I went to F.H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts. I was a drama major.

The people in the drama program were notoriously extroverted. At 15 years old I had an extroverted side, but I also had a deep rich internal world that I wouldn’t let anyone penetrate. I was in my own head a lot. I was thinking about the world and my relationship to it. I was anxious and I was depressed. I was having existential crises on a daily basis.

I would wake up with my heart pounding, scared that I was going to die some day.

Meanwhile, everyone around me was laughing and putting on lipstick.

I can’t imagine what other people thought of me.

Maybe they thought I was a snob, because I was shy.
Perhaps they thought I was an elitist because I was afraid to share my real feelings about things for fear that my peers would call me weird.

I didn’t know that a panic attack was something I couldn’t control.

I felt weak. I felt different.

I used theater as a way to cope with depression and anxiety.

I transmitted all my pain, all my anxiety in acting. When I performed Anne Frank, I became her.  I used my pain to make art.

But other people didn’t know.

They probably thought I didn’t want to talk to them.

That wasn’t the case.

I’m not in pain anymore. I’ve healed.

I wonder how they perceived me…