Hello there Delaware! My name is Cameron Hendricks. I reside in Sussex County and have a knack of editing videos and cosplaying as my fixation. And just now, I am starting to advocate the public more about Autism and neurodivergency from me as an autistic person through making videos online thanks to it!
I also go by SomeNerdFromWhatever, making my own online content alongside what I do at my current internship with the National STEM Honor Society. During this year, I was honored to be apart of one of the many directors in that company, especially in their video department.
As someone on the Autism spectrum, I have faced my fair share of challenges and struggles and I managed to pull all them off just fine, if not more then that. I went from the Sussex Consortium to Sussex Tech to Pace University in New York City all while learning to adapt to not just social skills, but also honing my unique strengths and talents of being a full fledged independent adult. I learnt through time how to become an independent person, and while tough, I came out of college with tremendous success. In the end, what it got me was a degree majoring in Film and Screen Studies and a minor in History. Throughout my growing independence from the Sussex Consortium to Pace University, one thing always comes onto my mind, and it loops back to why I am typing this today: Autism and my place in society.
Despite everything, I… unfortunately still share many uphill battles. This year however, I decided to take my acceptance and everything I learnt about my Autism to the next level. Especially since I went to be involved in the entertainment industry, and it’s all thanks to a certain show for giving me that push.
At the start of this year, there was a show on Netflix that you might’ve heard of…
It’s called: “Wednesday”.
“Wednesday” is a spin off series based around The Addams Family focusing on the one and only Wednesday Addams. She attends Nevermore Academy, a school for supernatural outcasts of society, like Werewolves, Sirens, Vampires, fill in your favorite marginalized group here. It’s a dark comedy mystery series that gets you on your toes from episode to episode, and if you never heard of The Addams Family, consider this a gateway into the Franchise! But if there’s one thing I love the most about the show, is how much I connect to the outcasts at Nevermore Academy.
The outcasts on the show “Wednesday” are often misunderstood and discriminated against, just like minorities in our own modern society. They are often seen as different or strange, and they may be bullied or harassed, take for instance Episodes 1 and 3 where Wednesday and her friend Eugene get harassed by the bullies from Pilgrim World, and how those same bullies in Episode 4, pulled a prank on their school dance, even manipulating the emotions of one Enid Sinclair. Enid Sinclair, in particular, is a powerful example of an outcast who is struggling to fit in, who despite her cheery and bubbly personality, is unable to wolf out and pressured by not just her pack in society, but her family as well, leading to her standing up for herself in being different from the norm despite her past. Especially in the face of her emotionally abusive mother. There are other outcasts that share their struggles and pressures because of who they are, like Ajax the Gorgon and Bianca the Siren. Their struggles highlight the world building of Jericho, a town tense on outcasts and the “normies” because they just so happen to be different from society. This is like the constant attacks on the LGBT community for example with tons of slander and harassment campaigns on people expressing who they are. LGBT or not, neurodivergents can be a part of the LGBT community, like me! I am non-binary as well, but the point is:
For us autistics and neurodivergents, we are often so misunderstood that something has to happen to express ourselves and finally share our struggles and above all, GET OUR VOICES OUT THERE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN JUST LISTEN TO US.
I connect with not just through Enid’s character, but I connect with the outcasts as a whole. I have also felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, and I have had to deal with bullying and harassment growing up in the school system (especially in Middle School though I am fortune that my years at Sussex Tech were very accepting no matter who you are). As an adult with Autism who is still struggling, I see discrimination a lot when applying to jobs, and even in some cases, I heard about discrimination in the workplace. One of my friends who has this as well didn’t land a video editing job because they disclosed their Autism! And that is not OK! Our talents go to waste over something we can’t control.
Enid’s character and the rest of the outcast characters in the show including the titular Wednesday Addams gives me hope that it is possible to find a place where I belong, and that I am not alone. I am grateful for every actor and actress that portrayed such great characters, especially Emma Myers’ portrayal of Enid, she has really outdone herself in making a character that is not only so memorable, but so connectable through her acting skills.
Ok so that’s my love for the show but what does this all mean? Well, I want to take this opportunity to share what I am currently doing. I am making a YouTube video that is part blog, part analysis, that shares how ”Wednesday” really resonates deeply with me and how a show can make me, an autistic outcast, want to chase the dream of wanting to work on the show.
Yes, you heard that right, I want to work on the show that I connected with. I want to work on “Wednesday”. And I want to make that known.
I am planning to discuss the struggles the outcasts faced by those who are different from the societal norms and how I spite of the connections to our own real world, how I managed to overcame them despite it. As someone on the Autism spectrum, I know what it’s like to navigate a world that might not always understand or accommodate our unique perspectives. While I was fortunate with the Sussex Consortium, there are others that the system failed upon that never really had a voice. Through my video, I aim to shed light on the parallels between the outcasts at Nevermore Academy and the challenges faced by individuals like me, who have experienced discrimination and adversity due to their differences. And those parallels are scarily accurate. I also make my dream known that, through everything about this show, I want to become a part of their journey. I believe that by sharing my editing skills through this passion project, not only do I showcase my story, but I also contribute to the narrative of acceptance and understanding. My aspiration is to harness the power of storytelling and media to bridge the gap between different experiences, and to put it simply, with my editing skills, I want to craft a story on their upcoming season that continues the story of the little storm cloud herself: Wednesday Addams.
I made my declaration clear in May through my Tumblr post on the matter; starting the discussion about the Outcasts from Nevermore Academy and connecting them to my experiences and what’s going on with autistics in society. Workplace discrimination, stereotyping in the media (Looking at you Sia with “Music”), and above all the constant lack of understanding about us. While I want to work on the show that inspired me and I while I want to contribute to it, there’s something else I feel like is bigger here then it meets the eye.
To quote from my Tumblr post:
My passion for the show goes beyond just creating that video.
My passion for the show goes beyond asking to work on it by making THAT video.
My passion for this entire thing is to get my story out there that us autistics and neurodivergents face on a day by day basis. Yes, I want to work on the show. I want to use my talents in video editing and entertainment to help create a more inclusive and accepting world. I sent a fan letter to Tim Burton himself expressing my admiration for the show and my desire to work on it. Will I get a response? Who knows, but at least I put myself out there. But I want to help make this story continue to help show that there’s more to us than meets the eye.
Throughout my life with Autism, I can certainly say that it is hard at times. Sometimes life throws you curveballs and with this, some situations are actually really tough for people like me compared to others in society. Social cues, accommodations, the whole nine yards. And at the end of the day, I am still me, just like how you are still you. I remember back during Middle School that at lunch time some of my fake friends would go behind my back about how I act and manipulate me into becoming their friend just so they can hear me mess up on words that start with the letter R. (And yes, that is because of my verbal development.) That led me to shelter myself and want to just be a normal kid, with a normal life. But, if we all really acted “normal”, then we will all live in a boring world. I learnt to accept myself for who I am. I have come to realize that Autism is not a limitation, but a different way of experiencing the world. It has given me a fresh perspective, allowing me to think and express myself in ways that are not just creative, but impactful. This is from my video editing skills, and my cosplays I like to do for online content creation. I utilized my fixations and talents throughout my time at Sussex Tech and College, impressing a lot of professors and peers along the way. By using my creative outlet behind the monitor and inside a costume, I was able to convey my emotions in a way that I want to express, and that led me to adapt, evolve, and overall present to you on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube!
If I impressed people on the project, including the Editor and Assistant Editor with what I have done so far and encouraging me to share this, I know I have done something right for the world. I will continue to do that, and continue to chase the dream towards not just hoping to work on “Wednesday”, but to be apart of the industry someday. And if my internship is anything to go by at the National STEM Honor Society with a directors page with my name on it, and a video of my experience in the program with Autism, then it’s my calling.
While I do want my message, my voice, and even my dream spread around of me wanting to work on the “Wednesday” project for their upcoming second season, even if it is for naught at the end of the day, Autism is not a disability that holds you back, and quite frankly I won’t consider it a disability at all. I consider it a special ingredient. To all of you who are going down your own path, whether it’s Autism or another neurodivergent speciality you got, remember this: You are your own person, you have your own talents, your own passions, and your own self to make what you want happen in a time where differences hinder and crush dreams. Embracing yourself for who you are and sharing yourself to the world is what this world truly needs. Not awareness, acceptance. We may not act great socially, but we are the best workers we can be. Don’t be afraid to dive into what you want to do, and if you do dive in, dive hard. Embrace your hyperfixation and be a pro at it. Because nine times out of ten at the end of the day, labels don’t make the world work, TALENT makes the world work. By accepting and embracing yourself, combined with your passion, your inspiration will take you far in spite of your shortcomings. If I did that, impressing people on the “Wednesday” project, I’m very sure you can make an impact on people’s lives too.
The outcasts in “Wednesday” inspire me to keep pushing forward, to share my story, and to work towards a more inclusive world where every individual, regardless of their differences, can find their place. In a world where acceptance can sometimes feel elusive, I see “Wednesday” not just as a show, but as a platform for change. Through my little passion project and my ongoing quest to bring our voices to the front, I aim to amplify the voices of those who, like me, have often been misunderstood or overlooked. I’m working towards a future where diversity is celebrated, where our differences are valued, and where stories like mine and those of the outcasts at Nevermore Academy can inspire positive transformation. And who knows? Maybe I can make a show someday about it. Only time will truly tell.
The fact of the matter is, Autism is not a label that holds you back. Autism is powerful, and Autism makes you, you! No label can hold you back from achieving your dreams. And if I got far with mine, I know you can too.
I thank Autism Delaware for giving me a chance to share my story to the whole world, and I hope you enjoy my passion project in the not so distant future on my YouTube and social media outlets at SomeNerdFromWhatever.
Your favorite cosplaying video editing autistic outcast and future student of Nevermore Academy and the “Wednesday” project,