EN PICADO, AUDIOVISUAL EXHIBITION.
Adaptations of texts from the books by James Rhodes, to whom we are highly grateful for having been granted to use them for the exhibition.
Voice over from the exhibition.
There are so many people without whom I know I would not be here today. They have been in my life sometimes for a few hours or days. Sometimes, many years. Some threads have been part of the whole fabric of my existence from the beginning.
I have chosen a job, or it has chosen me, that requires the terrifying and dangerous reality of spending countless hours on a big stage, concentrating, thinking, and feeling. And almost all of those things are not ideal for a person with a whole host of weird and beautiful neuroses.
But it's a profession that alternately gives me security, dread, pressure and vigour. Sometimes, all of them at a time.
It has been almost six years since I was discharged from a psychiatric institution. I left my last mental hospital in 2012, up to my eyeballs in medication, with no career, manager, or dignity.
Things happened to me as a child. Well, things were done to me! Things that led me to manage my life from a position that I, and only I, am to blame for everything I despise inside me. A person could only do things like that to me if I were intrinsically immoral on a cellular level. And all the knowledge, understanding and kindness in the world will not be enough to change the fact that this was my truth. That it always has been. That it always will be.
And if not, ask anyone they find... It does not matter. If they say something else, they are lying.
But today, everything is running smoothly in my messy little room. Of course, we eat. Guest make beautiful comments because that's the way of people who are not socially retarded. Afterwards, I say goodbye to everyone and go to sleep.
But the truth is that there is nothing extraordinary about all this. I feel longing, uncertainty, restlessness, surrender and perhaps hope. Everything I imagine Chopin must have felt when, at the age of 20, he left his home in Warsaw to explore the world. Because this could be Chopin, do you know him?
Let me tell you something about the great Chopin. He lived a ruined, sick and unhappy life and died of consumption in tremendous pain at 39. I am a little less ruined. I have a vastly inferior talent, and although I am probably just as ill, I still don't cough a chunk out of my lung every time I cough.
At the Polyclinic, they have a child protection unit. I went to give evidence against my former teacher, Mr Lee, to see if I could track him down and get him to take responsibility for his actions. I did it for closure, for justice, to try to reconcile with my childhood self. I was told they had contacted the school and that no record of anyone by that name working there was found.
I once read a book whose main character was so lonely that she would stand in queues to interact with others. And although things haven't got that wrong for me, sometimes I like to talk to strangers. Never the metro: you wouldn't even think of getting into some situations.
Although it's taken me almost 15 years, I finally know I can be happy for the rest of my life with the person I'm with now.
You and I are immediately connected through music. I listen to it. You listen to it.
Music has saved my life. And it has saved a lot of other people's lives, too.
It offers company when there is none. Understanding when there is bewilderment. Comfort when there is anguish, and pure, untainted energy when what is left is an empty shell of destruction and exhaustion.
Music is one of the few things that can reach the last recesses of our hearts and minds.
We all have a soundtrack to our lives.