I wrote this playlet twice, once when I was still reeling from all of the negative emotions that are built up in it, and once again after I had taken some time away from it and gotten advice on how to improve the script. Now, I’ve got my previous reflection on the piece below.
I can send you a copy of the older version, if you email my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s a lot of things to talk about regarding mental health. I decided that the easiest way for me to talk about it was to tell the story of someone dealing with it. I should include the common disclaimer that the events and characters are not meant to resemble anyone, living or dead. That’s how it goes, right?
The metaphor for being buried by the snow came from a particularly unpleasant walk home in a snowstorm. The winters in Guelph are a lot colder than in Dundas, unless I’m romanticizing my hometown. Regardless, I was so cold that my skin actually hurt. I wondered how interesting it was that most snow – unlike all but the most extreme rain or sun – could cause pain. And in the most poetic way possible, sadness is the only emotion that causes physical pain. Anger does too, if you count angry punching, but I don’t want to include angry punching.
The bit at the end – I call it the “fuck you” part, I don’t know a better name but I’m open to suggestions – is meant to be cathartic. Let it Snow is just a script right now, so I have yet to see if it works. Or if it’s good. Like I said, I’m open to suggestions. The character alludes to financial problems, familial issues, and a difficult upbringing. All of these things could certainly lead to mental health issues in someone. My goal is that people find something to relate to; my audience is young, and I hear stories like this, and have lived stories like this, enough to believe that someone out there will find some truth in the story I tell here.
I hope you like it! If you want to put it on just give me a shout out and maybe throw some of the revenue my way (if any, I know shows don’t make big money).
So I changed the entire narrative, after some discussion. It’s fundamentally the same, but dramaturgically, the ending became the beginning and I came up with a new ending, that I felt better suited what I wanted to talk about.
Dealing with mental health isn’t about giving up, it’s about fighting. Otherwise, everyone with a mental health disorder would be dead, and I don’t want that to happen. So I wrote a new ending, a slightly preachy, more hopeful ending, that reminds everyone to keep their chins up.
If it’s going to snow, let it. You’re going to be okay.