Here we are with 11 days to go with our Blue Bunny campaign and we are keeping all of our fingers crossed for a miracle. Not everyone believes in miracles though. Take Deb, for example. Deb was brought to life on stage last August at the Destiny City Film Festival by the insanely creative and versatile Jen Page, who fleshed the character out with a truly complex sensitivity.
A lesser actor might have taken Deb for what she appears to be on the surface: a mid-thirties addict whose meth-damaged skin and yellowed teeth make her look twice her age, who is transparently bitter about still being alive, wishing she had been allowed to fall into the dark hole she’d gone down long ago. But Jen looked beyond that to the unseen. She found the part of Deb that, begrudgingly, remembers what it was to be happy, to feel safe.
Born and raised in Port Angeles, the first five years of Deb’s life are a patchwork of now blurry but cautiously bright memories of fishing with her father, gardening with her mother and afternoons setting up tea parties for imaginary friends in her backyard. The first year of school, kindergarten in the little brick schoolhouse that has since been replaced, was cozy and filled with creativity and security.
By the second year of school, though, she sensed, even at such a young age, her mother slipping away. Her mother’s depression-fueled addiction to pain killers sent Deb’s childhood spiraling out of control and set an ineradicable example for Deb: this is how to deal with pain.
Unlike her mother, though, Deb survived her suicide attempt. Deb is not sure why. Her reward of life is some sort of limbo, an existence sifting through the discarded property of others in the backroom of a church thrift store among other damaged souls hoping to get back to the real world. But Deb has no eyes on escape. The real world causes the pain for which there is only one solution. A brief connection with Shane challenges her resolve to stay cold and removed. But the appearance of Maria, beautiful and pure and open to the possibility of hope, reminds Deb that she is who she is and that, in her heart of hearts, she does not believe in miracles, and she does not believe that her second chance was anything more than a life sentence.
Many, many thanks to Ben Slavens for the beautiful photo.