The Return of the Acting Aspie

It’s a little hard to believe that the last time I wrote a blog post was three years ago (it really isn’t, since I have a nasty habit of starting projects and then abandoning them, but that’s beside the point). Looking back on that time of my life, I’m a little in awe of how much my life has changed since then: as of my last writing, I was living in the New York/New Jersey area, literally working on the street when I received a fateful email informing me that I had booked my first professional acting job (never mind the fact that I wasn’t supposed to have my phone on me at work). Since then, I hesitate to say that that Lizzy is gone completely, but rather that she has evolved into a (hopefully) better and wiser version of herself. Not only am I older (a fact I am constantly in denial about), but I have a job I love in the theatre, something I could’ve only dreamed of while hustling from job to job to audition in New York. I also like to think I’ve grown as an actress, as I’ve had several opportunities to hone my craft onstage. The one downside about all these wonderful happenings in my life is that, through no one’s fault but my own, for a while I lost the motivation to write every day that I had in New York. So what, you may ask, has me taking to my computer to write again? Well, as you may have guessed, I’ve suddenly found myself with an abundance of extra free time and have decided to make a commitment to regularly write in this blog again. And all it took was a global pandemic.

With the onset of this crisis, many people have asked me how I’m doing or how I’m taking everything that’s happening around me. I’m of two minds on this topic: on the one hand, I’m honestly alright, all things considered. Recently when it came time to go into isolation, I made a joke (which may have been slightly off color depending on who you’re talking to, please know I’d had a bit of wine when I said it) that we Aspies have been ready for this isolation for a long time. In a way, that’s true: being on the spectrum, I’ve gotten used to isolation and all the wonderful and terrible things that accompany it (cue the tiny violin). While I’m starting to feel a little cooped up (as of this writing it’s only been a few days, so I shudder to think of how I’ll be after a week), I keep telling myself to use this time to explore several creative avenues, hence me writing in this blog again. On the other hand, and this brings me to my other frame of mind on this whole situation, I feel completely helpless and useless. As someone who likes to carefully monitor and manage most aspects of my life, I, like most people, am terrified that this is something that I have little to no control over. More so than that, I’m scared not for myself, but for my loved ones in different parts of the country, a fact my parents know all too well after several panicked and tear-filled phone calls (I know they regret insisting I get a Times subscription). And I know that this sentiment is not exclusive to me: most people I know have a strong desire to protect their loved ones, particularly those who are most susceptible to this terrible virus, and it is devastating and infuriating to know that we can do nothing while the virus spreads. What is helping me get through this is the knowledge that, although it may not feel that way, my staying home is actually one of the most helpful things I can do at the moment. By keeping my distance, I’m ensuring that those who are most vulnerable to the virus are safe. And while I do miss my parents and want more than anything to be with them during this turbulent time, if me being states away will keep them safe, I’ll happily do it. Moreover, I’m hoping that this time in isolation will force me to push myself creatively and put myself out there more. That being said, I hope to write more often from this point out, though I can’t make any promises that I won’t slip back into old habits. Believe me, I want more than anything to have some sort of end in sight for this terrible time, for some kind of deus ex machina to fix every wretched thing that’s happening across the world, but I know that the best thing I can do right now for everyone on the front lines of this crisis is to stay strong and keep my distance, and I hope that everyone reading this can do the same.

 

Thanks so much for reading, and please stay safe.

 

 

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Lizzy Andretta is an actress originally from New Jersey who is now based in Minnesota. She blogs about being an Aspie and other subjects stemming from said topic. You can follow her acting work at lizzyandrettaactor.com.

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