Category Archives: Perform

Brains on my mind

Today I got the opportunity to do one of my passions: acting. I love the Autism advocacy work I do, but there is something about becoming a different character that has always appealed to me. Street performing, theater, film. It doesn’t really matter the venue as long as I can put on a good show.

Today I was a zombie in a film. It was cold and hay-covered and so much fun. The Maine film community is a quirky little family. All the experiences I’ve encountered have been positive with people really supporting each other. I first was cast in a student film my first week after moving back home after college. Three and a half years later and I’m still enjoying it!

My dream in life right now, as silly as it may seem to some, is something I am actively working towards. It is to travel the world performing, presenting, and writing. This past year I started putting some of the building blocks in place. This next year I’m going to be ramping things up even more. Watch out world!

I want to be social… but I’m not really social all the time

This weekend I went to preform at an amazing festival. It was filled with amazing and friendly people. I love these types of events, but after my Month of Autism (as July of this year shall now be known as) I was getting very quickly overwhelmed with people.

At the Autism events I went to, going up to someone and saying “nice bracelet” or exchanging random quotes from obscure movies can establish a friendship. When people were nice to my face,  I had no reason to believe they were not being nice behind my back. My hearing senses can get turned up and I heard people making snap judgements about me and my friends. Not cool.

Since I wanted to be social and had to take responsibility to pull myself out of a funk, I made up my mind to have fun. In my little cave of Brigid (also known as my tent) I regrouped, regulated, and headed out to socialize.

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I’ve talked about spinning, or flow arts, quite a bit lately and I don’t know if I’ve communicated it clearly. By finding spinning, I’ve found a part of myself. Even surrounded by people who I don’t know, it was comforting to be known as “The Fire-spinner”. I can spin things and relax in a way I’ve never done before. I had the opportunity to meet amazing fire spinners this weekend who elevate the art to a level I wish to one day achieve, and they complimented me on my spinning.

After a very stressful social encounter last month with someone who retracted a huge Autism leadership opportunity because I don’t fit in with their value system, I must admit I felt crushed. It caused me to doubt myself, my values, and my mission in life.

My mission is to spread happiness.

Spending some time surrounded by loving and friendly people, I realized I need to remember to love myself. The path I’ve walked is one that could only have been walked by me. It takes a lot out of me sometimes just to be me, but I’m proud of everything I’ve done. I can be social doing the things I love as long as I don’t let the negative people affect me. There will always be negative people around me, I just need to shrug it off.

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When people ask me how their child or adult can be social, I often want to talk directly to the person and not about them. All people have their own comfort bubble and for some people we like to talk about our special interests. My special interests are movies, autism, animals, and flow arts. I’ve talked to people who like dirt, cars, architecture, and very many different things.

Being social can sometimes be a challenge. It can be scary, intimidating, and very anxious. However, the rewards far outweigh the stress. I met a lot of amazing people and I am really excited to get to know my new friends even better and share our successes with each other.

Act One!

There were some special nights when I was younger and my mother would give us dinner early so the babysitter wouldn’t need to worry about feeding us. After I wolfed down dinner I’d rush up and sit on my parent’s bed watching my mother get ready. There was this perfumed powder she’d put on only on these special nights. Studying the details for a test that would never come, I watched my mother put on her jewelry and the special black dress. My parents were off to the fancy land of the opera.

Decades later, I’m scrambling out of the shower and walking around my apartment half dressed. There’s not enough time for a meal and my mascara is smudged. Most of the time when I’m getting ready to go out I look like I’m in a state of chaos, it’s just how I am. So I scrambled to find two matching shoes and I ignored the tights with a rip in the leg, very grateful I quickly shaved/bloodied my legs in the shower. I was off to the Opera!

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“La più divina delle poesie è quella, amico, che c’insegna amare!”
The highest purpose of poetry is to teach us to love!”
-La Boheme
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 The ability for art to affect us is an amazing thing. I spend the last 20 minutes of La Boheme bawling my eyes out with the raw emotion and then I spend the next several hours plotting new creative endeavors.

Why?
 The truth is very simple; I must create.

There are days I wish I was not this way. I think the world must look a whole lot simpler if you don’t want to make anything new. To be comfortable with the monotony and have no desire to grow, well that sounds like a fairytale to me. Or at least a Fantasy short story. Image that: a world filled with people happy to live their lives without art or creativity. Okay, that sounds like a horror movie even in the blueprint stages.

Most of the people I am close to in my life are creative souls. We have dayjobs to support ourselves and then in our “free time” we preform for anyone who will watch or we put our art on display for others to observe. We are the type of people who put our souls into a 3 minute dance or on a simple piece of paper. We bare it all because, well, we need to.

By seeing the world as Art and Beauty, it is our calling to spread the gift to others. It is a big responsibility; relaying the message of beauty in the everyday to perfect strangers or friends. Sometimes it is easier to preform for a room full of strangers than to preform in a room with just a few friends. Yet we do it every day and every week, we put ourselves out there for others to see.

And it’s scary,
Terrifying,
Heartaching,
Petrifying,
and the most rewarding thing in the world.

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It’s the little blonde girl in the pink sundress, too shy to say “Hello”. She stands behind her siblings as they pop bubbles. She is keeping her distance for a bit until she knows what is going on and how to act. It’s the Mime she talks to first and when she does talk, the conversation comes easily. She asked questions with the answers given back in pantomime. I always find it adorable when people try to talk to the mime. I let the family know our show will be starting and we need to go get ready, but they should come see the show.

From the stage, which is just an empty corner of a large antique hall, I see our friends sitting in the front row. Eyes fixed on the stage the entire show, the children look as if they are taking notes or memorizing everything for later re-watching.

Our show wraps and we begin to pack away our gear when the Aunt of the little girl comes over to talk to us. She’s never seen her sit still for so long or have the attention span for anything like that. She tells us the girl is Autistic. I just smile when I hear this because I know she was taking notes. She was thinking about what she can create and what costumes she can wear.

To help to change a life for a second, even if the little girl never remembers seeing our show, that makes everything worthwhile. That is the love of Art.