Where can you see improvisation, listen to Bach, hear some ukelele music, and sing “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” all on the same night? At the Ann Arbor ADHD support group’s Bright and Shiny Talent Showcase, that’s where.
It may sound like a small event, but, for an adult with ADHD, taking the leap to share a talent or try something new in front of other people in a judgement-free zone can be very freeing and can even lead to other small leaps of faith throughout the year.
The Ann Arbor, MI Adult ADHD Support Group had its second annual “Bright and Shiny Talent Show” in December as part of an ongoing effort to provide opportunities for adults with ADHD to connect with one another. The atmosphere was low-key and all levels of talent were encouraged to take a risk and join in. The event is a nod to ADDA’s infamous conference talent shows that have brought laughter, encouragement, and the opportunity to take a risk in a supportive environment to so many ADHD’ers over the years.
Doug Harris, who serves on the ADDA Board of Directors, started the night off on the right note with his ukulele and a rendition of the iconic “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” (Many associate this song with the 1968 version by Tiny Tim, but it dates all the way back to 1929, where it held the #1 chart position for 10 weeks. George nods to it in Yellow Submarine, singing a few lines of “Tiptoe Through the Meanies” and J.K. Rowling mentions it in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.)
Mike Fedel, an ADDA Talent Show staple, opened the show with Cheryl Wheeler’s “I’m Unworthy” – a song many of us ADHD folks can identify with (Wheeler’s verison is available on YouTube and worth a 3-minute listen) – followed by an original song about kids waiting for their ADHD dad after work and wondering what kind of mood he’ll be in today.
Shailesh Saigal read some of the jokes and one-liners he’s been working on and Suzanne Ostrowski-Dansel hosted an “Ask the Poet…” reading.
John Erdevig brought his cello with “seasoned strings” and played three wonderful Bach pieces. His performance was a high point of the night, many of us sitting with our eyes closed, lost in the music.
Doug Harris and Mike Fedel did an impromptu read of Monty Python’s “Cheese Shop” and we closed the show with a sing-a-long and some more improvisation.
We want to encourage you to take action in your own area, reach out to other folks with ADHD and get together to have fun. Maybe host a potluck. Maybe order pizzas and have a sing-a-long. Maybe have an outing to a park or museum. Connect, be curious and have fun.
It seems that curiosity and a sense of openness are some of the positive attributes that ADHD brings to our lives. Let’s enjoy that by doing a little more playing in our lives.