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Synopsis

The short memoir "American Psychonaut" is an action-packed, dramatic true story laced with acerbic humor about the events leading up to my involuntary psychiatric commitment.

A year prior, I graduated from NYU having loaded up on masters level and daunting neural science "weeder" courses (despite not having taken the prerequisites) yet passed with flying colors. I had internships with renowned neuroscience labs at Tufts, MIT, and Weill Cornell Medical College under my belt and sported a 3.8 GPA at my post-baccalaureate pre-med program. But early into my summer semester, I scored 99.5% on my first midterm. Then just like that, two days later I was handcuffed and sitting in the backseat of a squad car headed for the psychiatric hospital, feeling a boulder of nature's injustice on my shoulders for the way I was trying to do everything right in school only for my brain to betray me with capricious and merciless fits of sudden rage and depression that would ultimately lead my older brother to forge an intervention with a phone call to the SFPD.

"American Psychonaut" contains a creative series of photo diptychs (by Christopher Turner - www.christopher-turner.com) with realistic portrayals of specific scenes from the story as well as surreal, "David LaChapelle-esque" variations that correspond to actual metaphors or references made in the text.

There is also an outstanding video trailer created by Mike Costanza, a filmmaker who has shown at Sundance, Cannes, yada yada yada. The trailer is anchored by unstaged, "Pre-YouTube era" home video of Mom nonchalantly dressing me in drag as a young LGBT kid in 1994: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSaVlC_oLNI

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