Aspergers on sensory overload

Posted: December 2, 2012 in aspergers, life
Tags: , , , , ,

A constant on-going issue that this blog tries to address is how having Aspergers affects my stand-up comedy. One way, that it plays a part and that most people don’t think about is sensory-overload.

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When I went to the Mis En Scene last night, as soon as they got off-stage, they had a million well-wishers wanting their time in order to congratulate them on how well they did. As soon as I saw this I thought how exhausting. When performing anything in front of a live audience, whether it is comedy, acting or music, you are expected to give the crowd a lot of energy and focus. While on stage you have to be completely focused one hundred percent of the time. In stand-up this focus is often on the crowds, in order to make sure that they are laughing and that you have their full-attention and that they are engaged. There is  alot of sensory information you are taking in, from the noise of the audience laughing to the visual information of people laughing, to focusing on trying to engage the audience members who are not engaged and draw them in. While, mentally focusing on which jokes work, which need to be modified and which need to be dropped.  I am perfectly okay with this when I am on stage, no matter how long  my set is, but, when I get off-stage I can’t be my usual charismatic self and talk to everyone until I have had at least 10 minutes to myself to disengage and deal with sensory overload. It is just too exhausting and I need this time to relax my brain and get ready to go again. I am not one of those performers who can get off-stage and immediately greet my well-wishers and thank them for taking the time out of their schedule to support me and for giving me their attention. I don’t mean to be rude to anyone I just can’t  do it. Give me time and I would love to talk to everyone there, but without this time I would simply be a mess. Therefore, I am always amazed when performers are able to do it.

You can find out more about misen Scene and listen to their music at


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