Tag Archives: Helen Keller

An Interesting Thought

Helen Keller sitting holding a magnolia flower...

Helen Keller sitting holding a magnolia flower, circa 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Being blind separates you from things, being deaf separates you from people”-Helen Keller

Now, I’ve never experienced the blindness part of this quote but I can honestly speak for the second part of this quote and she is spot on about this.

There are statistics out there that say that deafness can lead to depression, it can lead to separation, isolation, loneliness, amongst other things. I’ve also read articles stating that people with disabilities experience increased drug use due to the stresses from their disability. I can speak only for myself when I say that I have none of these symptoms, but I can definitely see and relate to why people with a hearing loss are experiencing this.

One of the reasons that people may feel isolated is that they may be the only person they know that is deaf, and that can be pretty hard. Luckily I have some friends that are deaf, but I don’t see them on a regular basis. For somebody that feels the need to have friends like themselves, this can be a difficult to undergo. I have always been thankful for the people, teachers, professors, and friends around me.

Another reason that somebody can feel depressed is that the people around them just don’t know how to respond to them. I myself, have had several people in my life baby me and treat me like I’m a special ed. case. That can be very embarrassing. If I wasn’t as “joking about the deafness” as I am, I’m sure I would receive this weird treatment much more than I do now.

Something that separates you from people is just the sheer fact of not hearing somebody’s voice. This is something that everybody takes for granted. Think about it, I’m sure most of the readers of this blog now awake to a screeching alarm clock, but what woke you up in elementary school? Your mother’s voice. That was impossible for me. I can’t hear anything because I don’t sleep with the hearing aids in, so I have to wait until I put them in and get used to the sound before I can comprehend everything.

I have people get mad at me all the time for not hearing them, they think I’m not listening. Sometimes I’m not, lately most times I really can’t hear them. It’s easier to just let them get mad.

When I’m talking one-on-one to somebody, I do great in conversation. I can read their lips and comprehend the entire conversation. But when a second or third person is added to the mix, this easy conversation with simple reading of lips instantly becomes as hard as solving a Rubik’s Cube while blind folded. That is when I start being quiet in the conversation and I “listen”, when I’m really just thinking to myself, “how the heck can I get away without seeming rude?” The best way to act engaged in these types of conversations is laugh when everybody else does. I know, it’s wrong, but I can’t follow the lip reading fiasco. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Many of you may have already known this, but I have never let my deafness kept me from having a social life. There is no reason why any other disability should keep anybody else from having one too.

Have a good week people.

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Crewing A Show

English: Helen Keller. Français : Helen Keller.

English: Helen Keller. Français : Helen Keller. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve just begun crewing “The Man Who Came To Dinner” and through sitting there for six hours while they set cues, a lot of things were revealed to me.

I’ve realized what frustrates me so much about tech rehearsals. Don’t get me wrong, I like doing the whole crew thing, its just the actual “teching” that”s always really frustrated me and for some reason; about 3 hours in I was always ready to leave.

It was the darkness backstage.

Now somebody reading this is probably thinking, “What? Is he afraid of darkness?” No it isn’t that. It’s the fact that after about three hours of sitting in the darkness not being to hear the whispers that my fellow crew members are saying to each other, and the fact that I can’t read lips back there really sets you back.

Especially if you feel they may or may not be talking about or to you.

It’s also the fact that the stage manager gives orders through a microphone. This drives me crazy. I know, that’s how it’s done, it’s a “God Mic” and she has to use it. But that sound reverberates like no other. I can’t understand a thing and it drives me absolutely crazy. I made a complete idiot out of myself yesterday because I thought I heard something and did something else and it was very embarrassing. Nobody will offer to tell me what she said, so I’ve gotta improvise.

It’s because of all of this, that I am constantly asking questions. And because I ask so many questions, I’m getting on peoples nerves and they start being impertinent towards me. I have NO IDEA what is going on. I can’t hear a thing back there and my vision is impaired. Yes, as many of you are thinking, truly a Helen Keller situation.

As you may be asking, “Well what’s so different about tech rehearsal from normal rehearsal?”
It depends on the show, because usually there are lights on from the stage most all the time that allow for me to see lips backstage. I’m praying this show is like one of those…

One more point I want to make today:

Nobody has the right to get frustrated with me for something I have no control over. Just like nobody has the right to get frustrated with somebody else about something they have no control over. I’ve done the best I can, and everybody else has too. Getting frustrated with me for not hearing in a piercing black backstage is like getting mad at a man in a wheelchair for not being able to dance with you. I’m not specifically talking to any one person or group of people when I say this, this is a general address.

Everybody have a good week, it’s a short one for me!

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