The best role you’ve ever had and a picture of it.
In “Johnny” everything was innocent, silly, and fun. The kids “ooh’ed” and “awed” and laughed and came up on stage and became a part of the story. After the show the cast handed out apple slices to the kids as they were leaving for their buses. Then Johnny Appleseed would run outside in his bare feet and make sure all the bus drivers got apples too! Johnny was a surreal role to play because you could see the kids wondering Is this the real Johnny Appleseed? Meanwhile I was thinking I’m actually getting paid to do this!? I could do this every day for the rest of years… Just like Johnny Appleseed!
The Barbara Schneider Foundation is an organization that works with law enforcement, courts, corrections, mental health, social service and health care systems to improve the response to those in mental health crisis and to prevent mental health crises. One of the many ways the organization accomplishes their goal is through Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) deescalation training sessions. I’m one of the BSF’s actors that improvises scenarios with law enforcement, corrections, or health care providers. The goal of these scenarios is to teach/train the professionals working directly with individuals in crisis how to deescalate situations.
Sure, actors are emotional; and yeah, I’m a Cancer too, but there is also a history of mental illness which runs in my family. So the work we do during CIT training sessions takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not just acting or training or teaching anymore, it’s personal and it could save someone’s life one day. Kind of makes “playing pretend” a bit important that just dress-up, doesn’t it?
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