For those of you who are “American Idol” fans, you no doubt have seen the audition of Lazaro Arbus, a young Cuban man who stutters while he talks, but does not stutter when he speaks. Speech pathologists around the world aren’t sure why this phenomenon occurs other than to attribute it to “its another part of the brain that sings, not talks.” Here is Lazaro’s interview and song; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLdg9FMp7f8&feature=youtu.be
Like Lazaro, Mel Tillis, a famed country singer also stutters while talking but never while singing. And this year, Mr. Tillis will be the honoree of this year’s annual Our Time Theatre Award to be presented at our gala event in Manhattan on Monday, April 22nd.
My involvement as a Board member of Our Time Theatre has been very rewarding and very humbling. I watch these kids perform and sing and dance and act and marvel at their courage to stand up in front of an audience and “share their voice.” The Our Time Kids attend the program for FREE. there is never a charge. To the program we have added a summer camp, various workshops and new initiatives all in the never ending quest to help these young people find their voice.
when I was younger and struggled with my stutter, I never wanted to be in the spotlight; I never wanted to talk in front of others and candidly, never wanted to be exposed to the teasing, the tormenting and the rash conclusions that people made about stutterers; how there was something “mentally wrong” or they were “too nervous”, “too skittish” and worse, “were not very smart.” Years later we found out that we were as good as anyone else and that we too had a voice that needed to be heard.
So this year, as I appeal to your philanthropic side, I urge you, beg you and embrace you to send some of your hard earned money to the Our Time Kids; kids who struggle with their speech from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. Unlike you, they have the added pressure not just of thinking of what they are going to say , but HOW they will say it. It is continuously emotionally draining and debilitating.
And that’s where Our Time comes in, by providing an artistic home for kids who stutter, we can provide them with a renewed sense of confidence, a place where they can feel safe; a place where no one makes fun and a place where people dont complete their sentences.
For more information about this wonderful cause and how you can contribute, please go to http://www.ourtimestutter.org/gala/
Please, whatever you can spare, $10, $20, $100 or more, please support this charity and think of it as doing a “really good deed”…because you will be doing just that!
Many thanks in advance for your support of Our Time Theatre.
p.s. Please view this short video about last year’s Our Time Gala:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&list=UUAkSYbm7y-ge9ZcwUTd2HHg&v=fEX2ELBHQlg (Please copy and paste into your browser)