Financial-aid recipient: Greg Alan West is a longtime actor and costumer in the Colorado theatre community whose notable roles have included the one-man epic I Am My Own Wife and Lucien in The Boys Next Door for Firehouse Theatre Company; Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival; and Dogberry in Lost & Found Productions’ Much Ado About Nothing. He costumed Firehouse Theatre Company’s just-concluded The Mystery of Love and Sex, and also made a brief cameo appearance in the play.
His medical story: In 2013, Greg was was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. After a year, it got worse and he was put on the heart transplant list. After almost two years, he got the call that there was a donor with both the heart and kidney he needed. The surgery took about 14 hours. Incredibly, in January 2015, Greg had played the more than 30 roles in the play I Am My Own Wife while on the heart-transplant list. Doug Wright’s play tells the story of the infamous German transvestite Charlotte Van Mahlsdorf. Dave Perry of the Aurora Sentinel called West’s performance “mesmerizing in a play that lets the astounding tale seep through the audience.” He contacted the Denver Actors Fund in August in need of regular transportation to a local hospital three times a week for ongoing rehab appointments. Greg cannot drive himself because of the medications he is taking.
How we are helping: Denver Actors Fund Action Team Leader Kristen Samu put the call out for volunteer drivers and almost immediately had a longterm plan in place. Beki Pineda, Tricia Stevens and Michael Gritters agreed to each take one day of the week driving Greg to his rehab from 7 to 8:15 a.m., after which they drive him to his daily job at Metro State University. It’s been going on for about two months now.
How you can help us help Greg more: Typically this is where we tell how you can give targeted financial donations that go directly to the recipient. But because Greg is not seeking financial relief, we will use this opportunity to remind readers that the Denver Actors Fund is always wanting to expanding its pool of volunteers. There is a particular need at present for those in the Aurora area, but all are welcome. Volunteers sign up for specific tasks they prefer, and when the call comes in for help, they accept only those tasks they want to accept. There are no assignments. For more information or to sign up, click here.
A message from Gregory Alan West: “My transport angels have helped me in getting my rehab done in so many ways. I will always be grateful for them. I would also very much like to thank Firehouse Theater Company (Helen Hand, Kris Paddock, Debbie, Clint Heyn and Kevin, for all their wonderful support during the past 4 1/2 years. They allowed me to perform I Am My Own Wife when I could barely walk a block without having to rest. Being the first company to cast me after having what doctors call “a bridge to transplant” surgery meant that I had to perform with a bag full of large batteries and a controller. There was the possibility of a transplant happening at any time. Thank you, Katie! Thank you, Lost & Found productions for casting me in two shows with the same issues. Thank you Deb, Kevin, Liz and Christian. Of course, all the wonderful actors and technicians who gave me such support during that year. And thank you now to The Denver Actors Fund for coming to my aid with three wonderful people: Tricia, Beki and Mike make it possible for me to get to cardiac rehab and then to work. I couldn’t do my Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings without them. The Denver theater community is the best. Thank you all!”
Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.
HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:
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ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:
Video above: The Denver Actors Fund receives the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2016 Community Impact Award.
The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. To date, the Fund has allocated more than $129,000 to artists facing medical need. In addition to financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers offers good neighborly assistance including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.
HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:
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DONATE BY MAIL:
Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212
ATTEND UPCOMING DENVER ACTORS FUND EVENTS:
“DENVER ACTORS FUND PRESENTS …” MONTHLY FILM SERIES: The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema At Sloan’s Lake hosts a monthly film series in partnership with the Denver Actors Fund featuring films inspired by musicals and plays that are currently being performed by a Colorado theatre company. Next up at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 15: Monty Python & the Holy Grail with entertainment from our friends at OpenStage Theatre Company, who are coming all the way from Fort Collins o give you a sneak peek at their upcoming production of Spamalot before we screen the classic film. CHOOSE YOUR SEATS NOW
COMING NOVEMBER 19: Gone With the Wind, with live entertainment from Anna High of the Aurora Fox’s Hi-Hat Hattie.
COMING DECEMBER 19: THE NIGHTLY MET CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
The Nightly Met is a student-run show produced by Metropolitan State University in Denver. It is part of Met TV – the award-winning student-run TV station. The Nightly Met Christmas Special will be a special event hosted by The Nightly Met‘s Avery Anderson and Henry Award-winning actor Annie Dwyer, featuring Ryan Chrys and Rough Cuts. 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the D.L. Parsons Theatre in Northglenn. Tickets $8-$10. All proceeds benefit the Denver Actors Fund. Reserve your tickets here
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