On stage, I know how to act, I know what to do, say, think and feel. Yes, I’m an actor, in fact I’m going to be acting in the Wizard Of Oz in my local pantomime and I’m pretty confident I know what to do. Rehearsals are going well and I’m slowly learning all the dances. We’re dancing to “We Built This City” by Starship and “Dancing In The Streets” by Martha & The Vandellas. Some of the lyrics are tricky to remember but I’m getting there.
“I have the guts to go on stage but can I adapt this behaviour to the real world. “
The question I want to ask myself though is do I know how to act off-stage? I have the guts to go on stage and make a fool of myself but can I adapt this behaviour to the real world. Me and my autism makes it incredibly hard to process conversational thought whilst read people’s body language. Obviously, I can’t pretend be a munchkin whilst going into an interview setting although it might make me seem more confident it would be against the norm of society. I once watched a Ted Talk by an autistic lady who said how she feels happy on the stage but once she gets off the stage she doesn’t know how to act and becomes a shy and timid person because of her Aspergers/ autism. This is exactly like me, if I meet someone new I’m shy and find it difficult to talk to them but once I get to know them I talk more and more often because I become more confident.
Confidence Is Key
I think the ultimate underlying thing here is confidence, drama gives you confidence and I think it’s important to use this confidence in the real world. For example, I might struggle to process conversation but the more I get to know someone the more confident I feel, masking my autistic traits. This is exactly the same process on stage, I’m confident because I know what I’m doing, the reason I’m not confident in the real world is because life is so unpredictable, one moment you’re in a conversation with Jo Bloggs, the next Sam Bloggs, the next thing you know you’re having to pluck the courage to buy a magazine from the newsagents. Life is so unpredictable, but with a little bit of confidence, things can change…