The Hardness of Hearing and Blind Spots

We had a fantastic dissertation rehearsal yesterday and I’m feeling really exhilarated with what we found ourselves with today.

We decided to keep up taking away our senses ad seeing how it impairs communication. We attempted to simulate being deaf again with better results and greater application. We had all learnt a Two-Handed Manual Alphabet used by some deaf people so we had a very basic way of communicating with each other, when a gesture could not be found to better express ourselves.

We started off by telling each other fairy stories, through a mixture of gesture and spelled out words. It was a difficult exercise to begin with (as always :)) especially with the speed at which we were able to spell letters but not recognise them, but we seem to be developing a very very basic way of communicating and one that is fun and feels special to us.

There were some very interesting side effects. One I felt was a strange aversion to becoming hearing once more. There were times when I swallowed, momentarily moving the ear plugs in my ears and letting me hear for a second. It was quite abrasive and shocking to hear and then loose it in the space of seconds. It also felt strange to hear everything clearly once again. Was was even more strange was how Molly voice changed significantly; it sounded more inside her throat then being projected out. Obviously so she could hear herself when her ears were blocked.

We also took turns in simulating being blind.

Afterwards we darkened the room to see if we could have the audience being blind or even simulating not being completely blind (as most ‘blind’ people aren’t fully blind) and quite spontaneously we started beating out a rhythm, which seemed to develop into a conversation in itself.

Today we got some brilliant ideas to explore, including the effect of our rhythm exercise on receptacles of  water, to simulate the way sound waves move in verbal communication, how we’re going to manipulate/use/place our audiences and using my particular skill of puppetry to explore shadow play.

Now we’re starting to think about pulling things together and playing with ideas of how we string our investigations and established scenes. Do we use a bit of narrative? Who is it that’s struggling to communicate? Do we just have personalities that carry the performance?

Really quite excited with what’s coming up. I’m feeling really inspired and so happy with my group. I’m really surprised how un-stressed I feel about dissertation. It’s the least stressful part of my final year.




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