Spalding performance poet Callum Brazzo hopes to build a multi-talented artistic team to collaborate on a brand new work for the stage, Compass.
Compass is the name of the main character, who is engaged in an inner struggle between his perception of his own identity and the perception that others have.
I just want to meet creative people at this point and to assemble a team of people to work on it with me.Callum Brazzo
There is one more, thinly-drawn character in the work, but now it’s up to creatives reading this story – and Callum – to work together and complete the production of the multi-layered and multi-disciplinary piece.
Callum (26) hopes an excerpt from the finished show will be performed at a music disability festival in Spalding in July. He wants to see the completed show performed at the South Holland Centre and has ambitions for a tour.
Callum was misunderstood and bullied as a youngster, and it wasn’t until he was aged 21 that he was diagnosed as autistic, but says he’s “never suffered from my natural brain wiring”.
According to the NHS, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) “is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person’s social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour”.
The NHS also says there’s no “cure”.
Check out famous autistic people in history and you’ll find stellar names like Albert Einstein, Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, James Joyce and Michelangelo – people who got on pretty nicely without a so-called cure. Also listed is Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates.
Because we’re all very different as individuals, and partly because ASD covers such a wide spectrum, there is no such thing as a typical autistic person.
Callum says he would be labelled “high functioning” but he hates labels, although he settles for ‘neurodivergent’.
He said: “There’s a saying in the neurodivergent community that once you have met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person.”
Aged 11 or 12, Callum found writing poetry was a perfect way to express himself and, in recent years, turned to performance poetry.
Callum has already used his gift for performance poetry to raise funds for the July disability festival.
Callum says his poetry helped him become more confident.
He performs pieces from his past as well as those that look to the future. “It feels amazing,” said Callum. “There’s always a couple that I do like routinely almost. There’s one called ‘Secondary School Strife’, which just outlines everything, and then I normally go into ‘Nameless’, which has a few autism myths. I have tried to give PowerPoint presentations before but it’s not for me. I would much rather tell a story through poetry.”
He’s been thinking of the new production, Compass, for some time. “It’s been in my mind for at least a year,” he said. “I just want to meet creative people at this point and to assemble a team of people to work on it with me. I want the first performance of the entire show to be at the South Holland Centre.”
• To be involved in Compass call Callum on 07528 810172 or email email@example.com