This is Mental

Tomorrow concludes Mental Health Awareness Week. There is an awful stigma attached to mental illness of all kinds. While awareness has done much to help people appreciate that mental illness is not a sign of weakness or personal failure, receiving treatment is still challenging. We might struggle to identify our own symptoms. We don’t always know who to approach in matters of behavioral health. We don’t often have support systems that will tolerate mental illness. All the while, people still throw around the words “crazy”, “retarded”, or even simply “mental” as insults.

And it used to be worse.

The early 1980s were a time in which electroconvulsive therapy was abused, and homosexuality was still widely regarded as a mental illness. Granted, it wasn’t the era depicted in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” but the third revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1980 was a polarizing publication that pushed more explicit criteria and better description, but still featured terms like “ego-dystonic homosexuality” as a condition, which inspired organizations to “fix the gay” in those at odds with their own sexual orientation.

This is not an exposé. This is not a documentary. This is a dark comedy reflecting on those times: “This is Mental”

The first part of the project will be a short film called “Exercise One” named for a Joy Division song that tosses around imagery of detachment and hopelessness.

It’s written. I have what I feel should be enough money to make it happen. I would like to get this filmed roughly March or April of next year.

That’s what I’m prepared to share for the time being. I’m proud of what I’ve committed from pen to paper, but seeing this through will take more than just my vision. If you’d like to know more, please feel free to contact me.

Busy again!

This upcoming weekend bring the premiere of “Young Harvest“. Directed by Matthew Ward, and brought to you by the good people at Conrad Studios, it’s premiering at The Scarefest in Lexington, Kentucky this Saturday.

I’ve made a few open mic standup appearances in the last couple weeks. I’m mostly writing and testing things out with the goal of having a proper set early next year.

Then in November, there’s “Stand Up For Pits” in Los Angeles, at Largo at the Coronet. I won’t be performing, but with a lineup that includes Rebecca Corry, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings and host Kaley Cuoco, you probably won’t miss me. More details available here, on Facebook.

Last, just to demonstrate both my narcissism, and my concern for animal welface, here’s a recent picture of me in my kitchen posing with my new “One Million Pibble March” tee shirt. This shirt is available from KAE-O, and “100% of the proceeds (minus cost) of this limited edition One Million PIBBLE March On Washington DC will go directly towards the cost to rally at the US CAPITOL.”

Stand Up for Pits

Rebecca Corry and her dog Angel are a pretty awesome story. You can read about them here: http://standupforpits.us/about-angel/. I met Rebecca a few months back as part of a fundraiser event in Arlington, Virginia, and have been bothering her ever since.

I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 16 years, and animal causes catch my interest. Aside from the ASPCA, I hadn’t focused on a specific effort. However, when Rebecca announced something remarkably ambitious, I wanted to lend my support in whatever capacity I could.

I’m asking you to first, check out her organization here on causes.com, and further to sign this petition to help put an end to dog fighting and breed-specific legislation.

Thank you in advance for any interest you do show.

-m.

It’s time for an update…

I’ve had a few small acting gigs, including Young Harvest and Draft Day, where I had a fanboy moment getting direction from Ivan Reitman himself.

I’m working on music. I’ve been asked to provide a soundtrack to Young Harvest, and a handful of other projects.

You really should be following me on Twitter where I post nonsense frequently that entertains some people.

And then there’s writing and stand-up ambitions. I need to be better at balancing projects.

-m.