For the hard of hearing, pursuing a career in the performing arts can be a daunting challenge. But for those willing to commit to it, it can lead to a rewarding career. We recently featured in an article for Connect Hearing about supporting those in the community with hearing loss to pursue their passion for the performing arts.
We at Riverside Theatres believe that if you love the performing arts, you should pursue your passion. Immersing yourself in the performing arts also demands a high level of commitment and there can be challenges for the hard of hearing performer. While sometimes communication can take longer and could be misunderstood, we are seeing more ways that people can create and convey their stories. In our drama workshops, we have implemented several different ways to assist communication for those with hearing loss while in these workshops. Our venues also include FM hearing augmentation and many shows feature open captioning on LCD screens.
While there can be challenges for the hard of hearing in the performing arts, especially with performances that rely heavily on spoken word, it should not prevent anyone from pursing their passion. There are also many technical and administrative opportunities within the theatre industry. The best advice we can offer is to identify the forms of expression that you most enjoy and focus on finding like-minded artists and mentors. Many in the creative industries are increasing the ways in which we communicate and share ideas, so there are opportunities for those with hearing loss to find their place in the performing arts community.