Something I’d been wanting to do my whole lifetime, and now I’d done it. Of course, since graduating from college as a music major, I’d written a few touring shows for children at one of the local theaters in my hometown of Indianapolis, and I was grateful I’d done that. But they seemed like “kiddie shows.”
I wanted to write a “real” show, a show for adults, but could never seem to find the confidence, or the discipline, to do it. Instead, I would indulge in my addiction every day after I finished my job as a pianist at a high school for performing arts. I knew it was my dream to be a writer, but instead of coming home after work, and tackling a writing project, I would get intimidated, and end up at a bathhouse, or a public park, cruising for sex, for hours, which turned into a pattern for years.
The writing came to a standstill. I was a sex addict. And on top of it I was a binge alcoholic. Finally, I moved to NYC after being accepted into a wonderful writing program, but my addictions continued. After the first year I dropped out because I wasn’t “feeling it”. I wasn’t feeling anything, and all I was inspired to do at that time was party and have sex. Eventually, I found a fellowship for my problem, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and my healing began. I learned that part of the recovery process was doing, what they called in the program, “third column activities” – enjoyable, meaningful activities we could use in place of our addiction.
Every year they did a variety show in the fellowship, sometimes a scripted show. I was into musicals, so I decided to write a musical spoof of The Lion King, using a recovery theme. It was a hit! Yes, I finally wrote a show! And then for the next ten or so years I continued the tradition. It seemed, when my creativity was channeled toward doing service for others, as well as myself, it didn’t feel like such a selfish endeavor – which is what I came realize I believed any kind of artistic pursuit was. No wonder I didn’t want to write!
So now we come to 2019. For years a good friend of mine from the fellowship, and collaborator on the shows, had suggested we do a project outside SCA – a show we could bring to all the fellowships – a show that was written to include all addictions, not just sex. And, in the process, feel good that we were doing service, bringing the message of recovery to other fellow struggling addicts, and their friends and families. And, of course, to anyone else who was interested. And now we are doing it! Yes, it is stressful doing it without the support of the fellowship, financial and otherwise. But I have friends who believe in me who are funding the project this time around, after seeing and believing in my previous work, and well – being fantastic friends, they came aboard for the ride.
And together we are putting on this great show. And that takes a lot for me to say “great”. But I truly believe it is, when I let go of all that “artistic pursuits are selfish” crap. It’s called “The Sound of Recovery Music” – a musical spoof of “The Sound of Music.” But now all the characters are addicts recovering from addictions. Of course, I had to turn Maria, the heroine of the story, into a sex addict, which I thought would be very comical considering she was an aspiring nun. And in her job as a governess she takes care of, and basically sponsors. seven children addicted to everything! During this whole process, it was suggested to me to send my story into this blog, to promote the show, of course, but also to hopefully help anyone else who has a creative endeavor they dream of pursuing – and to inspire them to get out there and do it. Don’t let this addiction and the voices in your head stop you, like I did years ago.
So, if you’re interested in seeing the show, (Her comes the shameless plug part) click on soundofrecoverymusic.com and buy a ticket. It’s a hoot. Come up and say “hi”. I would love to know my story reached my fellows in recovery! In Gratitude, Michael Roth