Addiction is a problem that all of us are sadly all too familiar with. We are all touched by its relentless destructiveness and those people in our lives who struggle are constant reminders how any one of us could become an addict. Any one of us could take a turn one day and find ourselves undone.
Crystal Bush’s journey is a perfect example of how even the strongest of us can fall and fall hard. She begins her story as a child, abandoned by her mother at the hospital at birth, her grandparents take her in and raise her, her father intermittent in her life. She is loved and supported but her life is tinged with sadness and her self esteem is caught in the waves of longing to be like everyone else. Of course so many of us are from backgrounds of turmoil and chaos, it’s easy to forget that what seems normal is often statistically abnormal. But children are always so fragile when it comes to love and the lack of it and they can’t judge as objectively as adults and adults cant be objective at all most of the time.
Crystal’s family expected her to achieve. She expected herself to achieve. The pressures of all those expectations mixed with a fierce longing to belong erupted into her life as alcohol, drugs and a desperate need to find love. Chrissy barely survived. Many have not. Her story is told with grace and with humor and with a sweet depth to her acting ability I have rarely seen. Chrystal is a warrior, although she is one whose heart openly bleeds. She is powerful in her resilience and proud of her journey and therefore who she has become. But what struck me most about her brilliant performance and heartfelt connection with her audience was her humility and her authenticity. Her words trip lightly from her, her emotion always propelling her narrative and yet there was no sense of syrupy, overly romanticized drama, no tinge of self indulgence. This is a story beautifully told and effortlessly articulated by a woman with tremendous talent and something important to say.
I love solo shows, but they are hard to get right, hard to balance, harder to perform. This is amongst the absolute best I have seen and I am thrilled Chrissy shared herself so poignantly with us. Bravo!!! Loved it!!
“Chrissy Meth” is a solo show written and performed by Crystal Bush with direction and development by Jessica Lynn Johnson.
It centers around a motherless child “Crystal” who grows up in the western suburbs of Chicago, she finds herself stumbling from one abusive relationship to the next, pushing her into deep drug addiction. Somehow, from the depths, of being lost forever, she finds hope and begins to put the pieces back together. Through the use of song, multimedia, humor and multiple characters, she explores, questions and challenges beliefs and social mores surrounding identity, and self-esteem while showing that it’s never too late to come back and find one’s self-worth.