My Website Goes Live

Ryan Speakman Website

Summer Tidings everyone.^^/

With encouragement from my family I have decided to open up a website that’s all about me. I feel like, and my friends and family agree, that I have more to offer than writing and blogging. On my site I talk about my hobbies and passion for writing, I show my photography and art and of course my blog.

As I have my very own website now I have decided to concentrate my blogging posts about autism, anime and my thoughts in general over there instead of here on the WordPress site.

I have always thought about having my very own website but I never really had the confidence to get my face out there, especially on the internet… until now. Over the years, my confidence has grown. Not only am I opening up about my autism I actually talk about my daily experiences in social situations and I’m showing my fan art across the net. Showing my art has especially been a concern of mine since I was younger. Nowadays those worries are behind me.

WordPress was the platform for me to start blogging and to me there’s no better way to start. I found that my confidence soured and I felt like my writing has improved every single time I write up a new post.

If you like to check out my new website, here is the link.

www.ryanspeakman.co.uk

Thank you to everyone who has been taking an interest in my blogs so far. I enjoy what I’m writing but it’s a bonus knowing that some you enjoy reading them. It makes my blogging experience all the more enjoyable.

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

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My Theory about Autism and Repetitive Movement

Autism_Awareness_Ribbon

I came up with a little theory about Autism that I wish to share.

Sometimes I get asked “why do you like Thomas?” My answer is usually “I just do.”

It’s a known fact that people with Autism have strong interests in machines or vehicles. We tend to be fascinated with vehicles like trains, cars, tractors, planes and helicopters. In my Mum’s school there are people with Autism who have been intrigued by fans, umbrella, drainage system etc. The question remains, why are we fascinated with things that move?

My personal belief is that we become hypnotised by the repetitive and steady movement of certain objects.

It’s not like being hypnotised by a magician for instance. It’s more like being mesmerised by repetitive movement. You could say it’s similar to someone being engrossed in a good film. However, instead of people with Autism being engrossed by films etc we become fixated with moving objects.

With toy trains, for example, if you put the rails in the circle that train will move around continually. That and trains, in my opinion, are majestic to look at. They are glossy and stylish.

That’s where Thomas the Tank Engine comes in.

You have an interesting vehicle, a train, which has us Autistic people engaged. However, give that train a face, a paint job and a personality that children can relate to and we are officially hypnotised with Thomas the Tank Engine.

I genuinely believed that Thomas could have been real. With cartoons, we couldn’t touch them or see them in person as they were on paper. However, with Thomas, you could actually go to the studio and watch him and physically touch him as he was a model. In that aspect, he felt real.

Not only was I fascinated and hypnotised by a train, I was fascinated and hypnotised by a train who has a human face and a human personality. To this day my enthusiasm for Thomas has never weathered and as I have mentioned many times before I owe him a lot. If it wasn’t for Thomas I’m not even sure I would be able to talk and socialise let alone type this up for a WordPress blog.

What do you think? What’s your opinion? I will be interested to hear your views.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

My Acupuncture Experience

Acupuncture

Recently I went to have Acupuncture to treat an on-going back problem

I have to admit and say that I really enjoy it. I can somewhat feel the needles as they enter my body. If I were to describe it, I would say that it’s like a magnetic/electric wave spreading through my body. However, once they settle down I can’t feel them.

It really does work, I feel, as I tend to be pain free for a few days afterwards. If there’s a downside I would say that I feel very lethargic a good while. Tiredness is not necessarily a bad thing.

I didn’t really have the energy to talk much when I went to my brother’s Eurovision gathering. I went as the UK/England as there’s no country that I would rather represent then my own.

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Applying For a Passport

UK Passport Cover

Last Monday I went to an interview to apply for a British Passport.

I was a little nervous as I got the letter back from the Passport people saying that I was required to have an interview, which was not really a problem. It was my first time that I ever went for a passport interview. It was going to be a completely new experience, however, on the leaflet it says that if you have a disability and you need someone to be in the interview with you, please let them know. Mum came with me as I don’t travel by myself and in case I got anxious and didn’t understand the procedure.

As is so happens I totally forgot about the arrangement and only remembered the day before. Haha. So, the anticipation build up wasn’t as bad as it usually was. I can probably handle situations better when I don’t have too long to think about it.

I didn’t really know where this place was but I enjoyed having a good walk around in the warm sun. We found the place eventually and I went into the reception area with my parents.

We actually learned, there and then, that nobody was allowed in the booth with me. I started to get nervous at that point. The problem wasn’t me going in on my own it was the lack of understanding shown by the receptionists. This did not fill me with confidence. She was also rude to my Mum and was a little patronising towards her.

My Mum tried to explain why she would go in with me, not to speak on my behalf but to re-word questions if I didn’t understand them. This is a big occurrence in my life where I don’t always understand what people say, especially when they generalise. However, the receptionist wasn’t really listening or rather she was too busy enforcing the rules.

So far I wasn’t impressed with how unwelcoming the passport people were. If the receptionist was not very accommodating then how accommodating would the interviewer be? I started to lose confidence in the fact that they weren’t going to consider my needs. It seems like they don’t really cater for people with Learning Difficulties or Autism.

The interview lady eventually called me in and she was actually really nice and friendly. By the way that she was talking it seemed like she was more than familiar with people with special needs. She was very open-minded and she did seem experience when it came to communicating with people like me. All the interview questions were very simple to understand so I didn’t have any trouble answering her questions.

I spent about 25 minutes in there and I felt actually ok by the end of it. I was somewhat surprised how well I handled the situation, especially when the receptionist dropped the bombshell that I wasn’t allowed to bring someone in with me. I could have buzzed Mum to come in if I wanted but I was doing ok by myself.

I handled that situation really well actually but I was disappointed with the lack of consideration that the staff did show. It stresses in the leaflet that if you have Learning Difficulties and you need someone to come in with you then to let the passport people know. In a way, I did find this misleading. If it was clear that I wasn’t allowed to have support in my interview, then that would have been fine. But if it’s not ok, why mention it in the leaflet in first place?

I was more disappointed and bewildered by the principal of the staff not accommodating my needs, rather than going in by myself for the interview. However, it’s all done and finished now and I’m certainly losing no sleep over it. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Bell and Aiz Artwork Endcard

All I just have to do now is play the waiting game… by reading the rest of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Light Novel Volume 2. =D That’s such an awesome book and anime and I’m really enjoying it. For all I know the passport people might refuse my application but I’m pretty confident that they’ll accept it. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Triage X Episode Six Thoughts

Triage X anime

I can’t help but wonder if the comedy parts were inappropriate in this episode. I do always appreciate comedy moments, especially when they involve Oriha. However, I do think some of them moments did undermine the seriousness of the overall situation. Especially when you consider the fact that many people died and one of Oriha’s good friends, Aya, was shot and killed at point blank range. I’m glad she managed to avenge Aya’s death with the help of Mikoto and Arashi. I’m glad there were comedy moments but it probably would be more appropriate to leave them out of this episode.

That Wild Hunt person has a unique ability when it comes to hearing heartbeats. I’ll refer her as she as she was a lady but spoke with a man’s voice… it seems like she can mimic people’s voices and read their minds as well. I was correct with my guess that she was aware of the Black Label and was certainly aware of Oriha’s presence. Perhaps she wanted to use Oriha as bait to lure the rest of Black Label so she could take them all out.

I’m glad all the idols and the lady in the bunny outfit escaped death. It was somewhat humorous when the rest of the girls called her a ‘Grandma.’ I did enjoy that bit but I still think that too detracted from the seriousness of the situation. In that situation I would have thought that the other girls would be more desperate rather than being annoyed and name calling.

We find out at the end that Wild Hunt and the rest of the evil people were there to actually distract Black Label. This must mean that something bigger and more dangerous is going on.

Oh dear, that ending where it looks like Mikoto gets shot. Fingers crossed that she makes it out.

Thanks for Reading. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Three)

cropped-ryans-world-border-2.jpg

On this very day, at this very time, exactly four years ago, I self-starred in the auto-bio play “Ryan’s World.”

If you fancy reading the other parts, you can see the links underneath.^^/

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-one/ 

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-two/

  1. DECISION

Choosing the right songs and implementing them into the show was tricky. However, Mr P and Mum suggested certain songs for me to use.

For the intro, and the audience coming in and settle their bums to the floor, I opted to use Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” We all thought that this would be an ideal way to start the performance as that song is about individuality and self-confidence. For good measure I added a picture of me when I was 5 holding a Thomas the Tank Engine train. Whilst I was incredibly embarrassed I wanted to give everyone an idea what I looked like when I was young. That and I think it adds to the realism of the performance.

I was behind the stage of the intro and the first video scene. Nerves started to grow up inside me, but I felt myself getting into the moment of my youth. The first video scene is the doctor diagnosing my condition and explained to my Mum (the character) what to expect of me in the future. It would be highly unlikely that I would ever come out of my own bubble. Listening to this really helped me to get into the moment as it set as a reminder of what I was like when I was young.

  1. SCENES YOUNGER THAN TEN

I walked into the open space and parked myself on the outer edge of the gazebo. I used the gazebo for the purpose of holding up the screen which showed the videos. I was very conscious that I was going to knock the whole thing down so I took great care not to bump into it. Haha.

These few scenes were all about me when I was a toddler. The video showed scenes whilst I held up phrases on the cards to show what I was thinking at that time. I couldn’t explain myself at that time but I was aware what was happening. I held up a cue card that said “I know you’re talking about me, I’m not stupid.” I also held up a few sad faces to show the audience that I was feeling sad in certain moments.

On stage I kept my face and body language neutral to reinforce how I would have been feeling at the time. However, I did feel trickles of tears running down my face. “That’s not supposed to happen,” I thought. That was the first time ever that I genuinely cried during a performance. I cringed every time I heard myself scream or cry out. It felt like a stab in the heart. I wanted to hide my face behind the big cards as I didn’t really want the audience to see tears running down my face. Haha. I spontaneously took a few deep breaths to regain my composure.

I did receive a few laughs when I got kissed with a lipstick in the video and when I showed my sad face for the first time. I think everyone laughed at first probably because they thought the face was drawn in a funny way. I put up a smiling face when the lady at the school residential read me a Thomas story.

I think the audience were very touched by this. I even added the song “Thomas, You’re the Leader.” I felt this was very appropriate as I was trying to tell the audience that Thomas was my saviour in many unhappy moments.

Eventually, I went off stage, gearing myself up to reappear in a certain scene.

  1. SCENES OLDER THAN TEN

On the video it showed the actual footage of me being the mascot for Charlton Athletic when they played Bolton in 2000.

I came onto the stage feeling excited as I gained confidence and started to understand the surroundings outside my bubble.

I spoke only basic words at that time. In hindsight I wonder if I should have spoken in a monotone voice because I used to be expressionless with my words. However, in the live performance I was representing my thoughts. So I figured it would be appropriate to speak with emotion.

The most important scene involves the Football School. I was pretty nervous about this. It was important to get this right. We filmed the parts where all the lads were making fun of me and showed a huge lack of understanding. The coach was no different. I was too meek and polite to not stick up for myself as I didn’t want to “upset” anyone. It went to the point where I started to get changed in front of the other lads, something which I was very uncomfortable with.

On the video I actually did get changed but my back was to the audience so only my back was visible. Haha. That was another big moment as I don’t like getting changed in front of other people. I think if the scene wasn’t so serious the audience would have had a good chuckle at this.

The video was pretty emotional as I kept on making mistakes and kept on being the victim of “being different.” I tried to be strong and be tough but I kept on making mistakes, especially when I missed the penalty and ran the full length of the pitch to score an own goal… My spirit eventually wavered and I broke down in the middle of the pitch, all alone… On cue- Girls Aloud’s cover of “I’ll Stand by You,” plays as the video zooms out and fades.

This was definitely challenging to perform on film. I was caught up in the emotion of that part of my life. The Football scene and hanging out with “normal people” was the main reason why I started to become insecure about being Autistic. Was it ok to be different? I made my feelings known at that very moment how I felt about the world.

“I hate normal people. I hate special needs… and I hate myself.”

And it was at that very moment that I started to become insecure about myself. I had a long string that kept me from the audience. When my confidence grew, I’d pull the string back, allowing the audience nearer. If my confidence was knocked, I would push the string back and push the audience away. The strings were held up by three stools. When I said “I hate special needs…” I started to push the stools back.

However, I managed to compose myself enough not to charge into Mr Ian who was right behind the stool that I was pushing. This was quite reassuring as I’ve never felt this emotional during a performance. It showed me that even though I was in the zone I was still aware of my surroundings. That was quite a proud moment. =)

  1. INDIVIDUALITY

From that moment on I tried to fight for individuality and to be accepted for whom I was and I tried this tactic in different situations. I bought a Thomas DVD at school but my teacher disapproved as she thought that it was “too childish” and so she took it back. Why wasn’t I allowed to express the things I like? Why couldn’t I get the things I like? What was wrong with being myself?

  1. REACHING COLLEGE

I had the option of attending two different colleges. One was my local college and the other was the college that I eventually went to. I was very determined not to go to this certain college as I knew that I would have to start in the Supported Learning Department. I really, really didn’t want that to happen.

I expressed my anger and stubbornness thoughts to the audience. Was it fate that I would never progress? On the video it showed the letter that I would be in the SLD department. It also said in the letter how it would have been “too much for me” to be in the actual Performing Arts course with the “normal” mainstream students.

It turns out that college has treated me very kindly and the SLD department was actually a good stepping stone for me to study and perform with the “normal” mainstream students. I went from expressing my anger on stage feeling to expressing my pride and happiness.

  1. I AM RYAN

On film, I spoke about the overview of my time on the course. I learned that my biggest achievement from this University Course wasn’t the high marks on paper. It was learning how to be myself. In those last couple of months I completely let myself go and allowed everyone to get to know the real me and who I really was.

I’m not Autistic, I’m Ryan who just so happens to have Autism.

Being Ryan was my identity. After this revelation I stopped acting at this point and I was genuinely myself. It was definitely natural as I completely forgot my line at that moment. Haha!

I changed clothes into a more casual outfit, cut the tap and invited the audience into “my space”. This was to signify that I now felt more comfortable with how I was. I personally am not comfortable with physical contact but it’s my way of letting everyone know that I’m opening myself up to them.

At this moment I walked out of the room and the video of me, wearing the same casual outfit, came up. This was the scene where I said my “THANKYOUS” to all my friends, colleagues and tutors for treating me kindly for all these years. I would be too embarrassed to say it to their faces so I coped out and made them watch the video instead. Haha. Ironically, this was actually the very first thing that I and Mr P did, shooting this video of “THANKYOUS.”

In this video I played the soundtrack “The Island Song” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” These songs are very poignant to me as I used to severely dislike music. However, these were the very first songs that I liked and they were the platform for me to open myself up to all kinds of music. Now, whilst I still don’t like noise, I can handle music better and I’m very open-minded about it. Once again, Thomas the Tank Engine helped as The Island Song was actually a soundtrack from Thomas the Tank Engine. Haha.

  1. POST SHOW

I came out and took a bow. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the loud clapping and I literally couldn’t look at any of them in the face. After the bow I ran as fast as I could so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I was a little caught up in the moment. Well, that’s a fib. I was VERY caught up in the moment. Haha.

I actually get very embarrassed when I’m the centre of attention or if everyone is looking at me, which is among the reasons why I ran off. If I had spoken to people straightaway I probably would have been too caught up and cried and I really didn’t want that to happen.

After calming down I spoke with my friends one by one and had a good chin-wag with all of them. It was a strange moment as I was talking with them as if I had never performed the piece. It felt natural, very natural. I really did like that feeling and it was at that moment that I realised that all my Uni friends were actually my friends.

By revealing my autism to everyone has turned out to be one of the best moments in my life. I can now say that I have autism without feeling ashamed or insecure.

THANKS FOR READING

Thomas and Gordon 2

Since this day, four years ago, life has been great and for the first time I felt free of doubt. I have never looked back… and I never will.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Avengers: Age of Ultron Film Review

Avengers Age of Ultron

  1. GOING OUT

I knew that I really wanted to go and watch Avengers: Age of Ultron at the cinema this year, but was I going to go? Eventually, I decided to go to the last showing at a local cinema with Mum. We both really like Avengers and fancy to go and watch it whilst it was still showing.

I was somewhat optimistic. As last Thursday was the last showing and it was the day of the Election I anticipated that there wouldn’t be many people at the cinema. I was really nervous when I was going out as I didn’t know what would happen. I was more hoping than anticipating for a small crowd. I was fairly relaxed when I arrived there. I ordered a Full Blast lemon flavour drink and took my seat. Initially we were the only ones there but a few minutes before the actual showing more people came. Eventually there were around 20 people in their seats, including me. I felt ok as they were sitting a distance from me.

  1. FILM REVIEW

All of the best parts for me were the action and the comedy moments.

I thought it was funny how Captain America’s foul mouth became a regular occurrence. The other funny moments involved people trying to up Thor’s Hammer and the character Ultron.

I actually thought Ultron was amusing and it seems like he saw memories of all the avengers and took on most of their personalities. However, his personality is dominated by Tony Stark as he was the one who was trying to create him. I think Ultron is a complex individual and his intentions for humans to “evolve” are good but very twisted. I actually think he’s similar to Magneto in many aspects but probably not as complex as him. Ultron wasn’t doing bad things for the sake it, very much like Magneto.

I was a bit worried when Ultron did whatever he did to J.A.R.V.I.S. by trying to hack him or take him over. However, it turns out that J.A.R.V.I.S. didn’t get completely put down by Ultron and eventually became Vision with the help of Tony, Hulk and Thor. Vision became really cool and a bit of a complex character in his own right. I always wanted J.A.R.V.I.S. to do more as I think he really adds a lot to the story, and by becoming Vision it must have been rewarding for him. =)

It was simply humorous when Vision, or J.A.R.V.I.S. picked up Thor’s hammer and gave it to him casually. It sort of makes sense since that weird crystal thing is one of the most powerful gem crystal things in the whole universe. I think that gem combined with Tony’s technology created a brilliant humanoid. Vision said one of the best lines, “I was born yesterday.” I’ve never heard that line used in that way before. I was going to use that in my story but Marvel and Vision beat me to it. Haha. Not only did he have a good personality but his moves and powers were simply brilliant and with the help of Thor and Iron Man took out Ultron. =)

One of the best moments and fights for me had to be when Iron Man fought Hulk. He used that suit, Veronica, which was intentionally designed to keep the Incredible Hulk at bay. It was a bit like the Thunderbirds moment when his suit, Veronica, came from space and became a battle suit. I never known a satellite could also perform as a battle suit and I think it’s awesome. =D It was pretty intense and whilst I was really rooting for Iron Man to win I also didn’t want to see Hulk delve into any more despair. Luckily, Iron Man knocked him out before he could suffer anymore.

I was on the lookout for Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. I knew they appeared in the Captain America: Winter Soldier film but for the life of me I couldn’t spot them anywhere. Of course, it all clicked when they appeared in this film. I knew they were siblings but I didn’t think they were the “twins” that appeared in the second Captain America film. I felt a bit daft for not realising that sooner but hindsight is a wonderful thing. =) I like them both. Scarlett Witch has those good abilities and Quicksilver can run really fast. A bit sad that they killed him off in the end, but… is he really dead? Or, are they trying to make us think that he’s dead?

Seeing Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver in this film makes me wish that the X-Men, especially Magneto, were part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I know in the Marvel Comics Iron Man goes toe to toe with Magneto and Magneto asks Iron Man to find his children, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver. It would be nice if the Dad could meet his children but so far that won’t happen anytime soon. However, in the X-Men related films Magneto does meet Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but Scarlett Witch doesn’t appear in that film.

Anyway, the action was really exciting from Hulk busting people up, Thor using his lightning like a god and normal people like Captain America and Black Widow fighting with cool realistic stunts. Scarlett Witch’s telekinesis and hypnotic skills are great to see but I still like Iron Man and his suit of armour.

Black Widow’s romantic developed with Hulk was a little weird as I don’t really recall them getting close. As I recall Hulk went ballistic and chased after her. Haha. Perhaps I’ve missed something or there were hints in The Avengers Assemble film that I missed or forgot. I don’t disapprove of them as a couple, I just found it odd. =)

It’s great to see Nick Fury or rather, Samuel L. Jackson in the film and he helped out rescuing the people from that floating city. It’s nice to see Maria Hill as well and I’m pleased that Hawkeye became more relevant. I never knew he had a family and that secret worked well for him. =) I would have thought Pepper would have made an appearance but she was just mentioned. It’s disgraceful, haha. It’s great seeing War Machine and Falcon making small cameos, I never thought they would appear in the actual Avengers films.

I’m not sure who that villain at the end is supposed to be. Did he appear in Guardians of the Galaxy? I personally think he’s someone completely new as I don’t really recall seeing him at all. I don’t think he’s from out of space as that arm looks like is a human technology. In fact, I think it looks similar to Iron Man’s arm. Is he connected with that Hydra group that appeared at the beginning of the film?

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this film. I was slightly nervous as I thought Tony Stark was going to be the villain in the eyes of his Avengers compatriots as he was creating a weapon of mass destruction. Plus, Ultron’s personality is mostly based on Tony and Tony is not exactly the most selfless individual you would ever see. He’s also a mad scientist so he’s not the most sensible to begin with. In the end I’m glad all ended well… ignoring Quicksilver’s “death”.

  1. CONCLUSION

Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Hulk vs Iron Man Hulk Buster

I’m not sure if I will go and watch any more films at the cinema this year, I will have to see how I feel in the future. I do quite fancy Ant-Man so I may go and watch that. I always worry and get anxious through the anticipation of going out but I always manage to cope. =)

Right now, I’m going to get hot chocolate and watch episode six of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? I really like that anime and it’s one of the things that I look forward to on a Friday night… or Saturday morning, as it is now. The Second Light Novel book is on root to my house and I’m going to give it a good read as soon as it arrives. =D

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan