1. Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I grew up in in a townhouse in Society Hill with my mother, Scheryl, my father, Richard, and my younger brother, David. As my parents are now divorced my family has grown to include my mother’s partner Robert and my father’s wife Eileen and their child, my half sister, Georgia. Although I’m a native Philadelphian, I don’t always feel like one, having moved to New Hampshire to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school, for high school and later having spent most of my adult life living in New York City. I’m currently pursuing a career in theater and film and lucky enough to keep a busy schedule of auditions and rehearsals. I also volunteer as an adult literacy tutor, helping adults learn or improve their reading, writing and math skills in preparation for the GED or new job prospects. Hobbies and joys I’ve picked up along the way include taking long walks, knitting (and other textile arts), reading, and singing in the shower. I’m also an occasional bike rider, cook, and gardener.
2: How has mental illness affected your life?
I’ve struggled with mental illness since I was thirteen. At first it was depression and social anxiety and anhedonia. Other diagnoses came down the road. Regardless of labels my grades in school bounced from semester to semester oscillating from straight As to Cs. I took two medical leaves from the University of Pennsylvania before deciding that I needed to do some serious work on my mental health before returning to school. Ultimately, I was able to complete my degree at New York University, but I struggled the entire time I was there. Struggling at school, something that used to come easily to me, broke my confidence, effected my social life, damaged my relationships, and destroyed my ambition. I’ve always thought of myself as someone with good instincts. My psychotic break made me question everything about that. What happens when you can’t trust your own mind? I’ve experienced a whole new level of vulnerability in recovery; having to learn to sometimes defer to the better judgement of others.
3: Why did you want to be part of This Is My Brave?
My reasons for participating in This Is My Brave are a little selfish . For me, part of recovery is acceptance, and part of acceptance is being about to say it out loud. I want to be brave enough to hear myself tell my story out loud. If other people are inspired by, or encouraged by my story, well that’s just a cherry on top.
4: What inspired you to get or stay mentally healthy?
Sometimes my dreams seem so very far away.... but they’re still there. Those dreams, and my family, and the dreams that my family keep alive for me inspire me to keep fighting for my health. I’m not so old and jaded that I’ve stopped believing in magic and possibility. There are open windows everywhere, I just have to be willing to see them.
5: What do you hope the audience takes away from this show?
What’s so amazing about This Is My Brave is that it puts a face (or many, beautiful, diverse faces) to mental illness. We’re your friends. We’re your family. We’re your neighbors, your coworkers... we’re people you know. Shoot, maybe we’re you. In a society that stigmatizes mental illness and often paints the images of those who suffer from it as other or cartoonish it’s really cool to have an opportunity to stand up with a bunch of people who look like whoever, whatever and say “mine is the face of a person who has or continues to struggle.”
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Morgan 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.