Hi guys! New to this forum! I'm in a bit of situation. I am a professional actor. I graduated this year from my drama school with the highest grade, so I'd like to think that I'm pretty damn good. But one thing I'm struggling with is my identity as someone with autism.
I've never delved into autism too deep because I think I've tried to deny it in my head, mask it. I mean hey, I'm an actor, it's what I do. But recently I've been wanting more to speak up about the condition. The only thing is, as an actor, coming into the profession, as bad as it sounds, I don't want it to hurt my public image. It hurts me so much, but if I come out and say, hey guys, I'm an actor who happens to have autism, here are my struggles, here are how I deal with them in my every day life, yada yada, in order to potentially help neurotyicals understand more about it, and also perhaps help other atypicals that perhaps want to be in the same industry. I feel that people that don't know me, that I'm wanted to connect with would then see me as "that autistic guy" and stereotype me and therefore not see me for an audition. Or I'd only be put up for autistic roles. I want to help people and "come out" but I don't want it to hurt my career and my public image.
Thanks for any comments guys!
The few actors I have heard of who have high functioning autism are Anthony Hopkins, Dan Ackroyd and Paddy Considine, so you are in esteemed company! I have no idea if it could harm your career but like in any field, talent will usually shine through. They do say most actors are actually introverts and the best are so good because they are adept at people watching and picking up the cues of others, which help when playing roles.
But like in any field, once you tell people your 'affliction', some will have preconceived notions of you and your ability. Any quirk may automatically be judged as being "because he's autistic" or you may be judged for being "talented despite his autism", so tread carefully.
Perhaps you could use your thespian skills to start a YouTube channel and talk about what it's like? Just an idea. Good luck!