Lucy Roucis: Acting Against Time

Disabled performing troupe provides actress with advanced Parkinson’s a stage on which to transcend illness

Photo by Glenn Asakawa, The Denver Post

“I know what I am, I know what I have, and I  know that I am not scary to look at. I want to use that to get in front of people and tell them that life is OK.”

THE MOMENT BEFORE she walks on stage Friday, Lucy Roucis will experience a natural rush of adrenaline that most actors soak up like applause. But unlike other actors, this normal burst of energy may very well paralyze her. It’s one of the damnable consequences of living with advanced Parkinson’s disease. Adrenaline can cause her body to either stiffen or flail when she needs control of it most.

Just don’t mistake this momentary hesitation as stage fright. Roucis is a proud woman, a diva in the goddess sense of the word. She will share no stage with fear.

“I’ll have someone backstage ready to give me a push,” Roucis said, flashing a mischievous grin that shares face time with a cautionary glare, “because that’s literally what it might take.”

And that’s all it will take. Roucis needs a hand to go from a static to a moving position, but once she gets going, just try to stop her.

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