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Michael Theo: How I became Mr A+

22 March 2024

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Finding Love Beyond the Hometown

In my 20s, I always wanted to find a loving partner to share my life with. Unfortunately, my hometown Wollongong isn’t the place for me to find love as I am destined for great things. Wollongong is more suitable for older people, uni students, tourists and families with little kids. Some people are destined to find love in their hometown, but I am not one of those people. I realised several years ago that I’m more likely to find someone elsewhere in Australia or the world perhaps. No one knows.

A Lifechanging Opportunity: Love on the Spectrum

Back in February 2019, when I was working at my old job, I spoke with my case manager at atWork. I was a client of atWork Australia (formerly known as Essential Personnel) at the time. I told her that I wanted to get out there in the world and meet people, new people specifically. I was unaware that Northern Pictures was contacting numerous employment agencies for any potential candidates to participate in their new documentary, Love On The Spectrum. It is a documentary surrounding people on the autism spectrum and their experiences with love, dating and relationships. atWork was one of the agencies contacted by Northern Pictures and they recommended me for it. When I first heard about it, I instantly saw it as a golden opportunity to find love so I took a chance to become part of it. I even contacted Northern Pictures numerous times to show how eager and hopeful I was.

After a few filming tests, they decided to have me on. During the process of filming the show, I began saying ‘An A+ partner looks like me’ as a sign of confidence. My mother began calling me Mr. A+ and so that’s how Mr. A+, my public name, was born. To everyone, I’m Mr. A+ but my true identity is still Michael Theo.

After the first season of Love On The Spectrum aired, I was approached by another director at Northern Pictures who offered me an acting role for an idea of a television show he had. This happened in January 2020, two months after Love On The Spectrum aired on the ABC. This director saw something in me after watching Love On The Spectrum himself. It still surprises me but I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity. There was never an audition.

Acting has always been one of my main passions. I love entertaining people, and making them laugh. My other passions include railways, animals, nature, animation, television, love and building things. This TV show has been three years in the making. The title character is Autistic, and I will be playing him myself.

Making The Most of All Opportunities

Following Love On The Spectrum in 2020, I was asked to appear on numerous interviews, and then filming for the second season began while the first season was released on Netflix. In 2021, the second season aired on the ABC and then Netflix. After that, I began appearing on numerous podcasts discussing the show, and found an acting agent who helped me find a podcast studio to collaborate with in regards to hosting my own which is fittingly called Mr A+. In 2022, I quit working full-time to focus on part-time influencing gigs, the podcast and the rest is history.

Everything that followed since Love On The Spectrum has helped me gain self-confidence, speak more positively about myself, and become more confident with public speaking as I was asked to do several speaking engagements, including a TED talk and even gaining a casual job in an office environment.

In 2023, the podcast continued to do well, I even consider it to be the most important work I’ve done in life since Love On The Spectrum. I gave up influencing a few months ago as I only wanted to do that as a short-term gig on the side.

Life is a book, not a race. Stop doing what’s best for your parents and start doing what’s best for you!! What does your heart say? What do you want most in life?

What next?

A good friend of mine helped me get a job with Aspect. She recommended Aspect when I expressed that I wanted a casual job on the side. I felt unable to turn down the opportunity. I came to the Aspect office in Chatswood back in June 2023 for an interview and I received the job. It made me feel accomplished, useful and grateful to get out into the world again!

Working in a white-collar job is still very new to me. Until last year, I worked in a kitchen manufacturer where I sanded doors all day every day. A job I was employed in for 5 years! I enjoyed the job prior to 2020, after I was offered an acting role, I saw a chance to pursue my true passion again so I grabbed it and couldn’t let it go. As 2020 passed, I realised throughout the year that my heart was no longer in the manufacturing job and by 2022, I became desperate to leave the company. A factory is no place for a creative mind and I am not an ordinary human being.

Sometimes, staying in a day job isn’t always the best thing for some of us. You may be earning money every week but the question is, are you happy? Life is a book, not a race. Stop doing what’s best for your parents and start doing what’s best for you!! What does your heart say? What do you want most in life? Why are you doing something for another person’s sake? You need to ask yourselves these questions. Questions like these help us find ourselves!

So that’s the story of how Mr A+ began and continues to this day. I look forward to continuing working with Aspect, and you can keep an eye out for more content from me.

Michael Theo Aspect Autism Consultant, Marketing and Communications

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