2016 Highlights

ryan-at-the-cinema

For the past few days I have been ploughing my head deciding what my personal highlights for this year were. In truth I haven’t really been trying that hard because I’ve been too busy enjoying my Christmas with my family whilst indulging in anime and my drawings.

Right now I’ll just select a few that come to mind. If I think of anything else, I’ll add them. =)

 

One: Family and Friends

They’re simply put, wonderful.

 

Two: YouTube Vlogging

I took a brave step and created my own YouTube channel discussing my weekly Fantasy Football team. This was very nerve-racking because I was opening myself up for criticism but I felt it was the right thing to do. Occasionally I did discuss the England team and general news but in truth I don’t really have any strong views and recently made the decision to solely focus on Fantasy Football. =)

 

Three: Kitacon Karnival

This year’s Kitacon was a better experience than last year’s Kitacon. Approaching new people was easier but it was just as nerve-racking as I still making small talk with cosplayers and taking their photos. I was unwell at times but luckily I didn’t feel as disorientated as I did last year.

Remarkably one of my pictures did feature in the Kitacon Karnival Booklet. It was surprising and exciting when I first found out and it’s just as exciting now, 8 months on before the New Year.

 

Four: Shopping Trip

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a shopping binge for clothes but one day decided to give it a go shortly after my birthday. (Now that I think about it, it might have been in August… well, it’s still after my Birthday!) I struggle with crowds but I plunged through the troubles for the sake of buying new clothes. I most certainly made the most of the 8 hours outing but was glad to be home when the outing finished. =)

 

Five: Wii U at the Cinema

This is definitely one of the most unique activities I’ve ever experienced. I played the Wii U at a Cinema screening to celebrate my Brother’s birthday. It was a lot of fun and luckily there weren’t many people about because we did this in the morning! Hurray!

 

Six: Picture Requests

I’ve been uploading my anime art online for more than a year now and over the last few months I’ve been receiving a lot of requests to draw particular characters. This is a very nice situation to be in as it means that a lot of people are enjoying my art and it gives my drawing more purpose.

 

Seven: Epiphany and the Bubble of Troubles

This is definitely the most important aspect of 2016 for me. I’ve always been positive and looked on the bright side but I’ve been carrying this Bubble of Troubles that resulted in me thinking about the past and feeling sad. It was only in November that I realised why that was.

I convinced myself I was going to write an auto-bio of my life when I left school (I planned this when I was still a student). That turned to be a mistake as I kept on recalling sad memories and in turn I couldn’t let that Bubble of Trouble go… until now. I decided that I don’t want to think about my past, let alone talk about them, so, why should I? It resulted in over-thinking and letting my imaginations go wild to the point where I misconstrue reality with a mashed up fantasy.

With that I got that pin and popped that Bubble of Trouble that didn’t need to glide over my head. Since then I feel refreshed and I feel like I can be myself 100% without any burden stopping me. =D I still do have my limitations but I deal with them when I need to along with the situations which will arise every time, every day and every second. =)

 

Roll On 2017

I have many plans for 2017 (somewhat because they didn’t come to fruition this year. Whoops!) I want to release my book on kindle, I want to work more on my fantasy story, I want to try and socialise when the circumstances are right and draw more anime girls.

Something tells me that 2017 will be a very good year for me. I won’t speculate what that might be I’m just looking forward to it. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone. =)

Ryan.^^/

Christmas Project

Coca-cola-lorry

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all enjoying this festive season. I know I am.

Recently I’ve been putting a lot of my work in progress aside to focus on my very own “Christmas Project.” I’m going to upload 12 pictures per day and use them as a “countdown” to Christmas starting on 13th December. I’ve been planning this for some time and I’m excited that my idea is finally coming to fruition. =D

I planned it so that I would work on two landscape pictures alongside the Christmas Project but I unexpectedly received a lot of requests between November and now. I’m very flattered and happy as I never foresaw that people would enjoy my work let alone ask me for requests. I’m working hard to get the pictures right and currently they’re all in rough stages and ready to be inked and coloured. I’m much busier than anticipated in December but it’s a nice headache to have. =)

Unfortunately I am behind schedule with this project so I’ve been making up for lost time the best I can and as a result I had to put my requests on hold. Christmas, family and baby-sitting duties comes first, especially at this time of year.

This is quite possibly the busiest holiday I’ve ever had and I have often received a lot of blank headaches and being unwell. It’s nothing to be concerned about because I recognise my own limitations and only going beyond the limits when I need to but I also stop and rest when I need to.

The official countdown will start tomorrow. I hope you enjoy viewing these pictures as much as I enjoyed drawing them. =)

Have a nice Christmas everyone. =)

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part One

DSCF0190

(Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part Two)

  1. LAST YEAR

I first went to Kitacon last year so I had a rough idea what it would be like this year. Big events like this can be tough and challenging for me due to my autism. This means that I tend to get overwhelmed in huge crowds, meeting new people in unfamiliar surroundings and loud noise. It was a shock to my system when I first went to Kitacon to the point where I went for long periods of time feeling faint and dizzy. I sometimes felt that I couldn’t think or move properly whenever I went to panels or spoke to new people.

I experienced a lot of highs and lows last year and admittedly I was anxious about going to this one.

  1. THE ANTICIPATION

In the end, after much discussion with my brother and my family, I decided that I wanted to go. Last year I think I put too much pressure on myself and tried too hard to experience everything about Kitacon rather than doing what I wanted to do.

When it comes to big events or social gatherings like Kitacon I will always feel faint, dizzy and suffer many headaches due to the stress of meeting new people and socialising. I’m very self-aware of who I am and I’m no longer ashamed of what I am. I will always suffer from these quirks but I’m able to cope and subdue the negative emotions that I often experience. Even if I do feel ill at certain moments I can still enjoy the times that’s given to me and think positive. =)

  1. FIRST DAY AT KITACON

I settled in the building much better than I did last year, and it helped a great deal that I got the same room from last year too. I got into the Kitacon spirit quite well. I knew that my art was going to feature in the Kitacon book but I submitted two back in January and I was not sure which one was going to feature. It was my illustration of Kirin from The Asterisk War anime. It was a really exciting moment when I saw the picture in the programme for the first time. It was a humongous achievement for me and I was excited at the prospect that a lot of people from Kitacon were going to see it. That book is definitely a special souvenir. =)

The uneasiness that I felt for obvious reasons suddenly faded to the back of my mind and I then had the confidence to go round and take photos of cosplayers in their amazing outfits. I was more confident at taking people’s pictures this year. I still had to prepare myself mentally to ask their permission but it was much easier to approach them. They were all friendly and I managed to make small conversations with some of them. This lifted my spirits and my confidence went even higher and I like to think that I was able to speak to so many people because of my photography. Taking photographs was the perfect icebreaker for me otherwise I don’t think I would have the courage to speak to anyone at all.

There were some panels that I didn’t enjoy last year, namely the Hentai Panel, because it was so crowded it made me feel unwell so I decided to leave. I decided to give the Yuri Panel a try but I was a little bit anxious about that panel as I anticipated it was going to be like the Hentai Panel from last year. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. The two ladies spoke about the concept of Yuri, played a few clips and showed a few photos of female couples, including Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. There were some very risqué photos and clips but it didn’t overwhelm me once and I think it helped that I sat right in the corner near the back so I could “escape” anytime but luckily there was no need to “=)

I was nearly tempted to go to the Burlesque show but by this time I felt that I needed a rest from socialising and big crowds and I went back up to my room for a couple of hours to be on my own in the peace and quiet.

After some respite I went to the party with my brother to dance to the loud music. I didn’t really enjoy it this time around as my body started to feel light and I was suffering with a really bad headache. I was really quite ill by this point so I left the party early to go to bed.

I didn’t particularly have a good night, I was restless for stress related reasons and for the sheer fact that I was sleeping in a bed that wasn’t my own. However, I wasn’t as homesick as I was last year and that was a humongous positive. The other positive so far was that I get to spend some more time with my niece as this was her first ever holiday away from home and I can say that I was part of that. =)

*

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for part two. =)

Ryan^^/

The Christmas Spirit 2015

Coca-cola-lorry

Are you getting that Christmas buzz yet? I know I am. Admittedly I am rather sick and have a bad cold but I’m taking it easy and focusing on my favourite things. I managed to put my decorations up, all I need to do now is wrap the presents and I’m done.

 

I can tell you with pride right now that I am on a chocolate diet. I started the diet since the first of December and as of today, I have managed to fit chocolate into my diet and gorge on them every morning. I will continue to gorge on them until my belly is nice and round. Wish me luck!

 

If I can manage that then my diet is a success! Haha. Of course I’m joking. I am doing this amazing exercise that I learnt from yoga. It requires breathing and sucking in the stomach. Apparently if you keep it up, you can get a six pack. In all honesty I’m not so bothered about a six pack but if I get one, so be it.

 

If we were all meant to have six packs, we would probably be born with them. Yet, we are all so different because we were meant to be different. Can you imagine Father Christmas having a six-pack? I know I can’t. He’s my favourite chubby person in the whole world and I would never want to have him any other way.

 

Getting back on track… the Christmas spirit is quite spectacular. Normally all of my drawings, writings and generally everything that usually takes priority is suddenly becoming second priority. Usually I take pride in my writings but I decided to give in to the spirit. Just because, well, why not? After all, Christmas comes once a year, it’s magical, it fills you with happiness and it lasts for one month. =)

 

The Christmas Nostalgia is the best kind of nostalgia. There’s good nostalgia like remembering a book from your childhood and bad nostalgia like someone or an object reminds you of a sad time in your life. However, with the Christmas nostalgia, I remember literally everything good. Opening presents, opening the cards, school plays, the music, and films and spending time with the family.

 

I went to Bents Garden Centre with my beautiful niece the other day to buy some decorations for my house and my bedroom. It was her first trip to Bents and she really enjoyed the lights on the trees. The trip was spontaneous as I nearly said no to the invitation because it was too sudden but I said yes because it felt appropriate. Because I did, I ended up buying some good decorations and spending time with Lucy.

 

I’m now aiming to complete my Christmas picture before Christmas day on Deviant art. When I finish it I will be sure to share it. It comprises some of my favourite anime characters. I will make it the best that I can. So far, it’s in its inking stage and I really like the way it’s going. =)

 

That about does it. I will probably have an early night to take it easy but I will see how I feel.

 

Speak to you all soon. =)

Ryan.

 

Ps… it’s not an early night as I’ve just realised that it’s a few minutes passed midnight. Oh well!

Anime Fall 2015

Life is really fun at the minute.

 

I’m enjoying my time spend with my niece. Like most new-borns she does have the tendency to cry a lot. I actually thought that that would bother me but to my surprise I feel ok with it. I see her crying as her way of talking. I managed to stop her crying though one day when I hummed twinkle, twinkle little star. That lasted for 30 minutes. Haha. It wrecked my throat but it was worth it.^^/

 

I’m progressing more on my stories. I’m not necessarily progressing on the chapters but I am creating a lot of ideas for the plot.

 

Now, enough about my life, let’s talk about this season’s anime. =D

 

ANTI-MAGIC ACADEMY: THE 35TH TEST PLATOON

Anti Magic Academy 35th Platoon

At this moment in time this anime show, along with Shomin Sample, is my favourite from this season.

In some ways, I think the show is rather unique and I think in a way, Kusanagi is unique as a character. I can’t put my finger on why that is. I’m just really enjoying it. I like the set-up that the school has, it has its usual school rooms but it also has special rooms for 35 platoon squads in which certain students are assigned to. Kusanagi and his fellow teammates are part of the lowest platoon, the 35th platoon.

I think it’s funny and I’m enjoying the squabbles between Ohtari and Mari as it’s literally a clash between witches and inquisitors. I thought it was funny when they were trying to one up each other. Usagi’s mishaps are also amusing to watch.

 

THE ASTERISK WAR

The Asterisk War

I couldn’t really get into this anime initially as I felt that this has a lot of similarities as Chivalry of a Failed Knight. They both have strong male fighters and a Princess who has travelled from distance lands to study at an overseas academy. However, this show grew on me.

What I like most about this show the most is the colours. I find this really colourful and in a strange way, soothing on the eyes. The scenery is especially colourful. It makes me wonder as to what has happened to Ayato’s big sister. I’m also curious to find out Claudia’s true identity as well, it seems like she already knew Ayato even before he enrolled into the academy.

 

CHIVALRY OF A FAILED KNIGHT

Chivalry of a Failed Knight

So far this is good to watch. I find Stella to be really cute both in personality and in appearance. She also has a kickass fire ability which blends in well with her pink/red hair.

 

KOMORI-SAN CAN’T DECLINE!

Komori san can't decline

This is a very simple and light-hearted story about a school girl who can’t say no to anyone. I can relate to her strongly as I’m not very good at declining requests but there is a difference between being helpful and having self-respect. So far, I think Komori-san is finding the right balance.

 

OWARIMONOGATARI

Owarimonogatari

Monogatari is a kind of anime that I would describe as an intelligent type show. The directing and storytelling is unique and the plot and art is pretty darn amazing and Owarimonogatari is no different.

However, it’s one of those shows where I have to be in the mood for. With shows like Non Non Biyori or High School DxD I’m always in the mood for them. But as Monogatari is a very intelligent anime I need to watch it when I know I’ll be able to appreciate it. I had my doubts about Ougi but she’s actually grown on me.

 

SHOMIN SAMPLE

Shomin Sample

This is a really funny anime. I laugh literally at every episode I watch.

I do feel sorry for Kimito though. He has to pretend to have a certain fetish in order to stay at a school in which he was forced to attend. Which either way you look at it, he’s in a losing position. Still, he’s surrounded by many beauties who are socially inept. I say socially inept because the refined ladies are familiar with each other but they’re not well acquainted with the big wide world. So, Kimito has been brought in so he can teach them the ways of the “commoner.”

I’m watching this show as it’s making me laugh a lot but the pretty girls and good characters are a bonus.^^/

 

THE TESTAMENT OF SISTER NEW DEVIL BURST

The Testament of Sister New Devil Burst#

I enjoyed this show’s first season and so far I’m enjoying this sequel. I feel that it’s just as lewd, straightforward and packed with action as it was in the previous season. The fights are good and well balance but I especially enjoy the bout between Jin and Leohart. It seems that they’re equal in strength. I’m curious to see Chisato’s connection with Toujou and to see if Kurumi is eventually going to become Toujou’s “servant.” I predict that Toujou will go out of control, more lewdness from all the girls, more cool fights and we find out about Toujou’s mum.

 

 

VALKYRIE DRIVE: MERMAID

Valkyrie Drive Mermaid

Watching girls turn into physical weapons by their partners is funny to watch. Haha. I’m not sure if I understand the story itself but it’s still enjoyable to watch. =)

 

THANKS FOR READING

Is there any show that you would recommend to watch? If there is I would be interested to hear your thoughts. =D

 

I haven’t been active in writing up blogs recently mostly because I have nothing to say. That and I’m having fun doing other things like reading manga, writing up my story and spending time with my niece.^^/

 

Thanks for Reading,

Ryan.

Social Butterfly

It will seem very strange to say this but at this moment in timeI feel like a social butterfly.

 

For the past two or three weeks I’ve been outdoors, a lot. Most of my time is spent working on the garden and building the foundation for the summer house. However, I have actually been spending some time socialising with people. I’ve been doing a bit of DIY with my brother as well, something which I have never done before in my life.

 

Before going to Kitacon I went to watch Ant Man with a few close family members. It was somewhat impromptu, from my point of view. I had good warning but I got it in my head that I wasn’t going to watch this film until I had been to Kitacon so it did catch me off guard. I was ok watching the actual film and in a way it was a nice distraction from thinking about Kitacon. We talked about the film.

 

Some of you may already know that I go to yoga. I go to yoga every Wednesday mornings as it’s the class that has the fewest numbers which is my ideal class. It’s also the same class that do tea and biscuits afterwards. I was always kindly offered to stay but I always said no. I said no namely because I have to go back home to wait for parcels or avon and because I had a driver waiting, aka, Dad. One of the main reasons is because I do get very nervous in social situations and I never felt like staying.

 

My confidence coming back from Kitacon was fairly strong at that point so I decided to stay behind and socialise with my fellow yogis. My yogi instructor was most surprised and happy. Haha. It’s a nice group so I always thought about staying behind. I’m glad I did stay behind but I was nervous because I didn’t know what to say or do so I just listening mostly to what everyone else was saying. Will I stay behind this week? I won’t plan to. I’ll just see how I feel.

 

I was actually invited to a friend’s birthday party but my Bro didn’t ask me to come. He was aware that I was going through a big head-mush at that point in time and didn’t want to make it worse for me.

 

It doesn’t seem like I interacted that much by what I said in this blog but from my point of view I’ve done much more than my fair share or socialising with different people whether they’re family, friends or strangers. I’m in the frame of mind that I could easily talk to anyone, even if I do get a head mush or I do get dizzy from interacting with people in unfamiliar environments.

 

I managed to share my photography Kitacon gallery on the Kitacon Facebook page. That was also very brave of me as I don’t like standing out in crowds and I never speak to anyone publicly on social media pages. I might like posts on Facebook but I have never uploaded a galley or something to that extent… until now. The reaction was quite positive, to my relief and surprise, and one lady asked for an original photo so I facebook messaged a photo of her. I never thought I would do that!

 

Kitacon still seems like a very long dream. It just doesn’t seem real for some reason. I digress as this is about me being a social butterfly rather than Kitacon. Haha.

 

Socialising doesn’t require a skill or magical powers all you have to do is be confident and be who you are. Sometimes it will work out, other times, it won’t. It’s never easy or straightforward for me but people are just people. =)

 

Ryan.

My Birthday Weekend

Birthday Cake

My Birthday week has been pretty good.

On Friday I played some games with my brother. We completed the original Donkey Kong Country game as a tag team. I still need to get used to the original Snes controller as I died quite a lot! We’re getting closer to completing the Mario 3D World. I find that level mega hard.

On Friday I spent most of the time just chilling and writing down future creative ideas whenever they came into my head. I spent most of the evening watching Captain America: Winter Soldier with my family. To me, you can’t beat a good evening if it’s filled with a Marvel film. I got a lot of nice presents and cards too. I got Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea from my brother. I got Dungeon Girls manga, Avengers: Age of Ultron T-Shirt and Non Non Biyori art book from my parents and swell pair of jogging pants from my sister. Plus, some cash from my relatives.
The icing on the cake, pun intended, was that my sister made me a lovely birthday cake. It was Mario complete with toadstools, pipes, coin bricks, clouds, piranhas and stars.

The following morning I booked a slot to go Segway at the nearest forest (which is still pretty far from home!) It was my treat for my family. It was really good fun. I was slightly anxious as there were 14 available spaces and when I checked there were 5 left and that means that there were going to be a lot of people attending.

We arrived three minutes before our time slot so it was a bit of a rush. We all walked. Then, we power walked. Then, we lightly jogged… five minutes late and we basically ran for it. XD We parked in a different car park from last time and we were not familiar with the terrain of this car park. Haha. The events never usually start on time but being late was not ideal for anyone, especially for me. I arrived at a good time and luckily the Segway was still on

It was even better as my family were the only ones who took part in the actual session! All the strangers who have booked have either cancelled or didn’t bother to show. It was like a personal tutorial for everyone in the family. We all had fun and it was just as good as the previous time that I went.

I am very tired now so I will probably take this opportunity to spend the next few days to chill out. I haven’t had much sleep as I’ve been too busy having fun.

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Why I support Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic

I like to propose a toast with my glass of J2O to my team, Charlton Athletic Football Club, who were founded 110 years ago on this very day.

When it comes to answering questions you would think that my most asked question would revolve around my autism and how I cope, etc, etc. However, my most asked question, since I was young has actually been, “why do you support Charlton?”

People are often baffled by the fact that I support Charlton, as I live in the North of England and Charlton is a London based club.

As it’s one of my most asked questions I will take this opportunity to explain why I support them. =)

*

I started off as a Manchester United supporter. My reason for supporting Man Utd is rather silly but true. Back then, my Dad had big curly hair, the exact replica of Bryan May. I thought wild bushy hair was masculine and cool. At that time I came across a player called Karel Poborsky, he’s a Czech Republican international who played for Manchester United. It was at that moment that I became a Man Utd supporter… all because of Karel Poborsky and his hair. XD

Inevitably, I stopped supporting the Red Devils as soon as Poborsky left them. Haha.

For a good while I never had an interest in any particular club but one name did stand out, “Charlton Athletic.” I first learned that name in my brother’s Subbuteo set. For some reason, I was really taken by that name. I remember seeing them on the Gillette Soccer Saturday updates when they lost to Ipswich and I was surprisingly disappointed. I didn’t know how but I memorised the badge, the name, and the kit colour.

The Play-Offs Semi-Finals were on and Charlton managed to win their match and progressed to the Play-Offs Final. I found myself beaming that they won their match, but it never really registered why. All of my strange feelings and affection towards Charlton came to fruition when they played against Sunderland in the Play-Offs Final 1998.

During that match I found myself cheering for Charlton all the way. I would cry and run upstairs to my room every time Sunderland scored and would run back down if Charlton equalised. I cheered for Charlton much louder than I ever did for Man Utd. They were genuine and honest cheers too. I cheered loudest when Sasa Ilic saved that Penalty from that Penalty Shoot-out.

It was at that moment that I realised that I was a Charlton supporter.

*

I suppose I haven’t really answered my own question. Why do I support Charlton? I’m not sure why, I just do. However, when I had my epiphany and discovered the Charlton fan in myself I learned that my Mum supported Charlton, my Uncle supported Charlton and my Granddad supported Charlton. So, if I were to give an answer I would say that it’s in the family blood. =)

One of the best moments of my life did involve Charlton Athletic as I was actually their mascot in one of their away games. Their company as a whole is friendly and I can vouch for their greatness as I have been involved with their players and staff personally, if only for a brief spell. I was slightly gutted that I never got to meet Alan Curbishley and Clive Mendonca, but I was still pleased that I got to meet all the players and staff like Chrissy Powell, Keith Peacock and Mark Kinsella.

Being a Charlton mascot was definitely a supreme moment and it’s a moment that will never go away. =D

THANKS FOR READING

Super Clive Mendonca Day

There’s no doubt in my mind that I will still get asked this question time and time again, but I don’t mind as the answer is daft but humorous. =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Three)

cropped-ryans-world-border-2.jpg

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!