After the success of my Fringe show I saw that there was an interest in Aspergers. I also think that art is a way of changing people’s perspectives in a non-confrontational way. Also that Aspergers was being seen in a negative light via Jenny McCarthy and other celebrities. Therefore I thought we should recognize the artists on qthe spectrum or artists I like to call them. Therefore we recognize a different autist each month. In the future I am hoping to be able to give out grants to support these individuals. Also to help them get more exposure. When I was looking at paying for a professional website, Marjie Mcmullin a mother of an autistic son I had previously met offered to design it and manage it for me. Since then she has become my partner taking responsibility for the social media among other responsibilities so I could focus on my stand up comedy and writing. I am doing the Toronto and hopefully Victoria fringe and hopefully releasing my first book this summer Musings of an Aspie. So spread the word if you know anyone living in either of these cities also checkout the website at autisticproductions.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out more about our artists and events.
Another thing people tend to do when you tell them that you are single is that they suddenly feel the need to reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you and that you will one day find someone right for you. Well this is a nice sentiment and I really appreciate their effort at trying to help me feel better about my situation, the big problem with this sentiment is that they are talking about something they know nothing about. For example, in high school when I was lonely and single people told me that when I got into University I would meet a wide range of people and finally find a girl who was interested in me. The problem was that in University and afterwards I meet a number of great people, but, none of them were interested in me romantically and I got my hopes up for nothing. I would have been better served if they had pointed out that romantic love is just one element in life and yes I might be jealous of other people’s experiences and displays of physical intimacy. Experiences that I may or may not ever get to experience myself, at the same time I have been lucky to experience many other things other people do not. For example, I have been to Africa three times, Europe half a dozen times, while many other people have never left North America. I have also had a hit fringe festival play that I have been lucky enough to take to several other cities and achieve success with, and have had a pretty decent amateur stand-up career up till now. Therefore, instead of focusing on what I don’t have I should focus on what I do have. An incredible relationship with my family who all love me to bits, I am a great role model for my nephew about overcoming adversity, I have a good group of friends and a very warm supportive comedy community behind me. Therefore, I may never have a girlfriend, but, that does not mean that I cannot have lived an incredible, rich, happy life.
In addition, my dating experience definitely does not fall into what society says is the proper age for these things. For example, society says that most people are having their first relationship when they are thirteen, are supposed to have their first relationship by age 16 and are supposed to be married in their twenties or early thirties. I on the other hand will probably not have my first relationship until I am at least in my thirties, and have my first serious relationship by thirty-five and who knows if I will even get married. Movies and television while they give insight into other people’s lives are generally based on relationships and dating patterns among Neurotypical people. They also take the perspective that a happy-ever-after ending is always a good thing. While, I believe that divorces and disruption to the status quo is necessary for guys with Aspergers to date. We generally are not people’s first choices and seldom make the best first impressions so we need women to marry what they think is their ideal man only to find out that these good-looking charismatic people can also be extremely flawed for them to give someone with Aspergers a chance. Movies don’t generally show this side of the equation, however, because attractiveness is closely correlated with goodness and the more attractive someone is, the better they are on the inside. Sure there are movies that are contrary to this rule, such as the good looking villain in Frozen, but, in the end the princess still ends up with a very attractive man even if he is not a prince. Movies don’t show this side of the thing because they are an escape and try to convince people that things will work out in the end and that they will eventually find an attractive mate who they will be happy with until the end of time. That is not to say that someone with Aspergers cannot be attractive, but, rather I think that many people will only see past our awkwardness after life has taught them to be more tolerant and patient with other people. When we are young we want everything instantously including romantic connections and we need life to teach us that just because something is shiny doesn’t necessarily make it good, in contrast, just because something is rough along the edges doesn’t mean that it is not ultimately the better choice.
Therefore, when people say things like that people should have settled down by age forty or there is something wrong with them, they have no clue what they are talking about. It does mean that if you have Aspergers you really need to work on the flexibility of your joints as if you have your own biological children, you need to be flexible into your late fifties as you don’t want to be the old dad who can no longer play hoops with your son. In addition, you need to be able to still help them move into their first place when they are twenties and you are in your sixties. Therefore, remember to do lots of calisthenics.
I have been asked to do several comedy shows lately for different organizations. This is something that I should be happy about because it means that I am getting recognition. The thing about the shows that I have been getting, however, I have been asked to do them for free. As an artist I had mixed feelings about this. I felt like it cheapens my art, since people pay for any service or good that they receive and I felt like if I am not getting paid to do these shows they don’t recognize how valuable of a service I am providing. The first show I did was for a conference and I did not ask for money up front because I thought that it would be taboo and that the organization would just give all of their speakers an honorarium. The second show I was asked to do for free for an overnight camp. The camp was doing it in a huge venue and had sold out a venue of over 250 seats with tickets at $18 dollars a person. This seems like a lot of money and yet they were unwilling to give the performers a single dollar. Instead all of the money was going to subsidize camp fees for people who come from underprivileged homes.
This made me think, while that is great what is in it for me. Shameful thinking I know, but I see all of my comedian friends booking these lucrative shows which are paying them to take part in. On top of that, I am also creating a comedy show to create a dowry to support local artists on the Autistic Spectrum. For that show all of the other performers are getting paid except for myself. Therefore, I was kicking myself for setting it up that way.
When it hit me, sometimes in life you give and sometimes in life you receive. Even though sometimes its your turn to give twice in a row before it is your turn to receive. For example, with this overnight camp I can see it as doing it unpaid or I can look at it as it is performing for my biggest audience ever. In addition, they are giving me a table so that I can have a volunteer (once again I receive) sell tickets for my Rumors show and my fundraiser to raise Awareness through the Arts and create this grant program. A grant program that I will most likely apply to and receive a grant from. In addition, one of the people I am working with to create this fundraiser has contacts out in Saskatoon who can help me with their fringe by putting up posters. Then there is the fact that Aspergers Manitoba has agreed to pay for my Fringe Poster and handbills in exchange for putting their logo onto it. The camp show is also letting me build a regular following who will come out and support me for paid shows, when you really boil down to it, I am receiving a lot more than I am giving. Sure what I am receiving isn’t a tangible like money, but it is giving me untangibles such as advertising and in the long run I am coming out the real winner. A person should always give and not worry about what they receive because in turn they will have received more than they put out. That is also true of energy or anything else in life that you always receive more than you give. Therefore, if you whine that life is unfair or you or you are begrudging or stingy than you will in turn receive all of these things in turn. So give positivity and from an open heart and not worry about what is in it for you.
Originally posted on mylittlecrippledheart:
There was a summer afternoon a few years ago that I’ll never forget. My best friend – who also uses a wheelchair – and I were in a coffee shop when a woman came up to us and nonchalantly gave us what she most likely thought was the compliment of our lives (it wasn’t). What she said was this: “You girls are so pretty. It’s a shame you’re disabled.”
Even as I write those words, something deep in my gut clenches. It’s not just that I know she was trying to be nice, but ended up unwittingly insulting both my friend and I despite her good intentions. It’s not even that she said what she did, and then went on her merry way, not even engaging either of us in conversation – she just said what she said, and that was it.
It’s that she had an image of a…
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Tags: Aspergers, comic books, comic con, costumes, sensitivity, super heroes
In the last article I wrote about how people with Aspergers are really, super duper, into nerd culture. There are some things that could be considered nerd culture, however, which people with Aspergers would be unlikely to participate in. The one thing that I am thinking of is costume play. Many people like to dress up as their favourite comic book characters and go to comic book conventions also known as comicon. I love to see other people in costumes some people really look pretty nifty in them, I mean there are some really super cool costumes out there and boy do some girls look sexy as their favourite characters. Nevertheless, you are unlikely to see someone with Aspergers in a costume since we are very sensitive to many materials that other people are not. Therefore, it is not uncommon for Aspies not to want to dress up in suits and prefer wearing sweatpants to jeans. I often wear jeans because that is what society dictates but it is not my preference for comfort. Also different fabrics can bother us as well as the feel of other textures such as a really juicy oranges, among others. Therefore, chances are that you are unlikely to find many Aspies in different kinds of costumes. Which totally makes sense in my personal life because I have never designed and worn that many different costumes for Halloween and one year I went as a Power Ranger, which is more like dressing like a crazy homeless person, since it consisted of me just talking to my watch and saying Zordon come in.
Tags: acceptance, Aspergers, mainstream, nerd culture, video games
There has never been a time in history better than now, to have Aspergers. Not only are they able to diagnose it more frequently and therefore provide more assistance, but, equally important is the rise of the nerd culture. In the past, things like adults playing Nintendo games or reading comic books used to be frowned upon and were not something that people could talk about or engage in openly without fear of being considered dorks and nerds and without facing potential reprecussions, including but not limited to, the loss of respect. As a result, people had to pretend that they were either into sports or cars. Comic books and video games are activities that people with Aspergers have typically been drawn to. Video games provide us with an escape, and helped us feel some control, in a world that we often find too confusing and crazy. The fact that people now are more open about sharing our interests in video games, instead of restricting these activities as only appropriate for teenagers and children, means that we can have conversations and come across as less weird and more social. In addition, with the rise of the nerd culture it is no longer considered strange to be really, really into something like animated television or historical battles. I am not sure what brought about this rise in nerd culture making it into the mainstream culture as thus being more accepted, what I do know is that there has never been a better time than now to have Aspergers.
Tags: free-write, Jewish post, personal, writing
Recently, I was offered an oppertunity to be a regular contributor to the Jewish post. The articles for the newspaper will have to be tighter, shorter and more succinct than the ones I will be writing for here. I have had lots of fun writing on here about anything that has crossed my mind and from post to post the topics have been quite sporadic as I write about whatever I feel like letting my brain take me whichever direction it wanted to go as it was as free in the wind, while for the newspaper it will be much more focused as I will have to take one topic and write as much as possible on it, thus making the transition easier to follow. For that reason, I will still try to keep this blog up as an outlet of letting my creativity just flow out, which has allowed me to afterwards cherrypick the posts for stand-up comedy material. I have always had a hard time writing comedy material for its own sake, but, a blog usually has a point or a story which I am trying to tell; and therefore, are much easier to write. Also, blogs provide less pressure to be funny because they don’t need to be a laugh-a-minute. A perfect example, is this blog which is really, really, not that funny at all.
Tags: Aspergers, judaism, religion
Judaism is very important to me because of what it stands for.
Education, I can easily get behind Judaism’s emphasis on education and how important knowledge is. I have always been interested in the world around me and have always tried to learn as much as I can since I think an informed person is a more interesting person. While other religions place more emphasis on faith such as Christianity, come on guys it doesn’t work if we don’t all believe. What do you mean someone rose from the dead, and isn’t a zombie? Judaism asks us to question everything and then do silly things because the Torah tells us to. I mean unmarried men and unmarried women who are unrelated can’t touch because something sexual might happen, slow down there a bit speedy.
I also can strongly relate to Judaism’s ability to survive and adapt. Every nation at one point or other has tried to give the Jews wipe the jews of the face of the earth, like a bad spill and a bounty towel, from the ancient Romans to 20th century French and Germans. The Jews have a hilarious attitude, whoooh, yippe we survived, I wonder what’s for dinner. I hope there is apple pie and whipping cream. Mmm pie.
The jews even achieved some success in the outside world I mean we built the pyramids and Hollywood not too shabby. Nevertheless, like people with Aspergers no matter how well we are doing, when things go badly Jews immediately stick out and are kicked. The Jews rounded up, me rejected by women. Ultimately that is why, I could never be an observant Jew is how could I believe that he/she/it could create a world where there is Aspergers and where someone, ie me, suffers with women so much. That God would create so many gorgeous females and yet make them all so unattainable, so close but yet so very far. I mean I can easily relate to my namesake and his adventures in Eden. What it was like for Moses but to be denied access to the promised land for some forgotten misdeed like hitting a rock instead of simply using his words.
I hate driving because of sensory overload. You are constantly having to check your mirrors, the street names as well as your speed. I mean if you don’t constantly check your mirrors you will get in a car accident and that nasty crunching sound of metal still makes me cringe, even though I haven’t been in any car accidents lately (Thank God! fingers crossed, hope this doesn’t jinx me). If you don’t constantly check the street names while bearing in mind the future streets coming up as well as the streets that you have already gone past and if that’s not enough you also have to keep in mind the destination. Remembering all of that is enough to give me a headache and if for a second you let off on this you’ll get completely lost. This isn’t as big of a problem for most people but as a result of my aspergers and trouble focusing on fine details I am constantly getting lost. In addition, since I have a hard time gettting organized I have the hardest time remembering what street comes next and have to consciously think about unless its an area I have already been to a million times.
Finally there is the speed. If you drive too slowly it will take forever getting anywhere and yet every single time I see a parked car at the side of the road I am instantly distracted by worrying about what speed I’m going even though I am just going the speed limit and looking into the other car to see if there is a camera which is really distracting and can make me feel like I am about to get into an accident. Therefore, I prefer to take the bus around but there are some places its -if not impossible to get to by bus- lets say very very difficult and time consuming and then there is the fear that I am going to be too late or early which is something that I have touched on in another blog about how this gives me anxiety issues.