Suicide is a difficult subject to tackle on stage, but comedian and character performer Jeannette Rizzi faces it head-on in her acclaimed solo production, 'Blindsided.' As raw as it is funny, Blindsided is a personal journey about how Rizzi – at the age of 17 -- sees her life dive into a tailspin after the suicide of her best friend Katie. Despite being the daughter of a former monk and former nun (yes, really), Rizzi nonetheless struggles to find her spiritual and emotional compass, while facing off against her debilitating anxiety and depression.
"Blindsided is ultimately a show about love, friendship, and finding hope during seemingly hopeless times," Rizzi says. The production showcases both her deft character work and her unique ability to connect with audiences.
Even with its weighty subject matter, Blindsided sees Rizzi consistently finding the hilarious side of her situation, not to mention the surreal. (Yes, her story features an actual talking dog.) "I wanted people to be open to hearing about a serious issue without leaving the show feeling sad or depressed," Rizzi explains. "The only way I knew to approach it was to make it a comedy show, and take the risk of being serious for a few minutes to get the message across."
Proceeds from the October 13 performance will be donated to a local mental health charity in Los Angeles. To date, Rizzi has helped raise over $10,000 for mental health services and initiatives.