An Open Letter To Katy Perry (and all celebrities with similar issues)

May 20, 2011

Dear Katy Perry,

The Smoking Gun posted your rider yesterday, and it’s got some people all a-twitter. Apparently you have a thing against carnations? And you require two egg chairs backstage at every show? A lot of people on the internets are offended by these demands. I admit, I find them a little much. I love me a good egg chair, but I don’t really think I’d require a pair of them to greet me every night when I’m on the road. It seems excessive, but then, excess is kind of the cornerstone of your whole career, so I guess I can’t fault you for that. The flower issue sounds a little diva-esque, but maybe there’s a legitimate problem there. As an autistic girl, I’m not going to get too worked up about a normal having an extreme aversion to something. I couldn’t wear corduroy for the first half of my life. We all have our things.

Plus, I mildly dabble in the music industry, so I understand that most of the wacky stuff put in riders (like Van Halen’s infamous M&M demands) is simply put in there to make sure that the promoters actually read the contracts. I also happen to have some musician friends who put random stuff on theirs because they didn’t know what the hell to request, but thought that they should ask for something. So maybe those were motivating factors when you decided that everyone in your crew needed a new SIGG bottle for every show. Maybe you were just sitting around, trying to come up with shit, and you looked at your SIGG and thought, “That’s it!” And then you did a stupid Oprah impression and went ‘Water bottles for everyooooooooooneeeee!” and now it’s in your rider. Or maybe you’re just actually that demanding, because your rapid and all-encompassing fame has gone to your head. It happens.

But the thing that’s really getting to people are your specific instructions to your driver, which includes points like “The driver will not start a conversation w/ the client,” “the driver will not talk to the clients guests or fans,” and “DO NOT STAIR AT THE BACKSEAT THRU THE REARVIEUW MIRROW (sic).”

It does sound bitchy, but I kind of get it. As an autistic person, I only have so much social energy to expend each day and, if I were on your tour, I would probably require similar measures. Being “on” all the time is hard, whether being on means being Katy Perry: Superstar or being the most normal version of yourself that you can present to the world. The last thing you need at the end of the day is one more person asking you to be on when you desperately need to recharge because the next day is going to be absolutely filled with interviews and meet and greets and a show and god knows what else. Yes, the polite thing to do would be to simply apologize to the driver in person and say that you’re tired and can’t deal with a conversation, but that’s not really something that any woman is conditioned to do, is it? And it’s a lot harder to really say that in practice than it is in theory.

I’m actually cool with the demand, but I have a suggestion for you: Hire someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. My people would be perfect for you!

We are probably the only type of people in the world who will appreciate an entire page of instructions on how to behave in a certain scenario. We will follow them, because we dig rules, and also because most of us have probably been waiting for a whole page of social instructions for our whole lives. We will be relieved that you don’t want us to start conversations. We’re no good at that, anyway, and it’s too effing stressful. We probably won’t want to talk to your guests and fans, because that would inevitably result in small talk and we’re about as good at that as we are at opening conversational gambits. And as for stairing at the backseat thru the rearvieuw mirrow, well, we hate eye contact, if that’s what you’re getting at? You are going to have to hire a contract writer who can spell better if you want an Aspie on your team, because that language is seriously making me develop a nervous tick as I type this, but that might be a good idea, anyway. Why is the person behind your rider writing like a twelve-year-old on MySpace? Surely that can’t be good for business!

Anyway, Katy, and any other celebrity who might have similar issues (because you’re obviously all reading the blog of a miniscule time writer from Toronto), please do consider including at least one Aspie in your entourage. Even if you go with a normal driver (because only 60% of us drive- I did forget that issue when I was composing this argument), we’d make great assistants as well. Tell us exactly what to do and we’ll follow your specific instructions to the letter! No eye contact or small talk required! And just think of the good press you’ll get! For no real effort on your part! The public will think you’re so wonderful for hiring the disabled and giving them a real chance at life, blissfully unaware of the fact that you’re actually just getting what you really wanted out of an unfamous, little people assistant all along! The only downside is that you really do have to tell us exactly what you want, because if you start expecting us to read your minds and interpret your moods, then we’re all in for a world of hurt.

love,

Sarah

President Of The As-Of-Yet Unnamed Charity To Get My People Hired By Famous People (And Make Me Enough Money That I No Longer Need A Day Job)

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One Response to “An Open Letter To Katy Perry (and all celebrities with similar issues)”


  1. […] and An Open Letter to Katy Perry […]


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