Ep. 39: Abuse, Addiction, and the Other Side with Beau Clark

There have been many studies on the links between creative people and drug and alcohol abuse. And while many of these studies are somewhat outdated or inconclusive, the fact is that in the state of North Carolina, about 233,000 individuals aged 12 or older abuse illicit drugs each year. So, to help me unpack what abuse and recovery look like, particularly in the performing arts community, I reached out to Beau Clark. Beau, who attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music or CCM, was a member of this theater community and was last seen in NEXT TO NORMAL at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre last year. Hear what he has to say on this episode of the RDU on Stage podcast about abuse, addiction, and his journey to the other side.

About the Guest

Beau Clark’s life prior to Delancey Street was a whirlwind of drugs, alcohol and reckless behavior. As a professional theater actor turned singer in a rock band – Beau found immediate and pervasive access to party culture and he took advantage of that access to an excessive degree. His selfish, manipulative and morally bankrupt lifestyle led him to homelessness, heroin addiction and complete reliance on others for even rudimentary survival. He sat on the bench at The Delancey Street Foundation’s New York facility a broken husk of a man, with no sense of personal responsibility, accountability or boundaries. After his graduation from Delancey Street in 2014, Beau remained intimately connected with both the organization and the people who taught him to live a life with character, honesty, and integrity. As a result, he has found success in both business and philanthropic tropes. Professionally, Beau became Service Coordinator for the prestigious “Faust Harrison Pianos” in New York City and was able to grow a small, mostly outsourced team into a profitable and renowned staff of piano technicians. Outside of work, he carried the Delancey Street philosophy of “A helps B, and A gets better” long after his graduation. He led the charge for A Doorway to Hope’s Angel Tree Project, coordinating Christmases for over 100 underprivileged children each year. Additionally, he volunteered regularly with the Food Bank, The Croton Falls Fire Department, Sonorous Road Theater, North Raleigh Arts Creative Theater, The Walkabout Chorus, Activate Good and Unchain Durham. Beau was happy with his life and assumed he would retire in the piano industry and continue volunteering his free time– until he learned of the magic happening in Salt Lake City. His love of the process he learned at Delancey Street led to a curious visit to The Other Side Academy. Over the course of that weekend, it became abundantly clear to Beau that this is where he belonged.

Resources

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