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I am actually a deeply anti-social person. It's hard to comment on the arts when you have no desire to go out. I am really only motivated by music - and comedians, only if I consider them funny. There were nights that I went clubbing but I just used to dance and hope that people wouldn't bother me.

I was thinking that comedy allows me to express myself and tell stories while not being terribly social, especially with blogs. Of course, it depends on the circumstance. People know me when I used to frequent open mics. I have made it clear before that I think producing productions is more my thing. That is my focus going forward.

I am anti-social because of my disability. If you communicate in a different way and people are uncomfortable talking to you, it is something you get used to. Most of my days are spent on the computer, where I type slowly so also try not to chat to people due to the time it takes and I would much rather do programming.

Blurting out your thoughts

I generally enjoy offline conversations but I am a blunt person and that could also contribute to people not wanting to speak to me. When you communicate slowly you tend to blurt out your immediate thoughts. Frankly, people can be fake; I tend to be honest and blunt. That's why people like my comedy.

But it does not go well when you're dealing with people. People like honesty until it's directed at them. I prefer as much information as possible and dislike it when people withhold things. The problem with humans is they don't like conflict or upsetting people. Life would be easier if people were honest.

Expressing yourself through the arts

The arts can serve as an alternative way for people to express themselves. Depending on your disability (Autism Spectrum Disorder, social anxiety), this could prove useful. I have always had an established outlet with blogs so this is not something that I specifically needed with comedy. It's just a coincidence that comedy has such functionality for me.

I am not a narcissist despite what people believe haha! I don't really need to be up on stage to do comedy. My true passion is writing. It would suit me better if I wrote a script and got people to act out whatever morbid/bizarre/generally funny thing I have in my head.

Creating different content

Professional comedians are meant to perform the same thing over and over, only slightly changing things to optimise it. That sounds incredibly boring. I'd rather just produce sitcoms unless I'm travelling. So screenplays are much better for my anti-social personality and satisfies my constant need to create different content.

I actually like performing at the time but I am primarily a nerd and load myself up with technology projects. I don't mind performing the same content (though I do this rarely) but I don't like going out so tend to have have some incentive; travel or money! I do hack off comedians with my attitude, can't be helped!

Thane Pullan is an Arts Access Advocate, and an accessibility software developer, author and stand-up comedian. He is working on a range of accessibility and arts software. You can buy his book, The Teachings of a Grumpy Crippleonline.

Navigating the arts when you are anti-social


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