Broadway musical star turns story of addiction into show
There was a time when Steven Strafford never thought he would overcome his meth addiction. Now, the Broadway actor is bringing his show to his hometown of Chicago, after debuting it in New York and Cincinnati, DNAinfo Chicago reported.
Strafford first tried crystal meth in 2000 while on a date. The date asked him if he wanted to try the drug and Strafford was willing. He claimed the drug made him feel like he had no problems, a feeling he believed was too hard to let go of. As a gay man, Strafford stated that he often felt alone, vulnerable and highly emotional. Crystal meth gave him the power and courage he needed to defy his emotional woes. For the next three years, the actor was bound to the drug while trying to start a successful musical theater career.
The common ground between stars and addiction
Brent’s Pharmacy stated that it is not uncommon for actors and actresses to fall into problems with substance abuse. Many are often under high stress, experience emotional highs and lows because of criticism and rejection, and initially only make very little money. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that many stars are not guaranteed more than three to six months of work.
Today, Strafford has been sober for the past seven years. He is now bringing his show, “Methtacular”, to the Chicago stage. Not surprisingly, the plot follows his battles with drug addiction. It is highly reviewed, being called brutally honest. He began writing the musical in 2009 after not being chosen for a role.
Strafford was enraged and began to furiously type on his laptop after being rejected. He first started to just type expletives, but they quickly turned into meth stories. Strafford noted that he was surprised how comical his stories were and aimed to write them in a voice similar to David Sedaris’s.
He then started to act out his stories to close friends. The friends commented on the comedic value of the skits and encouraged Strafford to turn the stories into a musical. Strafford admitted that he was nervous about the idea initially because of fear of admitting he was an addict. Yet his friends were relentless and the actor teamed up with director Adam Fitzgerald to begin creating the show.
The show will be held in Theater Wit, an old theater that Strafford was actually fired from because of his bouts with addiction. However, Strafford is excited to return. “I’ll be walking into the space where I was a mess, but telling the story as a man, finally.”
Many are proud of the actor’s success for taking a story that many would be ashamed of and turning it into a positive and fortunate experience.