Member Voices

Tourette Rap by Toby Kun of Argentina
Tourette: A Different Type of Lifestyle Ft. Tiffanie Galan

Kyle Hagemann, as featured in USA Triathlon Magazine

Gardiner Comfort 
a Harvard trained actor with Tourette

Acting is a discipline.  Hit your marks, nail your lines -- it's all about control and timing.

 Gardiner Comfort is an actor who was diagnosed wtih Tourette Syndrome as a child.

 For Comfort, it's all about owning his disorder.

 "When I'm acting I don't tic.  It kind of just goes away and says, "Go ahead and take abreak, do what you love, and I'll be waiting for you when you come back."

Troye Evers

TSA NYC Board Member Troye Evers is an award-winning freelance writer and young adult living with TS. He currently serves as a committee leader in our Publicity and Communication endeavors including managing our social media outlets as well as our new Friends of TSA NYC Monthly Social Hour.

 

It wasn't until 2005 that Troye discovered his love for screen and television writing. In 2009, Troye won third place in The All Access Screenwriting Competition for his script, Tic. Troye spends most of his time writing or researching for his next project. In addition, he has recently finished his fifth screenplay, currently has one under option, and working on two TV pilots.

 

In September 2010 Troye wrote an online article for his web site called A Day in the Life of Tourette syndrome. There was a lot of positive buzz surrounding this article that influenced him to turn it into a book. He is now writing A Day in the Life of Tourette Syndrome, a biography of 20 people and their life with TS. He wanted to do more to bring awareness to the full spectrum of TS and how it varies person to person, and day to day.

 

Troye also writes a weekly blog letting the world into his daily life with TS: 52 Weeks of TS. He will be making an entry once a week for the 52 weeks of 2012.

 

Learn more about Troye on his website.

Jimonn Cole, actor

In thirty-three years of walking around this earth, I've been able to deal with or conceal my tics to the point where most people don't notice a thing. If I point it out to them, they get it, but why would I do that? It's a huge blessing to me to be employed as an actor and not have people notice me tic. If they did, I'd probably only get cast in Sci-Fi channel movies or absurdist plays, both of which I happen to love.

 

The big stuff happens when I'm alone, in my room, finally at home. At the end of the day, my body feels as if it needs to tear its skin off like a layer of clothing that has been tucked in too tight. The subway rush hour ride is a nightmare that I have to charge into because if I were to approach it timidly, I'd never be able to overcome the stimuli. By the time I get home, my body is literally talking to me.

 

I speak to myself now out loud, so fully, that people look at me in stores, and coworkers overhear. It comes out only a little during the day, but when I come home, I'm speaking to myself constantly. Full voice, out loud conversations, where I'm asking the question and answering, with color and inflections in my voice. How do I deal with this? This is new.

 

I've actually embraced it, sort of, in that I acknowledge that this is ME; it is part of me just like my nose, my moles, and my teeth. I may not like my teeth, but they are mine. And once I take ownership, proud ownership, then I can work on it.

 

Another discreet tic of mine is that I write down numbers repeatedly on notepads…3s, 4s, 8s. Then I just throw the paper away. But the other night I could not get my hand to write a 3. It was if I'd had a stroke, and the more I tried, the more I started to freak out, until I was finally sobbing. I COULD NOT MAKE A 3. I stopped trying, and put the pen down. For several minutes I sat there and thought to myself, "I can't write a 3… I can't make a 3 anymore." I went to bed without trying again. I don't want to say I accepted anything, because I was mad and scared, but I did acknowledge that perhaps this was going to be a problem for me.

 

When I got up the next morning I put pen to paper, and there she was again, my number 3. The "tic", or brain hiccup, had come and gone. It could come back, and it could be worse, but survival for me is about accepting reality, then trying to move on: in this case thinking about the 2s and 4s and 5s I could still make with no problem. That clarity didn't cure me, but it calmed me down, enough to get up and try again.

 

© 2017 by TAA-NYC

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