This post is by Jodi DiPiazza, a teenager on the autism spectrum who has became an accomplished musician. Jodi has had the opportunity to perform at a "Night of Too Many Stars" on Comedy Central in 2012 and 2015 where she sang with Katy Perry and Weird Al Yankovic! You can learn more about Jodi via her website and on Facebook and Twitter.
This post is part of an initiative on our site called “In Our Own Words: Living on the Spectrum,” which highlights the experiences of individuals with autism from their perspectives. Have a story you want to share? Email us at InOurOwnWords@autismspeaks.org!
On October 13th of 2012 I was so lucky to get the chance to perform with Katy Perry at the Beacon Theatre in NYC for the Night of too many Stars a telethon to benefit individuals with autism and it would be on television. It was my first time playing before an audience that large, and my first time on tv.
I had a great time. It was so much fun and I loved Katy’s harmonies. She is a great singer. It was also the first time I played with a band, Adam Marcello, Katy’s drummer and Casey Hooper who is her guitarist. After the show so many people wanted to tell me how much they loved my performance and how inspired they were by me and a lot of them wanted to know if I had Katy’s phone number.
In the 24 months that followed I have performed at over 60 events mostly for children’s charities, including Autism Speaks! I have made so many friends at these events and they usually invite me back to perform again and again!!!
This year I was invited back to perform at the Night of Too Many Stars and I was able to perform with “Weird Al” Yankovic. He is sooo funny, I really like his videos and he is a great musician. There was also a cool bunch of kids to sing the chorus at the end with us, Natalie, Addie, Emily, Andy, Connor, Nick and Gavin they make up the Actionplay chorus. I was so happy they could perform with us.
I was back at the Beacon theatre where I performed with Katy two years before and having a great time again. I saw a lot of people I met two years before, like my friend Skylar who has a brother with autism, Jon Stewart, and the crew and a lot of funny people. I can’t wait to see what happens next!