This year I finally decided to get myself published. In doing so, I was able to revisit an old project that will forever remain the most personal and gratifying experience I have had to date as a writer and performer.
In 2003, a force-of-nature named Joey Tucci came into my life during a time I can best describe as hell on earth. I was dealing with a mental illness I didn't ask to be cursed with and it was successfully ruining everything I had worked so hard for. They called it bipolar 2 (a diagnosis later reevaluated as severe depression) and the unwanted intrusion turned my life upside down.
Theatre was always my therapy so I started writing. I had issues and demons I wanted to confront, present and past. The end result was "Tuxedo Joe."
In doing so, I was left with the challenge of somehow getting a general audience to understand and relate to a central character dealing with a mental illness. Indeed, every person's experience is different. I did not want it to be clinical. I did not want to distance the audience. I wanted them right there, inside my head.
He would be my alter-ego through four stage performances and after a self-financed feature film version, I put the material away for eight years.
I finally decided to bring the material back to its theatrical roots. It's really something to look at lines of dialogue and remember exactly where I was (physically and mentally) when they were written. Where the material goes from here is anyone's guess. I just wanted to finally put the story out there in the playscript it was designed for. Maybe he can help someone as he once helped me.