Allentown musician’s short film to debut at LCCC addiction awareness event
The poignant work of an Allentown musician and the film crew that created a visual landscape for his song will be featured at an upcoming addiction awareness event at a local college.
A short film for Steve Brosky’s “In Your Arms,” a song that explores the ripple effect of heroin abuse, will debut during a class project at Luzerne County Community College. The addiction forum will take place at 11 a.m. Dec. 7 at the college’s campus center, feature two guest speakers, and inform LCCC students on addiction and resources for recovery.
Brosky, an accomplished roots rock musician whose gravelly voice and penchant for fusing garage rock and R&B draws logical comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, wrote the song for his 2016 album, “Still.”
“This all came out with, the last couple years, the recognition of … the epidemic and heroin and the drug problem that we’re living with right now,” Brosky said. “I started thinking about it from a parent’s point of view — not that my daughter has a problem — but this point of view where rather than trying to talk about the drug or the addict, it’s a frustrated point of view from a loved one seeing someone go through this.”
Pervasive addiction to opioids — a term used to describe the group of natural and synthetic derivatives of opium including heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl — was declared a national health emergency in October by President Donald Trump.
Brosky had personal experience with addiction well before Trump was in a position to affect policy on the epidemic.
“Many, many years ago, I struggled with drugs myself, and I wound up in Clearbrook Lodge in Shickshinny,” Brosky said of the now-Huntington Creek Recovery Center. “Through professional help, I was able to get my life back on track and have success with regional music.”
The veteran songwriter has produced critically acclaimed albums and opened for greats like B.B. King, Bo Diddley and Leon Russell. He said his take on the addiction issue was inspired by an HBO documentary chronicling New England youths and young adults struggling with heroin abuse.
“What stuck out to me was parents would get together and say, ‘I sent them to rehab time after time. I don’t know what to do,’” Brosky said. “It’s a point of frustration. I thought about how I would feel and what my parents went through.”
Brosky said he’s not trying to make an “earthshaking point” or counsel people. He’s simply trying to editorialize on an angle that he feels goes unrecognized too often — that which spotlights the effect addiction has on the people surrounding the addict.
Brosky signed with independent Allentown record label Radiophonic to produce the album, and it was label A&R representative Michael Judkins who sought to bring a visual aspect to the artist’s record.
“I felt ‘In Your Arms’ … would be a universal song to many different age groups and demographics,” Judkins said. “It was extremely important, especially coming from the songwriter’s perspective. That’s why I advocated for it.”
Judkins brought the project to the Lehigh Valley Film Crew, an organization that takes on short films and video projects, and he began working with director Trisha Thompson, of Hazleton, and adult LCCC student Trish Dixon, of Wilkes-Barre.
Dixon, who said Thompson is her best friend, was present throughout the director’s realization of vision, and came to the conclusion that the short film would be a welcome addition to her human services class project.
She said the project will spread awareness and provide a wealth of information to fellow students. The short will be a complement to speakers and information boards to accomplish that goal.
“I think the project in its entirety is a great symbol of how we can help a person who is suffering,” Judkins said.
The film will debut in the Lehigh Valley on Dec. 14 at the Gin Mill & Grille, 1750 Main St., Northampton, and on Dec. 20 on Brosky’s social media pages.