Asking for help

Asking for help is one of the most important transferable skills in life. Somehow we lose that skill that we had as children. Even as we learn to think independently, we know there are things we don’t understand.

“Many hands make light work”

When I feel anxious, especially, I already feel like a burden to others so I am reticent to admit the need for help. However, guess what dissipates in the face of being helped? That’s right, the anxiety. Suddenly the overwhelming burdens I face seem far more manageable.

How Velvet Duke got anxiety-relief for Personal Demon Hunter

Costumes and props

When I first decided to produce this show, Andie Wells immediately offered to be my costumes and props manager. She will make me look great!

Stage Production

The third person to know I was doing this production, after Andie (and myself), was my friend Alan Leightizer. He was my first choice to manage the stage production both because of his skillset but also our longstanding friendship.


Originally I was going to perform my songs a capella. I am used to improvising and accepting the first draft version of performances and moments. However, since this project “Matters So Very Much To Me”, it deserves more than mouth-music. So I went to the experts and asked for help. Thanks to Al Val, Mikhial Gurarie, and The Wieczorek Family.

Images and Graphics

While I worked in graphic design for years, I had to choose where to put my efforts. I knew the graphic concept that I wanted and again, I hired experts to assist me. Thanks to Tyra Sweet Photography, who captured my poses, and Kyle Brownrigg, who worked up the final graphic design for the program, posters and postcards.


I’ve had numerous offers of assistance, both in managing the fundraising efforts and the generous donations from friends and family. Thank you to Danielle Cole and Ashley Cooper who produced the fundraiser show so I could show up and relax.

Production management

This component is last because it was one that I thought I could muster on my own. It was only as the paperwork due dates started looming that I realized I was regaining the anxiety I had shed from divesting the work effort from the other areas. It made sense to call in help. Thankfully Andie is saving me there too!

Published by thedukers

Velvet Duke is a Black autistic queer entertainer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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