For 10 days, he waited.
He waited skeptically for a background check to be approved.
He is planning to buy a gun.
He is planning to take his own life.
He waited for 10 days.
But Brian Copeland’s life was spilled to the audience in about 70 minutes in the form of an inspiring story to help others like him.
“The Waiting Period: Laughter in Darkness” is the latest, one-man show performed at Las Positas College by the immensely talented comedian Brian Copeland. Copeland has been making people laugh his entire life — even through his battles with depression, one of which nearly cost him everything.
Every moment of the show gave clarity about the lives of depressed people. Many of them have mood swings, loss of appetite, withdrawals from loved ones and the things that they desired for themselves.
The audience was quite engaged. Some cried at his pain, some laughed in response to Copeland’s perfectly executed jokes.
But some, including myself, were shocked by the emotions of Copeland’s depression symptoms he dealt with daily.
Picture a man who comes home every day sad, sitting in a dark room, ordering Chinese food to feed his kids, excluding other nutrition and speaking very little. The personality of a depressed person is quite scary and dull.
Copeland’s act brought out intense emotions that were easily balanced by his sense of humor. One member of the audience even loudly whispered, “This guy is good.”
His energy was just right.
With every laugh throughout the play, Copeland shined in the darkness more and more as a confident light. Copeland’s message was to teach people that they could be bigger and better than their pain.
Copeland’s pain is a separate story in and of itself.
Portraying all of the characters in the play, Copeland expertly switched back and forth, making it clear to the audience who he was playing with the music and jesters. There was a strong connection between Copeland and his audience, and everyone left feeling more informed about depression. Some might have even left feeling relieved that they can beat it.
It takes one man to make a change, and this man made that change.
Copeland is now an advocate for people, especially teens, that are dealing with issues of depression.
Look for Copeland’s upcoming shows on campus — they are worth attending. And if you know anyone who needs help with this illness, including yourself, please tell someone.