The incredible thing about the Internet is that it has this way of connecting people with similar interests. I've always hoped that we'd bring "This Is My Brave - The Show" to New York City someday. I never would have imagined it would happen this soon. But it has, thanks to an awesome mental health advocate and friend, Lorne Jaffe.
Lorne lives in Queens, NY with his wife Elaine and is a stay-at-home-dad to his 3-yr old daughter Sienna. He's been documenting his adventures in parenthood via his blog Raising Sienna, since 2013, where he also writes openly about his struggles with depression and anxiety.
We became friends over the Internet due to our mutual passion for mental health advocacy, and in the fall of 2014, when we were launching our second crowd-funding campaign to help grow This Is My Brave, I approached Lorne for help. Despite being in the midst of a depressive episode, Lorne jumped in and sent us a video clip to include in our fundraising campaign. Even though he was in the middle of struggling, he still wanted to be involved and share a tiny piece of his story to inspire others.
So when Lorne reached out to me after our spring shows wrapped this year, I knew he had put a ton of thought into what he wanted to talk with me about.
"I think I'm ready to do this. I want to make a difference."
Introducing, our NYC Production Team:
Lorne Jaffe is a stay-at-home dad in Queens, NY. He began his blog www.raisingsienna.com as a means to help him with depression and anxiety while being the primary caregiver to his daughter, Sienna. In addition to appearing in the first 2 volumes of “Dads Behaving Dadly,” he has been featured on “The Huffington Post,” “The Good Man Project,” WhatToExpect.com, Medium.com, TheMighty.com and CityDadsGroup.com, and has appeared on numerous podcasts including Life of Dad, The NYC Dads Group and Parent Nation Radio. He was also a Blog Spotlight Reader at the 2014 Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans and created and took part in panels about male depression at the 2015 Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco and the 2015 National At-Home Dads Network in Raleigh.
I asked Lorne, "Why did you choose to produce This Is My Brave NYC?"
"People have called me brave ever since I first started blogging about my depression and I've rejected their compliments and cheers claiming they were out of pity. How someone with this disease, someone so terrified of the world be brave? I could understand how I've helped de-stigmatize mental illness, but bravery? That connection's eluded me.
And then I wrote up This Is My Brave for www.Dads4Change.com and watched people just like me put themselves out there in front of an audience and I realized that if they were brave, then so was I, and I need to help others understand that you can be courageous even if you suffer mental illness. So I decided to take the next step...arguably the biggest step of my life. It's time for me to be braver than I ever had and to help people reach the same level. And what better way than to produce This Is My Brave NYC?"
Lorne has been busy building a team to support him, and they'll be working together to bring the NYC cast to the stage on October 4th.
Meet Rachel Godfrey, Associate Producer:
Rachel graduated from Calvin College in 2009 with a double-majored in media production and film studies with a minor in journalism. Outside of her studies, she also wrote and directed student and main-stage theater productions. Since graduation, Rachel has written film and television criticism for Just Press Play, The Mary Sue, Uproxx, and Sound on Sight, and has interned with Comedy Central and Marshall Curry Productions (If a Tree Falls, Racing Dreams). Additionally, Rachel created LudusNYC.com, an online resource highlighting the best of Broadway, off-Broadway, and other theatrical events in New York City.
Rachel's a lifetime theater lover and believes in art’s ability to educate and transform society for the better. Being a part of This Is My Brave’s NYC show is an incredible opportunity which uses her passions for theatrical storytelling as well as her own personal experiences with depression.
Our New York City performance is scheduled for Sunday, October 4th at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in NYC at 4:00pm. Tickets will be on sale soon!
Auditions are currently being scheduled for the week of August 17th. Please check our Auditions page for details on dates, location and how to sign up.
Our NYC show is sponsored in part by Alkermes. We are proud to announce New York City Dads Group as a media sponsor. If you are interested in learning about our sponsorship packages, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.