Daily Short Picks

Everything’s Fine: A Panic Attack in D Major


Starring /

A musical comedy about a young woman at the onset of her “quarter life crisis,” following her existential journey though the various stages of anxiety in song and dance.

Director’s Statement

I don’t understand why we go through a “quarter-life crisis.” It’s not a thing. It’s not like getting your license, or turning 21. You don’t prepare for it. Our parents never went through it—they were married with a mortgage by 25. So why does everyone in my generation (myself included) freak out at the idea of becoming an adult? Are we truly that unprepared for the real world? Or is it all in our heads? I think there’s something hilarious about this notion, and its relation to anxiety. We stress and stress and procrastinate having to deal with these responsibilities, and that gets bottled up in the form of paralyzing anxiety: we’ll watch Netflix, eat comfort food, and pray that it will all just go away. Well it does, until that bottle overflows. I suffered my first anxiety attack during my second year at Columbia University’s MFA film program. It is a weird experience. One moment, everything is fine. And then it’s not. There’s no transition. It’s just a binary switch that gets flipped. And it’s horrifying: it feels like a heart attack, or at least what one assumes a heart attack to feel like. The weird part however is that despite you’re body’s fight or flight response, your brain stays totally lucid. Calm. “I’m ok!” you shout to yourself from inside your mind, but your body doesn’t listen. It thinks there’s a lion in the back of the room. After the ordeal passes (and you don’t actually die), you’re back to your normal self. And hindsight being 20-20, all you do is criticize yourself for allowing it to happen in the first place. It’s illogical, because everything was fine the whole time. Prior to getting help, I lacked the language to describe it to other people. My parents didn’t understand it, and I think as a society, we’re only just beginning to form the common vernacular to express what anxiety is. That’s why I felt music was the perfect vehicle for this story. Because in music, you can express feelings you can’t otherwise with words.


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