Sexy Dyslexic

Acting. Dyslexia. Dyspraxia. All very sexy words. And I encompass all three because I am neurodiverse and, therefore, a very sexy person.

This is the conclusion I've come to after many years of accidentally wearing my pants over my clothes (see photograph) and failing driving tests by driving the wrong way round a roundabout. Cool.

I'd always considered my 'Specific Learning Difficulty' to be just that - a difficulty with learning. But I've come to realise in recent years that it affects my acting, too.

Roughly 6-7% of the general population are thought to be somewhere on the Dyslexic and/or Dyspraxic spectrum. This percentage rises, however, to 30-40% amongst actors - why is this? And can our industry be doing more to help us out?

My particular areas of weakness are sequencing and short term memory loss. Short term... memory loss. This came to a head most recently during a production of Twelfth Night, where instead of Feste's final speech, the only word I could summon up was 'tosspots', so I just went ahead and shouted 'TOSSPOTS!' at a slightly scared and bemused audience member, before running off to hide in the wings. Essentially: we hadn't rehearsed enough, my brain did a fart and I let the team down.

When given a longer rehearsal period, I can memorise whole plays. Daisy Pulls it Off circa 2006 is still fresh as a daisy. But short term memory loss is just one of the many sexy things we actors with Dyslexia and/or Dyslexia FUCK and/or Dyspraxia have to contend with.