A Local Woman’s Quest to Raise Awareness for Mental Health
The Bringing Happy Back Experience is bringing a long-time vision to fruition for founder Tonya Farrens, marrying her dedication to being a vessel of positive support with her aspiration to produce a concert for her late father, Wayne Farrens. Sr.Farrens is a suicide survivor, having lost her father to his own struggles after a lifetime of sharing music and travels together. The news affected her greatly, causing her to lose focus and motivation to take care of herself for a short time. In talking with other survivors and having open conversations, she recognized the power in recognizing the community of people who share her plight, who understand what she is feeling because they are feeling it too.
Farrens started taking proper care of herself again and continued to talk with people, uncovering more of herself and others along the climb to a better mental state.
One day a man overheard her having one such conversation and decided to share his own story of survival, which he had kept to himself for over 30 years. She identified with him, seeing how the ability to feel safe speaking about it immediately had a positive impact on him. Farrens knew then that she needed to do more to create a forum for people to communicate their losses – and their victories – as well as a means to spread this message for anyone dealing with issues on either side of the battle.
Over the years, Farrens has worked in executive roles for Cirque du Soleil, BEST Agency, and even toured with best-selling authors. As a veteran of the event and entertainment industry, and now running a production company, Farrens knows how to plan a night filled with fun and can get the right people onto the stage to put on a good show.
Her father inspired this love in her from a young age, spending much of her formative years as a touring musician and opening for bands such as The Who, Iron Butterfly, and Deep Purple.Farrens, the oldest of five and growing up privy to the rock and roll life, developed a passion for music and entertainment herself. This shared love for the arts served as a strong bond for Farrens and her father as the two, living a long distance apart, would exchange new music and new favorite artists with one another. This was a ritual that never diminished.
She grew up developing that passion into a career and now a purpose, seeing no better way to honor her father or open people up to feel comfortable about talking than by sharing great performances from some of the best entertainers worldwide.
On January 31, 2019, Farrens is putting on the Bringing Happy Back Experience, a benefit production to both raise awareness and money for mental health issues. Taking place on what would have been her father’s 73rd birthday, BHB is an event Farrens knows her father would have enjoyed, with a lineup of world-class entertainers and musicians.
This one-of-a-kind event will encourage the community to share personal stories, experiences and talents with the sole purpose of helping others find their way back from tragedy, depression or adversity. Las Vegas will unite to assure the rest of the world that their lives matter, empowering people to fight for their lives, ask for the help they deserve, and get their happy back.
The inspiring show will be performed in front of a live audience and will also be streamed globally to veterans, military bases, first responders, wellness facilities and over 200 college campuses, including UNLV, San Francisco State, Princeton University, and UCLA.
Farrens wants to showcase that nothing compares to the scale of entertainment this city has to offer. For her, it is not only an unsurpassed level of astounding talent, but also a beautiful community of internal support.
“I would give anything to have my dad here, but I don’t. However, what I can do is make the best of a tragic experience,” Farrens said. “I can use my voice to give voice to those too shaky to use theirs right now. This is the greatest honor in my life to date.”
For more information about the event please visit tonyafarrens.com/partner or call 702.426.2488.