Actor With Autism Who Struggled As A Kid Finds Sense Of Belonging At Center Stage

For years, Mickey Rowe street performed in order to make money because he thought no one wanted to hire him. He would stilt walk around town, twisting balloons for kids and juggling knives to entertain.

Living with autism, Rowe has long sought to fit in and has always felt intimidated by everything around him.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

When he was younger, he always thought people felt uncomfortable around him, but whenever he wore his costumes or street performed, he noticed that everyone around him would smile.

Rowe eventually immersed himself into the Seattle theater scene, and realized that he finally found his place at center stage. Plays are scripted and predictable, which made Rowe feel very comfortable.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

But he would soon learn that as an adult, it was very hard to get roles.

He auditioned for the award-winning play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” but did not get a part. At that point, he began to lose hope but refused to give up.

Two regional theaters, one in Indiana and the other in Syracuse, offered him the part of his dreams, and of course he accepted.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

Rowe has since wrote a book called “Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor’s Journey To Broadway’s Biggest Stage.”

“I think so often, people want so badly to fit in, that they forget what makes them stand out,” Rowe told TODAY. “So I really really hoped that my book would help people to feel brave enough to stand out.”

Hear more of his inspiring story in the video below:

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