Change of Plans for Porcelain Utopia
2013, New Mexico
The Eureka Effect
First, the old Bio of Jonathan Harnisch and Porcelain Utopia
Envision a blend of a mentally ill mind with unsurpassed resiliency and fiery intellect and your result would be the brilliant Jonathan W. Harnisch. An all-around artist, Jonathan writes fiction and screenplays, sketches, imagines, and creates. His most recent artistic endeavor is developing music; a new-found passion with visible results already in the making. Produced filmmaker and published erotica author, Jonathan holds myriad accolades, and his works captivate the attention of those who experience it.
Manic-toned scripts with parallel lives, masochistic tendencies in sexual escapades, and disturbing clarities embellished with addiction, fetish, lust, and love, are just a taste of themes found in Jonathan’s transgressive literature. Conversely, his award-winning films capture the ironies of life, love, self-acceptance, tragedy and fantasy. Jonathan’s art evokes laughter and shock, elation and sadness, but overall forces you to step back and question your own version of reality.
Scripts, screenplays, and schizophrenia are defining factors of Jonathan’s life and reality – but surface labels are often incomplete. Jonathan is diagnosed with several mental illnesses from schizoaffective disorder to Tourette’s syndrome; playfully, he dubs himself the “King of Mental Illness.” Despite daily symptomatic struggles and thoughts, Jonathan radiates an authentic, effervescent, and loving spirit. His resiliency emanates from the greatest lesson he’s learned: laughter. His diagnoses and life experiences encourage him to laugh at reality as others see it. Wildly eccentric, open-minded, passionate and driven, Jonathan has a feral imagination. His inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought-provoking of modern day.
Jonathan is an alumnus of Choate Rosemary Hall. Subsequently, he attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied film production and screenwriting under Gary Winick and David Irving. During his studies at NYU, he held internships under renowned producers Steven Haft and Ismael Merchant. He is best known for his short films Ten Years and On The Bus, both of which boast countless awards including five Indie Film Awards, three Accolade Awards, and winner of Best Short Film and Audience Award in the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, to name a few.
Despite his impressive formal education and awarded honors, Jonathan is your normal, down-to-earth guy. Meditation, Duran Duran, vivid colors, Patrick Nagel prints, and rearranging furniture are some of his favorite things. Vices include cigarettes, Diet Coke, inappropriate swearing, and sausage and green chile pizza. He enjoys irony, planned spontaneity, redefining himself and change.
Jonathan Harnisch is a survivor of a rare schizophrenia spectrum disorder, PTSD, Personality Disorder-NOS, and Tourette’s syndrome. An accomplished writer, producer and musician, Jonathan is originally from New York, has lived and worked in Los Angeles, and currently resides in New Mexico with his wife on Fat Man Farms.
What is the Meaning of Porcelain Utopia?
-From the Henry James’s novel The Portrait of a Lady.
The worldly Madame Merle, a collector of antique porcelain, describes herself in the following passage:
“It’s very true; there are more iron pots, I think, than porcelain ones. But you may depend upon it that every one has something; even the hardest iron pots have a little bruise, a little hole, somewhere. I flatter myself that I am rather stout porcelain; but if I must tell you the truth I have been chipped and cracked! I do very well for service yet, because I have been cleverly mended; and I try to remain in the cupboard—the quiet, dusky cupboard, where there is an odor of stale spices—as much as I can. But when I have to come out, and into a strong light, then, my dear, I am a horror!”
…simply stated, an ideal place.
ABOUT THIS WEBSITE (FROM 2011)
In 2011, author, producer and screenwriter Jonathan W. Harnisch has announced the launch of his website “Porcelain Utopia“ www.porcelainutopia.com where he chronicles his day-to-day struggles with schizophrenia and Tourette’s syndrome. Using art as his therapeutic medium, Jonathan wields humor and unrelenting honesty to expose the reality of living with such devastating diagnoses in the hope of eradicating the stigma of mental illness.
Jonathan has designed a media-rich website, where he hopes others affected by mental illness can connect with one another and begin to replace secrecy and shame with truth and acceptance.
Initially diagnosed with depression in 1994 at the age of 18, Jonathan was prescribed antidepressants, including the newest of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Unfortunately, the SSRIs triggered mania, and to combat it, Jonathan began to drink, which intensified his psychological instability and led to an addiction that he was finally able to overcome when he was 26.
However, as difficult as the disorders have been, in many ways, Jonathan has been blessed. He is a gifted artist, and he has frequently used his art to exorcise his own demons of isolation and loneliness. In 1998, he dramatized those issues in his award-winning film Ten Years, which he produced, directed, and wrote while attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
In 2008, Jonathan once again dramatized those themes of isolation and loneliness in another award-winning film, On The Bus, which in addition explores the horrors and chaos of mental illness. Through the eyes of the main character Larry, we see the uncontrollable, tumultuous symptoms of schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as brought on by a random act of violence.
A single act of violence rarely causes severe mental illness. Current research indicates that mental illness is generally a result of a genetic predisposition combined with environmental factors. Jonathan’s case would seem to validate that research, as there is a history of mental illness in his family, and he has suffered repeated trauma. Whatever the genesis, beginning in 2009 and culminating in the summer of 2010, Jonathan experienced a severe psychotic break that manifested in inappropriate, violent outbursts and regnant destructive behavior. Ultimately, however, this break brought Jonathan the help he needed, including a comprehensive psychological work-up that provided an accurate diagnosis and the right medication. Now psychologically stable, he invites others to behold his candid daily encounters with the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Jonathan willingly and genuinely shares his life through his written blog, and with his iTunes podcast “The Real Me”, both easily accessible at www.porcelainutopia.com. In the vein of prolific figures such as Elyn R. Saks and Kay Redfield Jamison, Jonathan illustrates his personal ongoing struggle with chronic mental illness in this supportive website that nurtures truth, acceptance, and community.
Jonathan’s art, imagination, and various creative outlets are simply his own catalyst for continuous resiliency and recovery. With the launch of his new website www.porcelainutopia.com, he turns another engaging and uplifting page of his story. Jonathan hopes to impact others positively through his publicized journey of how one individual copes with the perpetual rollercoaster of schizophrenia and Tourette’s syndrome.
Now, the Eureka Effect—the Aha Moment!
Just FYI, gonna be keeping more to the core of the person I am, and no matter the follows, friends, hits, etc., this little site, I think, has had me keeping to a certain ‘web celeb’ LOL image where I think most of my audience seems to only expect or want to hear me blah blah blah—but ALL THE TIME—way too seriously on mental health and ‘being an artist who happens to be diagnosed with a mental health condition…’ inspirational, motivational, “profesional” blogger, podcaster, writer…
Anyway there’s a time for everything, so perhaps a big wow cool quote I find or make up—yeah I’ll post them, too, but I mean I really do have many other interests and hell, it’s my site and I don’t even know most of you, and that’s cool. Just thinking like no SEO work, just the auto-tagger, and the like, but I like my random thoughts… posted—bam!
I like swearing—I like ‘guy stuff,’ and I love Duran Duran and also very disturbing literature (transgressive). So mock me—it’s just like, I have my good days and my bad days, and today is cool. But gonna change things up on here, guys—no worries we cool baby, peace, yo! —Took me a while to realize this. Aha! OK so see y’all and hello to everyone—! Anyone new, and anyone just stopping by—boo-ya! Word play!
Yeah, so stay cool and be yourself, man; and so there’s my inspirational part—yeah, things got way too serious on Porcelain Utopia and social networks, ah-la-la-la-la-lo—yoo-hoo! See that’s the real deal for Jonathan Harnisch—nothing to get all poetic about it—LOL…
Celebrated Schizophrenic Creative Artist—Porcelain Utopia—writer, producer, musician, developer, blogger & podcaster; an evolving process of consciousness. Charming dude—copes with it all by laughing when the J-meister can! —Encouraging you to be yourself—! Once called by funny friend a “narcissist with a low level of self esteem”—ironically—I’m laughing, but wait, either one has self esteem or not… no in-between. Feels good to get this epiphany out. Deep exhale… ah. Smart! Indeed. …A flair for mental illness advocacy, animal rights, New Age ideas and treatments, transgressive fiction, zines, and Duran Duran.
— Love y’all. <3
Thank you Teresa (a woman living life to the fullest with MLS) for commenting:
“Jonathan, you help me keep levity in my lunacy ~ Thanks!”
Made my day complete.