Meet Denver cast member Brian Dickson

Tell us a little about yourself.

The mountains are never far away. Only once I lived far from them in San Antonio. Now they are formidable and tranquil in Denver. Most of my family is currently in the front range region, but we are transplants from El Paso and New Mexico. My partner and I are pretty much settled on being close to family in Colorado or in Texas while keeping the mountains close.

Our lives are full of uncertainty, and I try to inhabit that space with as much generosity and love for the world, for myself, and for the possibilities existing beyond those borders.

How has mental illness affected your life?

Mental illness has surrounded my life in myriad ways from my family, my bout with depression during college and friends I have known and still know. But it hides, buried within the recesses of our shame. It speaks taboo. That’s where it has its greatest influence, keeping us silent, constructing vast silences breaking relationships.

I visited LA recently, and the experience walking around downtown reminded me we urban denizens are interacting with mental illness on a large scale possibly every day. How are we being affected?

Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?

I am here because of a friend. Because of shame of growing cold around his mental illness. Shame of growing apart. I am here to heal, to be a part of dialogue and awareness around this subject.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

If there’s one or two things, understanding and compassion, for others and for ourselves. I know it sounds cliche, but we need constant reminders we are not alone. Cut through the noise. There’s people out there willing to sing and dance in this life with you.

Join us on May 19th at the Oriental Theater in Denver as we shine a light on mental illness to end stigma. Brian will be reading his poetry, and his fellow cast members will perform original music and read personal essays and poetry. Hope to see you there!