Actress and Writer.
A full-time professional-training student at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's BA Performance.
Currently Freelancer.
Founder/Artist Director of Turtléar.

YTAS Interchange 2014

Solar Bear Theatre Company recommend me to go and booking YTAS (Youth Theatre Arts Scotland) Interchange 2014. First, I was going to booking interpreters and Communicate Support Worker for this workshops. Let me tell you... Booking interpreters/CSW are SOOOOOO nightmare! Did you know that there's so few interpreters in Scotland areas when lots of Deaf with British Sign Language users need them?! Argggh! You guys who can hear... You lucky buggers! It was so struggling and stress me out! However, when it coming so closer, I was so closer to pulling out the workshops but my mentor point it out that the workshops would be useful for my future career. One staff from Solar Bear had to pulled out because the issue with Access To Work's policy so I took over one of her interpreters and almost to booking one CSW but Ciaran took over so I had to looking for other CSW and booked one person. And everything's confirmed but I been felt something's not so right.

The weekend of workshops' has arrived but myself, Ciaran and Daniel got in Aberdeen on Thursday - very early, the better! Ciaran and I went to watching Wendy's Hoose (Birds of Paradise Theatre Company) - so dirty funnier ever! I decided to ignored the BSL performance (which show on the 22" inch screen on top of left-side corner on the stage) because the performing's happening on right-side on the stage. I'm not there to watch the tennis match, I'm there to watch the performance! Thankful, the captions (Note: Subtitles/888) was there, set on top of the stage which are near close to the actors. So funny caption I've seen! The caption added what the audio describing saying. But I'm disappointing that BSL didn't translation that. I can't see why BSL can translation what the audio describing had said, so deaf audience can start laugh as same as hearing people, why not? Ah well! (I will write about my view on BSL performance, Audio Describing & Captions on my next blog - watch at this space!!)
The first opening of YTAS Interchange 2014 in The Lemon Tree. What? Lemon... No, don't be silly! It isn't a real lemon tree, it's a building!! Jeez. Anyway, speech and youth theatre's show. Since suffering with under-active thyroid, I lost focus and almost fell sleep. Because an interpreter stood on the left-side of the stage while people's speech stood on the centre. I been asked if she could move to centre but she told me she was told to stand on left-side. That's why I was so exhausted. Same go to youth theatre's performance (Tron Young Company's Subject to Change). It's not youth's fault but it still wasn't accessible for deaf (with BSL users) audience. Not very good start off with, which was so shame. If i watch their play in the first place, I might enjoy it. never mind! HOWEVER, after visited in The Lord Provost of Aberdeen at The Town House, ooooh that's so posh! Short speech and then lovely dinner, I felt so full awake then went back in The Lemon Tree (not fruit, it's the building!) to watch APA Youth Theatre's "Grey Matter" show which I really enjoying the most. Very interest to watch the play about teenagers' mental illness stories, which was very good thing to bring up on the stage.

We're so hungry so went to Dr. Noodle for our snack and Wetherspoon for few drinks (honestly, I only drink ONE vodka cola, and ONE Irn Bru!) while we discussed all about the crazy stuffs!

Voice warm-up. Adam (APA Creative Learning team/GLEE)
It's fun to voice out loud: 1, 1 2 1, 1 2 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 4 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 and 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ten 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1! (Can you do that fastest??) Also count down with odd/even numbers from 20: 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 0 and 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 1! However, tongue-twisting was not accessible and I felt so left out (Note: I'm only profoundly deaf in the room while Ciaran using his Cochlear Implant which make him can hear and following the others' orders). HOWEVER, I translate it in BSL so I can teach to Deaf Youth Theatre! Cheers for this. But I recommend Adam to open his mind than being hesitant.

What brings you here? Paul Gorman
It was so weird to start with when were arrived in the room and saw Paul to walking about. We all suddenly realised it was the sign that we should join in by start to walk! It was about 5-10 minutes to walking about in the room, stop and then start to walk again, over and over again. After this, we're introduced ourselves at each other and then start work with discussion on the subjects like as school memories, worse subject(s) and how to create a new "game" for teachers in several schools. It was very interest workshop! Also it's good to be sharing & fun!

Everyone's got a story to tell... and their own way of telling it. Julie Samuels
I am aware that MP3 tech in this workshop was not very accessible for deaf people. However, the reason that I choose this, to give it a challenge and give Julie the challenge how to work with deaf people in the future. It turned out really well! Julie and her colleague,  Bradley speak out loud from the MP3's - by how to show their body language and how to speak's rhymes match. At first, Julie sat behind the next person and speak, so this person had to repeat Julie's speak and then this person speak out her/his story to other person next them. When it was my turn, Ciaran had to speak toward an interpreter so interpreter signing toward me and I signing the same thing interpreter signing. While I watched an interpreter translate in BSL after listening Ciaran's talking so I had to acting the way Ciaran's body language while show my signing what Ciaran has to spoke. Then Daniel's next, I sat behind him and started to signing toward an interpreter, an interpreter had to signing toward Daniel and Daniel signing. It's difficult challenge but funny!! (The best tip is... You, deaf? Workshop only suit for hearing? Go and trying it out! You want them to change their workshops into accessible for all!!)

Back in The Lemon Tree (the building, okay?!) for the lunch - I felt its too cold for me because we're arrived very last and the others already took good foods. Darn. Then rest of us to watch both youth theatres company's short piece performance which was so funny!! Both Daniel and Ciaran decided to stay late in The Lemon Tree (remember, it's the building!) but I left them for the pillows in the hotel for the early night!

Accessible and high quality - how to make it happen. Robert Softley-Gale.
This workshops talking about how to make your company/workshops etc more accessible. I gave the others the feedback about my experiences as deaf, barrels from many of theatres/drama clubs and go on, also point it out about wheelchairs' users need ramps in every buildings (The Lemon Tree have a ramp and the lift, thumbs up to them!). This workshop, hopefully, can help them to be aware about their companies' more accessible for all. Don't need to be big-heads, just be open-wide and make disabilities feel more welcome for both actors & audience. (Tip: Don't be fright to ask. Most of them will be happy to answers all of your concerns!) I enjoying to share with Kirsten McCrossan (you gotta read her blog here!), Claire from APA Youth Theatre and short performance with Dawn - great experience! However, Robert Softley-Gale work as Artist Director in Birds of Paradise Theatre Company.

Freelancer's Toolkit. Lesley Woods
That's workshop really useful for me, to collect the information how to becoming freelancer/be aware what we all to prepare in the near future. Brilliant feedback from Lesley Woods about Child Protect issues.

Daniel, Ciaran and myself couldn't stopping laugh in Pizza Hut and in the train for straight 4 hours with 10-minutes break! Brilliant weekend, thank you Vix Paulo for encourage me to go!!

Ciaran's blog about his weekend here.
YTAS' website here and Interchange 2014 here
Also do you want to apply Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's summer course (Deaf Theatre Skills), have a look at the link. You might interest to learning something new & challenge in this workshop, who not to apply this course's funding for get involve!

And the finally... Thank you for read this blog, hope you enjoying your Aberdeen weekend?! :)

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