I had the distinct pleasure to perform for the third time at The Griot Show at the Magnet Theater this past week! Hosted by my very talented friend, Alexis Lambright (who I’m pretty confident books me strictly out of nepotism), keeps “the spirit of the word ‘griot’ alive…” with “a bi-monthly storytelling show featuring black comedians, musicians, artists, poets, educators, and elders from around NYC.”
This past performance was particularly poignant for me personally as I publicly shared my experience with depression, anxiety, and suicide for the first time. It was also the first time in over twenty years that I’ve felt any type of real fear before hitting the stage. The first and last time I got hit with real stage fright was in the 5th grade in the middle of a performance of Les Miserable. I was a narrator in our little adapted stage-play and in the middle of my speech, i knelt down to my director/teacher, told her ‘I can’t, I have to pee,’ did not wait for her permission to leave, and ran off the stage and into the bathroom. In the middle of the show. In front of half the school.
Thankfully, I did not pee on myself at The Griot Show but I did share some of the most painful, awkward, self-deprecating, raw, private moments on stage with a room of (some) strangers, telling my story of mental health and the need for wellness. That may be the first and last performance of that story but it definitely needed to be shared.
For the record, here’s the hypothetical care package I shared with the audience at The Magnet Theater, which I’m petitioning to be covered by health insurance agencies (not really but it should be) for all my POC family out there. But black girls first.
- A year’s supply of Shea Moisture or Carol’s Daughter products – fight me, I still like them,
- coconut oil and shea butter because they are magic,
- a yoga mat because it is actually shocking how a few vinyasas will
kinda-sorta-notreallysoothe you in the middle of a panic attack,
- a bottle of whiskey because real ladies drink whiskey and that’s okay.
- a plane ticket to their dream location of choice because NY is EXHAUSTING,
- and a phone number to a dope ass therapist they trust. ABSOLUTELY NEEDED.
Chinisha @ The Magnet Theater; Monday, February 26, 2018