Lethan Candlish and Who Am I Again? performance and TBI Voices
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If there’s one thing I love, it’s stories, performance and talking about brain injury honestly. And I want to introduce you to some folks who do roll all three into one.
Lethan Candlish is a masterful storyteller and artist. He performed a very moving piece called “Who Am I, Again?” a few years ago. In it, he brings to life some of his stories and experiences of his brain injury and recovery. He amps it up hugely by also enacting the stories of other people in his life. This includes people he was close to before his injury and people he met in rehab experiencing their own brain injury recovery. It’s a very cool style of performance. You see the other characters clearly in the way he changes his posture, movements and voice for each person.
In case we need to show more proof that people who survive severe brain injuries do have compassion, empathy for others, interest in others, and the ability to perform, here you go. I wish we didn’t need to show any proof, but I think we still do. We still have a lot of people to convince that everyone in our brain injury community is valuable (whether they create a performance piece or not).
I thought I posted about “Who Am I, Again?” a year and a half ago. Turns out I was so mesmerized by the performance that I completely forgot to write the post. Sometimes it’s good to soak something in and take your time rather than hitting “like” and “share” impulsively. But I’m so very glad I’m doing it now because late is better than never. And you really should watch this.
Click on this sentence to watch a wonderful recording of “Who Am I, Again?”. There’s a very thoughtful introduction by lawyer Gordon Johnson about the importance of creating an archive of stories at www.TBIVoices.com. On that site you will find links to watch “Who Am I, Again?” and many other survivors’ own stories. Because without the first-hand stories told directly by people with brain injury, how will anyone who isn’t a survivor or someone very close to a survivor ever know the vastness and richness of our experiences, good and bad, before and after?
Many people talk about wanting to be the “voice for the voiceless.” Not these folks. They ask you to listen and read and observe the voices that people already have.