Patti Murin cancels performance due to ‘massive anxiety attack’
In an inspiring Instagram post, Broadway’s Patti Murin — also known as Anna in Frozen: The Musical, which recently made its big debut — opened up about mental health. Particularly, anxiety. You know, that awful, ever-present beast that so many of us are intimately familiar with and have to cope with in our daily lives.
Murin says she had to call out of a show because of a “massive anxiety attack.”
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So last night I called out of the show because I had a massive anxiety attack in the afternoon. It had been building up for a while, and while the past month has been incredible, all of the ups and downs and stress and excitement really takes a toll on my mental health. I’ve learned that these situations aren’t something to “deal with” or “push through.” Anxiety and depression are real diseases that affect so many of us. It requires a lot of rest and self care to heal every time it becomes more than I can handle in my daily life. While I hate missing the show for any reason at all, Disney has been nothing but supportive of me as I navigate my life and work, and I’m so grateful to them. Just remember that you’re not alone, your feelings are real, and this is not your fault. Even Disney princesses are terrified sometimes.
She says her anxiety had been steadily building up, and the pressure and success of the show started to take a toll on her mental health. “I’ve learned that these situations aren’t something to ‘deal with’ or ‘push through,'” she writes. “Anxiety and depression are real diseases that affect so many of us. It requires a lot of rest and self-care to heal every time it becomes more than I can handle in my daily life.”
Frankly, it’s amazing and incredibly courageous of Murin to be so candid about her struggles with anxiety. A lot of people may not realize that Broadway actors are performing eight shows per week, cramming in two shows some of those days, and only have one day off. The sheer amount of mental and physical energy that goes into a single performance can be completely draining. And that’s not counting press engagements, post-show meet-and-greets, brush-up rehearsals, pre-show prep, and all the other components that are a regular part of having a Broadway career.
Murin is playing a lead role in what’s probably already one of the most in-demand shows in Broadway history. It’s no wonder she needs a little timeout.
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If you had told me even a month ago that I would be wearing a custom @csiriano gown to Opening Night of #FrozenBroadway, not to mention vintage @leightonjewels, I would have laughed in your face. But here it is, and I can not thank Christian enough for making me feel like the most badass princess on this magical night. I am forever in your debt, sir. 💇: @lil_one13 💄: @kittykatnejat 📷: @jennyandersonphoto
“While I hate missing the show for any reason at all, Disney has been nothing but supportive of me as I navigate my life and work, and I’m so grateful to them,” she says. “Just remember that you’re not alone, your feelings are real, and this is not your fault.”
Her fellow Broadway colleagues and plenty of others are offering support and words of encouragement for Murin.
I don’t think we talk enough about how much pressure goes into opening shows, running shows while heading into the expectations surrounding “award season” and trying to remember why we really do what we do. Rest Patti. Then sing. You be you. You got this & we get you.— Kelli O'Hara (@kelliohara) April 18, 2018
Thank you for your honesty and strength. I actually read this right before I got on stage to speak this morning and your candor helped calm my nerves. Stress takes many forms and half the battle is facing it head on. Thinking of you... 💫— Marisha Pessl (@marishapessl) April 18, 2018
This is just incredible to read. I’m so sorry everything came to a head so suddenly, but the fact that you knew to put your mental health first and made the very wise decision to sit out last night is so strong. Anxiety is a bitch; I admire your strength so much. 💖— Courtney 🏳️🌈💫 (@MarvelousMissC) April 18, 2018
Mary Kate Morris, who’s currently playing the role of Elphaba in the touring production of Wicked (she is fanfuckingtastic by the way), knows a thing or two about being part of an incredibly popular show and how exhausting it can be — mentally and emotionally.
I’ve had to call out of a show because of an anxiety attack and the fact that this brilliant woman is so open about it shines a light on inner strength, humanity, self care practice and vulnerability. Truly amazing. https://t.co/dMXYJ1KRbQ
— MK MorrisSpringWTF (@maryspacekate) April 18, 2018
Very proud of this strong woman who chooses to spread awareness of a disease that affects countless people. #MentalHealthAwareness #InsteadOfSpreadingHate #SpreadLovePositivity https://t.co/BU9af4PATS
— COLIN DONNELL (@colindonnell) April 18, 2018
Knowing yourself well enough to know you need a break for your mental health is crucial in coping with conditions like anxiety and depression. No one should ever feel guilty about needing to take time to feel better — whether it’s to just take a breather, seek therapy, or any other form of treatment.
This post in particular is extra important because it proves anxiety doesn’t discriminate. You can be a literal Disney princess and performing your dream job and still struggle. There’s nothing shameful about it; it’s part of the human condition.
Like Murin says, “Even Disney princesses are terrified sometimes.”