Private Project

Visceral: transforming trauma through theatre

When the grip of past traumas prevent four people from moving forward in their lives, they experience freedom from isolation, rage and illness, and rekindle hope for renewed relationships by performing onstage. Visceral features experts on trauma including Stephen Porges, PhD; Gabor Mate, MD; Bessel van der Kolk, MD, and Michael McBride, MD. Also featured are a number of theatre professionals who speak about the ways that acting, singing, and dancing have helped Etiene, Carissa, Jon and Charlie, as they experience a release from trauma's grip through self- and co-regulation, social engagement and connection with others onstage, and off. For them, performing works like nothing else has before.

  • Amy Erickson
  • Michael Sercu
    Mike is a passionate scriptwriter and active supporter of military veterans in his community of Bellingham, WA. His favorite script (in development) is Battle Cries of the Forgotten, the story of Joe Foss, a United States Marine Corps major. Foss was the leading Marine fighter-ace in World War II, and received the Medal of Honor in recognition of his role in air combat during the Guadalcanal Campaign. In addition to scriptwriting, Mike’s hobbies include writing music for guitar and piano, golfing, picking-up trash, and caring for military veterans and others who are experiencing homelessness in his community.
  • Ryan Horner
    Ryan brings 20+ years in video production to Visceral as both executive producer and editor. He was attracted to Visceral because as someone who studied theatre and performed onstage, Ryan recognized the importance of the film’s message. Ryan has worked on both sides of the camera, and has worked throughout the US and internationally for companies ranging from non-profits to multi-billion dollar enterprises. As a director, shooter and editor, Ryan has the rare ability to take a story from conception to final delivery, which allows the client to have a one-stop shop for decisions, questions and creative. Drawing from his decade of experience in front of the camera, Ryan is able to take that practice and use it to connect with actors of all abilities.
  • Joe Lindner
    Wisconsin native Joe Lindner (above) is one of the first videographers to work on Visceral in 2016. He's since taken on the role of editor, playing an instrumental role in shaping this documentary. Joe is a 2015 graduate of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, with a BFA in film, and a focus on experimental documentaries. His company, Badger Creative is a full-service creative agency movie-making enterprise.
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Amy Erickson

Amy brings 30-years of experience in social impact work and a passion for the performing arts to this production. She was inspired to create Visceral after discovering how her own early childhood trauma led to her physical and emotional health challenges and PTS as an adult. She experienced a transformation when she began performing on stage in her late 40s. Amy’s connection to the subjects, organizations and audiences for this film stem from her years as a consultant and emotional intelligence coach, working with social-service organizations and leaders who serve families and children -- especially foster-care children who suffer from attachment disorder. Amy received an Appreciative Inquiry Certification from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Nonprofit Leadership degree from Seattle University. Both experiences paved the way for her research on the role of early attachment in mental health, emotional regulation, and leadership. She has consulted with many organizations in the field adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma-informed arts and resilience. In 2011 she created the first ACEs & resilience website: Resilience Trumps ACEs. Amy’s first video project was for the Walla Walla Leaders Network, which she created and launched in 2012. Amy is also a trained trauma responder through First Aid Arts.

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