Inspiring creative arts career guidance from deaf Horfield theatre coordinator
Deaf writer and theatre professional Dilara Earle shared her journey with a group of deaf young people in a creative arts webinar on Wednesday 28 July.
The webinar, entitled ‘Your Future: Deaf Role Models in the Creative Arts’ was organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society and aimed to inspire and empower deaf young people aspiring to careers in the creative arts.
Also sharing their experiences and giving guidance were deaf street dancer Billy Read and deaf actors Stephanie Back and Gabriella Leon, who plays nurse Jade Lovall in BBC TV’s Casualty.
The webinar was open to deaf young people aged between 18 and 25. The National Deaf Children’s Society plans to record its webinars as a resource for deaf young people to watch at any time, enabling them to choose webinars about careers that interest them.
Dilara, who’s based in Horfield, talked about her own career path and offered guidance and tips to the young deaf people hoping to pursue careers in the creative arts. Among other things, she advised the deaf young people that it was: “OK to take a break and feel the rejection before getting back up to try again.”
She also mentioned that rejection isn’t as personal as it feels and that stronger competition isn’t your fault, saying that: “If you experience a knockback you should always ask for feedback. Be polite, be direct and be proactive.”
Dilara has worked as a freelance writer and critic. She has written extensively on deaf issues for organisations including the Cochlear Implanted Children’s Society (CICS), the British Association for the Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD). Formerly a researcher for BBC TV’s See Hear, Dilara now splits her time between Bristol and London as Youth Coordinator with Deafinitely Theatre, the only deaf-led theatre company in the UK. It delivers panels, workshops and residentials for deaf young people, in both British Sign Language and spoken English.
Commenting on the workshop, Dilara said: “I was delighted to be a part of such an impressive panel with very talented people in my company. It’s always great when you can pass on what you have learned so far to deaf young people and potentially provide some inspiration and reassurance.
“They asked some fantastic questions and I hope everyone watching the recording in the future will get some use from it. The road will be long and full of societal barriers, but they can absolutely succeed in what they set their minds to, and we will all be cheering them on.”
Megan Lindsay, who helped organise the webinar for the National Deaf Children’s Society, added: “I want to thank Dilara for her energy and enthusiasm, which really shone through in the webinar. Judging by the questions the deaf young people asked, she really inspired them. Dilara’s story demonstrates that deafness shouldn’t hold anyone back from following their dreams.”