The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Three)

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On this very day, at this very time, exactly four years ago, I self-starred in the auto-bio play “Ryan’s World.”

If you fancy reading the other parts, you can see the links underneath.^^/

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-one/ 

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-two/

  1. DECISION

Choosing the right songs and implementing them into the show was tricky. However, Mr P and Mum suggested certain songs for me to use.

For the intro, and the audience coming in and settle their bums to the floor, I opted to use Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” We all thought that this would be an ideal way to start the performance as that song is about individuality and self-confidence. For good measure I added a picture of me when I was 5 holding a Thomas the Tank Engine train. Whilst I was incredibly embarrassed I wanted to give everyone an idea what I looked like when I was young. That and I think it adds to the realism of the performance.

I was behind the stage of the intro and the first video scene. Nerves started to grow up inside me, but I felt myself getting into the moment of my youth. The first video scene is the doctor diagnosing my condition and explained to my Mum (the character) what to expect of me in the future. It would be highly unlikely that I would ever come out of my own bubble. Listening to this really helped me to get into the moment as it set as a reminder of what I was like when I was young.

  1. SCENES YOUNGER THAN TEN

I walked into the open space and parked myself on the outer edge of the gazebo. I used the gazebo for the purpose of holding up the screen which showed the videos. I was very conscious that I was going to knock the whole thing down so I took great care not to bump into it. Haha.

These few scenes were all about me when I was a toddler. The video showed scenes whilst I held up phrases on the cards to show what I was thinking at that time. I couldn’t explain myself at that time but I was aware what was happening. I held up a cue card that said “I know you’re talking about me, I’m not stupid.” I also held up a few sad faces to show the audience that I was feeling sad in certain moments.

On stage I kept my face and body language neutral to reinforce how I would have been feeling at the time. However, I did feel trickles of tears running down my face. “That’s not supposed to happen,” I thought. That was the first time ever that I genuinely cried during a performance. I cringed every time I heard myself scream or cry out. It felt like a stab in the heart. I wanted to hide my face behind the big cards as I didn’t really want the audience to see tears running down my face. Haha. I spontaneously took a few deep breaths to regain my composure.

I did receive a few laughs when I got kissed with a lipstick in the video and when I showed my sad face for the first time. I think everyone laughed at first probably because they thought the face was drawn in a funny way. I put up a smiling face when the lady at the school residential read me a Thomas story.

I think the audience were very touched by this. I even added the song “Thomas, You’re the Leader.” I felt this was very appropriate as I was trying to tell the audience that Thomas was my saviour in many unhappy moments.

Eventually, I went off stage, gearing myself up to reappear in a certain scene.

  1. SCENES OLDER THAN TEN

On the video it showed the actual footage of me being the mascot for Charlton Athletic when they played Bolton in 2000.

I came onto the stage feeling excited as I gained confidence and started to understand the surroundings outside my bubble.

I spoke only basic words at that time. In hindsight I wonder if I should have spoken in a monotone voice because I used to be expressionless with my words. However, in the live performance I was representing my thoughts. So I figured it would be appropriate to speak with emotion.

The most important scene involves the Football School. I was pretty nervous about this. It was important to get this right. We filmed the parts where all the lads were making fun of me and showed a huge lack of understanding. The coach was no different. I was too meek and polite to not stick up for myself as I didn’t want to “upset” anyone. It went to the point where I started to get changed in front of the other lads, something which I was very uncomfortable with.

On the video I actually did get changed but my back was to the audience so only my back was visible. Haha. That was another big moment as I don’t like getting changed in front of other people. I think if the scene wasn’t so serious the audience would have had a good chuckle at this.

The video was pretty emotional as I kept on making mistakes and kept on being the victim of “being different.” I tried to be strong and be tough but I kept on making mistakes, especially when I missed the penalty and ran the full length of the pitch to score an own goal… My spirit eventually wavered and I broke down in the middle of the pitch, all alone… On cue- Girls Aloud’s cover of “I’ll Stand by You,” plays as the video zooms out and fades.

This was definitely challenging to perform on film. I was caught up in the emotion of that part of my life. The Football scene and hanging out with “normal people” was the main reason why I started to become insecure about being Autistic. Was it ok to be different? I made my feelings known at that very moment how I felt about the world.

“I hate normal people. I hate special needs… and I hate myself.”

And it was at that very moment that I started to become insecure about myself. I had a long string that kept me from the audience. When my confidence grew, I’d pull the string back, allowing the audience nearer. If my confidence was knocked, I would push the string back and push the audience away. The strings were held up by three stools. When I said “I hate special needs…” I started to push the stools back.

However, I managed to compose myself enough not to charge into Mr Ian who was right behind the stool that I was pushing. This was quite reassuring as I’ve never felt this emotional during a performance. It showed me that even though I was in the zone I was still aware of my surroundings. That was quite a proud moment. =)

  1. INDIVIDUALITY

From that moment on I tried to fight for individuality and to be accepted for whom I was and I tried this tactic in different situations. I bought a Thomas DVD at school but my teacher disapproved as she thought that it was “too childish” and so she took it back. Why wasn’t I allowed to express the things I like? Why couldn’t I get the things I like? What was wrong with being myself?

  1. REACHING COLLEGE

I had the option of attending two different colleges. One was my local college and the other was the college that I eventually went to. I was very determined not to go to this certain college as I knew that I would have to start in the Supported Learning Department. I really, really didn’t want that to happen.

I expressed my anger and stubbornness thoughts to the audience. Was it fate that I would never progress? On the video it showed the letter that I would be in the SLD department. It also said in the letter how it would have been “too much for me” to be in the actual Performing Arts course with the “normal” mainstream students.

It turns out that college has treated me very kindly and the SLD department was actually a good stepping stone for me to study and perform with the “normal” mainstream students. I went from expressing my anger on stage feeling to expressing my pride and happiness.

  1. I AM RYAN

On film, I spoke about the overview of my time on the course. I learned that my biggest achievement from this University Course wasn’t the high marks on paper. It was learning how to be myself. In those last couple of months I completely let myself go and allowed everyone to get to know the real me and who I really was.

I’m not Autistic, I’m Ryan who just so happens to have Autism.

Being Ryan was my identity. After this revelation I stopped acting at this point and I was genuinely myself. It was definitely natural as I completely forgot my line at that moment. Haha!

I changed clothes into a more casual outfit, cut the tap and invited the audience into “my space”. This was to signify that I now felt more comfortable with how I was. I personally am not comfortable with physical contact but it’s my way of letting everyone know that I’m opening myself up to them.

At this moment I walked out of the room and the video of me, wearing the same casual outfit, came up. This was the scene where I said my “THANKYOUS” to all my friends, colleagues and tutors for treating me kindly for all these years. I would be too embarrassed to say it to their faces so I coped out and made them watch the video instead. Haha. Ironically, this was actually the very first thing that I and Mr P did, shooting this video of “THANKYOUS.”

In this video I played the soundtrack “The Island Song” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” These songs are very poignant to me as I used to severely dislike music. However, these were the very first songs that I liked and they were the platform for me to open myself up to all kinds of music. Now, whilst I still don’t like noise, I can handle music better and I’m very open-minded about it. Once again, Thomas the Tank Engine helped as The Island Song was actually a soundtrack from Thomas the Tank Engine. Haha.

  1. POST SHOW

I came out and took a bow. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the loud clapping and I literally couldn’t look at any of them in the face. After the bow I ran as fast as I could so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I was a little caught up in the moment. Well, that’s a fib. I was VERY caught up in the moment. Haha.

I actually get very embarrassed when I’m the centre of attention or if everyone is looking at me, which is among the reasons why I ran off. If I had spoken to people straightaway I probably would have been too caught up and cried and I really didn’t want that to happen.

After calming down I spoke with my friends one by one and had a good chin-wag with all of them. It was a strange moment as I was talking with them as if I had never performed the piece. It felt natural, very natural. I really did like that feeling and it was at that moment that I realised that all my Uni friends were actually my friends.

By revealing my autism to everyone has turned out to be one of the best moments in my life. I can now say that I have autism without feeling ashamed or insecure.

THANKS FOR READING

Thomas and Gordon 2

Since this day, four years ago, life has been great and for the first time I felt free of doubt. I have never looked back… and I never will.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Two)

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  1. DECISION

Right! I’m now going to do this Autobio play starring as myself, but… what on earth do I do? How do I execute this piece? How do I act it? How do I direct it? What parts of my life are most significant and what might people be interested in? Do I do live or film or a mixture of both?

I discussed the key parts of my life with my co-director Mr P as well as my family. After much discussion we decided that my life before Uni was the way to go. Obviously, people at Uni only knew me as I was then. They had no idea about my life prior to the Uni course.

At that point I had a rough idea how I was going to perform this piece. I decided to make this mostly live theatre but to include multimedia and film. I felt that I could express my thoughts live but portray certain aspects on film. To me that was the most practical and sensible solution. Realistically speaking, I don’t think there was any way I could have done it. Mr Ian came up with great artistic ideas but I needed to do what I was comfortable with. Well… everything I was doing at that point was far from comfortable! Haha.

I decided what scenes I was going to film, what characters to use and who I would ask to play those parts.

With the cast chosen I then had to think about which scenes I would film and which I would perform live.

  1. OVER-ACTING

In the first two weeks I did find it difficult to play my character. I learned that I kept holding back when I was rehearsing so I decided to stop rehearsing altogether, choosing to act and improvise when I was being filmed.

I did this one scene where I was playing with my biro trains and Thomas trains where I would scream and get upset if my brother tried to join in the fun. I think I was ok but I wasn’t natural… I was extremely uncomfortable and I think because of this I started to over-act. It’s not easy when you’re 22 and you’re trying to act as you did when you were 4.

Acting as my younger self playing with my trains was probably the most difficult part of the whole performance. The scene wasn’t really done right. I couldn’t rehearse it as it was a challenge to keep it up. If I was going to do this then I had to do it in one take. My family members watched my scene back and they felt that I wasn’t being natural either. They watched me grow up so they could remember how I acted and behaved.

With much reluctance but being sensible, I decided that I should do this scene again, but in a more natural setting…I chose to do this, for the second time, at my sister’s house.

  1. EPIPHANY

There was a period where my confidence was low. I did start to doubt myself and my capabilities of being able to pull this off. Could I do it? I needed an inspiration from somewhere…

My university is actually based in a college. The correct term of studying that I did was Foundation Degree. Basically, you do two years of university work at a college but you do the final third year at an actual university. The third year is only optional though. I decided to take a look at my local university, with the thought of carrying on the third year, to obtain my full degree. It sounded ideal to me at that time. So, I went along to the open day and spoke to one of the course tutors with my Mum. We explained to her about my individual needs and what my strengths and needs were.

Her reaction to everything that we said was quite peculiar. She pulled a lot of funny faces and she especially made a quirky face when I said that I don’t understand generalisation. From that moment she started to discourage me from the course as she didn’t think I could handle it. There were going to be many social gatherings and she didn’t think that I could adapt enough to meet the course requirements. I was rather speechless at that moment…

I was a bit shocked on how quickly she discouraged me, and even went so far to suggest a writing course as no social interaction was required. Haha… I decided from that moment that I was not going to go on that course as the tutor didn’t seem open-minded and she did not understand people like me. Even if I did join the course I think I would have dropped out because of her. I was unimpressed with her attitude, and to be honest, I was unimpressed with the SLD facilities that that particular university had to offer.

After I spoke about my thoughts to my family and I had the chance for all this to sink in…a fire started to ignite in my stomach. I started to get annoyed that someone would pre-judge me and my capabilities without even getting the time to know me first. There have been people in my life who have doubted my capabilities, and I was always determined to prove those people wrong.

The only people who doubted me were the people who did not know me. They just judged my capabilities through papers, reports and assessments and probably what they’ve researched about autism on the internet. I wasn’t going to let anyone doubt me ever again. I was going to prove to everyone that I shouldn’t limit my capabilities just because of pre-judgement. I especially was going to prove to everyone and to myself that I shouldn’t limit my capabilities just because I’m Autistic.

I was angry. I was determined. I was motivated.

This was the answer. This was the epiphany that I was looking for. The confidence that I had lost came back and it was stronger than ever before.

And now, back to the Performance.

  1. NEW FOUND CONFIDENCE

I asked the National Certificate group to paint me a wall of a mountain that represents my personal journey. Me and Mr P went to their class and explained what we were looking for. At that moment Mrs V turned to me and said, “Are you going to tell everyone about you?” and I was like “oh my…”

I was so focus on proving a point to my doubters and to myself that I completely forgot that I was going to share with everyone about my Autism. Was this going to be a first time? Initially, I was very hesitant. I’ve never openly told this side of me to anyone, only a close group of people. I knew the National Certificates by their faces but I didn’t know any of them personally. How would they react? I took a deep breath and said, “I am autistic.”

I got a positive response. I was asked a lot of questions regarding Autism and how I cope with autism. It really warmed my heart and boosted my confidence. I even got a round of applauds.

It boosted my morale even more and for the first time in my life I wasn’t afraid to say that I have autism. I became much more open about myself and I generally became chattier with people who I didn’t know very well, which used to be an enormous challenge for me.

  1. FILMING THE SCENES

What was initially daunting turned out to be a lot of fun.

The football guys were wonderful to work with. I explained to them what my condition was and how I cope with it. Coincidentally, they were doing a course about bullying so I was actually called into that class to talk about being different. I never thought I would speak about my autism in front a bunch of strangers! And like the National Certificates, I got a positive response.

The football students acted out their parts very well but I must say that Chris, the tutor, was particularly outstanding. His sister has learning difficulties so I think he was able to relate to my problems to some degree.

I decided to include some of my family/family friends in certain film scenes. They were fun to work with.

The scene I did with Nat and Mr Andy was not very loud on film so I went to Mr M, who is a record producer that I know and a good friend. He had a studio so offered to help with the sound on the film. He was kind enough to help me out so I went over to his house and did the over dubbing. What should have taken a few hours took all night. We worked on it from 4 O’clock in the afternoon until 5 O’clock in the morning! It took me 58 goes to get the speech pattern right! Haha! We experienced all kinds of emotions that night but it was definitely an amazing night and one of the best that I’ve experienced. =)

  1. SHOW TIME

There was a lot that I wanted to talk about as this had been a really good experience. I had a lot of fun with many people during the filming. I decided to only talk about significant parts of the rehearsals and filming and how I over-came problems.

Next time, I will share my thoughts with you about going into the performance, during the performance, and after the performance.

Show time!

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part One)

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It’s show blog time!^^/

  1. INTRODUCTION

This blog is all about a play I wrote and starred in. This play is about my life when I was small. I showed everyone what it’s like to live with Autism and explained how I saw the world from my point of view. However, before I talk about the performance itself I feel that it’s necessary to dig further into the past. By doing so, it will explain a lot of things and my past going into the performance. It won’t take long. I promise. =)

  1. BEING DIAGNOSED / NOT SPEAKING

I was diagnosed with Autism around the age of 2, when I was attending nursery education unit. It was usual for children to attend the nursery for one year. However, since I was part of the special needs area I stayed there for 2 years. The doctor who diagnosed me with Autism said that I my quality of life will probably never improve. I will never look anyone in the eye, I will never engage in a conversation and I will more or less be trapped in my own world. For a few years, he was right…

When I turned 5 I started to attend a SEN school. It was literally just up the road from my old nursery, so that was a bit of good fortune.

In my school days, especially when I was younger, I was extremely quiet. Because I was quiet and was unable to communicate, the teachers found it hard to understand me. Not necessarily because to be mean, more likely through lack of knowledge/experience. They would often talk about me and my “problems” in front of me, assuming that I didn’t know what they were talking about. However, I could usually read the situation by their facial expression and tone of their voice.

The majority of my school life was frustration. The frustration of not being able to talk. I think I was probably capable of speaking but I didn’t know how to. I think my subconscious held me back from speaking and interacting with others. I was able to string sentences together when I was 10 or 11. Before then I just spoke words every once in a while. I even started to open up my bubble a little bit. I somewhat started to understand how the wide world works.

Being able to speak was good and it did feel like a massive personal achievement. However, since I started to speak, it did cause some troubles every now and again. I could speak, but I didn’t realise the words that came out of my mouth. From a teacher’s point of view, whatever I said, I must mean. I have said a lot of rude things that I didn’t realise were rude or inappropriate. I never meant to be rude or upset anyone so it was a big deal if I did this. This is where the frustration came in. The teachers took what I said at face value. If I said it, I meant it. I could never explain my words or what I meant. So, I had to end up apologising even if it was all a misunderstanding. Situations like this knocked my confidence completely and discouraged me from talking.

That was all just one part of the problem.

  1. QUESTIONING MYSELF

I went to the Bobby Charlton’s School of Excellence that one time, and I must say that it wasn’t a happy experience. It was the first time that I interacted with people who were “mainstream” i.e., secondary school students. Out of everyone in the local area I was the only “special needs” student that attended the whole programme. It was a big problem for me. As I was the only “special needs” student attending, there was a lack of understanding, I feel, for people like me. It seemed that the coaches in general were more used to secondary students rather than special needs students and so they didn’t really bear this in mind. The secondary students were not very understanding towards me either. They often whispered about me under their breath and called me “weird”, even when they were right next to me.

By lunch time I really wanted to go home. However, my pride kind of kept me there. In my eyes I refused to be defeated even if I did feel everyone there was against me. I strived to be as good as they were. That special needs students like myself could cope on the same stage as them. My hopes were dashed when I scored an own goal…

We all laugh about it now, especially me. However, it was a very humiliating experience at that time. It was also from that minute on that I started to question myself as a human being. Why was I being treated that way? Was it because I made that mistake? Was it because I was weird? Was it because that I had “special needs”? I started to dislike being in an SEN school, I started to dislike the mainstream people and I started to dislike myself. Why was I born like this? Why couldn’t I’ve been “normal?” I saw everyone who went to mainstream school as “normal” and myself as not normal. Haha.

  1. COLLEGE SUMMARY

I left my school when I was 18.

I went to a college that specifically catered to people with “special needs”. It went under the title of Supported Learning Department. I severely disliked being part of that department. I was determined not to go to that college because I didn’t want to go to that department. Haha. However, my local college didn’t offer the support that I needed. I was then offered a place at a different college which had an SLD department. I attended the SLD department for one year. I was lacking a lot of confidence and spent the rest of my experience being reserved.

However, I attended a Mainstream programme on a part-time basis, within the same college. It was the Performing Arts class. I felt happy yet very anxious. Was history going to repeat itself? Is this a chance for me to “redeem” myself? My thoughts were very conflicting and it was a constant battle with my own thoughts. In the end, I decided to be quiet and neutral when I attended these classes. If I didn’t say anything, then I wouldn’t get on the wrong side of anyone. I promised myself to not tell anyone about my Autism. I maintained that persona for most of my college life, even later when I started to attend that Mainstream programme full time.

  1. OPENING UP

Things got easier when I started University, which was based at that same college. Usually, I would have to attend the follow up course to prepare for University. However, all the tutors deemed that I was ready to start a full University programme, and I accepted a place on the foundation degree course. =)

On the first day, with a fresh new faces joining the course, I decided to tell everyone that I had Autism. With discussions with my tutor we decided that it would be best to tell them, and strangely, I felt ok with it. It’s probably the first time that I didn’t hesitate telling anyone about my Autism. I opened up to everyone and to my surprise no one isolated themselves from me. That was odd, I thought. Was I perhaps worrying for no reason? Or, is it because some of the Uni students were adults and they were more open-minded? Whilst I opened up to my fellow classmates and gradually started to be myself, I still kept my guard up.

  1. FINAL PERFORMANCE PIECE

It was March and we, the Uni second year students, were discussing what we could do, as individuals, for our “Final Performance” module. I was struggling for ideas myself.

All I could think to do was to do these bunch of comedy sketches that I had written myself. However, I wanted a decent mark and doing these little sketches wouldn’t constitute a high mark. Do I turn these sketches into a lengthy play? It was a concern. Comedy is my forte, I think, since it’s a style of play that I am most relaxed in. Although I was aware that this was my forte and it’s for my final performance piece, I anticipated that it was going to be a disaster. I would probably have been over the top when acting out the sketches and too energetic.

I spoke with my tutor about my concerns. I then spoke with him privately about an idea that I came up with on the spur of the moment. I did have some difficult times at Uni but I did remain mentally strong in most of situations. I appreciated my classmates and everyone I spoke to for making my Uni life easier and happier.

I’m not one for being sentimental so I wanted to thank everyone but cop out at the same time. So, I thought, what if I did a video to say “thankyou” to my classmates and to everyone else who had supported me. I was prepared to open up about all my worries and doubts and how everyone’s support had made my Uni experience much easier.

It was at that moment, Mr Ian said:

“I think it would be amazing if you did an Auto-Biographical Performance of your life with Autism.”

 

…there was a bit of silence. It took me a long time for this suggestion to sink in. An Auto-bio performance? Like an auto-bio book but in play form?

“Like, talk about my life?”

 

I asked, but deep down I knew full well what he meant.

“Absolutely. It has been done before.”

 

It really was a surreal moment. A bunch of things entered my head. It wasn’t that long ago that I revealed to my classmates about my Autism. I was still iffy about revealing more of my Autistic quirks. Could I manage to talk about my past and experiences? Thinking about my past is difficult, let alone talking about it. How would I fair?

Part of me was screaming “go for it!” but there was still doubt in my mind. I decided to ask for family and classmates opinions; somewhat hoping that some of them would oppose the idea. I asked… all of them thought it was a great idea. The votes were unanimous. Haha.

I had to think about this for a week. I did get stress thinking about it. Was this a good idea? In one way, this may be a good chance to get a lot of things off my chest. Then again, was this going to break me? Doing a performance about my life was certainly a lot easier than forcing comedy sketches to be funny.

  1. DECISION

A week went by and I made my decision…. Am I going to do a performance based on my life with Autism?

…yes.

A New Yoga Place

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Peace Tidings.^^/

Ever since my Yogi instructor opened her new studio I’ve been determined to go. I didn’t know when, but I knew I wanted to go. After months of thinking I decided, in an impromptu moment, that I was going to attend her class on the upcoming Wednesday morning. I was kindly informed that the Wednesday morning class did not have many participants. That was more than an ideal class to start in. However, that did mean that I attended by myself rather than with my sister. My sister works full time.

The only place I go to by myself is the hairdressers, and that took me many years to do independently. I became familiar with the hairdressers as I’ve known one of them since my school days. I didn’t know exactly where the yoga studio was and I haven’t known the instructor for very long but my gut instinct was telling me to go alone. My Dad walked me towards the building but I entered it by myself.

I think that was the first time I did something like that without much supervision. Usually it takes me time, like with the hair salon. But here, I just entered the building and found the yoga studio just as I did when I went to the other studio with my sister. I had a rough idea what it looked like since I saw the photos on Facebook. It was a bit of a weird experience in more ways than one. It was the first time that I did Yoga without the company of my sister, but especially weird since I did it on my own. I didn’t feel as self-conscious as I normally would. I did get somewhat anxious before I left  home as that’s what happens every time I go out. But I was ok.

I tried to watch Non Non Biyori before I left as that always makes my mind relax. I couldn’t fully relax but it certainly took the sting out of it before I went out.

Ahem-

I made pleasantries when someone looked my way or someone was talking to me. I was probably a little bit stiff to tell you the truth but not so stiff that I talked like a robot. The session itself was good as well. As it was morning we did Gentle Yoga. We did balance moves so I was expecting for us to do my favourite pose, Warrior Three, but we didn’t. I was slightly gutted about that but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I did learn something from this session… no matter how many times I do yoga poses I can never remember the names of any of them, with the exception of down facing dog and Warrior Three… I know there’s a move called the “Mermaid” but I don’t know what’s supposed to be bent and what isn’t. I will probably never memorise any of them. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

 Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I would call this day an achievement. I entered in a building, on the first go, on my own. It took me years to achieve that when I went to the Hair Salon but I did this on the first go. I’m not sure if I can get to the place by myself per se just yet but I know I can enter one by myself. So yes, all is good. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Applewood Farm: Half-Term Pub Quiz

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Good Tidings.^^/
I decided the week before that I was going to go to the Pub Quiz and thought no more about it. If I dwelled on it, then it would have become a big issue. And so I didn’t… One week later, Monday morning, I remembered that on that night I was quizzing… I was still going to go regardless.

I went there and became a guest participant in Team Densa. Hoho. All was well, but it only just occurred to me whilst in the pub that it was half-term. That meant that there were plenty of people about, and the whole place was rocking and lively. That’s good because it means that the atmosphere is vibrant and happy, however, it wasn’t so good for me.

I ended up getting a massive headache and felt closed in, and it wasn’t because I hit my head in the car. It did leave a ringing in my ear though…

Ahem-

In one way I can see it as unfortunate because it does feel like I can never enjoy being in a big crowd. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt not being in big crowds as I see it more as a preference. Socialising in big crowds can be a good change of pace from time to time but I wouldn’t like it if it became a regular occurrence. I always do tend to get headaches and a massive head mush when I go out, especially if there were a lot of people around. My headache did get worse as we were sat right next to the speakers. This caused me to miss a lot of cheesy, ahem- I mean hilarious jokes made by my team. I suppose, looking at it like this, I ought to be thankful. Haha.

All in all we came 6th out of 57 teams with 68 points. I was mightily impressed I must say. I got three answers right. “Excalibur” (I’m quite knowledgeable about fantasy and myths) Stranger on the Shore (Famous album) and Baby Jane (my Mum likes all of Rod Stewart’s songs). I did know about the answer to Victoria Secret though but I convinced myself that I was going to be wrong, so I let it go. It’s quite typical, because it was the only time when I didn’t shout out a random answer. Haha.

Despite my uneasiness I did take away some enjoyment from that night…I always do.

THANKS FOR READING

 Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I whole heartedly believe that we should have a “Thomas the Tank Engine Round”…just because I know I’ll waltz through it all. Haha. Then again…wouldn’t that be unfair to the other teams? Well, I think that’s more of the Quiz Master’s problem, not mine, so I won’t bother give that another thought. Haha. =D

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Power Yoga

Rose

Happy Valentine’s Day.^^/

Does anyone have any romantic plans? I spent the morning attending the usual Saturday yoga class. I struggled to get a place for the past few weeks but I managed to get a place this week and I’m super happy about that. =)

Today I did Vin…yasa? I think that’s another term for Power Yoga. It’s very physical and more fluid then the other types of yoga classes. The moves are more or less the same but from my point of view it feels more of a workout then a regular yoga class. It’s not that I can’t do the positions it’s just that I don’t like going fast. I found that I was subconsciously trying to match the fast pace of the yoga instructor instead of taking my own time. I thought that if I lacked behind I would miss out on certain moves. So, at times I found myself getting a little frustrated instead of relaxing.

It did help though when the new yogi instructor reminded us that this is our practice and that there’s no need to go at the same pace as everyone else, just as long as we’re applying the moves safely. With this in mind I slowed down my rhythm a little bit and didn’t rush to get into the appropriate positions. I found myself feeling better after that. I also discovered that I became more energetic towards the end of the class. That usually what happens every time I jog or do yoga.

To my surprise at the end of the session I realised how little it bothered me that we had a new instructor this week. I usually don’t like to meet new people without warning. Nowadays I think I worry more about the anticipation rather than worrying about what is happening in the moment. I deal with situations better like that. Of course I’m always going to get nervous and anxious every time I go out, but I’m getting better when it comes to thinking in the moment rather than anticipate the future. =)

THANKS FOR READING

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On this lovely day I’m going to spend the time reading the Light Novel “Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon.” Phew, that was a mouthful. It’s the first time that I read a Light Novel before I read the manga version or indeed watch the anime version. I’m really getting into it and I can’t wait to read the latest chapter. =D

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

The Acting World: Being Natural

acting

It’s show blog time!^^/

I always thought I wanted to be an actor, and I began to pursue the acting road when I was 14. I enjoyed performing at school and started to attend drama classes. Everyone in these drama classes I would refer to as ‘the normal people’. Back then I would refer to people, who didn’t have autism or additional needs like myself as ‘normal’. It was the time when I was very insecure about myself and lacked self-confidence. My confidence grew throughout the years and it skyrocketed in my last year at university.

My main weakness in the acting field, I think, was not being ‘natural’. Some people would often say to me, “it’s good, but try to be more natural,” and “you’re being too OTT.” Sometimes they told me through a joke and sometimes they told me this seriously. For the life of me I didn’t understand their constructive criticism when they told me to be more ‘natural’. What does being natural mean? Why am I being too over the top? In my eyes I was being natural. I knew the characters I had to play and tried to relate their feelings with my own. Yet, because I wasn’t being ‘natural’ I often have lost parts and roles.

I remember this specific task at university where I was asked to narrate. Again, I probably over acted whilst narrating. In my eyes, I needed to act since acting is part of performing. The role of narrating was eventually given to someone else and I was really disappointed by this. Why wasn’t I being natural? Because I thought I was. I just didn’t understand. Of course, it all hit me when I left university.

Basically I was never natural in certain roles due to my lack of experience in society. It’s mostly due to my lack of experience interacting with ‘the normal people’. I couldn’t relate to how ‘normal people’ think. I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, I never argued with anyone, I’ve never been in a fight, I’ve never been drunk, and the list goes on. It’s one thing to witness a dramatic scene on TV but since I never experienced that in real life, I couldn’t relate.

The only thing I could do really was comedy. I could relate to comedy as I enjoy it. I felt that I could make people laugh in a variety of ways. I like to think that I made people laugh without trying as I like to think that comedy is my forte in terms of acting. I enjoy making others laugh, whether it’s impersonating characters, re-acting scenes from comedy shows or performing my own sketches.

However, there was one serious part that I was natural at that wasn’t necessarily a comedy… it was when I starred in my very own auto-biography performance. I basically acted out myself when I was child and when I was growing up. I was just recalling my past experiences. I actually cried a couple of times during this performance and this was the first time that I genuinely cried. I intend to talk more about my auto-bio play at some point as there is a lot I would like to share. What I will say though is that this was probably my best ever performance that wasn’t necessarily a comedy one. It had a few comedy moments in it, albeit, not intentionally.

To date, the auto-biography performance was my last and it was most likely my best ever. =D

WILL I ACT AGAIN?

In all honesty, since my writing epiphany, I have no intention of pursuing acting as a career. That’s not to say I will never act again but I will never audition for a role.

If I were to act again it would have to be on my own terms. I would have to relate to the character strongly and I have to have 100% confidence that I will bring out the best in that character. Although, if you asked me to perform a Rowan Atkinson sketch then I would accept it in a heartbeat. Haha. The same applies to a superhero character… perhaps Iron Man. Wink, wink. 😉 I’m definitely not ruling out doing my auto-bio play again. I have better ideas on how to improve on it if I were to perform it again.

I understand from a ‘normal’ person’s point of view now and I’m pretty sure that if I re-visited all my past plays I would be able to do better in my roles. However, if you gave me a time machine and gave me that as an option, I wouldn’t do it. Learning is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it can take someone years to learn something, especially me. It might be ironic that I learnt what it means to be ‘natural’ when I’ve stopped pursuing acting, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What’s meant to be is meant to be.

I do fancy the voice acting work though. I understand how to use my voice naturally… I just need to speak as myself. I don’t know how I want to pursue this but I’m currently practicing by reading books of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and sharing them with people who enjoy listening to my style of narrating. =) I haven’t thought about it as a career or as a volunteering option but I’m enjoying it as a hobby. =D

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

It’s been a slow and steady progress but I think that being in the acting field was the perfect direction to boost my confidence. Not only that but it gave me the opportunity to make friends with the right people. =D

And I just thought I mention that I no longer refer to ‘normal people’ as ‘normal people’ as I see them just like me, but with their own needs as an individual. I have used the term ‘normal people’ to explain things better. =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

My Yoga Journey

Meditation-Yoga-pose

Good Day.^^/

It was a sad occasion Wednesday evening. For the last year,  my sister and I have been going to a certain yoga class and we have both experienced many benefits from attending the classes. However, it was the last time that our Yoga instructor was going to teach at that specific venue. I figured I would take this opportunity to summarise my experience since attending yoga classes.

*

I had been practising Yoga before actually attending any classes. It is said that Yoga is very therapeutic. I’ve never really looked at yoga from that point of view as I saw it as another form of a work-out. Even on YouTube there’s plenty of Yoga stretches and they are far from therapeutic.

One day my sister fancied doing Yoga at this particular gym. She asked if I wanted to try yoga or perhaps Pilates. I was in two minds as to whether I wanted to go or not. It was a new place with a bunch of people that I’ve never seen before so it was venturing into the unknown. I don’t like new places or sudden changes or new environments and I didn’t know how I would handle going there. It’s difficult for me, and it’s in these situations when my Autistic quirks come to the surface. My Autism does bring out the worst of me at times. It’s nothing to be ashamed of as it’s part of who I am.

However, I decided to give it a go in the end. What was the worst that could happen? It was a good thing that my sister was there as I had support from a relative and a familiar face. Ahem- they say that yoga is relaxing. All I had ever received was the physical benefits rather than being rewarded with the emotional or mental benefits… until I went that night.

It was a fairly closed environment. The lights were dim, the candles were lit and the Buddha statue was present. The Yoga Instructor came up to me and spoke very kindly to me. She recognised that I was new so she came over to say hi. It’s no lie or exaggeration to say that I was apprehensive since it’s a new place. I really appreciate the instructor taking the time to speak to me, and my sister for that matter. I felt more accustomed and relaxed after that. We even spoke after the first practice… I felt more encouraged to attend. =)

It was that first night that I started to reap the benefits of having a relaxed mind whilst emitting positive vibes. I can never truly calm my mind though since my mind is extremely active. When I’m relaxed I tend to visualise the things that I like, in this case, I kept visualizing myself swimming with mermaids. XD It’s weird, I know, but that’s one of the t things that relaxes me. 😉

*

I have attended every Wednesday since my first night.

Through all those times I noticed a difference to when I had practiced yoga before and during the lessons. Before I attended, yoga was just a workout so I did all those exercises for physical endurance. However, when I attended yoga and I did all those exact same exercises, the feeling was different. I was happier and experienced a feeling of tranquillity… I posed in super hard positions but yet I felt very relaxed. Why was this? I deduce that it was the environment and my new found attitude to Yoga.

Years ago, if I had joined a gym, I would have seen yoga as a competition. In my school I was always under pressure to do my best and one wrong answer or tiny failure was never an option. If I got one question wrong I would get upset. The same applied to P.E. P.E. was my most disliked subject, because of the competition. Competition brought out of the worst in me and I would avoid it as much as I could, because I knew how I would feel and handle the situation. I knew how I would handle things, but controlling my emotions was no easy task.

Nowadays I realise that I have nothing to prove to anyone. Yoga was not a competition; it’s all about, to me, finding your own inner-peace. It’s about being positive and looking on the positive side of life. That’s not to say that we’re naïve and we ignore all the dangers and bad stuff in the world, but it’s about accepting vices and faults and not worrying what we can’t change. If you can’t change it, why worry?

Negative people tend to focus on the things they hate, whereas positive people focus on the things they love. I always think about happy things and I have a very good life. Being happy, as I learned from yoga, is another form of relaxation. I’m always going to worry about little things due to my Autistic quirks but it’s reassuring to know that I have battle plans in place where I can conquer the negative thoughts with my positive thoughts any time. =)

*

When it was time to visualise tranquil scenes I thought about my own tranquil scenes. When the yoga instructor told me to think about green I would always imagine myself laying on grass and breathing the leaves that fall from the trees. Like, as if I’m on a tropical island near mountains. XD For yellow I pictured the sun, and for blue I pictured water. So, I have my own unique interpretation, as daft as it sounds. Haha.

*

Me and my sister always situated ourselves near the bikes… how we ended up there, I don’t know! I think we probably kept in the corner because it was the only place available to dock. We just got used to it. It was uncomfortable sometimes as we kept on hitting the bikes but there was nowhere else I would rather have been! w Haha.

*

As a bonus I became flexible through my hips and legs whilst increasing my balancing skills. I can physically turn door knobs and open doors with my feet! If I have a cup of tea in one hand and a basket of clothes in the other then I would raise my foot, turn the door knob, and walk through the door. I can even pick stuff off my floor without bending down. So, I may be talking about the emotional benefits but I definitely have come a long way physically as well. Haha.

I’m thankful to yoga. Before I was making a physical connection but now I have a mental and emotional connection with yoga. However I feel that the Yoga Instructor helped me more. If it wasn’t for her being impeccably kind and understanding then I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed yoga as much.

*

I will definitely carry on my yoga practice with this same mind set  =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

The Wedding (Part Two)

Wedding Bells Imgae

Part Two is here. =D

In Part One I explained emotions before and after the wedding. At times my Autism played mind games with me, but with correct remedies I overcame some issues. The ceremony was much more exciting and chilled then I thought and I carried off my wedding reading with my head held high. Now, to tell you the rest of the day…

 

  1. The Photographs

I was sort of in a pickle at this point. I didn’t really know who to converse with or hang out with. I suppose really I didn’t want to talk to anyone in particular, so, I just mulled around taking more random snaps of people and the general landscape. Every now and again I would elegantly dab my forehead with a tissue, battling the blazes of the hot sun. Haha.

I was extra hot since I had a waistcoat over my shirt. I kept my suit jacket on for as long as I could. Some of the folks often suggested that I should take off my jacket but I chose not to. I wanted to look the part for as long as I could. My attitude was ‘if I could survive 7 hours in a Lord Voldermort costume, then I could manage a good duration in a three layered get-up’. Someone said to me ‘are you mad?’ to which my reply was ‘yes.’ XD

I kept seeking shade many of a time. Trees were my best friend on that day.^^/

Then came the time when we all posed for Mr Photographer’s professional snaps. He took one where we all made the shape of a heart where the Bride and Groom kissed one another in the middle. Genius indeed! I really did like Mr Photographer. He was a very bubbly chap who was very creative in his craft. The sort of ideas he came up with for taking photographs are similar to my ideas and style. I liked him instantly. He gets two thumbs up from me. In fact, I actually took a few snaps of him taking snaps of other people…it was rather funny. XD

I thought it was actually cool that he knew my name. My fame is growing. Hoho. =D

It was time to pose for the immediate family photo. We were all chirpy at that point. Mr Photographer called me Superman for some reason, I didn’t know why but I took it rather humorously. The same when he joked and suggested that I would lie down in front of them. Usually I do take things to heart as sometimes I don’t always get jokes or sarcasm. My sister, the Bride, implied that I would have done, implying that I was some sort of drama-queen… my thespian days are behind me! 😉

All was ok until he told me to relax. I was confused because I thought I was relaxed. Then someone told me to breathe. Everything was said in good humour but I didn’t really understand why they were saying that. It clicked when I noticed that my body was somewhat tensed up. I was probably posing unnaturally. This made me feel really silly. Was I posing too much and being too unnatural in front of the cameras? I thought I was being natural in front of the camera? I felt a little embarrassed at these thoughts so I started to wander off. No one said anything incriminating, I just felt daft.

I got it in my head at that point that no matter what happened I was going to go home after the meal. I didn’t want to feel embarrassed or stick out like a sore thumb any longer…

 

 

I liked the orange juices; I got as many down my neck as existed. I also enjoyed taking some personal snaps of my Dad, who looked super dapper.

Many peeps there complimented me and my suit, all saying I looked dapper. Of course, everyone looked dapper and beautiful. I would have repaid the compliments but I was very much wrapped up in my own mind and worries to think about others at that moment in time.

 

  1. The Meal

I walked in and a cute waitress stood in front of me. I think her name was Kimberly but I called her Isabel since I decided that she looked more like an Isabel. So Isabel asked if I knew where my table was, and pointed to it with a smile and bow. I knew where my table was since I actually helped with the printing of the table plan, but, I still enjoyed her brief company regardless. 😉

All the speeches by the wedding party were fun and touching to listen to. I was somewhat apprehensive as a glass of wine was already placed in front of me, as with everyone else. I do not like any alcohol by any stretch of the imagination and usually I would want to pour it away the next chance I got. Once again though, I started to think outside the box… all the wines are poured into those fine glasses since this was a formal occasion. This wasn’t the ‘let’s annoy Ryan show’ but the ‘Newlyweds show’. So, naturally all wine glasses would be filled with wine. It also didn’t mean that I had to drink it. Only I can make that sort of choice. If I didn’t want to drink it, I shouldn’t have to drink it. In the end, after all the needless worrying, I didn’t. =)

When my Dad finished his Father of the Bride speech, we all toasted the Bride and Groom, including me. I didn’t realise but I actually picked up the wrong glass! I picked up the chunky water glass instead of the wine filled glass and toasted the Bride and Groom with an empty glass. I put the empty glass back down as casually as I could… only to find out later that my brother actually filmed me picking up the wrong glass! …I have been named and shamed, haha.

Then we started the eating and talking amongst ourselves. My Auntie taught me correct table etiquette, especially when it comes to eating food. I never had a starter in my life; I go straight for the meal. It was a unique experience. I was focused when it came to eating. I was too conscious not to spill any tomato soup down my suit.  It then came to my attention that the dinner was chicken with other unique substances… at that point I pictured one of those home cooked Sunday roasts… the one we had in that moment was much lighter than I expected. It was delicious. The dessert was truly exquisite. I had sticky toffee pudding, ice cream and a piece strawberry.

Then, my lovely lady Isabel (who really is Kimberley) came over a couple of times. =D We had a bit of a thing. She placed a cloth over my lap, the first to bring me food, water, and did it all with a smile. Then, when we locked eyes she came over and asked if I would like a coffee. I said no with a smile (what I would give to have teeth as white as Ross Gellar’s) and asked for tea. She apologised and said that she couldn’t help as she was a coffee girl. I almost suggested for her to stop her coffee girl duties and pull up a chair next to me! Alas, I respect her position as a coffee girl.

It’s the kind of forbidden romance that will never happen. Every time I see a coffee brand from now on it will always remind me of Isabel (really Kimberley)… OH WELL. It’s as the old saying goes; there are plenty of coffee girls in the sea, or in this case, coffee shops. XD!

I went out to freshen up for ten minutes or so, just to have a bit of a break away from the loud and joyous room of happy people. The Bride was alone, so, I took this opportunity to go over and say hi and say a few words with some of her posse. I could have spoken to her a few times earlier, and the Groom, but she was being surrounded by her posse so I decided to wait for the right moment to talk with her. I took my moment and approached her when she was alone.

I spoke pleasantly with what I call the dancing gang. They all seem to recognise who I was. One of them guessed that I was one of her brothers. I could tell straight away that one of them was a dancer by his mannerisms and energetic aura. 😉 They were all cool to talk to though. A few of them asked if I drank alcohol. Usually when that happens my sister would jump in and say that I don’t drink, being the supportive big sister. ^^/  Once upon a time if someone asked me if I drank alcohol, I would over react at the mere suggestion, nowadays however, I just say, no, I don’t drink, and leave it at that.

 

 

The cake cutting was due originally for 8 O’clock, but I found out the day before that it moved to half 8. My sister informed me that I didn’t have to be there for the cake cutting if I didn’t want to. Up until this point I got it in my head that I was definitely going home as soon as I scoffed down the meal…with grace and dignity of course. 😉

However, after the meal I think I probably came out of my shell little by little. In the morning I didn’t really fancy interacting with anyone. I think once I got the feel of the place and the type of people that were there, I started to familiarise myself with the whole situation. I exchanged pleasantries with Dale’s side of the family and some of Nat friend’s acquaintances/husbands. Something also happened that was rather significant to me- smiling at random people.

I’m no stranger to smiling per se, but usually if I lock eyes or share a glance with someone I usually look away rather quickly, standing out is not my thing. But on this day, I surprised myself. If someone looked at me and I caught them in the act (haha) I smiled, to which they smiled back. Then, to avoid any potential awkward freeze frame, I casually (I hope) turn away pretending to talk to someone else. The most unusual thing is, this didn’t happen just once, it happened at least five times. The confidence in me grew quite large. I always wanted to smile at some random person in the streets as not only will it make me feel better, but it might make them feel better. Yet, I managed to do it not once but numerous times. Good for me. =)

Whilst I started to come out of my bubble little by little I still feel that it was necessary to go home for a little while, in order to rest and freshen up. I went home at the correct moment. It helped me think and rationalise over a few pros and cons of the evening and how I was feeling. It was at that moment that I decided to come back for the cake-cutting ceremony. If anything bad happened or if I felt uncomfortable, I would just call upon the services of Dad and he would take me home.^^/

 

  1. The Evening Reception

After freshening up and having some peaceful time to myself I came back, literally in the nick of time of the evening reception. With quick thinking I was able to video the Bride and Groom cutting the cake.

I hung around my Brother and his partner for a short while before deciding that I was brave enough to take snaps and video people dancing and laughing the night away. I even got some beautiful shots of the Bride and Groom Posse posing with fake cigars against the sunlight. There was a very funny photo of the Groom Force lifting the bride into the air. You could see all the groom gang but you couldn’t see the Groom himself… it was a very funny moment. I felt a bit proud since they asked for me personally to take some photos. =D

 

Ahem-

 

Some of the people really rocked the dance floor, including a lady (related to the chief bridesmaid), who had additional needs. She had loads of energy and was not afraid to show it off. I liked it how everyone accepted her. They danced with her rather than around her. It was a lovely sight.

After taking some snaps I decided that the music was too loud and everyone was too busy having fun and being energetic, so, I ventured outside for some alone time. The Sun went to bed early and the moon came out to party! =D It was very cool and extremely peaceful. If I’m honest, I think I could have spent the rest of the night outside rather than inside. Especially on this certain stone bench that I was attached too.^^ I decided to go back in a couple of times though, I was on a roll when it came to mingling, so, I decided to be courageous and interact with more folks.

Being courageous does not mean being fearless, it means doing something daring. XD

I spoke to Ian about Footy, I bantered with my Bro, who decided to steal my suit jacket. XD I took it off just after the meal since it’s been a good amount of hours without taking it off.  XD I interacted with some of Nat’s former and present co-workers. They’re a fun bunch to talk to. One of them thought that me wearing my name tag was humorous. This was originally tied around the wine glass but I then tied it around the button of my waistcoat. “Now you know who you are!” They chimed. XD They made some mad banter jokes. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what they were on about but I imagine that it was something rude, judging by how Nat was laughing. XD!

The other waiters and waitresses were kind to me to. All thought it was humorous that I had my name attached across my suit jacket. I’ll tell you another miracle that happened… I drank three J2O’s from the Bar and I didn’t pay for any of them. Today was a lucky day to be Ryan. =D

Everyone became slightly rowdy and started to get more caught up in the excitement, so, I decided that once again it was time to visit the pleasant greenery outside.

I discovered that I rejuvenate myself every time I go outside. So, at certain intervals of interacting with various people I sought refuge in the pleasant and cool air outside. It’s a very beautiful garden, both during the day, dusk and in the evening. =)

At this point I decided to come home. I ventured back into the hotel, through the reception and I could see the Bride, calling me over, onto the dance floor with a bunch of people surrounding her. At that point I was like- “oh no dawg! You ain’t gettin’ me on the dance floor to boogy like Grace Kelly! Cause I’ve got Sky broadband SHIELD!” …just kidding, I don’t have sky. D=

It was my misunderstanding as the Bride wanted to say farewell. Exchanged hugs (I don’t do hugs, I get too tense) said bon vouyage (haha) and went home first. I said a quick goodbye to Paula, took a few snaps of the Bride with the Groom and the Bride’s Father a couple of times, then, time for home.

I got home at half past eleven at night; I had to do a double take to look at the time correctly.

Oh, by the way, I kept on receiving praise for my wedding reading from the Bride’s point of view. It was a lovely sentiment and to be honest I completely forgot that I did the wedding reading. I only remembered when people came up to me about it and when the Groom thanked me in his speech.

 

  1. The Aftermath

It’s taken me a couple of days to recover from the wedding. I’m still recovering now. I’m in a messed up sleeping pattern, haha.

For the past few days I dedicated my time to uploading the photos and videos in order to show the Bride and Groom when they are back from their honeymoon, in the United States of America. =D

All the guests and family alike were quite impressed with my photos. I’m glad they were, I’m pleased with how I applied my trade as well. =) I snapped some from very unique angles and vision.

I also decided to keep my name tag and my poem verse by Edward Monkton as special memories of the Wedding.^^/

 

  1. Conclusion

I out did myself when it came to interacting and mingling. I was slow to start but I found my feet as the day went on. I got it in my head throughout the day that I was going to go home after the meal, yet, I stayed until eleven O’clock at night. I mingled much more than I thought I could ever manage. All the guests from the Bride’s side and Groom’s side were simply endearing and approachable. The pair have very good taste in friends.^^/ It certainly made my day easier and I think it’s the positive atmosphere of the people that helped me stay longer then I anticipated. Granted, I still needed my own space from the noise and busy reception. =)

I had a significant role with the wedding reading. I should also point out that it was a lot different than performing. When I’ve had a role in a performance and I’ve stood in front of people, afterwards I would usually remember what I’ve said word for word because I continue to be in character. However, on this day, since the reading was more personal, I felt more relaxed and as I wasn’t in character, the pressure was off and I simply forgot that I had read it. XD!

It’s important to note that whilst I was able to stay the full day, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I will be able to do the same next time. My Autistic quirks always play a part in my life, big and small, and that’s something that I will never escape from. In a nutshell, I’m always battling with myself and my troubles.

These troubles will never go away but I choose to endure these troubles rather than escape. I never run away from a situation and I certainly wasn’t going to start with my one and only sister’s wedding.

Overall, the ceremony was wonderful and definitely one of the most memorable moments in my life. I anticipated many unnecessary scenarios and things were not as bad as I assumed. I did myself proud, very proud. Challenges were never meant to be overcome with ease, and that philosophy suits me to a tea. ^^/

I give the ceremony, Two Thumbs Up!

Two thumbs-up

Thanks for Reading

Me in my suit

 

Usually when I’ve been on an adventure I like to unload all of my thoughts and all the shenanigans that happened that day to my closest family. I decided to do that with the art of writing a blog. You can find a picture of me in the link above. That’s what I wore for my sister’s wedding. =)

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Namaste. ^^/

Ryan

The Wedding (Part One)

Wedding Bells Imgae

25th July marked a special day for my calendar. It was an occasion that was much more significant then Prince William and Kate’s wedding. The marriage took place between my sister, Nat and my newly crowned brother-in-law, Dale. That day was all about the bride and groom, but in this blog, I will make it about me. =)

I have a lot to convey so I have divided the blog into two parts.^^

 

1. The Build-Up

It’s been non stop since Dale popped the question last year and Nat saying “yes.” The pair of them (especially the bride) worked really hard to organise the whole event.

I had some responsibility and jobs to do. I assisted with the writing of the table plan and printing off the images… I’m pretty sure I had other responsibilities but it has slipped my mind as to what they were. I enjoyed helping whenever and however I could. I did get exhausted though. Sometimes I fell asleep halfway through the jobs. Luckily, I managed to get the jobs done with plenty of time to spare.

I was asked to do a reading for the ceremony too. It was a verse called In That Still and Settled Place by Edward Monkton. I was a bit uneasy at first as I’m aware that I get tongue tied quite easily, especially when talking to new people. I read it and I found it to be much simpler than I thought. In fact I subconsciously memorised it after reading it three times. I opted not to practice zealously as I felt that composure in that moment was more important. I could practice one hundred times but I might get tongue tied on the day due to nerves.

I was told that I could let myself loose and take pictures like a photographer-ninja. Haha. Once again I felt uneasy. What if I got yelled at because they didn’t want their photo taken? I often received reassurance that I wouldn’t get yelled at since taking photographs was common at weddings. My mind was clearer after that.

I was looking forward to the Wedding; my one and only sister was getting married.

 

2. The Anticipation

A week or so before, it actually dawned on me that the wedding was happening. All kinds of gratuitous thoughts entered my head. This is my Autistic quirks zone where I worry needlessly and anticipate unnecessarily.

Going to this wedding is going way, way out of my comfort zone. Everything would be formal. I would go to a place that I’ve never been before. I was going to read a reading in front of new people. Meeting familiar faces, old faces and new faces all in one setting. I don’t like my friend zones mixing with each other for some reason. I would be wearing a suit; I prefer trendy clothes then smart clothes. And, it’s going to be very, very hot. I’m not so keen on hot weather. They’d be a huge crowd, everything huddling together and stuff.

Admittedly, many of these thoughts made me think ‘I don’t want to go’. The cons really overshadowed the pros. It got me stress and my anxiety did grow. I felt even more anxious for feeling anxious at my own sister’s wedding. It’s quite daft now thinking about it. It didn’t help that I kept going to bed late and waking up early. So, sleep deprivation did play a part.

I then decided at the last minute that I was going to illustrate my very own card. It would have been much easier to buy one, but, it would feel more personal to create one. So, I did. I was fairly happy with the results of my work. It would have been much better had I put a little more effort into it and if I had more time. I knew they would appreciate my creativity regardless. So, all is good. I created a moon in the sky that reflected onto the water, then, I did white silhouettes of the girl coming out of the rose and the guy coming out of the lily. The top bit of the lily I put over the guy’s head so that it looked like a top hat… it looked nothing like a top hat, but hey, it was still fun to draw nonetheless! XD

Being sentimental and affectionate makes me quite uncomfortable and embarrassed. I tend to show affection through back handed compliments. I have this thing, since I was little when I disliked it when people go “AWW”. It really grates on me. I dislike it when that happens so I tend to hold back on the compliments in case I receive that reaction in any way. I don’t know why that’s a pet peeve of mine, perhaps I find it patronising? Perhaps I find it to embarrassing and cringing? Whatever the case, I know that I don’t like it.^^/

However, some things did get me through the cons. someone put it to me like, think about the wedding rather than your worries. So I did, and things became more chilled. I might have said that to myself but regardless I still went with that thought in mind. I listened to Thomas the Tank Engine’s theme tracks; I watched anime and listened to soundtrack of Non Non Biyori. I also looked at the wedding from the bride and groom’s point of view, rather than mine. Things tend to work if I just relax.

There might be scenarios and thoughts that will be the cause of your anxiety, but there will be plenty of remedies to wash away your anxiety. Fortunately, I have many battle plans in place. 😉

Then, came the day…

 

3. Before the Ceremony

My Dad took my Mum and Auntie to the venue first; then, he came back for me and took me, Bro and his partner to the wedding venue. I was extremely hot. We drove 40 minutes to the place and I wore trousers, waistcoat, shirt and shoes. I took a bag of goodies with me so I could freshen up whenever I needed to. I enjoyed chit-chatting to Bro and his partner; the little conversations sort of took my mind away from my uneasy thoughts.
I got a little nervous getting out of the car. It was blazing hot and to add to the heat factor, I then put my suit jacket on. It was hot in the car, but even hotter outside. I wanted to dive right back into my vehicle. I don’t handle heat particularly well, some of you may know, but I tried to think positively. I put it in my head that the Sun wanted a front row seat to view Nat and Dale’s wedding, so, he popped from behind the clouds and got himself comfortable. Haha…

I didn’t approach anyone; rather, they were approaching me. I posed for a photo or two with some of the crew but I got severely uncomfortable when being touched. It was only around the waist and arms but I do get uncomfortable and nauseous when I get into physical contact with someone. I’m ok if it’s brief, but I quickly tense up if it’s more than ten seconds.

To control my nerves I started to take snaps of random objects and people bustling about. I tried to take quick snaps since my sister informed me to take snaps of people acting natural. I probably took this to heart since I took a good load of people laughing amongst themselves. I tried to take pictures of couples posing but I found it more comfortable to take…what I would describe as sly snaps rather than posed snaps. Haha.

I caught up with a bunch of various people though, enjoyed chit-chatting to them. I caught my hairdresser before she left, nice seeing her. She did the hair of my sister, a cracking job she did too. I caught up with the groom and his groom force. I caught up with Paula, not seen her in ages. Caught up with Damien and Mr Paul. I caught up with… well, a bunch of people really. There’s too many to name but they know who they are. 😉

Taking photos relaxed me, so, I kept on snapping.

I actually promised myself that I was not going to take any artistic photographs at this wedding. I told myself to take normal and refined photo of everyone… as soon as I got snapping away; well… there was no turning back. =D I snapped the lens as much as Ken Shamrock snapped ankles. Haha. Only certain people will understand that reference. XD

I heard a cry from within the realms of the hotel- it was time for the ceremony.

 

4. During the war… ahem, Ceremony

We all bustled into this tiny room which luckily was full of open doors and windows. I was going to seek refuge in that room earlier, to escape the warmness of the sun, but opted not to. But the lady sort of guided us formally through the entrance of the building which led to the ceremony room. It would have saved time just to skip into that room, but, it was probably more appropriate to go into that room the round-a-bout way. XD

The room was much smaller than I anticipated. I went to my Auntie’s wedding 15 years ago where she got married in a fairly big building. The room was rather long and wide too. Yet, this room was just about as big as the two rooms in my house. I would have felt squashed and uncomfortable but luckily there were plenty of windows and doors open which led to outside. So, things were not as bad as I anticipated. Again. 😉

We all took our places. Since I had a role for the ceremony, saying that verse by Edward Monkton, it was necessary for me to sit at the end of one of the rows. I sat far right on the second row. The head lady talked me through what I needed to do. She was very pleasant. Looked slightly stern so I was concerned that she was going to be old school, but she was very pleasant and laid back to talk to. The registrar was down to earth as well.^^

 

 

The ceremony was bliss. Everyone got very emotional, especially the wedding party. =) The Bride and Groom have been together for what seemed like a lifetime so it was a wonderful sight to see them finally tying the knot. It was a formal environment but I felt it wasn’t as formal as I feared it was going to be. The lady was not as stern as I thought. Everything that happened I did not think it would happen. It was all a very strange phenomenon.

Chris then stood up and said his wedding reading on the Groom’s behalf. What he said was most touching, although, I did get a sense that he was severely nervous. He did a good job regardless. And then, the lady proclaimed, looking right at me, “we now have another reading, this time from Ryan.”

I stood up, hopped over Nat’s veil, and stood at an angle. I said the title of the verse but I slightly stumbled on Edward Monkton’s name. I was never concerned about reading the verse itself, I was more concerned about my trousers. I have the right sized trousers by all means but no matter what, I kept on visualising my trousers falling down during my reading. So, for my own peace of mind I bought a belt and wore it. For those who know me, I do not like belts. I find them most uncomfortable, especially when sitting down.

I like to think that I did justice to that little verse. It was very well received by the guests. I received a round of applause but most importantly Dale and Nat looked please.

I tried to read it as poetically as possible, adding my own expression and emotion. I tried to make it more personal. I looked it at it like these were what Nat wanted to say to Dale, so, in a sense I was reading it from Nat’s point of view. Because of how I interpret I wonder if it would have been more appropriate to have a female read it instead. But, really, I think Nat made the right choice picking me since we’re siblings and I’m confident when it comes to reading poems. =)

Nobody probably noticed this but when I was reading I was looking directly at Dale and Nat. Since I felt this was more personal and it was from Nat’s point of view to Dale I tried to direct everything I did towards Dale. I wasn’t ignoring the guests it’s just that I was directing and looking at Dale since it was a verse made to be listened by him.^^/

My brother and Dale’s brother were also the official witnesses for the Bride and Groom’s wedding. It was a nice touch that both my Brother and me were involved of the ceremony.^^/

 

 

As quick as that, the ceremony was over as soon as the groom kissed the Bride.

In this time I managed to snap some quite good photos. Everyone was quite impressed. I managed to get a cheeky one where the Bride and Groom walked past the window. It would have been great but Mr Spider photobombed it. D=

 

 

The ceremony was bliss and beautiful. So far, I was excited and happy. It was a good day to be Ryan.

 

 

That’s it for The Wedding (Part One), stay tuned for part two. 😉
Ryan