Tag Archives: Recovery

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: Who Am I? A Human Revolution 

by Azo Safo

Quick peeks at #HFF23’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Helema Maggiore 

WHAT: Who Am I? A Human Revolution 

WHERE: Zephyr Theatre , 7456 Melrose Avenue

WHY: Singer/songwriter Helema Maggiore tells the harrowing story of addiction and recovery through music and storytelling. From the moment we are introduced to Helema as a child, we learn two things: she loves music and she adores her musician father who ultimately succumbs to drug addiction.  This not only drastically impacts Helema, who vows never to touch alcohol or drugs, but it also foreshadows some of Helema’s struggles as she grows into adulthood. This show is a testament to the human will to survive when life is seemingly hopeless, and the power of love, family and spirituality to bring us back to ourselves.  Helema’s voice and her music are remarkable and a highlight of this powerful play. 

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/9553

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe!”

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: I Have Too Many Feelings

by Heather Dowling

Quick peeks at #HFF21’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Bethany Vee

WHAT: I Have Too Many Feelings

WHERE: The Broadwater Black Box 6322 Santa Monica Blvd (+ Live-Stream)

WHY: In I Have Too Many Feelings, Bethany takes a painfully hilarious look at her very personal journey to achieve balanced mental health – navigating bedwetting, LGBTQ+ matters, ADHD, depression and addiction. But Bethany’s authentic storytelling – aided by her caustic inner critic, Demon-Debby and a host of other characters – allows us to join her journey, cheering for her recovery, and considering our own “too many feelings.” Maybe, they have a purpose for us, after all.

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7128

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe”

All Hail #FringeFemmes! Meet Crystal Bush

By Constance Strickland

We know that when there is cultural and racial equality in theatre, it makes room for artists of all walks of life to contribute to the history of theatre. It is vital that we make room, make way for women from all backgrounds to have a chance to be included in the future of theatre. It is with great esteem I present Crystal Bush! In her #HFF19 show CHRISSY METH we discover a woman who has come out of the dark into the light. A woman who found her way to herself and shares her story to remind us all that we can rise above our deepest battles and thrive. Crystal, you’re a powerful example of never giving up on oneself.

Constance: How long have you’ve been sitting with this work? 

Crystal: I went into recovery in July of 2003.  So I wanna say somewhere around 2001, when I was right in the thick of my addition, I was trying to capture it.  But I found it very difficult to talk about or regurgitate what was happening as it was happening. And besides, I was in it… so I just couldn’t.  I remember I was living in Oakland, and I did a short stand-up about losing so much weight at the time – I went from a size 14 all the way to a size 0.  But even then it was still very difficult to  tell the story;  I was so in my addiction, that I really could not think clearly.

Constance: The work is now out there, you’ve given it away. How does that feel?

Crystal: Oh, wow. After leaving in a clean and sober house for three years, group therapy, individual counseling, years and years of yoga and prayer, my healing has been profound.  Sitting down and writing my story, acknowledging it and letting it go has lifted a weight that is indescribable. I feel so free, I feel love, I feel peace.  I feel like there is so much more to come: a book, a film, a series. This has definitely been a wonderful surprise.

Constance:  What has been the biggest  surprise or discovery, doing your show?

Crystal: It’s been so  freaking amazing!!  My last show, twenty-six people were in the house;  twenty of those people stood in line to wait to embrace me afterwards. It was so deep; I was stunned at how impactful my story has been for others.  It’s so difficult to know how other people are going to think and feel,  so I was really nervous about putting my story out there.

Constance: What’s been your biggest challenge in terms of the Fringe?

Crystal: Gurrrrl…THAT’S MONEY!  You know, I remember at times when I would always say, “Oh, I can’t do that, I don’t have the money, wow, that’s too expensive, I ain’t got no money,” etc. Not receiving one of the Hollywood Fringe scholarships was definitely devastating. But I knew this story had to be told.  So, despite my own fears, my worry, self sabotage, procrastination… I just put one foot in front of the other, I asked the Universe to please guide me, and some really beautiful angels showed up and helped me financially.  This has never happened to me ever in my life so, needless to say, I am in awe of the entire situation.  It has been a magical journey. But to be clear it was ALL challenging:  Writing, directing, and self producing ain’t no joke, but I did it, and I feel so blessed.

Constance: What do you hope audience members take away from your show?

Crystal: My whole life people have made assumptions about who I am,  and where I come from.  I’ve had some very humble beginnings in my life.  I talk about this in my show – I was abandoned by my mother as an infant, raised by my father’s parents, my father was a heroin addict.  And so I was set on my path in this life and world and I did the best I could do with what I had.  You never know what people have been through, so it is so important to not judge people.  And you never know, you could help save somebody’s life if you just open your heart, and have love and compassion for the other person. I want my audience to walk away with love and compassion, and the will and courage to make an impact and change this world in their own way. 

For more information on CHRISSY METH: A DANCE WITH THE DEVIL AND THE JOURNEY BACK in HFF19, visit  https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5629

Crystal Bush