Meet Iowa Corridor Cast Member Merrill Miller

We are excited to introduce you to Merrill Miller one of our Iowa Corridor cast members.  The show will take place on Saturday, April 22nd at the Ballantyne Auditorium on the campus of Kirkwood Community College.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am from Morton Grove, Illinois.  I am a senior music major at Coe College.  Aside from going into a career in music (hopefully songwriting and performing) I am a big NASCAR fan and automobile enthusiast. I love to travel, hear other people’s stories, and collect records.

How has mental illness affected your life?

I never really dealt head on with mental illness until I got to Coe a few years ago.  I met people who had many stories of their struggles and even saw how it affected them over time.  I was in awe of how strong and resilient they were.  On a personal level, I had never known myself to have any type of mental illness until college, though it was always happening.  I am still learning about my anxiety and depression, but I have been able to get it under control for the most part.  Songwriting and music plays a big role in helping me cope.

What made you want to be involved with This Is My Brave?

Since I am going to be a songwriter and musician for my career, I am looking for every performance opportunity in Cedar Rapids before I graduate from Coe.  My friend Joe Sorensen (Coe grad.) got me involved.  I also love the aspect that this show is speaking about a really powerful cause.  

How do you stay mentally healthy?

My drive for my career goals is one thing that inspires me to be mentally healthy. When that determination to make my career as a songwriter successful goes away, I often tend to slip into depressive and anxious episodes.  

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

I hope the audience hears that there are artists writing works that express more than the superficial.  In the mainstream pop culture, mental illness has a negative stigma around it. Changing that stigma can eventually allow for people to get the proper help they need.