by Kysa Orr
I’m a 14 year old girl who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. It’s weird for me to say that. I don’t feel like I have autism, even though when I was little, I remember wearing the same dress to school every day because everything else felt “funny” and not letting anyone hug me for the same reason; the endless OT appointments and eating different foods than everyone else. When you add the fact that my dad kinda disappeared from my life around this time, well, it was a really rough few years. I always felt like I was different than everyone else and not really enough, I guess. It’s hard for me to tell people this, but over the last few months, I realized I could use music to help heal my pain – and maybe even help others heal, also.
Art in general, but music in particular, has always been the place where I felt like me, where I could forget and just create. I really felt it last summer after an emotional visit with my dad. I remember I couldn’t sleep, then the word “illusion” came into my head, and I began to think how my dad was like an illusion. Thoughts became words, words became lyrics and those lyrics became a song. It’s a song I completed for my 8th grade project, had a chance to record, and then shared with the entire school. It was terrifying and amazing at the same time.
After accomplishing my project and then performing as Jean Valjean for a school Les Miserables production, I decided to sign up for The Voice Auditions in Los Angeles the end of June. Talk about terrifying. And amazing.
No matter what, I’d like to keep writing songs – I’m already working on a couple more. (see youtube video of my song here). I think maybe my songs might impact others. I also really want to take piano lessons in order to accompany myself, go to a Songwriting Intensive camp this summer – which should really help, as one of my project mentors, Matthew Lien, who is an award-winning producer and recording artist, agreed to help me record and produce my entire album! Oh, and, I’d also really like to attend Idyllwild Arts Academy for high school. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to make it all happen, as we’re not a wealthy family, but big dreams are worth going after, I guess.
Maybe it’s weird for me to say I’m on the spectrum because there’s a lot more to me, plus my mom never really put any label on what I went through. She just said we’d figure out the solution that worked for us – and that maybe the world needed me to look at things in a different way and share that. For the first time, I think that’s what I’m doing. Music allows me to.
If you like my music, believe in who I am and what I’m doing, please check out my site: www.kysaorr.com. I even have a fiscal sponsor, so if you REALLY believe and would like to help support a young musician going after her dreams, it’s a tax exempt gift of support!