Let’s get one thing clear. I have LOTS of writing. I have material on how insects mate, I have material on feminism, I have quirky stories about falling in love with starfish, I have screenplays, poetry, speeches on Free the Nipple…. But… I had pretty much nothing that would be relevant for this show!!!
1. I let the other members of Stealth Aspies give me material – But why would I want to travel all the way up to Edinburgh, to perform show that is about expressing yourself… and only read about other people’s experiences??
2. Adapt stuff I already have – I already have this blog detailing my own experiences with mental health… So… why wouldn’t a lot of that stuff be relevant?
3. I write stuff especially for it!!! – I couldn’t go wrong there?… Unless what I write is terrible? –My best poems took months to perfect… Would I be able to produce stuff in two weeks?
As it happens I did a little bit of all three! – The show was inspired by a series of letters written by adults with Asperger’s detailing very personal revelations. For the first half of the show the four of us were to read these monologues.
I was given a choice of five different ones from Spectrum women; Some of them I found quite confusing, others gave quite melancholy renditions of being on the Spectrum (and I find solely serious material hard to perform) and others I didn’t really relate very well to; either because we had drastically different experiences, or, there was a huge age gap.
I settled on one by a woman called Laura… she was 26 when she was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Her piece talked about how she had tried to ‘mask’ certain characteristics when growing up so not to be perceived as ‘odd’, and this was something I related to quite strongly. I also found her tone quite chatty, and suitable for performance.
Next… I read through my blogs. My blogs are EPIC blogs. They are detailed and thorough… This show needed to be short and snappy. I took out bits that could work as stand-alone stories; such as my own experiences as ‘Coming Out’ as Autistic, and adapted them into stand-alone pieces.
And… I also had a go and writing some poetry! (mainly comedy) – I didn’t think it was very good. I just sat there and made stuff rhyme. It had been a long time since I’d written absolutely anything creative!!!
Two of my Poems (written especially!):
You’re not Autistic
You’re not Autistic… You’re just anxious and depressed.
Don’t worry! I have those problems, and I’m not autistic.
You just need a rest.
I should be glad that you can empathise….
But in reality, this is just ignorance in disguise.
Congratulations, for not meeting all criteria!
But please forgive my sudden hysteria…
But your two-minute prognosis
Was not representative of my entire diagnosis.
Tick Tock on the clock.
Take it out of the room!!!
The party must stop!
My mind fumbles in the mumble of social jungle,
Each tip and trip makes a rumble.
All chatter clatters as conversation shatters.
My mind is shooting, re-booting,
trying to comprehend,
trying to pretend.
“Ha Ha HA!”
Bring the drink to my lip,
Take a sip.
RELAX A BIT!
Thoughts were growing,
Now they’re slowing.
It’s time to work out where I’m going!