Meet the CATS client who swapped the Batcave for YouTube

Reece Streeting was a recluse in his very own Batcave before music came calling. Now the Yamanto resident has turned his attention to beatboxing, busking and YouTube.

A client with Raceview-based Community Access and Transition Service (CATS), Mr Streeting’s sonic sojourn started with a request for a kick drum. A request that was denied.

“I asked my parents for a kick drum and I never got a kick drum, so I decided to learn the noises with my mouth,” he said, not at all phased about the kick drum that wasn’t.

“After a while my parents said I had some talent that was going to waste. I started beatboxing and really decided to give it a go.

“I love mysic and I grew up listening to hip-hop, jazz and rock. I do beatboxing for the fun of it and with the help of CATS I started a YouTube channel to show people my talent.

“This year we did crowd funding for a busking licence and we made the money ($250) in four days so I hope to start in d’Arcy Doyle Place this year and then the mall when that’s all done up.”

It wasn’t always easy for Mr Streeting. Before beatboxing his autism left him separated from the wider Ipswich community.

“My room was like my Batcave and I wouldn’t come out. I had to change, I didn’t want to get to 60 and think ‘what did I do with my life?’, so I had to take some risks and put my mind to it,” Mr Streeting, 20, said.

“I was shut in, I used to be scared to talk to people and now I’ve performed in front of crowds, spoken on stage to school students and community groups and put myself out there on YouTube.

“The change is huge. Now I am more happy and confident and I feel like my life is charmed.”

WATCH: Reece Streeting is Austamatic, The Beginning.

CATS client and community engagement officer Brett Briggs agreed, saying Mr Streeting’s new and improved attitude had even helped him secure paid work at Ipswich radio station River 94.9.

“We looked at Reece and his situation and he often became socially isolated and anxious in a group environment,” Mr Briggs said.

“He had talent so we had to find a way to get it out there. YouTube was the perfect platform for that and he’s just gone from strength to strength in terms of confidence, perseverance and willingness to get out of his comfort zone and give things a real crack.

“Our next focus was ‘how can we get Reece involved in employment and involved in the community?’ and that really took off when he got a role at River doing cuts and segmenting.”

CATS will host YouTube masterclasses for young people with autism or an intellectual/developmental disability on 13 April. For more information go here or phone Brett Briggs on 3288 0277.

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