"In my Own Little Corner" - My Journey with Bipolar Disorder is a show I wrote about hope.
I would like to film it with your help.
My name is Chryssie Whitehead-Disbrow and I am a working professional with 25 years in the performing arts. I am 42 years old and currently live in New York City where I work in the theatre and in education. Most of you don’t know that at the age of 38, I was shockingly diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. Over the past four years, I have been slowly coming to terms with my diagnosis. Some years prior, my mom died at the age of 66 from a slow suicide. Her death certificate read "Failure to Thrive." Since her passing and my diagnosis, I have been stewing on way I could use my skills as a professional storyteller to bring our stories to light in hopes of simply, helping people through the art of performing. I may not have been able to help or save my momma, so with her gone, I feel it’s imperative I do so now.
As the show unfolded in my head, on to the page and into our first reading workshop, it developed into more of a motivational cabaret. I titled it "In My Own Little Corner" as I have as always felt a little odd and in my own little world, but never understood why. Perhaps, some of you can relate? It was also the name of the song that I auditioned with to land my Broadway Debut, A CHORUS LINE, and is layered throughout the show.
Performed in song and story, and a bit of dancing, I share about my mother's death, my career and stories of my ups and downs, along with the huge grasp mental illness has played in both my mom's and my life. I explore how it is possible to get proper help, medicine, and tools to find clarity in one's life with bipolar disorder or any mental illness. It’s desire is for you to feel hopeful, moved, educated and inspired.
IS THIS FOR YOU?
This show is for those who feel alone and in the dark with regards to their own mental health, as well as their loved ones who may not understand what someone is going through and yearns to know more. May my mother's and my story be a beacon of hope for people in need, struggling with mental illness.
We know this story must continue to be told so that others see, hear and feel there is hope for a balanced life. Through the magic of filmmaking, we want to create a story that lives beyond November 5th, 2022.
*Our show is inspired by "What the Constitution Means to Me" on Amazon Prime.
PROCEEDS FROM THIS GO FUND ME: Funds from this campaign will allow us to fairly pay the artists who comprise the production and editing teams, as well as the theater space. With your support, we can reach more people with mood disorders and other mental health issues so they can feel seen and heard.
TO BE PAID:
Director of Photography
Camera Operator #2
Camera Operator #3
Theatre Rental for three days
February ‘22: First staged reading.Filmed and available for interested investors.
April - June ‘22: Working with dramaturg and mental health consultants on second draft
July ‘22: Second staged reading.
November 5th, 2022: One night only benefit performance, professionally filmed for future distribution.
OUR GOALS FOR THIS SHOW ON NOV. 5TH:
1. To sell the film to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc.
2. We want to tour colleges and high schools with the film and include a talkback.
3. Limited engagement run in any theatre.
LIVE SHOW NOV. 5TH PROCEEDS:
All proceeds will be going directly to the Entertainment Community Fund: https://entertainmentcommunity.org
The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly known as The Actors Fund) fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. This show will raise money for artists who can't afford psychiatric and medicinal care.
Any time this show is being performed, whether in a theatre or on a streaming service, proceeds will also go to the Entertainment Community Fund, specializing in mental health care for artists. Goal is to start a fund in Kirsten Wrinkle's name, our Arts Angel and producer with the Entertainment Community Fund.
I am not a clinical professional, but only here to stand in my truth as a fellow human being, not in shame, but in hope that there is life after diagnosis and that it doesn't have to be scary.
From the show:
"In my journey of learning what I am, I now understand
what I am not. I am not bi-polar. I have bi-polar. You
see, I have bi-polar disorder like one has diabetes or
one has a chronic illness and they take medicine for
that. I take lithium, twice a day, along with therapy,
exercise, mood tracking, meditation, good sleep,
nurturing my support system and eating good foods for
me, as best as possible! Ellen' Forney's SMEDMERTS guide helps
me feel more grounded, rational, reliable and strong
Riverside Theatre NYC - November 5, 2022
BONUS GOING BACK IN TIME:
In the show, you come with me, as I unravel my life's choices and reckon with my diagnosis. This is a reel from the documentary, EVERY LITTLE STEP , found on Amazon Prime of my landing the role of Kristine in A CHORUS LINE on Broadway. I am seen here singing, "In my Own Little Corner" twelve years prior to my diagnosis, with my momma's voice celebrating in the background. I had no idea the terror that was to come for my mom and my life in this capsule of time. I had my mother's love and support, but she was slowly diminishing.
MORE ON THE SHOW HERE AS WELL AS TO CONTACT US: WEBSITE
*Any investors interested in seeing the filmed version of our first reading, please reach out and we will send a private link.
Thank you with all our hearts for reading and sharing. We know this will be a slow outreach, but we are in it for the long haul.
May you be well,
Chryssie & The IMOLC Team