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  • Pamela Ehn

ALL HANDS ON DECK!

So basically, it seems that the contribution link on my Indiegogo campaign isn't working and hasn't been working for a while, and as far as I know, they refuse to do anything to fix it. I complained about two people I personally know who tried to contribute and couldn't do it, and they blamed browser issues. So then I tried to donate myself, just to see if I could contribute and nope, it didn't work. I complained again, and NOTHING.


Needless to say, I'm a wee panicked because we start production next week, camera equipment has to be rented, catering has to be arranged, location fees have to be paid and I don't know how it's going to happen, but IT MUST HAPPEN.


I am frankly amazed and humbled that so many people have willingly co-signed onto my insanity, and as captain of this particular ship, I cannot let people drown. (Me, I'll go down with the ship.)


I think the reason why so many people are so willing to work for me for so little is because this show is so much larger than me. I could flatter myself and say it's because of my superb writing (and yes, I am a fantastic writer), but I think it's really because it's a show whose time has come. The concept of autistic people as children with no hope of a future that Autism Speaks peddles is no longer resonating. Thank God for that! Autism Speaks spreads so many lies about autistic people that make our lives difficult and dangerous. I mean, they peddle the lie that autism destroys marriages. Yeah, that's not true. My autistic parents have been married for 53 years. (My parents met by the most autistic of methods, via IBM algorithm. I kid you not.) Another lie that gets peddled is that autistic people do not have empathy. Or that we don't have feelings. As an autistic person, I can say that I most definitely have feelings, and it is an utter mindfuck to be told that I had no feelings while I was bawling my eyes out (a frequent occurrence in my childhood.) And while autistic people can be prone to depression and anxiety, it does not follow that autism means poor mental health. I've had the great good fortune of having a naturally sunny temperament so I'm not prone to depression and anxiety unless my life REALLY sucks.


Anyway, the point of this show is to show autistic people not only surviving, but THRIVING. I had a huge advantage growing up because since my parents were also autistic, I was their "normal" child and didn't even pick up that I was "special needs" in any way, though my school tried to shunt me into special needs programs and would have if my mother hadn't insisted on my being mainstreamed. (Thanks, mom!) I grew up grooving on myself and didn't understand why the teachers and other kids didn't like me. But that pretty much matches the bio of every autistic person.


This is not to say that I don't have my personal struggles. This project alone sometimes feels like it could be titled "Pamela and Her Executive Dysfunction: Who Will Win?" And sometimes I get a little overwhelmed and start to potato. (Autistic people have two speeds: Speedy Gonzales or potato.) And if some jerk blasts their ghetto blaster on the subway, I will have vertigo so bad I'll throw up and be unable to get out of bed for two days. (And if you ask people to turn shit down because it's causing your entire nervous system to short out, they're usually refuse quite rudely, even as you end up requiring medical care.) But most days, I muddle on through, just like everyone else.


But while I'm completely overwhelmed, I am so enormously grateful for everyone who has helped me so far. While I've been working through the concept of this show for a few years (I have two versions of the pilot and the story bible of the first season written), the idea of this trailer started from a conversation I had with a television producer on December 29. Within a week, I had a script. Two weeks later, I had a full crew. We cast everyone on February 9 (just had an emergency recast for one of the kids), and we are set to start production on March 9. This has been an amazingly smooth process even with all the hiccups and all I can say is that the universe seems to be cooperating. Now all I need is money.


Please donate if you can. And share this website with your friends. Every bit helps. Every penny will go to production costs. THANK YOU SO MUCH! YOU!!! YES, YOU!!! ARE! THE! STARS!

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