Ciaran's Belonging Monologue
"I’ve heard about the RCS for a long time and I’ve always wanted to attend there. I remember talking about the place with my dad and his partner at the time and talked about how tough it was. How popular it is. How people always wanted to go there. It’s a tough place to get into. Then, she brought up the fact that they have a reputation for only allowing in white, handsome, perfect students. That thought really stuck with me. Since then, I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t be perfect for it. Mostly because I’m deaf. I didn’t feel like I belonged. Well, not yet.
I first stepped into the building on an open day with Solar Bear. I was excited about this but the thought of them only accepting white, handsome people, still dawned on me. Do I belong? I didn’t know yet. I really wanted to. But walking into the building, it was pretty intimidating. Overwhelming. But, at the same time, I didn’t think to myself “I see myself, being a student, here”. Not yet anyway. I wanted to. That was the year when I was applying for Universities in England, one of the Universities, the University of Cumbria, has offered me a place. I was 18 at the time and I really wanted to go but Gerry Ramage [artistic director of Solar Bear] convinced me to stay. He talked about the new course at the RCS, where they’re going to accept deaf students. Reluctantly, I decided to give up on going to Uni in England and stay in Scotland.
I, then, applied for the Deaf Theatre Skills pilot course, where I had to audition and I got through. I did a ten week pilot course which was led by Mark Stevenson. That was tough for me as I was used to being in a youth theatre environment where it wasn’t so challenging. DTS was challenging. There was a lot of questions being asked and sometimes I would talk about something but I was challenged against and I had to think about the things I’ve said and thought of things I hadn’t thought of before. I don’t know if this makes sense but that is truly how I felt. For me, did I feel like I belonged? I was getting there.
I was asked to talk about “belonging” and to me, belonging means home. We all belong at home. For the past 20 years, I've moved houses, 13 times and I’m onto my 14th house in October. “Belonging” isn't a word I’d associate well with as I've probably moved houses every 1 and a half year. But, being at the RCS, I started to feel a sense of belonging. It was when I auditioned for Transitions and they've offered me a year worth of funding. To me, that made me really happy. The fact they've offered me a pot of money to do something I really love, which was Performing. It reminds me of how I’m on the right route to becoming a performer. The fact they trusted me with the money to do some courses, really made me feel like I belong here. I also have been working with them on developing a new course, called “BA Performance in BSL/English”, which is a working title, they have been truly welcoming to hear my voice and opinions. I feel like I’m listened here. As a deaf person and a representive of the deaf community, that is something I am really glad about and that is the other reason why I feel like I belonged.
So, how can I sum this up? I've been attending RCS as a part time student and I hope to become a full time student here soon. As cheesy as this sounds, moving houses 14 times, RCS is my 15th house."
So, there it is. My monologue. Hope you've enjoyed this and I hope you've enjoyed it. Throughout my monologue, I've mentioned several things that are within RCS, which personally, I think are fantastic. Here are the information on these several things:
I'm on my 2nd year with them and I highly recommend you to apply. They only allow you to get funding if you've matched their postcode guidelines. You go through audition process and if you're successful, you get a year worth of funding for your course. It's fantastic.
Deaf Theatre Skills
I'm onto my 3rd year with them and I'm extremely excited about this. We're a fantastic group of performers and they've been a great support. Led by Mark Stevenson and Gerry Ramage with guest teachers that comes in occasionally. It's fabulous and we welcome new students.
BA Performance in BSL/English (Working Title)
Application form will soon be open, which is exciting! I will be applying for this course too and I hope you will do the same. There is 8-12 places for this course and the content has not 100% been confirmed yet but I trust the RCS enough to know that this will be a great course.