By Phi Theodoros
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This show at the Adelaide City Library was a fantastic way for people to meet with people who live with disabilities and learn more about their stories, dreams, ambitions and achievements. I left feeling uplifted and inspired by the stories I’d heard and many of the storytellers shared their love for True Ability and how much they appreciate being able to come together as performers and create works together.
I love how True Ability provided this opportunity for audiences to get to know people more closely & heard them tales behind the artists. It was an absolute delight to hear all the inspirational things and entertaining stories these 6 artists have curated on their “narration menus”.
Here are some snippets of my experience of travelling around the room and hearing all the stories on the menu at the “Lifebrary”;
Lucy- an incredible life story of so many different jobs. You wouldn’t expect this smiling and friendly face to be a martial arts expert & have worked as a body guard. She shared a song with me to finish our time together. This was such a beautiful and intimate part of the show – a song just for her and I. She also praised working with True Abilities as she loves being with other people and performing.
Jye- had me in stitches with every story he told me. From the time he and his friends rocked up to Oz Comic-Con all as storm troopers and took 4 hours to find each other amongst a sea of matching storm trooper costumes to the story of his $150 car falling apart literally while he was driving. What a delightful storyteller with such great comedic energy
Rachel- I have seen her perform many times and have met her once or twice but I still felt a little starstruck talking with her. She is an out and proud lesbian who was “Miss November” in the Rainbow Calendar for 2021 and has recently become the first person in Australia with Down Syndrome to graduate from university. She is an actor and a dancer and such a warm and friendly human. She was almost air-born too- with her mum going into labour on a 10 hour plane flight from America to England.
Justine- is not just an actor, she’s also a medal winning Special Olympian. It was so wonderful hearing about her journey as a swimmer and how she represented Australia in the Special Olympics in Spain- even having a shirt created that read “No pain, no gain, no Spain”. I really appreciated having this opportunity to get to know Justine better and to hear about her dedication and successes. I feel proud to know her and that such a lovely human was able to represent our country in the Special Olympics.
Kym– Or Kymbo as I know him is a good caring friend of mine who I’ve had the pleasure of working with creatively and chances are you’ve seen him around Adelaide supporting all kinds of arts events and shows. Today we chatted about his love for the Glenelg tigers, how he and True Ability Artistic Director have been friends for so long he’s attended numerous of Kym’s family Christmas events over the years. My favourite part of Kyms story today was a familiar one- him sharing his love for being a performer across many mediums and the way his toothy grin takes over his face when he lights up with joy around his biggest passions.
Hannah- was the last LifeBrary storyteller I spoke to and she shared about growing up with lots of interesting animals. With a Park Ranger father it wasn’t unusual for her to have a kangaroo Joey hopping around their property but perhaps the cutest story was how she trained possums to stand up and eat their nuts while she’s tending to their habitat with fresh water and more food. Though often she’d need to call out to her dad for more nuts to keep them occupied.
A huge congratulations to Kelly Vincent & Ailirio and the whole True Ability tea and supporters for creating another fantastic opportunity for people to listen and learn from these inspiring artists with disability.
Keep an eye on their socials for new shows and workshops celebrating the life and stories of creatives with lived & living experience of disability.