Trying to make the World a Better Place

I haven’t written anything for a while – my literal side wants to correct that; I am constantly writing: I have been writing emails and blurbs and all sorts of things to get people to engage and want to see my writing, but I haven’t been writing.

What is it about the marketing of creativity that quashes my creative side? I usually write something every few days; a poem, an idea… something, but it’s been weeks since I let that genie out of the bottle.

I am trying to make the world a better place. It sounds so naive and childish, but I really am. I still believe that people are capable of great good and I still believe that the root of evil is fear. I will not be afraid, I will try to shine a light on the good things of the world.

This week we performed The Duck: a glimpse into one autistic woman’s world, for an adult autistic support group. Afterwards this response was shared with me:

“It was the most profound experience I’ve had in years, had me quietly chuckling and tearing up at the same time in resonance with it, absolutely brilliant!”

And you know what? You can keep your literary reviews, you can keep your high-art, you can keep your internationally recognised accreditation, because that right there is what matters.

Sometimes I get caught in the marketing and the rules, and what I should be doing, and who I should be telling to come along to the play, and then I receive something like that, and I remember why I wrote The Duck in the first place.

I wrote The Duck as a reflection. I wrote it to be what I wanted to see in the world. I wrote it as the thing I would have pointed at to say, “That’s me!” I wrote it as a shared experience for the people who thought their experience wasn’t shared by others.

I grew up thinking I was alone in my world. I grew up thinking other people were a strange and alien race. Knowing we are not alone has a great power. We are legion (albeit a legion that would prefer not to appear in large groups in person).

I am going to do everything I can to make my play as accessible as possible. Anyone who comes along, please feel safe to come and go as you need to during the performance. Please know that we get your sensory issues and will do our best to be kind. Please know that you are safe to ask all the questions you need to ask – there is no limit here.

I am going to do my best to make this show work for people like me. I won’t always succeed and I won’t always be perfect, but I’m really going to listen.

If you would like to let me know what helps then please fill out this survey (we have already made plans based on the responses so far, so it really is making a difference), or comment below and I promise I will read every one.

We have put together some “Rules” for The Duck and some information about some of the venues we will be at. You can find them on the Autact Theatre site Here. I am hugely grateful to the Arts Council England for funding our Cheltenham, Brighton and Oxford performances. It means we are able to provide a theatre pack and have the time to build accessibility information.

Growing up I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. If I can use my time to do that for one other person, then it has been time well spent.

The Duck will be on in:-

The Everyman Theatre Cheltenham on the 18th of June 2019

The Rialto Theatre, Brighton on the 25th and 26th of June 2019

The Inside Out Conference, Canterbury on the 4th of July 2019

The Quarry Theatre, Bedford on the 27th of July 2019

And more! (See my marketing skills? See them?!)

You can see all dates and links to tickets and info on the Autact Website

There is a time to be creative and a time to reach out. I am outside my comfort zone, but that’s okay too; there’s a reason for that, and sometimes the best connections are made through discomfort.

#AutDuck

13 thoughts on “Trying to make the World a Better Place

  1. I don’t think it’s naive and childish to want to make the world a better place. Because the state of the world is not normal. But too many neurotypicals don’t seem to care or even notice. They’re mind-blind.

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    1. I think it’s more that we don’t notice until we have a mismatch of communication styles, and they don’t come across that mismatch as often as we do. Hopefully the more people we reach, the more eyes will open. I will keep hoping

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      1. Good point. We who are considered different do need to reach those who aren’t, but sometimes the best way to teach acceptance of difference to neurotypicals is when they are young children. After all, no one is born bigoted. Bigotry is taught by osmosis. If a certain word or phrase is thrown about enough times, children will automatically think it’s okay. My niece and nephews are all neurotypical (although my eldest nephew does have food allergies-egg and dairy, which has hopefully taught him to be careful. He’s being bullied at school, just like I was. Probably seen as an easy target. You don’t have to be autistic to be one), but I am attempting to teach them to never say bad things about those who are different. Just because someone is different, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them. No one should make assumptions. Which is something I need to stop doing with neurotypicals. I tend to blame every single one of them for lying, backstabbing scumbags ways.

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  2. I think it’s amazing that you are actually doing and in doing so, needed to take a break from actually writing. Also I only see the up sides in here. First it’s going to find it’s ways to express itself in your writing, and second the fact that you are actually doing something, shows you don’t just write words, you live them. All the very best for your plays, it’s going to be great!

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  3. Dear Rhi, the world needs more people who share your ambition to make the world a better place. A world which is better for the disabled, better for the disadvantaged… what could possibly be childish about that? There are enough individuals who are cynical and blasé. People who believe that they can only stand tall when pulling someone else down – we don’t need more of those. So good luck with your play. I hope that people come to see it in droves. I am only envious that I cannot see it.

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    1. Now there’s a question. One way would be a wealthy patron 😄 (I can dream), another would be someone else putting the play on. We hope to have it published sometime soon, which would at least get the text out there.

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  4. I feel it’s so important to continue what you’re trying to do because if everyone stopped trying to make the world a better place because they feel it to be naive, then the world would be far more scary. Best wishes regarding your play also.

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