Tell us a bit about yourself (where from, family, hobbies)
Ed Quinn is a native and life-long resident of Philadelphia, as is his wife of 45 years, Sharon. They have two children and 7 grandchildren, all of whom live in Massachusetts. His favorite colors are blue and gold, having been educated at LaSalle high school, college and grad school. He is retired from his primary career at the Philadelphia Adult Probation/Parole Department but has others. He is a martial artist and master karate instructor with a 4th degree black belt, a house painter/interior designer, a writer, classical languages scholar, and an expert Scrabble player. His grandmother had the patience to teach him the game when he was six and he carries on that tradition with his grandchildren. His nickname is Renaissance Man.
How has mental illness affected your life?
Mental illness and its co-occurring maladies have a long history in my family. Only in retrospect do I realize how early in my life it affected me. As a young adult, situational depression was triggered by significant life events, which were sporadic. Eventually, a more virulent form of mental illness crept up on me; an amalgam of acronyms which I never saw coming. It is with me to this day and has stolen many years of my life. However, I have had many positive experiences and met some wonderful people in the process of coping with my illness. My world is bigger because of it.
Why did you want to be part of This is My Brave?
It is a compelling way to address an intractable problem that I share with lots and lots of people. It is the only way to address shame and stigma in the aggregate. If I don’t do this, all the pain that mental illness has caused me won’t count for anything except itself.
What inspires you to stay mentally healthy?
We know there are lots of things we can do to help our brains heal themselves; essential life practices that only we can implement. Years ago, we didn’t know this, but modern neuroscience is empowering, so there is hope. I can’t cure mental illness, but I refuse to acquiesce to it. I won’t let it hijack my life.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?
For the unaffected: Consciousness-raising, so you can be tolerant of and helpful to those who are. Properly informed, you can tell others what you heard today. No one is to blame for mental illness, so don’t blame the victim who is probably doing that quite well on his/her own. Many of us needed help to get help.
For the affected: Hope and motivation. This is not just a pep rally. If you feel strength emanating from what you hear, take it with you, and do something with it. Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
What others think about you is none of your business. If storytellers thought otherwise, they couldn’t do this and Jennifer Marshall would never have started THIS IS MY BRAVE in the first place.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Ed and more brave storytellers. This is one mental health performance you won't want to miss!
Please share this post with friends and family in the Elkins Park area. We're all affected by mental health and addiction issues, and the more we can support each other, the easier it will be for people to seek help. This Is My Brave is proof that Storytelling Saves Lives.