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Entertainment I May Be Autistic But I'm Not A Bad Actor, No Matter What Sia Says

12:40  26 november  2020
12:40  26 november  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

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"The number one thing we ' re saying is include us." @Igcio4 @bronaghwaugh @ Sia @leslieodomjr @maddieziegler I ’ m a neurodivergent actor and writer with an MFA from a prestigious program. She also addressed Sia 's argument that she initially did cast an autistic actor , but that the environment

I say somethin' that hurts you Actin' like I ' m gone but we both in the same room I don't like to be wrong, which I know you relate to And I know I make you feel like you're at the end of your road That's when I look at you and tell you I 'd be better alone. That's just the pride talkin', isn't it?

a piece of cake: SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29: Sia performs at KeyArena on September 29, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/WireImage) © Suzi Pratt via Getty Images SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29: Sia performs at KeyArena on September 29, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/WireImage)

This week, Sia released the trailer for her new film, Music, about a nonverbal autistic woman played by the non-disabled Maddie Ziegler. This is nothing new. We know that 95% of the dismally few disabled roles that exist are currently played by non-disabled actors despite the fact that 20% of the population is disabled and one out of 54 people are autistic.

So, if this is the norm, why is it such a big problem?

First, let’s look at Sia’s response to the autistic community, and then let’s look at the real-world difference that authentic representation makes in employment.

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It might explain, for instance, the case of a famous professor who died recently after an abdominal operation. What the surgeon found looked like cancer, and he said “Poor old John” clearly as he sewed up the opening Andy: I ’d love to come, but I ’ m not much of a swimmer, and I can barely dive at all.

said : Daddy, I don't wanna go to school Cause the teacher's a jerk, he must think I ' m a fool And all the kids smoke reefer, I think it'd be cheaper If I just got a job, learned to be a street sweeper Id dance to the beat, shuffle my feet Wear a shirt and tie and run with the. creeps Cause it's all about money, ain't

Sia responded on Twitter to several of the professional autistic actresses who dared tweet to her that neither they nor any of the professional autistic actresses they knew had been auditioned for the role, writing to one of them, “Well maybe you’re just a bad actor.”

I know how this feels. I was the first autistic actor to play the autistic character Christopher Boone in the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This also made me one of the first autistic actors to play any autistic role ever professionally, as the roles in Rain Man, I Am Sam, Atypical, and all the way to The Good Doctor have been played by non-autistic actors.

When I was advocating for autistic actors to be auditioned for the role of Christopher, I was told many times that it would not be possible for an autistic actor like myself to play him. That it was a “big show” with “big words.” That it was a hard role. I was also told many times that the reason no autistic actors had been cast in the role was simply because there were no talented autistic actors. This is a lie. This is a myth. And it is damaging.

Sia hits back at critics of new movie following trailer release

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“Snowman” was released as the second single off Sia ’s first Christmas album, Everyday Is Christmas. [Chorus] I want you to know that I ' m never leaving Cause I ' m Mrs. Snow, 'til death we'll be freezing Yeah you are my home, my home for all seasons So come on let's go Let's go below zero

No way in hell she'll let both her last life and this one meet a Bad End! But even when she tries to take action to somehow change her fate.? I ' m Not a Villainess!!

I am a talented autistic actor who has been told to my face the exact same words that Sia tweeted to the autistic community. And I am not alone. There are so many incredibly talented autistic actors. But why take my word for it? After being cast in “Curious Incident,” the same people who told me that it couldn’t, or even shouldn’t, be done changed their minds.

When I played the leading role in Curious Incident, The New York Times said, “Mr. Rowe plays Christopher with an agile grace, an impish humor and a humanizing restraint. On Broadway, where the play was a Tony Award-winning hit, it ran eight times a week, with two actors alternating the demanding role of Christopher, a 15-year-old with autism who sets out to solve a mystery. Mr. Rowe — thought to be the first openly autistic actor to play the role — does all nine shows a week.”

My job as an autistic is to make you believe that I am coming up with words on the spot, that this is spontaneous, the first time the conversation has ever happened in my life; this is also my job onstage as an actor.

When I got to play the title character in the Tony Award-winning play Amadeus, The Wall Street Journal said, “Buy your ticket now, then come back and finish reading this review ... I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a better small-screen version of a live stage performance ... Mickey Rowe giving a madly zany performance as Mozart. He reminded me at times of the young Jerry Lewis ... A triumphant demonstration... Artistically successful in every way.”

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I ’ m Not a Villainess!! that said , why not 4 stars? Well, the plots cliche and the antagonist, Amelia is absolutely idiotic. She literally runs around, calling people "a mob character", saying it's a story, that " I ' m a saint", etc. who in the world older than 7 goes around blabbing and basically saying " I can see

🎧 Your Home For The Best Electronic Music With Lyrics! Martin Jensen, Bjørnskov - Somebody I ' m Not Lyrics / Lyric Video brought to you by WaveMusic ⏬ Downloa TV Said , " I wanna be like you 'Cause your life is perfect And you got no worries at all Just tell me your secret What do I gotta do?"

And they weren’t alone! The reviews kept coming.

I am a better actor because of ― not in spite of ― my autism. Autistic people use scripts every day. We use scripting for daily situations with predictable outcomes, and stick to those scripts. My job as an autistic person is to make you believe that I am coming up with words on the spot, that this is spontaneous, the first time the conversation has ever happened in my life; this is also my job onstage as an actor.

For instance, at a coffee shop:

Me: Hi, how are you doing today? (Smile.) Can I please have a small coffee? Thank you so much! (If it seems like more conversation is needed) Has it been busy today?

Barista: Any barista response.

Me: Oh yeah? Is it nicer when it’s busy or when it’s slow? Have a great rest of your day!

Always stick to the script. It makes things infinitely easier.

Or playing Edmond in King Lear:

Wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom,

And permit The curiosity of nations to deprive me ...

When my dimensions are as well compact,

My mind as generous, and my shape as true ... [?]

It’s really no different. They’re lines I’ve learned that I say often, but I’m making you believe they are mine, particular to this specific moment. With autism comes a new way of thinking; a fresh eye, a fresh mind. Literally, a completely different wiring of the brain.

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I know what it is like to be really good at something but still be overlooked simply because of stigma and bias.

Being in front of an audience of 500 or 5,000 people is very easy for me. The roles are incredibly clear, logical and laid-out. I am onstage; you are sitting in the seats watching me. I am playing a character, and that is what you expect, want and are paying for. The conversations onstage are scripted, and written much better than the ones in my real life. On the street is where conversations are scary — those roles aren’t clear.

Sure, there are lots of things working against me at any given time. For example, over 85% of college graduates on the autism spectrum are unemployed. I’m going to repeat that again ― 85% of college graduates who are on the autism spectrum are unemployed. This isn’t because we are less capable, but largely because of social stigma and the expectations others like Sia have before ever even working with us.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building: The author. © Courtesy of Mickey Rowe The author.

Like the fictional character whom Sia attempted to bring to life in her movie, I was nonverbal. I know what it feels like to be autistic because it is my lived experience every day.

I was nonverbal throughout my earliest years. It is such a damaging misconception that nonverbal autistic people don’t speak because they simply are not smart enough. We live in an inherently ableist society that uses the word “dumb” interchangeably with the word “stupid.” But when you take a moment to think critically about what society tells you is acceptable, you realise that just as “blind” means cannot see and “deaf” means cannot hear, “dumb” actually means cannot speak. I’m here to tell you that although I couldn’t speak, I was certainly not stupid, and I still understood everything everyone else was saying. This is the case for many nonverbal autistic people.

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The medical term for this condition is aphasia. Simply put, it means you understand what is being said to you and you know what you want to say, but you are unable to say it. Somewhere between your brain and your mouth, the train goes off the rails. It’s not that mysterious and it’s not limited to autistic people. If anyone, autistic or not, sustains a concussion, they may show symptoms of aphasia.

If you put a communication application, even a keyboard, in front of a nonverbal autistic person, chances are they may communicate more eloquent and perceptive thoughts than you. It’s funny how the less we speak, and the more we observe and listen, often the more we have to say.

Do you think that Stephen Hawking was stupid, since he could only talk using a machine? Of course not! You recognise that he can be one of the greatest intellects in modern history while also being unable to talk without an assistive device. Please extend that same understanding to autistic people with aphasia. There are many things, dear reader, I hope you take from this article, and one is that you decide today to make an effort to stop saying “dumb” when you actually mean to say “stupid.” Do it for childhood Mickey, who knew what everyone else was saying, knew that he couldn’t speak, but knew what he wanted to communicate and find human connection and was determined to do so.

Out of this determination I invented my own incredibly detailed sign language with which to communicate. Obviously, this wasn’t ideal, but it at least allowed me to scrape by when with my immediate family, who, despite any despair over my inability to talk, were fairly familiar with my signs. Once I signed asking for an ice cream cone and as soon as I got it, I promptly squished it into my beloved grandmother’s face, my attempt at “sharing” it with her. Stories like that are a common thread throughout my life. Reaching for human connection, trying to make a moment of friendship and love, but not quite pulling it off. My made-up sign language was a desperate reach to connect with the world, and yet I remained cut off from communication with anyone outside of my immediate family. All of this is what is called lived experience.

Sia hired Kate Hudson to replace Shia LaBeouf in Music movie

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We don’t just want to be audience members. We want to be employed. We want to be active parts of the conversation about autism. We want to help shape the stories about us from the inside just like any other minority group would want to have a hand in telling the public stories that shape public understanding about their group.

So why is representation important? With one in every 54 Americans being autistic, if you are doing a show that in any way involves autism, you’d better be casting an autistic actor or hiring an autistic writer or director. Disability still is not thought of when we talk about diversity, and that needs to change.

We don’t just want to be audience members. We want to be employed. We want to be active parts of the conversation about autism. We want to help shape the stories about us from the inside just like any other minority group would want to have a hand in telling the public stories that shape public understanding about their group.

Young people with disabilities in this country need to see positive role models who will tell them that if you are different, if you access the world differently, then we need you! The world needs you! Excluding people with disabilities from stories that are entirely about disability doesn’t help to accomplish this. The point of storytelling is to connect us with people we otherwise wouldn’t come in contact with, to bring us life experiences we don’t already have. That is why diversity in the arts matters.

Inclusion in the arts matters because it leads to inclusion in life. If even movies entirely about autism can’t include autistic people thoroughly and directly from the inside, that just means that we still have lots of amazing work to be done.

As the first actor on the spectrum to play Christopher, and one of the first actors on the spectrum to get to play any autistic character ever, I got to show all the business leaders that saw the show that they can hire us, that we can do professional work at the highest level, that we get the job done, and that they have no reason to discriminate against developmental disabilities.

Rosalind Knight, Star Of Gimme Gimme Gimme And Friday Night Dinner, Dies Aged 87

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And to those of you reading this who are on the spectrum or different in any way, what I ask of all of you today is this: Know yourself well. Know yourself well enough to understand that your differences are your strengths. Be brave, jump in headfirst even when you aren’t sure, and be brave enough to advocate for yourself when you need something. Will you fail? Of course! Sometimes! But will it be worth it? Yes. If I hadn’t been brave and taken leaps I was afraid to take, I would have never gotten to be on stage in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” So please be brave, ask for what you need, and trust that sometimes if you take a leap, the net will appear for you. Go be incredible, and more than anything, be you!

There are so many actors on the spectrum. Actors like myself, Emi Tatsumaki, Coby Bird, Tash Baiguerra, Carsen Warner, Alex Plank, Kayla Marie Cromer, Andrew Duff, Alex Stewart, and so many more.

Mickey Rowe is as an actor, director and public speaker, and author of Our Differences Are Our Strengths. This article first appeared on HuffPost Personal.


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Rosalind Knight, Star Of Gimme Gimme Gimme And Friday Night Dinner, Dies Aged 87 .
Rosalind Knight, the veteran actor known for her various comedy roles over the years, has died at the age of 87. On Sunday,On Sunday, Rosalind’s family said in a statement: “It is with huge sadness that the family of Rosalind Knight announce her death following a glorious career as a well-loved actress in theatre, TV and film.

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