The Stencil Pencils explain how being neurodiverse affects them as performers.

■ Performing can be stressful.

Hello everybody, I’m Kale aged 13, one of the founders of TSP—The Stencil Pencils. We’re the world’s youngest autism band, and believe me I can certainly say that lots of the places we’ve played at don’t seem to understand the great need for quiet sensory areas where someone like myself particularly, needs to go to chill before a performance. My mum Karla is good at communicating with festival teams about the band’s needs but quite often they’ll say yeah we’ve got it and we arrive and mum and dad have to have stronger words or arrange our van with curtains and park away from the crowds so we can just find a little peace. I normally like a hot running bath but venues only have showers so Mum has to temporarily block the shower basin so it feels like I’m in a bath while I crouch down.

Hi I’m Indi aged 9, another founding member of TSP. Did you know me and Kale formed our band because of a homework project set by our teachers during the first Coronavirus pandemic? As our parents are key workers, so we still had to go to school but at least something good came from it. My thoughts on playing live is that more space is needed backstage so that bands like ourselves can feel comfortable going through our routines before we go on stage, without everyone watching. We got to the semi finals of Britain’s Got Talent and they did provide a chaperone, quiet areas with regular breaks and some snacks which was nice.

■ With Rag ‘n’ Bone Man.

Yo I’m Johnson aged 14, and sometimes it’s good but also bad with places to play at. It is improving with articles that people like yourselves write but just getting some of the promoters and agents to just have a little think about the fact that we’re children first of all, which in itself explains we have things we need a bit more than adult performers, and that because Kale particularly suffers with autism, there’s stuff on his rider, It’s massively important they work with our team to have everything in place before we arrive. People we have found great to work with who understand us are Founder of AGT—(Autism’s Got Talent) Dr Anna Kennedy and Chief Executive Neeraj Sharma LBB Hons—Daisy Chain Charity and Camp Bestival Founder Rob Da Bank and his team are all extremely great at communicating with mum and dad way before we even confirm contracts, just so everyone’s happy. It’s a shame other events aren’t the same, but TSP are trying our best to encourage with feedback and general advice of what would really help acts like ourselves who yearn to perform live with SEN abilities!

peace n love, TSP

The Stencil Pencils
+ posts

We’re The Stencil Pencils: the 'World’s Youngest Aspergers Band'. We formed in April 2020. There’s three of us in the band: Indiana Harris-Herbert, Kale Harris-Herbert and Johnson Harris-Herbert.

Facebook: The Stencil Pencils


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here