By Rana Nelson
In support of Disability Employment Month, Victoria Maxwell, aka the Bi-Polar Princess, returns to Revelstoke on Tuesday, September 20, at 7 pm at the RPAC for a FREE, candid, funny performance describing her experience with mental illness. Come early to chat with mental-health service providers from the Revelstoke community from 6 pm-7 pm.
“After her diagnosis of bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis, [Victoria] became extremely proactive in her recovery. She combines her theater background, personal experience of psychiatric illness and professional knowledge as a group facilitator and mental health worker, to give a unique and powerful ‘insider’s’ perspective on dealing with depression and other mental illnesses (victoriamaxwell.com).”
Victoria performed her first show on mental illness in 2002 and began doing so because “it is so validating to hear others’ stories and experiences around mental illness. It helped me realize that I wasn’t alone.”
On Wednesday, September 21, at the RPAC from 9 am-3 pm, Victoria will be offering a FREE Catalyst for Creativity and Courage Playshop, “an interactive day of perfectly, imperfect improv, creative writing, monologue hatching and soulful speech shaping. [In this playshop], cultivate confidence and courage, get better at expressing yourself on the fly while having fun, [and] walk away with a one- to three-minute rough draft of a fictional or true-story monologue which you can develop further into a talk, a show, a snippet to share or NOT (victoriamaxwell.com).” Limited to 15 participants, and snacks and lunch will be provided.
When Victoria was in Revelstoke last year, she did a workshop with the drama group at Revelstoke Secondary School. “The playshops are a safe space for people to be creative. There’s no judgement. You can be who you are. Last year, seeing the students really take that to heart made me realize that I wanted to do more of these. Revelstoke was the genesis for the playshops, which I’ve been doing for a year now.”
Victoria’s smile is big and bright. Her quirky humour, joy for life, and love of puns sparkle in her sentences. In our conversations, I laugh more than I talk! It’s no wonder she wins awards and wows audiences. Based on the Sunshine Coast, Victoria performs, speaks, and presents workshops internationally.
To register for the Playshop, call WorkBC at 250-814-0244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Victoria Maxwell’s events are sponsored by the Revelstoke Local Action Team as part of the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative, funded by Doctors of BC and the BC government, and are presented in partnership with WCG/WorkBC, the Revelstoke Arts Council, and Community Futures.