The journey over the last month has been turbulent to say the least. Along with the good news of West End performances and music videos came not so good news of inadequate feedback from auditions and workshops that were just unfair. Comments such as 'We would like to see him improvise more outside of the script.' Did you ask him to prepare for that or tell him at the time? I asked. ' No' but we do expect it and this lost him points which means that he is just outside of the required score.' So then I went into the spiel of asking if the panel had been told that J is autistic and would require this information set out to him? 'I'm not sure.' was the reply. I asked for a follow up phone call to discuss this further. J has since been offered a place in a performance without the further phone call taking place so we will take this opportunity to have a proactive and positive discussion about the process experienced by J.
In other news, we found out last week that J will never reach the dizzy heights of an exceptional performer in particular circles as the programme criteria just doesn't seem geared up for autistic students. For the purposes of preserving our own sanity we are ducking out and passing this to the big guns to explore.
The journey over the past 10 years has ultimately brought us to a point where we now feel that we can speak out. J and I have met and spoken with some very inspirational people over the last couple of months, people who are treading similar paths, people that have had very different challenges but have made a stand and people that just want to help because the can see what needs to change. So now, we will speak out and challenge unfair comments and decisions and we will strive for fairness in the industry for neurodiverse performers. But we will do this by educating, sharing our story and ultimately over time helping to shine a light on neurodiversity in performance as equal.