Unlikely Inspiration – Scott Barry’s RISE

I was disappointed when we canceled our Sedona Retreat earlier this year, but things happen for all sorts of reasons – and even bad luck can become good fortune in hindsight. Matt and I took a trip to Arizona anyways and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. We were in a gorgeous location, spent time with good people and learned a lot.

Happy Living hosted a free event at our friend Karen Conover’s Tae Kwon Do studio. The first part was Matt’s speech about Turning Inspiration Into Action. His talk has evolved since Voice & Exit and we were excited to share his message with a new group.

The second part was an adults-only performance by writer and actor Scott Barry about his very personal battle with the ultimate male taboo. As a thirty-something woman, I didn’t expect to fully appreciate a one-man show about impotence. My only experience with the condition is through those awkward “little blue pill” commercials.

Yet, life is full of unlikely inspiration.

Scott Barry’s RISE is a one-man show that chronicles a truly troubling time in his life. As someone who previously “enjoyed” the company of women, Scott discovers his debilitating affliction immediately after falling in love with his soul mate. His performance is gripping, honest and mixed with enough humor to carry everyone through the uncomfortable moments.

Before the show started, I was nervous for Scott. I assumed he’d never performed in a Tae Kwon Do studio at eye-level with his audience. This seemed like the type of story you only share with a close friend, in a dimly light room, after a few cocktails. Performing outside the “safety” of a theater and stage lights seemed crazy.

Scott acknowledged the peculiar setting to our crowd just as he was about to begin. He told us he was nervous and there was a negative voice in his head saying he shouldn’t go on, but he was going to anyways. This is the type of story that requires courage and bravery, but Scott believes it is one that needs to be told.

If you get a chance to see Scott Barry perform RISE, you should… even if this particular situation has not impacted you personally. You will find yourself laughing and relating, cheering on Scott as he faces his demons, and celebrating when his play reaches its triumphant climax.

This unlikely inspiration reminded me that we’re all human.

“We’re all human” is a phrase that rolls off the tongue too easily – the stark reality is our bodies are incredible, moving, breathing miracles that can stop working at any moment. Bodies can be amazing and beautiful, but they can also be confusing and scary. They can work for us in remarkable ways, or they can work against us in ways that are maddening.

When we are going about normal daily life, we can easily forget our human-ness. We can take our physical bodies for granted.

Anyone who has experienced an illness or ailment knows the struggle of being human. Pleading with the body to work rarely solves the problem. We must get to the root of the cause, sooth and treat the body kindly, feed and nurture it back to health. If we are lucky, we get better and have the chance at forgetting our human-ness once again.

Scott, it is brave and courageous to stand on stage (or in a Tae Kwon Do studio) and reveal something so private. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us that we are only human.

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