Viagra they’re allowed to take, but they’re still not willing to be open about their mental health.

If men want to live long, healthy and productive lives it’s absolutely crucial that the dialogue surrounding men’s mental health has to change.

I lost my father Douglas to suicide in 2009. Douglas lost his father Haakon to suicide in 1966. Each suffered from undiagnosed mental disorders and each suffered in silence because of the stigma surrounding men talking about and getting help for mental illness.

Haakon was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder after having been shot down in Hamburg, Germany, in 1941. Douglas may have been clinically depressed for a very long time, but… READ MORE HERE

How to Create a Long-Term Legacy — As the Protagonist of Your Own Story

When writing a play or book, there’s always a least one character who qualifies as the story’s protagonist. Some like to think of the protagonist as the hero of the story. For others, the protagonist is the chief, the principal or the title role. At some point very near to the beginning of the play, this main character should clearly state or imply what it is that they want and how they intend to get it. To amplify the drama and to make for a compelling tale for the audience or reader, it is our job as the writer to beat up on the protagonist and put obstacles in their way of getting what they want.

When writing scenes and dialogue, it is imperative to think about how each component furthers the storyline along. Does each written moment move the protagonist closer or further away from their goal or initial want? (There are no right answers here, just as long as you know where you’re going.) But just because you can write snappy dialogue between four characters at once, or you’re great at writing comedic foils, it doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs in the piece you’re writing. If you can make it flow, great, but shoving a square peg into a round hole doesn’t do anyone any good.

The same goes with life and your legacy. The work you take on, the people you spend time with, the relationships that you enter — do any or all of these further your personal story along, or are they a hinderance? READ MORE HERE

Depression: Echte Kerle reden über ihre Gefühle

Für Männer ist die Größe ihrer Prostata kein Tabuthema, auch nicht wie viele Viagras sie nehmen dürfen, aber wehe es geht um ihre geistige Gesundheit – da machen sie dicht.

Dabei ist genau dies der Schlüssel zu einem langen und produktiven Leben und daher muss sich die ganze Art ändern, mit der wir über die psychische Probleme von Männern reden.

Mein Vater Douglas hat 2009 Selbstmord begangen. Sein Vater Haakon beging 1966 Selbstmord. Beide litten unter nicht diagnostizierten psychischen Erkrankungen und beide versuchten dies mit sich selbst auszumachen. Die Gesellschaft ließ nicht zu, dass Männer über Geisteskrankheiten redeten, geschweigen denn Hilfe dafür suchten.

Haakon war im ersten Weltkrieg 1941 über Hamburg abgeschossen worden und litt deswegen an einem Posttraumatischen Stresssyndrom. Ich glaube, dass Douglas schon lange klinisch depressiv war, aber dass meine Mutter die Scheidung einreichte, war der Auslöser (nicht der Grund) dafür, dass er sich das Leben nahm. READ MORE HERE

We need your help! After a three year, sixty city tour we’re bringing our “Little Engine that Could” The Gospel According to Josh back to the biggest stage in the world: New York City, Off-Broadway in May 2014. We’re using the Off-Broadway run to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and mental health services. Please consider donating to our IndieGoGo campaign (HERE) to help bring this back to NYC and help save lives.

Please help me show the world that it’s possible to fall down, to struggle, to come to the edge of hitting the self-destruct button… and to fight and claw your way back to find love, hope, health, and life.

I need your help! Donate HERE or consider sharing it with a friend or loved one. Every little bit of support counts!! Thank you!