Gutless & Grateful

100 Word Synopsis:
Amy had ambitious plans for Broadway, until a blood clot the week before her high school senior prom caused her stomach to literally explode. After waking from a coma months later, her world changed overnight. . After 27 surgeries and six years unable to drink a drop of fluid, Amy’s digestive system was miraculously reconstructed and she learned that the human spirit heals through “...
100 Word Synopsis:
Amy had ambitious plans for Broadway, until a blood clot the week before her high school senior prom caused her stomach to literally explode. After waking from a coma months later, her world changed overnight. . After 27 surgeries and six years unable to drink a drop of fluid, Amy’s digestive system was miraculously reconstructed and she learned that the human spirit heals through “gutsiness”, gratitude, and humor.
In a primal piece of live-storytelling, Oestreicher weaves her near death experience and inspiring perspective with an eclectic set of songs, comedically highlighting struggles, triumphs and “beautiful detours” in her life.

Full Description:
Through interwoven song and dialogue, performer Amy Oestreicher shares a primal piece of live-storytelling - weaving her near death experience and inspiring perspective with an eclectic set of songs, comedically highlighting struggles, triumphs and "beautiful detours" in her life.
Nominated for “Best Theatre Debut” in 2012 (Broadway World), and Bistro Awards Top Pick, and featured in Huffington Post, Gutless & Grateful, takes audiences on a musical journey of determination, grit and "guts" as Oestreicher shares her humor, her strength, and her soaring vocals with the world. Oestreicher's script was inspired by the thousands of journals she kept over the six years she endured unable to eat a morsel of food or drink a drop of liquid. Co-conceived by Oestreicher and musical director David Brunetti, the show is directed by Broadway-veteran Jerold Goldstein, also on piano. "Gutless" also features the song “Still Alive” which was written for Amy by acclaimed composer David Friedman with lyrics by TV personality and lyricist Kathie Lee Gifford, after she appeared on NBC's TODAY Show in 2011.
Amy Oestreicher was an ambitious, audacious teenager who had her life all planned out: go to college, win a Tony, and conquer the world. (I Wish It So, Just Around The Riverbend) Despite her parents desire to have her live a “normal childhood”, Amy was determined to be on stage (Born to Entertain, You There In The Back Row). Amy met some wonderful mentors as she got closer to her dreams, but trusted too deeply and became a victim of sexual abuse by a prominent teacher in the business. (I Know Things Now). Too afraid to tell anyone, she kept that secret inside for months. Tormented by shame, confusion, and anger, her feelings remained unresolved when life took an unexpected detour. The week before her high school senior prom, she found herself in unusual pain. She was rushed to the emergency room, and due to a blood clot, Amy's stomach exploded to the ceiling of the operating room. After both lungs collapsed, she almost died. (Say A Prayer For Me Tonight). After waking up from her coma, she was told by doctors that she had no stomach anymore, (Hospital Song/Dear Little One) she couldn’t eat or drink, and it was not known when or if she would ever be able to again. (Lost In The Stars) From that point on, she was introduced to the foreign world of the ICU (The Physician), and her life before the coma started to become a distant memory. (I Remember). Facing life without nourishment or any answers, Amy kept up hope and longed to be part of he outside world again. (Take Me To The World.) As a patient, she tried to live her life as normally as she could – having her high school graduation in the middle of the ICU (I’d Rather Be Sailing) and even escaping the hospital premises in her hospital gown to go shopping. She was found and kindly escorted back to the hospital. (“Someone must’ve tipped her off.”) (What About Today) When finally discharged from the hospital, she was confronted with the question of what her purpose was now (I Want Out) – an agonizing question for someone who desperately wanted to matter and make her mark. (Horse With Wings). Being “too healthy” to be in the
hospital, but “not healed enough” to eat or drink was a tricky place to be. Her father would have to hide in the garage to microwave food for himself because of Amy’s ravenous appetite that she could not satisfy. (Food Glorious Food). After a full year of not even an ice cube, Amy was finally allowed to drink clear liquids by a surgery which created an opening in her neck. (“Everything I drank came out the opening and into a cute little bag. I would try to drink different colored juices so my bag would match my outfit!”) But the surgery to eat didn’t go exactly as planned (Corner Song) and Amy had to keep up her optimism even when the situation grew more discouraging. So, she kept on learning new interests and staying busy – teaching nursery school, learning karate, putting up three art shows, starting a chocolate business, a food blog - anything to take her mind off of food and the uncertainty of her future. The TODAY show eventually heard about her story. David Friedman and Kathie Lee wrote a song for her that was performed on the show. (Still Alive). After everything, Amy realized the true gifts of what has happened to her. On top of the world, Amy decides to get her 27th surgery – and her first elective one. It becomes her worst medical disaster ever, and at rock bottom once again, she makes three big decisions that ultimately change the course of her life. (Madwoman)
“They say that everything happens for a reason. But that’s not always true. Sometimes, you have to make it happen...This is not the path that I planned for myself – but does anyone’s life ever work out exactly how they plan it? I was led astray, and hurt, and betrayed, and dehumanized, taken apart and put back together, but differently. But my passion never went away. I kept my hunger alive. Now I know that my role in life is still to be that same performer I always wanted to be when I was 13. But now with an even greater gift to give. A story to tell.” (Song: The Story)
Starting college at 25, married, divorced and with a story to tell, one beautiful detour turned into the thrill-ride of a lifetime.
(How Lucky You Are)
Bows
Afterwards is an optional retrospective, Amy speaks to various parts of her life at her easel, watching it all back from her original artwork as slides against her body, available here: https://www.amyoes.com/galleries/mixed-media-art-gallery/
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

Gutless & Grateful