Monday, October 26, 2015

Kickstart This! Jamie & Daniele DIM

When I first saw the Kickstarter for Jamie & Daniele DIM all I could think was, "Yes. This. I need this to be a real thing." And it's true. The more I've learned about it, the more this project resonates with me.
Jamie & Daniele DIM :: Vol. I and the HOLIA theater-performance series speak of experiences of dealing with adult depression through creative expression. The stories highlight this important topic, and carry a positive message of overcoming and resilience. The is plan to continue the stage show, HOLIA and combine the story of Jamie & Daniele DIM into the play in autumn 2016.

Adult depression has been something I've dealt with for my entire life, whether it was my own depression or a loved one's. I'm thankful every day that more and more attention is being paid to mental health issues in our society, and look forward to a day when it is no longer stigmatized.

I love the idea of pairing a stage performance with a graphic novel. Both have unique ways of connecting with the audience, and together they become a wonderful way of keeping the audience's attention on the problems associated with adult depression and ways their own lives have been impacted. Long after the performance is over, the booklet will continue to encourage thoughtful reflection, reinforcing the message of the play.

I was fortunate to be able to chat with Katie Myers, the director of the HOLIA Project and the driving force behind Jamie & Daniele DIM, and learn about what inspires her and her troupe of performers, and what motivated them to dream up this fantastic project.

SRPS: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background. What inspires you? Who inspires you?

KM: I’m a U.S. national living in Ireland since 2007.

What inspires me is fulfilling an idea and making it real. I'm a true creative and have been a part of a lot of amazing projects over my 20-career years. My business, Commercial Art Room Incorporated began in 2004 in Denver, Colorado, promoting emerging artists, such as painters and photographers. I did this for a few years and also worked under Denver's top fine art curator, Andra Archer of the Archer Concept Group. During 2004 and 2005, I traveled to New York and New Jersey each month and performed as a podium and cage dancer. I moved to San Diego to pursue a writing career early 2007, but met the Irish guy I married and made my way overseas to Ireland. In 2007 and 2008 I danced as part of Ireland's most prestigious burlesque troupe, The Tassel Club, and from there formed the dance group I still direct today, THREE-O Troupe. We incorporated theatre into our format in 2012 and that's how we got into character sketches and comics.

My creative network inspires me every day! Whenever I feel like I'm alone and no one really cares, I think of the creatives that have believed in our efforts and worked hard together over the years. Edel Duff, Ursula Elmes, AndrĂ© Oliveira—just to name very few. There are numbers that have contributed to so many great times and memories, and they've all been true to the core!

SRPS: What is the HOLIA Project? What are the goals of HOLIA and how can people learn more about what you are working on?

KM: HOLIA Project is a group of creatives that have gotten together to put on a unique theatre and cabaret musical performance. We have a philanthropy to support the efforts that raise awareness around the topic of adult depression; primarily the focus on adult depression, hardships and suicidal tendencies. At the moment we're focusing on constructing an online directory of resources that those dealing with the mentioned hardships may turn to for support.

SRPS: How does Jamie & Daniele DIM connect with the HOLIA Project?

KM: Jamie & Daniele DIM is a 24-page, full color comic book that coincides with our play. The book gives the back-story of the villainess Daniele in the play, and the project's plan is to continue the HOLIA stage show in combination with the book.

SRPS: I love the idea of a take-away booklet for your audience. What was the inspiration for the booklet and how did you come up with the story of Jamie & Daniele DIM?

KM: We felt it would be an interesting take to justify the actions of a villainess in general; to create more of a personal investment and dimension to the character for the audience. As the writer, the more I thought about Daniele I wondered "what would be her motive really?" What type of pain could anyone relate to and understand as some type of driver of depression, and in turn understand depression more?

In the book, Daniele is torn down by a relationship. Not necessarily because of love, but because her trust was compromised. She begins to suspect her peers have turned against her, or they think she is crazy. Maybe they are saying things that aren't true about her and spreading gossip. The emotions that she experiences are displayed metaphorically, such as in the form of dogs, ravens and butterflies.

SRPS: What are your goals for people who read Jamie & Daniele DIM? What is the message you'd like them to come away with?

KM: To be intrigued by the story and anticipate Jamie & Daniele Vol. II. Also to have more of an understanding of how anyone is susceptible to falling into some form of depression.

We want people to believe in what our group stands for and support our efforts to fight the stigma associated with those struggling with mental health.

SRPS: How is producing a graphic novel different from producing a stage performance? What has surprised you the most about this project?

KM: It's a completely whole new concept! Never in my life did I realize writing a comic book script was so intricate. Communicating environments, colors, movements and facial expressions in the form of writing is such as challenge when we're accustom to communicating these visually. We're so fortunate to be working with such an amazing artist as J.L. Giles. He truly is an expert in this trade! Since we had great synergy with J.L. grasping our concept and advising us along the way, we were able to finish with an amazing piece.

SRPS: How else can people get in touch with HOLIA or find Jamie & Daniele DIM?

KM: First, and foremost, please support our Kickstarter campaign! You can also find on Tumblr and Facebook.

If you like the work I do here at Self-Rescuing Princess Society,
please check out my Patreon.

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Shout out - Major Tammy Duckworth
In 2004, while studying for a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on political economy and public health in southeast Asian at Northern Illinois University, she was deployed to Iraq. On November 12, 2004, the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. She fought to land the helicopter as safely as possible, which she did.

In case you need a reminder... you are amazing!
I just love this poem. I revisit it whenever I'm feeling a down or frustrated or a little powerless. You are amazing. Stronger than you know. More beautiful than you think. Worthier than you believe. More loved that you can ever imagine. Passionate about making a difference. Fiery when protecting those you love. Learning. Growing.
Movie Night - Advantageous
The decision to live as a single mother in this world was a dangerous one, she knew, but she also hoped it would give her life meaning; make it worthwhile. And, in its own way, her ultimate decision simply confirms that. It is her undying love for her daughter that drives everything she does. She cannot change the very system they are both trapped in. So she works within her constraints to give her daughter the very best chance.


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