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Upstaging Stigma

As a former professional actor, it’s ingrained in my brain to never upstage anyone or anything—usually applied to stage and film, but it’s a great analogy for life as well. 

In case you’re not familiar, upstaging is when you try to divert attention from someone else toward yourself. When witnessing it, upstaging has a fake, grotesque, and desperate feeling to it. It has similar roots to bullying without (hopefully) violence or overt negativity heaped on the person you’re trying to outshine.

BUT my friend Walker Vreeland, who also happens to be a playwright/actor and former radio personality, makes it his mission to “upstage stigma,” which is a damn good idea. Outshine and maybe even b*tch slap the stigma surrounding mental illness and mental health; showing everyone you’re a bigger star than that tired old soap opera star called Stigma. 

I interviewed Walker on my podcast and he talks about his battles with mental illness, his struggle with authenticity, finding his truest self, and living out his purpose or calling in life. Dude is super funny and engaging and provides a lot of wisdom about this thing called life. It doesn’t hurt that I had a lot of fun talking to a fellow one-man play performer and theatre nerd (#putdownthehaterade).

Walker’s episode is embedded above, available in iTunes, and for direct download. Give it a listen on a subway ride or on a car ride… or in the shower—I’m not the boss of your life :) I hope you have as good a time hanging out with Walker as I had. 

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