Finding the Big Picture

Colonie grad pens book on mental illness, bullying

Luke Donovan wrote "Missing the Big Picture."

Luke Donovan wrote "Missing the Big Picture." Submitted Photo

— “I think that kind of opened the door to being passive and that’s where my relationships with my peers led; I was taken advantage of … bullying throughout the years mainly in high school and I had former friends that I had issues with,” said Donovan.

When he turned 18, Donovan started hearing voices.

“I was hearing a classmate’s voice. … I thought I was talking to people through my mind,” said Donovan. “I was a normal kid one day, then all of a sudden my grades dropped massively. It was very hard to function, go to school, work, it just consumed my whole mindset.”

Once he started taking medication, the voices stopped, and by the time he was past his mid-20s, Donovan had banished his demons and was on the road to a much different life that he never saw coming.

“I was an outsider mostly all of my life but it’s nice being onstage and realizing I can make people laugh,” said Donovan.

Donovan is a stand up comic. He won the Capital District’s Last Comic Standing competition last year, and performs locally. He gets his material from work, friends and “people doing stupid stuff.” In a way, the creative outlet is therapeutic for him and his audience.

“It’s a good time where people can relax and laugh away what’s bothering them for a minute or however long the show is,” said Donovan. “They’re looking at you and you’re just trying to make them laugh.”

Melissa Merrill said she and Donovan are close friends but she didn’t know much about his personal history until reading his book.

“I was completely shocked. … I thought it was wonderful for him to write something like that and to talk about bullying like he did, especially for boys a lot of people cover that stuff up and are kind of ashamed of it,” said Merrill.

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