Over my 20+ years working professionally as an actor, dancer, director, and choreographer; some of the same issues about my truths as a Deaf person kept arising. Personally, I have experienced and observed that whenever there has been Deaf talent in the room, it became a place of undue anxiety - especially for the Deaf talent not trusting that they are being understood, getting all of the necessary information, or being effectively supported in a bi-lingual environment to do their work. More often than not, the arrangement of interpreters has been an afterthought - meaning not a line item in the budget - and we end up with mediocre communication facilitators. We find ourselves having to educate best practices for the room of how hearing people and Deaf people can effectively communicate. Directors of Artistic Sign Language, ASL advisors, coaches, and consultants are overlooked, negotiated to very low rates, or simply not included as part of the creative process during pre-production.
The constant worry about appeasing those who do not know how damaging their naiveté has been towards quality of work has caused many of my Deaf peers, myself included, to endure ignorance out of fear of losing jobs. This has resulted in anxiety about not being hired again due to the imposed ‘cost prohibitive’ mentality towards our presence, as well as of interpreters. This has caused many to simply walk away due to burnout and inability to sustain their art because of the lack of value for the culture and language, and for their well being as artists within their respective journeys.
This website will be a place for you to peruse most commonly asked questions, dispel some myths, and empower you with the possibilities of creating art by providing you with tools towards awareness and preparedness.
Alexandria is a member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity Association, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.