October 12, 2022

Backstage at the Egyptian: Dana Herra of This Is My Brave

KARYN: What kind of art forms will the audience see at the event?
DANA: You will see a great variety of entertainment at This Is My Brave. There are 9 performers: two poets, two storytellers, four acoustic singers, and an honest-to-goodness mime.

K: How much time has been spent rehearsing for this event?
D: We began auditioning in May, so our performers have been working on their pieces all summer. We’ve been rehearsing as a group and fine-tuning the show’s pacing and format for the past six weeks.

K: Why bring this national movement to DeKalb?
D: Mental health is a huge topic right now. It’s no secret that the US is in a mental health crisis. Yet struggles with our own mental health can feel very isolating and personal. It’s critical our community adopts this idea that “it’s OK not to be OK.” Everyone experiences difficulties at some point. Getting to a point of healthy balance requires being able to talk about them.

K: How long has there been a This is My Brave Event in DeKalb?
D: This is our second DeKalb event. The last event was in 2019; the pandemic upended plans to bring it back until this year. It’s notable that this is the only This Is My Brave event in the state of Illinois.

K: What does it mean to you that this event is held at the Egyptian Theatre?
D: The Egyptian is an amazing venue. First of all, it is a beautiful theatre with wonderful acoustics – it’s a pleasure to perform in and a pleasure for audiences to attend. Second, the Egyptian’s prestigious place in the community lends a level of credibility to the show that is very helpful for sponsorship and ticket sales.

K: Will there be opportunities for audience members to learn about mental health resources?
D: There will be information on local mental health resources at the show. There will also be licensed counselors present in the event any audience members become overwhelmed and need to talk to someone right away. Profits from the show will be distributed by the DeKalb County Mental Health Board to support mental health services throughout our own community.

Resources:

National Resources

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988 Call and Text

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); Text “Start” to 88788

DeKalb Area Resources

Ben Gordon Center DeKalb: 815-756-4875 (Available Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm) 866-242-0111 (Available 24/7/365)

Safe Passage: 815-756-5228 Call; 815-393-1995 Text