As I write this first blog post on my new website, I want to first warmly welcome you. For years, I’ve been trying to find time to write in the whirlwind of a busy life, and to do so in a way that brought together all I have to share, professionally, creatively, and personally.
As an entertainer, I am accustomed to being in the public’s eye. I feel you deserve for me not to hide from you. Yet, the challenge to share openly is far from instinctive. I am an autistic woman. My particular flavor of autism happens to be perfectly suited for my life’s work. I’ve been fortunate enough to stumble on my own plan for a happy, fulfilling, deeply rewarding life as an autistic person, building a life well suited to me. I relentlessly custom-create that life, not by overcoming autism, not in spite of autism, but rather, by embracing it, tapping into it, to lead a gentle life, prioritizing on being of service to others, using my talents to do so.
For several years, I wrote on another blog of the same name, Blissfully Being, hosted on WordPress.com, but it felt so isolated, so very disconnected from my life as an entertainer. I felt I was leading a double life. Yet, both were public enough to draw questions and create confusions. Eventually, I abandoned the blog. I wanted a cohesive connection.
Behind the facade of performance, an artist must share their humanity. To show our deeper nature in the midst of the fun allows all in attendance to connect with their own, making for a deeper, richer, experience for all. It is those deeper connections that make the memories that last.
I did not feel I needed to reveal or justify my neurology in order to validate myself. I am a competent professional. But I wanted the freedom to self-advocate, so I could offer the best of myself and create understanding and ease for those around me. With this new blog, placed squarely on my professional website, I can openly express my autistic perspective, hopefully adding to greater general understanding of autism, particularly autistic woman.
I knew I wanted to post about autism on my professional website a long time. It seemed impossible. Doc Scantlin, my husband, created the Imperial Palms in 1983, and played the major role of the Imperial Palms Orchestra’s identity. True, I was co-fronting and co-creating with him. I lead the band on many occasions. I was also the band’s producer, costumer and more. But the face of the band was well-deservedly Doc’s, and I loved his persona as much I do the man. I felt a personal blog on a website with Doc as leader was not appropriate. Maybe it could have worked, but it didn’t feel right to me.
We are now entering a new chapter in life. Doc has retired from the band to pursue his other life passion of building fine handmade musical instruments. I have assumed sole leadership of the band. That brings my identity to the forefront of the band’s professional branding, and I want it to be an authentic one.
What I offer here, beyond my talent and experience as an entertainer, is my true self, with honesty and love.
I’ll be adding some of my older Blissfully Being blog posts here, and some articles I feel are of worth. Some stories will be hard and raw. Others will be full of light and beauty. And, gloriously, at long last, I can be home sweet home here with you.
While you’re here, you may want to check out Doc’s blog. I know he’s love to hear from you. There’s a Chou Chou show blog, in case you’re so inclined. I’ll be spreading a little sequined and stardust happiness there, and musical mischief, too!