rhythm and autism highlight reels (sensory friendly video on right)

rhythm and autism - the musical!

One of my autistic obsessions is reading musician memoirs. A few years ago, I read one after another after another of white male boomer rock stars saying something like, "I saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and I knew immediately that I wanted to do that too." My "Beatles on Ed Sullivan moment" was Hannah Gadsby's Douglas. Except I didn't see it and say, "I want to do edgy, inventive standup comedy about autism too." Instead, I said, "That's it. I want to be the Hannah Gadsby of music."

That is, I want people who are autistic to see themselves in what I'm doing, and for non-autistic people to regard me as that person who will say things they dare not risk their social standing to admit are true, in a way that's entertaining and funny. (And yes, I have done plenty of "family friendly" shows also!)

Soon after that, I began to realize that the "shut up and sing" kinds of situations I'd performed in before only told half the story about me. The other half was about what I said in between songs, and it wasn't just "I wrote this song because I had a kombucha fart in the elevator after a job interview and it reminded me of my 7th grade prom" kind of stuff, it was an actual story of transformation.

I didn't "overcome" my autism to do this -- I used it! But it wasn't until the pandemic, where I was "visited" by an entity I call the Clappy Monster, that I learned how. RAA tells that story.

My first full performance of RHYTHM AND AUTISM took place in July 2022 at the La Strada dei Pastelli Chalk Art Festival in Hillsboro, OR, and I'm happy to announce that I will be returning on the La Strada Main Stage on Sunday, July 16, 2023. I have performed RAAs of various shapes and sizes throughout Oregon on a regular basis, and am currently a resident in the Portland theater collective From the Ground UP.  I will be part of FTGU's spring show of new works; information is here!

I also have a virtual show coming up for Solo Arts Heal on Wednesday, July 12 (see event page for more information). This can be viewed on the Marshstream (archive will be available if you can't catch it live).

On April 19, 2024, I will be doing a two-act sensory friendly RAA program at the Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro! This features a first act which avoids common sensory triggers for people with high sensory sensitivity (e.g. flapplause instead of clapping, muted sounds and colors, soft lighting), and everyone will receive a program that details which sensory elements the audience can expect from each scene. Yes, I can do a sensory friendly show about my obsession with clapping and noisy percussion! In the video above right, I map out how I navigate that. Access is extremely important to me, and I want people with high sensory sensitivity to have a chance to see a show, especially one put on by someone who lives what they are living.

I also have created some exciting and fun community outreach programs, including one about creating sensory friendly shows and environments! Click the drop-down menu above or just click here for a downloadable PDF.

Click here for videos of full songs that appear in RHYTHM AND AUTISM! Calendar of upcoming shows is below.

If you want to know more about RHYTHM AND AUTISM, sign up for updates below, or write me at andee@normalfaunamusic.com!

Previous events


La Strada Dei Pastelli Chalk Art Festival, Main Stage

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Hillsboro Civic Center Plaza, 150 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR

This is an amazing FREE event, where four blocks of downtown Hillsboro are blocked off so that these fantastic chalk artists can do their thing on the streets the weekend of July 15-16! Added bonus: there will be great music and other performing arts to gawk at as you make your way around. In July 2022, I premiered RHYTHM AND AUTISM in a staged reading here, on a side stage; this time, I will be on the main stage (yay!) doing RAA excerpts.


I will be joining my IMH friends Bill Hernandez, Rob Cork, Henry Kaiser, Christine Navarro, Rodney Stubbs, and Evan Acey for a songwriters-in-the-round outdoor event! Admission is free, and the nearby Cartel has all kinds of drool-worthy foods to purchase while you watch us.


PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE FOR THIS SHOW. I and my fabulous fellow residents will each do 20 minutes from our solo theater pieces. This is an indoor show in a small theater. Base ticket price is $20, but a number of Arts4All tickets are available, see link below.

Base price $20, Rise Up patron seating $20 and up, Arts for All $5 and up


This is the first of two group shows I will be doing with From the Ground UP in June! I and four fantastic fellow residents (Rachael Himsel, Kate Perri, Jen Wyant, and Suzanne LaGrande) will each do 20 minutes from our solo theater pieces. This is an outdoor show, intimate environment, very low tech. Base ticket price is $20, but a number of Arts4All tickets are available; see link below.

Regular price $20, Rise Up patron seating $20 and up, Arts for All Seating $5 and up


Not just another First Tuesday gig, although it coincides with that! Rob and Bill and I are going to spend the three hours swapping songs (covers and originals), and playing and singing on each other's stuff. We had a show like this booked three years ago and it got wiped, so it will be great to finally have this experience!


This will be the first public reading of the one-hour one-act edition of RAA! There will be new material. There will be flubs. There will be flapping. There will be clapping. There will be two dynamite opening acts delivering their amazing combinations of music and spoken word for 30 minutes each: my esteemed hostess, Jessie Starr, followed by the fantastic allistic/autistic duo Weirdos Unite (aka Vahan and Rachael). I will go on at 8 PM. You may bring in whatever food or beverage you wish (they don't sell any). You can also bring a favorite chair or pad, there will be space for it! And not only that, but Jessie and Dave will have their light painting rig up, bringing gorgeous color into the proceedings -- and if you ask nicely they might let you try it for yourself.

$15 in advance/$20 at the door


I, my prodigiously talented friend Bill Hernandez, and two other locals TBA are each doing 30-minute sets, and I will be doing a preview of RHYTHM AND AUTISM, including some special material written just for this show! If you want to buy advance tickets, you can do that here:. https://cityofhillsboro.ticketspice.com/local-singer-songwriter-22


Dropped Notes is Curious Comedy's musical improv show, and I will be the guest performer! I will not be doing improv but a 20 minute opening mini-set of RHYTHM AND AUTISM. Note that although it's an all-ages venue, it's not a family friendly event so discretion is advised.


Influence Music Hall does it again! This will be a free, all sensory friendly show, 60 minutes long. That means very little amplification, no sudden or loud or high-pitched noises, no singing along or clattery percussion, low lighting, and flapplause and flap-alongs in place of clapping. There will also be space for a silent dance floor, in case people want to express themselves without making voluntary noise. I'll even avoid wearing loud colors! If you have any questions about how this works, don't hesitate to ask me before coming down.


Thanks to my friends at Influence Music Hall and Tualatin Valley Arts, I get to put on RAA in a fabulous theater that can accommodate up to 200 people, with free admission! (Don't be scared by the location; this theater puts on secular programming all the time, and nobody will try to convert you.) Note that this is not the sensory friendly show; that show will be the next day at the Brookwood Library (see separate listing).


Rhythm and Autism Full Show, East Side

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Good Medicine Theater at Uplifted Boutique, 5404 SE 72nd Ave., Portland, OR 97206

This is a very small, intimate theater on the east side, capacity is about 20 people. But here you will get the full theatrical version of RAA, performed on the east side of PDX for the very first time! Admission is free thanks to a grant from the Autism Society of Oregon.


Rhythm and Autism Preview at La Strada Chalk Art Festival Side Street!

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Puppernickel Bakery, 133 SE 3rd Ave., Hillsboro, OR

The La Strada dei Pastelli Chalk Art Festival is a huge event in which East Main Street in downtown Hillsboro is closed off for 4 blocks so that brilliant chalk artists can create gorgeous art right there on the spot, before your very eyes! There will be also crafts and live performances at the Plaza and also on the side streets, and the latter is where I will be, in front of Puppernickel Bakery. I will be preceded there by Henry Kaiser and his 12-string beast (from 12-2 PM), Rob Cork and his fantastic tie-dyed cinematic tuneage (from 2-4 PM), and then me. No props or scenery or AV stuff here, just me with my backing tracks, guitar, and live percussion loops, mixing spoken word/comedy and singing my piece about growing up autistic amid the pop culture cheese of the 1960s and 1970s and how it made me who I am today. Eeeeeee!


Friday Night Bites with Justus Reece and Los Fumadores!

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Decadent Creations, 171 NE 3rd Ave., Hillsboro, OR

Music-only gig, but what a lineup! Justus will be playing before me at 5 PM, with me at 6 PM, and Los Fumadores (OC and Drew) at 7 PM! Times are approximate. We will be serenading those folks who come out to FNB on a lovely spring evening to eat from the great food trucks and get an awesome dessert from Decadent Creations, which will stay open later for this event.


First Tuesday ArtWalk at Crystal Hearts Boutique (with Rob Cork)

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Crystal Heart Boutique, 269 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR

The Influence Music Hall folks are again serenading the First Tuesday Art Walk patrons in downtown Hillsboro, and this month we have the Rob and Andee Show at a shop that is just teeming with cool and colorful stuff. Also, you get food and don't have to pay anything.


Once again, the Influence Music Hall gang will be taking over First Tuesday in downtown Hillsboro, making our noises at various shops and galleries around the area. Free music and some free munchies too, There will be some indoor seating, and there is so much beautiful stuff in this shop it's unreal!

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