Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet Maura!

Five Questions with Maura Kidwell
Chicago actor
ETD collaborator since April 2009

1. What is your role with Erasing the Distance?
I play the roles of Joanna in the Bipolar disorder story and Marie in the Eating Disorder story, as well as other ensemble roles in the Teen Show (What's Behind Our Eyes).

2. When you are not working with Erasing the Distance, what might you be doing?
Ideally I'm either rehearsing for or performing in a show. Auditioning or prepping for auditions. Daydreaming.

3. Can you share with us a favorite ETD moment?
I loved every moment during the initial rehearsal process when the ensemble got to connect as a group - in warm-ups, improv exercises or games. Larry's direction during rehearsals helped take me out of my head (my comfort zone) and into the group mind. We still try to do group warm-ups before performances.
My other favorite moment was the first time I heard that our show was the reason an individual decided to seek help for mental illness.

4. What do you think is a pressing mental health need in your community?
So many. The first thing that comes to mind is substance addiction. I see it everywhere. In general, the most pressing mental health need is to remove the stigma and MYTHS of mental illness.
I learned recently that many cases of severe substance abuse occur in people with mental illness because they would rather be seen as an addict than as someone who's mentally ill. The stigma in some communities is that strong. That is mind-boggling to me. And so dangerous to everyone involved.

5. Can you tell us your favorite way to de-stress?
If I'm stressed, more than likely it's because I'm overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do it. So my solution is usually to take up an activity that gives me some pathetic semblance of control but still allows me to continue avoiding my real responsibilities. Like I'll go hide in my closet and fold my socks or something.

I also like to put on my iPod and wander around a park or a museum, paying attention to nature and art - this does wonders for my stress level, and serves to "push the reset button" on my creativity.

Maura can also currently be seen performing in THE HIDING PLACE at Provision Theater each weekend! Check it out at www.provisiontheater.org.

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