Tips for Auditioning Deaf Performers
ACTRA National’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee produced this practical Tips Guide for Auditioning Deaf Performers. This guide is designed to help casting professionals audition deaf actors, eliminate barriers, and promote a more inclusive work environment. Interpreting in the television, film and digital screen industry requires more than just knowledge of Sign Language. It also takes knowledge of the industry. Deaf actors face unique obstacles when auditioning or performing on set. These tips help casting professionals understand the needs of deaf performers, such as understanding where to place the sign interpreter and how to frame a shot of the signing performer, so that deaf performers are able to get the best audition or performance possible.
Tips Guide for Auditioning Deaf Performers:
- Use a Sign Language Interpreter.
- Speak directly with the Deaf Actor, not the Interpreter.
- Treat the Interpreter as a professional.
- Watch the lighting: the Deaf Actor must see the Interpreter.
- Camera framing: the Deaf Actor’s hands must be in frame so their language can be seen.
- Sign Language Interpreter and Reader placement must be side-by-side, on the same side of the camera. The Deaf Actor can then see both Reader and Interpreter, and does not have to cross frame to do so.
- If Casting Directors are in attendance or viewing the audition later, following these tips will help the Deaf Actor give their best performance!
“The key to opening doors to great performances is through accessibility.“Catherine Joell MacKinnon
ACTRA would like to give a special thanks to the following people who helped create this helpful tips guide:
Catherine Joell MacKinnon
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