Daydream Believer was the number one song on the charts the day I was born. I love the Monkees and their music has always made me feel good. I mean, who can be unhappy when you hear Davy Jones’ voice and picture his cute smiling face? I fell in love with him, his accent and his wonderful personality when I saw him on the Brady Bunch. When he sang “Girl” and came to the rescue of Marcia Brady (Maureen McCormick) I was made aware of a wonderful world where you could meet Davy Jones, pretend to be someone else, somewhere else and the best part? You got PAID to do that. I decided then and there that my dream was to become an actress.
Little did I know that I would actually be able to fulfill that dream; not on screen or stage, however. I have spent a great deal of my life acting, although it was unscripted and mostly not for entertainment. I believe that most people who battle mental illness, addictions or other “shameful secrets” become actors and actresses by necessity.
Even today, there is still a great deal of stigma associated with mental illness and addictions; no one I know wants to be judged, so we lie. We act like we’re not hurting inside, scared of our feelings, of voices saying terrible things in our minds. We smile when we want to cry, we get up every morning, ignoring the heavy blanket of dread at facing another day. We say that everything is fine when nothing is fine. We deny that we need help or that we have a problem because we don’t want to believe it ourselves and we certainly don’t want to be seen as weird, crazy or even worse, pathetic. But the truth is if we can’t be honest with ourselves we will never be okay. It takes a great deal of courage to just accept the fact that we are not normal, whatever that is, in the eyes of most.
The problem with acting is that people will take you at your word; if you say you are fine, they will accept it as fact. If they ask if you need help and you refuse, they will believe you and will go about their lives, assuming that you are not suicidal, you are not a danger to yourself or others. In short, they will not have a clue that anything is going on, other than the “normal” amount of sadness, stress, loneliness, etc. that everyone experiences. This is incredibly dangerous and while it may “avoid the drama” that we all would like to avoid, it puts the individual in harm’s way, as well as setting up friends and family for a lifetime of questions that have no answers and a person-shaped hole in their heart.
So, today I will try my best to be truthful and if I’m acting, I’m simply acting like myself. The Daydream Believer has finally become a believer in the daydreams of that little girl so long ago. Not so much about being an actress, but about being okay with who I am, having friends and family who love me in spite of the chaos and confusion that are often the byproducts of an unquiet mind. These wonderful souls see me as who I am: a mystery wrapped up in a riddle surrounded by an ever-changing, developing, funny and loving personality. But enough about me…
Mr. Davy Jones, God Rest Your Soul and thank you for the music, your cuteness and your wonderful smile. You will not be forgotten and you will always have a special place in my heart.