Tag Archives: mental illness

I get stage fright and gremlins in my head saying: ‘You’re going to forget your lines’. — Alan Rickman

stagefrightstage-fright

I remember listening to a recording of a very interesting interview Richard Attenborough gave on a radio program back in the 1970s. He discussed his role, that of John Christie, in the motion picture “10 Rillington Place.” John Christie was an English serial killer who was hanged for his crimes in 1953. In particular, Attenborough discussed how he went about inhabiting the character of Christie. What struck me in the interview was his opening comment (offered in a lighthearted tone),  something to the effect that “actors are dramatic people.” I chuckled when I heard his comment. “How true this is,” I thought. He continued the interview explaining that he needed a very deep level of concentration to inhabit the character of John Christie. In addition, in a subsequent interview Attenborough credited the director, Richard Fleischer, who instilled in him the confidence he needed to successfully inhabit the character of John Christie. I understand the need for a deep level of concentration and confidence to successfully inhabit a character. This comes as no surprise, but listening to Attenborough discuss acting technique made me think of stage fright, the actor’s nightmare. Continue reading

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I love to be individual, to step beyond gender. — Annie Lennox

a2-psych-gender-dysphoria-5-638joshua-alcorn

The suicide of Joshua Alcorn on December 28, 2014 marked the tragic end of his young life. He was seventeen years old. His suicide attracted world wild attention as he published a suicide note on Tumblr in which he related the stress of suffering gender dysphoria (he felt he was a girl living in a boy’s body). This stress was too much for him to bear so he opted for suicide. He adopted the name Leelah in his suicide note. He leaves behind his grieving parents, younger siblings and the rest of those who knew and loved him. Details are emerging as to the stress he endured and a degree of dysfunction in his family. He came from Christian family; his parents (Doug and Carla Alcorn) did not understand what he was experiencing and essentially told him to “pray it away.” He said in his suicide note that his parents sent him to conversion therapy for treatment. Compounding this tragedy was the lynch mob mentality that took hold. Doug and Carla Alcorn experienced harassment, even a call from activist Dan Savage that they face prosecution. Is this warranted? Continue reading