I have gone to many circus, dance and movement classes over the years and now studying at Queensland University of Technology, yet I am often isolated along with other Deaf artists who chose Arts as their career (dance, theatre, circus and so forth). Although I am still determined to achieve what I have come to achieve rather than giving up just because the classes and curriculum are made for hearing people. There are times when I feel like having classes in Auslan so I can access information and to understand the vocabs used in the class. Also this would allow me to converse in Auslan with other artists. These are precious moments that I constantly look forward to as I feel at home working with Deaf artists and artists who can sign to create work that are of importance.
For me, being in arts is a way of expressing something physically rather than verbally. It is a way of telling stories without speaking of it. I am not good at talking about myself so I prefer to communicate through arts such as circus and theatre This is why I survived many years of attending hearing companies to learn and train in several arts form.
Trust me, dance your way through hearing companies just to get where you are so you can become an established artists to teach, to direct and to produce work that will have an impact on the audience.
Only way to keep yourself motivated is to look to Deaf companies around the world as they create wonderful works. Like for example, Chisato Minamimura, a deaf dance choreographer in UK or Deaf West Theatre doing a Musical, Spring Awakening in New York (I wish I could book a return flight to New York just to watch the musical). Keep watching them as they will keep you motivated and determined.
Also keep on educating the hearing companies to change their attitude and teaching methods in the class as you are a paying participants so these techniques can help:
- use hand movements in class;
- spending time with teacher before or after class to run through what will/has happen in class.
- Checking in and checking out – learn something new each class and fingerspelling your names.
Any other tips, please list them in the comment box.My eyes is on that Production 3 and 4 of the final year of Bachelor of Fine Arts as I am really keen on choreographing and directing a performance piece externally if permitted. I have few years to develop the ideas further and I am excited about what it may bring. Bring on the excitement of Deaf Performing Arts!!