In Good Company: Melody Chrispen

In Good Company

By Melody Chrispen

I never really know how to start these things. “Hi. I’m Melody. I’ve been clean of chocolate for 2 days.” Which is still a lie haha. 2017 has been huge for me. By far the busiest, most emotional, and most rewarding year of my life so far. But the saying goes: “God never gives you more than you can handle.” My strength and passion have most definitely been tested this year, but I like to think I’m becoming the best version of myself possible.

To start, my personal life has been a rollercoaster. In February, I discovered that my 3 week migraine was due to the fact that I have Type II Diabetes. It did not surprise me, as this runs in my family. It does not lessen the blow of hearing that fact, however. After giving up most carbs, sugars, and dairy, I am proud to say that I have dropped about 30lbs. and feel so much better overall. Lifestyle changes are hard, but I have had an unbelievable support system. Thank you to all the friends, family, co-workers, and strangers who have been by my side to listen and love.

My cousin and I had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios in California this year! No headache or diabetes could keep me away from the butterbeer, let me tell you! We had a wonderful time driving the coastal highway, eating good food, walking the beach, getting massages, and enjoying the cool(ish) weather.

In May of this year, however, things got…interesting. My sister, niece, nephew, and I drove to San Antonio, TX for a family reunion. As the baby (13-15 years younger than my siblings) sister, I’ve always had a bit of a tricky time connecting with my relatives. On this trip, I finally “proved” myself in my eyes. I think my family got a chance to see the real me, the adult me. I have challenged myself over the last 2 years to be slower to anger and more eager to listen. Love and joy are qualities that can never be too bountiful. We visited Six Flags, the Alamo, the Riverwalk, an open house tour, and so much more. I felt that I had found my place in the family. Then things changed a bit. On the drive back to Phoenix, the 4 of us were in a rollover accident. I was driving and mistook the road signs. The car went off the side of a freeway ramp, took an 18 inch fall, hit, flipped, and slid about 30 feet. I cannot say enough how big of a miracle it was that we all survived, with no major injuries at that. But what I have not shared with the world is the overwhelming sense of loss that came with this accident. I lost my sense of security as a driver. I lost a bit of my relationship with my sister and her children. I lost the hope that I had made my family believe in me. I know that all seems selfish and over-dramatic, but PTSD creates emotions that you never thought you could feel within yourself. I hope that one day, I will be able to push past the guilt, but until that day comes, I keep myself busy with…

Theatre! The real reason you, my reader, have stuck with me through this crazy blog post. I can proudly say that I am currently involved in not 1, not 2, but…6 theatrical productions. All at once. More than ever in my entire life. And I have never been happier. I, of course, am currently the box office manager for Brelby Theatre Company. So be sure to give us call and talk to me!!! I am part of a fantastic acapella group titled “The Acaholics”, with performances coming up very soon! I am still on Brelby’s resident improv troupe “Results May Vary”, which performs every second Saturday at 5:00pm and every fourth Friday at 10:00pm. I recently opened The 4th Annual Miscast Concert with a wonderful and supportive team. We run through August 26th, so be sure to grab tickets! I am advising stage manager for the world premiere of Whisper Sweetly by the fabulous Devon Mahon. This show runs September 15-30. I am participating in a holiday lunchtime theatre program as an actor. And I was recently cast in the world premiere of Depend On Me by the illustrious Brian Maticic, which runs October 6-28. You do NOT want to miss this one. Let’s just say…you’ll be seeing a lot more of me than ever before haha.

So that’s me! I hope you enjoyed this long read. I am always around Brelby if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold. A quote that recently stuck out to me was a speech from Matthew McConaughey. When asked who his hero was, he said: “My hero is me in 10 years. I’m never going to beat my hero. I’m not going to obtain that, I know I’m not. And that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.” This has been a year of chasing, but it sure has been a fun chase.

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