Creating Opportunities for the Creative Mind

Yesterday, (05/03/12) I attended Communityid‘s event “Creating Opportunities for the Creative Mind” which was part of the “Community Cohesion Deaf & Interpreter Awareness Programme Theme Days” held at Signamic, Canada Water. Even though I was a bit nervous about what to expect upon arrival I was greeted by a friendly atmosphere and a hot drink with biscuits. This settled me in and I was then excited about the talks and workshops that would soon commence.

Samuel Dore kicked things off by talking about his work as a freelance professional filmmaker. This is a gentleman whose multitude of skills allow him to work on projects as part of a crew and also as an independent one man band.

When I was at school I had friends with very clear ideas of their career choice, mostly those careers that need planning from the age of 16 such as doctors and dentists. I had no such luck, I’d decided I wanted to study theatre at university, my mum had decided that I would read maths and I’d also started my BSL Level 1 at evening college to throw another interest into the mix.

Having convinced my mum/applied for theatre courses anyway, I studied BA (Hons) Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies. The course provided a wide range of career options once I graduated, but I still didn’t have too much of a clue regarding a specific job commitment til death do us part.

I am, and have been for a long time, very passionate about theatre accessibility, whether this be for deaf and disabled theatre goers or children/young people’s involvement in drama. Since graduating I have aquired qualifications such as PTTLS, Arts Award Advisor, BSL Level 6 (results pending) and worked as a drama wokshop facillitator, creative enabler, actor, CSW, teacher and there are probably a few other job roles in there too. My mother used to joke that my CV would be a book of hodge-podge.

This blog is not intended to be an autobiography so I’ll get to the point. Samuel Dore proposed a great argument that whilst sometimes it is good to be specialised and a small part of him wishes he focused on one area in particular, having many skills can give you more opportunities. So I wish to say thanks, whilst my varied skills might seem a bit random, I can see how they can all combine to improve my opportunities now and in the future. Us self employed folk, especially in the creative sector don’t want just one string to our bow, we want many well developed strings that can produce fantastic music. Thank you Mr Dore for your refreshing perspective and giving me the confidence to persue variety in my career and give out my business card that states no specific job title with pride.

Next to speak was the wonderful Caro Parker, looking effortlessly cool and creative in bright red and purple. She gave a background of her work, explaining how she came to be doing what she does today, again an array of interlinked skills produced by her varied training. Caro then performed two of her sign songs, “The Rose” sung by Bette Midler and Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights”. The former gave me goosebumps and almost caused a tear to run down my cheek, whilst the latter had me in stitches, I thought I was going to fall off my chair! It was amazing how Caro’s ability to storytell and convey emotion completely transformed the meeting room. I could feel the warmth of the lights, smell the booze stained carpet of a caberet club, all senses were engaged whilst this amazing performer displayed her diversity of skills. Sensational! Caro Parker was definitely an inspiration and has given me more of an insight to how songs and music can be visually communicated. If you get the chance to see her perform I urge you to take it.

The last part of the session focused on using interpreters and provided extremely useful information to those who have never, or have had little experience booking and using interpreters.

I wish to say a big thank you to Communityid and The Big lottery Fund for funding this invaluable morning, I hope to see more sessions like this in the future. You can see more of their events here, but hurry as places are limited.

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