This is Jason Cannon with Ibis Books.
And yes, May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. I bring that up because here at Ibis Books we've got two events for you to check out that line up with the national mission to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and reduce the stigma that so many experience.
I won't overwhelm you with statistics. But the crisis is real, and one of the reasons I got into storytelling in the first place was to move the needle on important issues. Stories capture experiences in ways that raw data cannot. Stories turn that data into visceral understanding.
Entertainment is always step one. It's not a dirty word. But if you can "spoonful of sugar" that medicine? Oh yeah. That's the sweet spot.
And if the spoon itself is a cookie?? Double sweet spot!
So! Event Number One is the world premiere of CLOWNS LIKE ME. I'm the writer and director of this one-man show, but the story and performance are by Scott Ehrenpreis, who I've mentioned a time or two in this newsletter. He and I have been rehearsing the last couple weeks, and we open next Thursday, May 18. Opening night is sold out, but there are six more performances between May 19 and 27.
All info and tix here: ClownsLikeMe.com
And check us out in the media!
This photo shoot was brutal. Banana peels everywhere. Balloon animals popping. The photographer only spoke in horn honks. Took FOREVER.
If you aren't able to catch the show live, never fear! That's the cover of the published script, which will be available over at the Ibis Bookstore starting May 18.
And longer term, we are capturing the show with a 3-camera set-up, and we'll edit Scott's amazing performance into a streaming film. Of course I'll holler at y'all when that is ready!
Event Number Two is an author event with Estrella Engelhardt, hosted by our good friends over at Bookstore1 (they are seriously the best!).
This is next Saturday, May 20, 11am-noon.
Estrella will read a bit from her memoir, LETTERS TO JIM, and have a conversation about grief, which is a huge stressor on mental health, especially because so many people feel like they have to grieve alone.
This event is free, you just gotta register by clicking the big green button below.
That is one big green button.
Hope to see you at one or both of these events, and be sure to take a moment to check in with those you love--that includes yourself! The mental health crisis is real, and by telling stories--whether on a stage, on a page, or in your daily personal interactions--we increase our empathy, which is step one to strengthening our mental health.
Wish Scott, Estrella, and me well as we head into next week! :)
Jason "Cookie Spoon" Cannon