My Easter Holidays

The Easter Bunny

I really do enjoy the Easter holidays. It’s one of my favourite times of the year.

I didn’t really do any excessive celebrations I just spent some time chilling with my family. I received lovely Easter eggs from my parents. I got Thomas the Tank Engine, a Mars collection and a white Easter bunny chocolate. I’ve already scoffed down the chocolate bars and the Thomas Easter egg. They were divine. Yum. I couldn’t eat the other chocolate. I can’t really eat lots of chocolate once. I’m more of a health freak then a chocolate freak, except on Easter Sunday. Haha.

I did go on an impromptu bike ride around my Dad’s garage… I fell down 5 or 6 times. I scraped my knee and hands but the hot water from the kitchen tap soon cured those bruises. The last time I rode a bike was when I was 15, possibly younger. We are speaking more than 10 years ago. Haha.

I made a bit of a mistake recently when I washed some clothes.

Apparently, when you wash woollens, you add the detergent but not the fabric softener as the softener breaks up the fibres in the wool. However, I’ve been adding the fabric softener and not the detergent. Basically, I’ve been doing it the wrong way round. Haha. It’s funny to talk about but I was really annoyed when I’ve found out that I’ve been washing woollens wrong all this time. I used to be really sensitive when I thought that I’ve done something wrong and it used to be a big issue. However, in this case, instead of being upset I was just annoyed with myself for a matter of moments. Haha.

I’m still somewhat sensitive when it comes to getting things wrong, but I handle it a lot then I did when I was younger. =)

I watched the anime ‘Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?’ The first episode is really awesome and I’m eagerly waiting for episode two. =D I also watched ‘Only Fools and Horses’, the one about the Jolly Boys’ Outing. =D I think that’s a great episode, it’s like all guys going on a huge trip together with no girls allowed. Haha. I suppose you could compare the Jolly Boys to the Inbetweeners movies but in the 1980s. I did watch a little of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. I don’t go out of my own way to watch Ant and Dec but I do watch some of the bits that I find amusing. =)

I also spent plenty of time watching the Football. There were some really good goals this week. The Charlie Adam goal was a proper scorcher, I couldn’t believe he had the audacity to attempt that shot from long range. I was convinced that he was going to miss, but he didn’t. Bobby Zamora’s goal I think was special. Not many can score from the outside of their foot, especially from that angle. Jermain Defoe’s goal for Sunderland this week was really good as well. He looked really emotional after he scored that and he really lifted the Sunderland fans.^^/

I’m now spending this time watching White Chicks followed by Match of the Day 2 and Skyfall. I can’t listen to the song ‘A Thousand Miles’ without being reminded of White Chicks. Haha. =D Skyfall is pretty awesome too, but it does have a bittersweet ending.^^/

Happy Easter everyone. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part One)

cropped-ryans-world-border-2.jpg

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.

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.

WWE Raw and Liverpool Experience

Raw in Liverpool

Winter Greetings.^^/

  1. Post-London, Pre-Raw

A lot has happened in November, especially around the time when I went to London. I found that even though I came back home, I still couldn’t really relax my mind. It seemed that everything was happening at once and I was dealing with lots of things at the same time. If it’s one thing, I usually find a way to work with it. However, too many things give me a head mush. At that point it did feel like my head was about to explode.

To cut a long story short, I had to make a decision whether I wanted to go to a surprise birthday gathering and to WWE Monday Night Raw with a few of my peeps. For the life of me I could not decide what I wanted to do. I enjoy celebrating the happiness of other people but I decided to reject the party invitation in the end. There would be lots of people there that I did not know. I didn’t fancy it in the end and decided not to go.

*

I haven’t watched Raw in weeks. I sort of lost interest in WWE since Daniel Bryan and Bad News Barrett became absent. Did I really want to go to this live event when I wasn’t feeling very well? Not just any event, but an event that I’m not really that into at the moment. I literally decided to go in the last minute, an hour before I was being picked up.

It was at that point when I started to rush around. I had a shower, washed my hair, picked out my clothes and had dinner. I got it in my head as well that we were eating out, but I received a text explaining that we weren’t…oh my. So, with quick thinking, I had jacket potato with melted cheese. I fancied doing beans but as I was on my own I didn’t want to risk doing anything to myself. It’s one thing to harm myself if my parents were around, but if I’m on my home and cooking, that could spell trouble…

I tried to relax, but I couldn’t fully relax. I felt sick, dizzy, had a poorly chest and was eating a luke warm jacket spud. Haha…you’ve got to laugh in those situations. =) I decided to go to Raw as I already paid for my ticket, and, it could be interesting.

  1. Liverpool

The other reason I didn’t want to travel to Raw is because it was in Liverpool. Travelling to this city appears to be a bad omen to me. Throughout my life, every time I go to Liverpool, something goes wrong. It’s not that I dislike Liverpool it’s just that Liverpool dislikes me. XD

  1. I was going to college (which borders Liverpool) but went to the completely wrong campus! I think the driver was taking me to the technology campus. So, I was an hour and a half late for my first college class…. Later on, it was established that I was in the wrong class. Then, it was established that I was actually in on the wrong day. So yeah… I won’t forget about that day in a hurry!
  2. My Dad was taking me to Liverpool, since he used to be the kit man for a none-league side, when we broke down… the policeman helped us, but he came up to me and said ‘this is all your fault!’ It took us a full day to travel back home.
  3. I went to Liverpool to support the Foundation Degree students by watching one of their theatrical productions. However, we got completely lost and had to turn back. We asked for directions but none of the locals knew where the performance location was… silly people.
  4. I was going to perform as the violinist at the Maritime Museum and we were going to take the train, but…the train was cancelled so we had to walk in the scorching heat, take 4 buses, one underground train, and we made it with 15 minutes to spare. We only had time for one full rehearsal.
  5. We went to the theatre to watch Jonathan Pryce in a Harold Pinter production, but the show was cancelled because he was ill…

I really hoped that this trip to WWE would break my trend. I’m sure some day Liverpool and I can settle a truce and drink a J2O like old buddies. =) …that night wasn’t going to be one of those days though, as an incident occurred. It’s a recurring joke that I bring bad luck to Liverpool, but what happened was not a funny matter.

There was a car crash on the motorway involving four cars, which in turn made the roads very busy. I felt instantly bad. I thought “they had a crash because I came to Liverpool.” Thinking rationally now, that’s not really the case. Accidents happen all the time, especially when drivers get impatient on the road. Regardless of everything, I pray that they are all safe and recovering at the speed of light.^^/

  1. WWE Monday Night Raw

We just made it with five minutes to spare. It was an absolute rush. I don’t handle travelling very well, I tend to get sick. I felt unwell to begin with, but the long journey didn’t really settle me. It unsettled me more when we had to rush to our seats, and that took a while too. A gent actually hijacked one of our seats so we had to ask him to move.

The show started pretty quickly. Well, actually, it began with WWE Superstars. Then, it went to WWE Raw. All the while I was still battling with my emotions and tried to focus on the show. The trick I used was taking photos and video clips for my Uncle. I sat on an end isle seat as I could escape whenever I want. However, the Echo arena was a very big arena and I didn’t really fancy getting lost in that building. Haha.

The biggest chants were “Where’s our network?” Apparently, this does not bode well with the WWE officials. When Raw was on TV, they edited this out as best as they could. Other bigger chants were Miz and Mizdown, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Sheamus and the crowd.

The crowd were bantering with each other. If the match bored them then they would find a way to entertain themselves. One guy held up a sign but he had that confiscated by a security gent and everyone chanted “you sold out!” The biggest boos were directed at another security guard. The bottom crowd were playing around with a beach ball during the Sheamus and Rusev match. He got heavily boo’d when he confiscated the beach ball, probably more than Cena. They chanted “you suck!”

The intro was funny, when everyone chanted “John Cena sucks” that went along with his entrance song. The UK really does have a good crowd.^^/

I didn’t join in with any of the banter as my head was really bad and I felt unwell. The sheer noise was not very pleasant, and it did detract from the Raw show somewhat.

Paige got a few standing ovations. I know I stood up and clapped, and I even went down a few steps so I could snap a good picture of her. =) I liked how Lilian Garcia sang our national anthem, it was sweet and touching. Some of the top tier crowd were booing though and chanting about the network. I thought that was disrespectful and in bad taste, but I just ignored them and listened to the anthem.

I also liked the Sting promo and Triple H making an appearance. I kept on anticipating Bad News Barrett making a sudden appearance though, and was gutted when he didn’t.

When the show finished we all darted out asap. I thought the show was ok but I was certainly glad when it was over. I would say that I’ve enjoyed last year’s Raw more, this year I somewhat lost interest in WWE and I was going through a lot this time around. I am focusing on what I enjoyed about the show though, rather than recalling what went through my mind at that moment. I know I’m talking all about it now, but I’m feeling much better and more open to talk about it. =)

  1. Going home

I was asked if I wanted to take a detour to McDonalds on the way home. I declined. It didn’t matter whether I was hungry or not, I just wanted to go home. When I got home my Dad bought me and my Mum McDonalds. I was pleasantly surprised as I didn’t know that there were any McDonalds that were open 24/7.

I’m not a fast food lover, but sometimes fast food is better than no food. 😉

THANKS FOR READING

I was spotted on TV courtesy of a close friend. It’s a blur, but my T-Shirt has made it on TV. I was spotted during Paige’s entrance. Haha. Fame at last. =D Here is the picture.^^/

Me on TV

I wasn’t going to upload this blog until I give account of the 1st Year Anniversary blog, which I plan to post on the 16th November. I’m still recovering from a very busy couple of days. However, my gut instinct told me to upload this blog right now instead of waiting.

With all that is said and done, I can finally relax. I have nothing pressing to focus on. It’s always important to remember to focus on the positive points. It can be hard at times when your head is in a mush, but it’s not impossible. And I like to think that I’m capable of doing that, even when I’m not in the best state of mind.

I endure a lot inside with my Autistic quirks but I always mask my face and feelings with a smile. =)

See you all for now.

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.