I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him

edited August 2011 in Theater
Hi everyone,
When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome, and subsequently on a rather large pill cocktail made up of anti depressants. They caused me to have suicidal tendencies and thoughts. These went on for about two and a half years. But when I was in fourth grade,I discovered Little Shop of Horrors (My high school did the show for a theater festival) and that show was my light in the dark...even though my my fellow fourth graders didn't get it and my teacher and grandparents thought it was to inappropriate. I was taken off the meds when the studies came out that they caused thoughts in children, teens, and young adults. To this day, i still remember walking home from the last day of school, singing downtown (skid row) as loud as I could. I in the next few years, saw as many productions of the show in my area, including the tour of the revival. And in 2008, I was in my first production of the show, serving as the puppeteer for the Audrey IIs, (which I own) and have been in two productions since then.
Above is an article from the second production of the Show I was in.
And also, I am a HUGE Disney freak, so I am grateful for his contribution to those.
So to finish up, Thank You Howard Ashman


  • edited August 2011
    I sent an Anonymous letter to Mrs. Ashman about how Little Shop of Horrors stopped me from a murder-suicide I was considering, and I too have aspergers.

    You get a million gold stars.

    You win every award I could possibly give you.

    Please, give me your Skype (mine is Tacowiz). If not, your email or something. We have to talk.
  • Sorry, I just need to say


    You're like me, only successful and not a complete loser!
  • edited August 2011
    I mean, not only would I not be here if it wasn't for LSOH, but Duncan (a school buly) wouldn't. I always felt bad that I was insane enough to actually be saved by a silly play. But wow, there's someone else like me, AND he has the same mental disorder!

    I don't have the money for an actual Audrey II. I'd give anything for one. You're so lucky.

    *brain explodes from too much excitement*

    So now I know of the existence of 3 people, including myself, who wouldn't be here if it wasn't for LSOH.

    We have so much to discuss.
  • Hi Tacowiz, my email is Musicalaspie@gmail.com.
  • Hi Audrey292. Let me just say welcome to the site and hope you have fun on here as much as everyone else on here.

    But let me just say, after reading your post and even looking at the link you've provided, I'm really proud of you for overcoming your problems with the help of Little Shop (and I don't use that word 'proud' too often). You are a great inspiration towards people who have to overcome with asperger's. The fact that you were able to share with us this piece of your life really brings out what people who have this can do to overcome it. Again, I'm very happy for you and truly wish you the best in your life.

    Also, owning all four Audry II's from your production, not bad for a fan. I say that's the ultimate sort of reward for any fan to have. Though I bet it makes parking a bit hard for your folks with having to park outside rather than in the garage. lol
  • Hi Audrey292, I don't want be a mother hen here, but it's probably not a great idea to post your email on a public site. I dunno, I'm either very paranoid or very old but there you have it.
  • I really don't know where my childhood would be had it not been for the impression that Howard had made on me with the two films Beauty and Mermaid. Because of these two films and others that followed the similar musical theater style that he had set, I thank Howard for helping me retain my innocence up to this day. From what I read he was an amazing storyteller and lyricist and thanks to Howard I have started to pursue musical theatre. It's because of him that I just finished writing the music to a musical called "The Wiz of Iz." And It's because of him that I'm beginning to write my own musical called "The Artist." What he left behind with us was just amazing!
  • Hi, Audrey292.

    I read your story over. From one Asperger's person to another (that's right; I have it, too), you are yet another success story of overcoming such a Disorder. Believe me, growing up with it is not easy, so let me share you my story:

    I was socially incapable through all of my elementary school life, and bullied more than you could ever imagine. I am thankful beyond words for my parents not putting me on medication (the doctors misdiagnosed me with full Autism and actually recommended Ritalin; can you believe it?). This, however, didn't produce any immediate gains. I had no friends (except those which my teachers forced them to be), no support from any counselers, and little to no self-esteem. It got to the point where I had to get home- schooled until I started my freshman year in high school. Things were hardly any different in high school, and I felt like my life wasn't going anywhere.

    All this would've been completely unbearable to me if it weren't for one compensation I possessed; an eidetic memory. That's right; the very thing which allows you to memorize every line and action in LSOH is what kept me going, and when I got into college, the difference in my life was night and day. Why? Because all my life, I was subconsciously (read: unknowingly) cultivating a personality, like tending to a fertile garden within my psyche. Talents and abilities that I thought I could never achieve, let alone do with savoir-faire (one of Howard's favorite words), within my lifetime were now within my grasp. I can now cook gourmet meals, play the piano like a prodigy, memorize entire plays and musicals, and even perform gymnastics, and that's just the short list of my talent pool.

    So how does Howard Ashman fit into all this? All my life, I saw Disney movies growing up thanks to VHS, all of which I still own, and it was The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin that were my favorites (incidentally, I remember seeing Beauty and the Beast when it originally came out in theaters back in 1991). After watching Waking Sleeping Beauty and recently the film version of LSOH (loved it, btw), I now better understand the man that made such an impact on the Disney Studios and therefore on my life. Thanks to him, I've been cultivating a new talent: composing music and writing lyrics for them. Thanks to Howard Ashman, I am now working on writing and producing a musical of my own in the future.

    I know this has been a long post, but thanks for bearing with me, for your success story has given way to share my success with you. May your future be as fulfilling as you want it to be, as was the case for me.

    P.S. I took an Arranging Class at my university, and for my Final Exam, I made a miniature orchestra arrangement of the "The Enchantress" from Beauty and the Beast. It was Alan Menken's music, yes, but it was Howard Ashman's idea that made the film timeless and great. Guess what grade I got? An "A".
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