The biggest night of my existence premiered June 12 on Stories from the Stage. I am happiest ON stage or in a recording studio. All I have ever wanted to do is perform — theatre, voiceovers, movies, and TV. I’m still shocked that I have a desk job. That’s what happens when adulting derails a dream. I will always regret not fully pursuing acting after graduating from college. I listened to naysayers and felt paralyzed by my insecurities.
The keynote at Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2018 Blood Cancer Conference in Atlanta rekindled my passion — Dan Shapiro, the author of Mom’s Marijuana: Life, Love, and Beating the Odds. The way he told his story and commanded the stage…I was overcome with emotion and actually cried. Then I randomly met him toward the end of the conference and totally fangirled. It was the one time in my life when I couldn’t even calm down enough to take a picture. Good thing a friend at that time took this picture below. It was like I saw another way to perform where stages are set in the cancer space at hotels and convention centers instead of Broadway.
One would think I am insecure now, mainly because of the massive weight gain due to the collateral damage from chemo, multiple surgeries, radiation, hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, fibromyalgia, and chronic back pain. I guess that’s what staring my mortality in the face has done. As much as I would like to take risks to pursue acting full-time, the pressure of always needing decent health insurance to remain on top of my scans, unexpected surgeries, medical bills, medication, and regular bills forces me to be an adult.
While I manage to find moments here and there where I can be the performer I was born to be, there’s a constant sadness knowing these moments are fleeting. Damn, adulting, chronic pain, and fatigue. Still, I am immensely proud of myself for not only writing and performing, but I am now officially a storyteller. It’s a stage and audience I never imagined, but maybe someone up above had other plans.
STORIES FROM THE STAGE
SEASON 06 EPISODE 22
PREMIERING MONDAY, JUNE 12 at 9:30/8:30c
A diagnosis of cancer changes someone’s life in innumerable ways. It can also teach us many things about ourselves that resonate beyond the illness.
Megan-Claire Chase becomes an advocate after finding out that breast cancer will alter her dream of motherhood.
Erinn Budd applies lessons learned from Grey’s Anatomy to help her get the care she deserves.
Dwayne Brown beats cancer twice and takes what he picked up back to the football field.
Three storytellers, three interpretations of BEYOND CANCER, hosted by Wes Hazard.
This will air on your local PBS stations and stream on YouTube.
And here’s more about the Stories From the Stage series, which is now live:
Beyond Cancer – TV Episode
Beyond Cancer – Podcast
Facebook Playlist with 9 individual stories:
Link to article – “Storytelling for Cancer Survivors”
Until next time,
Warrior Megsie, Storyteller