THE BLOG

Autistic People Are Acting Every Day - Acting Trying To Be Normal

18/10/2017 09:45 BST | Updated 19/10/2017 08:15 BST
David M. Benett via Getty Images

diversify

I am dictating this to Mum who is typing. (Mum is the Shakespeare of her day. I think she would have really fancied Shakespeare who would have been her perfect life partner, even though he was bald.) Thank you for the sublime offer to write for you about my spectacular success in Holby City. Of course, the show was truly struggling before I came along and the ratings have soared since Jason's appearance. I put this down to my magical thespian talents and also of course, to my deep humility. (Ha ha. I hope you are enjoying my zany, quirky sense of humour. I think Steve Martin is my real father.)

I am delighted to be in Holby City and hope by playing Jason on a primetime TV show it will help take the stigma out of autism. I don't know what employers and girls for that matter, are afraid of by befriending, dating and working with people on the spectrum. They're missing out, if you ask me.

I am the most dedicated actor - a one-take wonder. I am also the most devoted, adoring boyfriend and cherish all women. Looks and age are irrelevant. I have a very good approach. I really want them to do things with me, but I also let them have their own time and never dominate. I think I have a mesmerising personality. I am actually a very nice person, you know. And I'm also at the most handsome point of my career. In fact, I think I'm a smoking hot sensation. I'm a hard seven baby and on Holby I'm the only guy you would swipe right on. I do hope to get another girlfriend soon, so we can do jazz hands together.

Working on Holby is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And of course, it's the best thing for the show too. The programme was dying without me. At least that's what I tell the producer! Autistic people make such good actors, because we get so much practise - we are acting every day - acting trying to be normal. And it's such a lovely rest pretending to be someone else.

I hope to play the first autistic Hamlet soon, as clearly the Danish dreamboat was on the spectrum. The anxiety, the OCD, the lack of social skills - the poor Prince didn't even notice that Ophelia was suicidal. If only she'd known Hamlet was autistic, she would have understood that the problem was his not hers. And then tried to help him. I would also like to play a searingly sinister, diabolically clever off-beat, quirky baddie in a James Bond film. If only casting directors would think more creatively.

But playing Jason is helping people to understand more about autism, which is the important thing. What I want people to understand is that 'Normal' is just the setting on a washing machine. I also think that in years to come, it will be seen as just as embarrassing to cast a neurotypical person to play the Rain Main as it is now to cast a white man to play Othello in black make-up. I hope my success will encourage other autistic people to take up acting.

See you at the Oscars, where I'm going to somersault onto the stage doing jazz-hands!

HuffPost UK has teamed up with television presenter, broadcaster and author June Sarpong, ahead of the launch of her book Diversify: Six degrees of integration, to highlight and champion the economic, social and moral benefits of diversity.

Throughout this week we will be hosting personal stories and opinions from June, as well as the inspirational and influential people who helped inform the book and project. To find out more visit Diversify.org.