10 October 2014

Deafinitely Actor's experience at National Youth Theatre
by Jamal Ajala

Image from Deafinitely Theatre

I joined Deafinitely Theatre when I was about 18, before that I was in Deafinitely Youth Theatre. I moved to the HUB as I was over 18 and to see what it was like and how it differed. The HUB is more in-depth learning, honing in on our skills and physicality. Whereas Deafinitely Youth Theatre focuses more on encouraging and motivating young actors. You also have more time to work on performances. There is a massive difference between the both, a learning curve for me. The HUB is a lot more challenging but I really love it. Learning things in different ways and methods.

Last February I went to an audition. At first I was really nervous as I thought they may not understand my signing, my movement or VV (Visual Vernicular). However I applied to the National Youth Theatre. When I arrived at the audition there were so many people, around five thousand! And I was the only deaf black person there. I felt out of place and that I wouldn’t get in.

A few months later I received an email from National Youth Theatre to inform me I had got in! I was amazed, I thought it was impossible, I couldn’t believe it. I thought they would prefer hearing actors, I was chosen out of five thousand people, the only deaf person, I was in shock! It was an emotional journey for me, I had fantastic feedback, people asked me how I knew VV. I was speechless, I told them I learnt VV form Deafinitely Theatre, that’s how I knew it.

I really enjoyed the experience; I’m now a part of National Youth Theatre, which means lots of new opportunities for me in the future.

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