If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, then you’re no stranger to how it behaves. It’s irrational, moody, and often clings to things that make absolutely no sense. And even when things seem silent and safe, anxiety is always right around the corner waiting to make itself known. Dealing with this ongoing nuisance is the basis of Chloe Sando’s film, It’s My Anxiety, that follows a young girl and the human embodiment of her real-life anxiety. Click through to read our interview with Chloe about her film.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Chloe Sando and I’m 25 years old. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Performance.

For the people who don’t know, you’re currently filming a web series called, It’s My Anxiety. What is the premise of the story?
The series follows the story of a girl and her anxiety. Kennedy is your average 25-year-old. She doesn’t know what she wants from her career, is nowhere near marriage or kids, and has a crappy roommate. Except, her roommate is actually the human embodiment of her lifelong anxiety. They do everything together. Everything. With the help of friends, family and of course, her therapist, Kennedy will have to learn to live with the very real embodiment of her very real anxiety. In a world where your mental illness is manifested by a living, breathing human, It’s My Anxiety challenges the idea that “it’s all in your head”.

Originally, you submitted the pitch video to Story Hive for the series to get funded, and then it did! What has the process been like since then? And how did it feel when you found out it got funded? What was your reaction?
The moment I found out we won the funding for the pilot episode I screamed so loud the neighbor’s dogs started barking. It was absolutely surreal, I definitely cried some happy tears. Since then we have not stopped working. It has been slightly overwhelming but in a good way. Every day I learn something new and I am so grateful to have my team by my side every step of the way!

Just from watching your pitch video,  I’d say it accurately portrays what it feels like to live with anxiety. What influenced your decision to create a series, and what made you decide to focus on this concept?
The series is inspired by my own battles with mental health and well being. I have found power in classifying my anxiety as something outside of myself and often joke about ways ‘she’ affects my day to day life. For as long as I can remember I’ve been referred to as an “overly-sensitive-high-strung-worrywart”. It wasn’t until university that I was diagnosed with anxiety and everything in my life started to make a little more sense. Over the years I have struggled to manage my anxiety and subsequently depression- because like old pals, they love to hang out together. I have taken numerous steps to confront my mental health, and can now share my personal experience in hopes to help others feel a little less alone. Previously, my anxiety has been a setback in life, however, in pursuit of this project it has been a source of motivation. If I can transform my struggles with mental health into something useful and productive, maybe others will believe they can too.

As someone who also lives with anxiety, I know how hard it can be to live with that constant chatter while trying to be creative. What do you find is the most challenging part of being a creator and what is the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part of creating is how lost I can get in the process of whatever it is I am doing. I find my anxiety is often quieted in these moments because my mind is completely occupied. The most challenging part of creating comes when it’s time to share the end product with anyone other than myself. It is at this point that the voice inside my head is the most critical. I cannot tell you how many scripts, poems, etc. I have spent days, months, years on that have never seen the light of day. This project has been a constant battle of wanting to share my experience with others, and my anxiety telling me it’s not significant. It is a very vulnerable position to be in but I am finding a lot of comfort in the discomfort these days.

Do you have any words of wisdom for any other anxious-creatives out there who may be reading this?
In the words of Nike: “Just Do It”. Make something, share something, do something. Express yourself in whatever way makes you feel good! You never know until you try. Your creation may be exactly what someone else needs to see or hear.

When should people keep an eye out for the finished product? And where can they follow you on social media?
Our pilot episode comes out the end of January 2018 on Telus Optik and Youtube, after which another round of voting will begin. If we win that round we receive funding to complete our series! You can contribute to the next voting round via the Storyhive webpage made accessible on our social media. Follow along on our journey to the pilot episode on our social media:

A video with myself and the director: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG6m_-Hp4Dc

One thought to “What If Your Anxiety Was An Actual Person?”

  1. Great interview and some seriously good onsite to how I’m not the only one who feels like tjis. Thank you

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