Ep 124 - A Lesson in A Lesson in Swimming

Click here for a machine generated transcript.

One thing you learn as a stroke survivor is that things change. Plans change. Your world changes in an instant. In that respect, I think many of us had an advantage when COVID-19 broke the planet. We'd been through it before. Many of us had already been at home for weeks, months, or years.

Michael Schutt's world turned upside down when he experienced a series of three strokes. He was told he would never act again, but wouldn't let that stop him. So he wrote a solo performer show to share his story, connect other members of the stroke community with the theater and with each other. And to get back on stage.

He assembled a team to make this thing a reality. He performed a workshop version of the play to find out what works and what doesn't. Michael and his team were getting ready to launch the show for real.

And then COVID hit Los Angeles.

Over the past year, they pivoted. They got a grant, and now "A Lesson in Swimming" is an audio drama you can listen to hear.

In this week's episode, I talk with Michael about his journey. We also get deeper into the media to better understand the nature of these media.


From Michael's website:

Michael Schutt wears a blue T-Shirt that says Artist as he stands a a music stand with a microphone and smiles at the camera

Each year, roughly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke. In 2015, actor, director, and longtime Moving Arts’ company member Michael Shutt survived three.

​Michael then spent almost three years writing scores of short stories about his experience before teaming up with director and dramaturg Diana Wyenn to take his powerful and unexpectedly hilarious story to the stage. In 2020, they were scheduled to open the world premiere of A LESSON IN SWIMMING at Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles when the coronavirus pandemic hit. It soon became clear that their plans had to get pushed…or they could adapt.

A Lesson in Swimming Trailer

Here's a taste of the story Michael tells.


University of Washington Medical Centers Support Group

The UW hospital network in the Seattle area is now offering monthly virtual stroke support group meetings. The best thing is that you don't need to be in the Seattle area to attend. It's all online.

Each meeting takes place on the second Tuesday of the month through Zoom. 

If you're interested in attending, you can click this link to learn more.

Hack of the Week

USB rechargeable bicycle lights are a great way to  decorate a cane or other mobility aid -- especially if you are going out after dark. They're fun, easy to use, and can make things safer for you by making it easier for other folks or drivers to spot you.

You can find a bunch of different ones on Amazon. This version is a good place to start (Affiliate link).


Where do we do from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast