Directed by Lauren Du Pree
Coping with her failing health due to Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome (TSWS), a young, Black theatre actress escapes her pain through musical fantasies only to discover she must face her reality to get the help she needs.
Lauren is almost thirty, lives with her parents, and literally tap dances for white people as a career. She’s living the dream. Only one problem: her body is going haywire, and she doesn’t know how to fix it. She’s had eczema since birth, but it’s recently gotten so bad she decided to ditch the topical steroids doctors prescribed her since birth in search of natural healing. Unable to deal with the resulting debilitating symptoms, Lauren is forced to move home to Seattle and put her Broadway dreams on hold.
Obsessed with “getting her life back,” she tries everything from changing her diet to urine therapy, but her skin continues to peel, burn, and itch, and doctors can’t explain why until Iman discovers Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome online. Even with a WebMD diagnosis, no one seems to understand how sick she is, including herself. In her struggles to find a doctor who will take TSWS seriously, effectively communicate her needs and boundaries to family, friends, and acquaintances who unknowingly trivialize her symptoms, all while navigating the tumultuous entertainment industry as a Black woman, Lauren must learn to show up for herself in ways she never has before.
Through it all, she turns moments of her life into musical fantasies. Can’t sleep? An R&B anthem about insomnia. Insatiable itching in the audition holding room? A studio 54 dance sequence about the euphoria of itching. She escapes the realities of her illness through her incessant daydreams, but escaping can only take her so far as her world crumbles around her.