Christine @ 'I Was Most Alive With You' - my eyes are obsessed
What’s it about?
Knox shares that he is grateful for three things he thought were a curse: being Deaf, being gay, and being an alcoholic.
I feel like we are on a roll when it comes to inclusivity 👏👏👏
We still got a long way to go, but this is definitely a good start. Now, I’ve gone to only one other performance that was adjusted for people with medical and learning disabilities. That was at least 4 years ago, when The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was still on bway. And, I mean it made sense to include those special performances given that the lead character himself was a person who had his own difficulties (being Autistic). But it seems only recently that shows have begun to include special performances for mainstream shows.
Even more importantly I am finding more and more that shows are simply including characters with disabilities and not making them a focal point but simply including them as equals to everyone else. I know within my own family, no one really gives family members with these difficulties enough credit. Often fussing far too much over them to the point where the person gets annoyed by being undermined so much. In a strange way, by not being the main topic of discussion, it sort of empowers them because they begin to feel much more included with everyone else. At least that’s the vibe I get from my own family.
Anyway, the point is this is just really great 😊
Visually: my eyes are obsessed.
Being naturally overly observant is probably a big reason why this was initially overwhelming. I wanted to look at the actors, but also the shadow actors (people signing behind the actors) and then also there was text that would project across the set. Now, I feel like an a** complaining because it’s probably 100 times more overwhelming for someone who can’t hear to go to a traditional show.
When it comes to talking about the characters in this story. Gurrrrlllll, I thought I’ve met people with fu*ked up lives. But I was wrong. Knox has got it pretty bad. Cause being gay, deaf, AND an alcoholic probably takes the 1st place. Not only do you get treated differently for being a gay man and deaf, but then add on an alcohol dependency. Shit, I’d probably drink too. That’s just A LOT for one person.
All of this was even made more intense because of the fact that sign language is inherently theatrical so it was like being in the mind of that character. I personally don’t know ASL, but just by the physical movement, I could feel the anger or sadness someone was sharing. The shadow actors and hearing actors themselves, it was as if they were all on the same wavelength. It was as if some never before seen phenomenon was taking place on stage. It sounds like I’m exaggerating but really it was that crazy to see how connected everyone seemed to be. For a hearing person w/o knowledge of ASL, the shadow actors became a way for the main actors’ subconscious to unintentionally expose itself.
To see two worlds that really shouldn’t understand each other create something like this. Damn.
I have always (probably will always) wonder why bad things happen to good people? It was the first reason why I ever doubted why my family was catholic or religious at all. Atheism always seemed way more logical and so it seems to Knox. He actually says, “I want to see God. I don’t want any more signs.” I feel dat! This story comes at a weirdly appropriate time in my life. Just like Knox is having a really hard time coming to an understanding with his father, I can fu*king relate. It seems like his reluctance to accept his dad’s optimism for certain things and just his general reluctance to accept that sometimes your kid just wants you to listen to them and stop giving him ‘advice’. It just made me realize that sometimes your parents might have good intentions and think they’re helping you, but what good is it if they’re taking over you instead of ‘helping’ you?
The Talk back @ I Am Most Alive With You:
In my continued effort to not fu*k up when I do come into contact with a deaf or Deaf person in the future, I am gonna share two lil’ things I learned in the talk back after the show.
“There aren’t any phones allowed in the room. Because we have already two worlds. We can’t have a third one.” Director, Tyne Rafaeli
Ok, so wow. I just realized that our cell phones really do have their own world and wtf how effed up must that be to figure out when you can’t hear?! If there was ever a time where your phone should be off, I think this would be it.
“Deaf, capital D, represents those who are comfortable in ASL language and culture, whereas deaf, small d, denotes a physical condition.” - I can’t remember who said this lol
So, don’t fu*k up cause now you know.
Tell us about your experience.
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