I’ve always been a storyteller. Since I was a kid I would write stories and perform in my room. Telling stories felt as vital as breathing.
When I grew up, I wanted to hone my craft full time. This led to studying acting at the Adelaide College of the Arts. It was during this time where I experienced painful days when I could barely walk or stand. It was incredibly challenging as I had no idea what was causing me this pain – I had not been diagnosed with endometriosis yet.
There were people who thought I was doing it for attention. It was difficult not being trusted or believed. People started taking me more seriously when I started using a wheelchair in public; my disability was now visible and more credible.
As an actor, I know how important it is to see disabled stories, and for disabled actors to play these roles. Disability representation on film and TV is so important for disability awareness and education. Even if the plot has nothing to do with their disability, it can change people’s perspective and assumptions, just by seeing this character doing mundane things - taking their medications, going to the shops.
My plays often explore the intersection of being queer and disabled. I am most proud of my play ‘Butterfly Kicks’, which premiered at Rumpus in 2021. When we performed, I knew I wanted this play to be accessible to everyone, so I developed an access guide and plan, and had online options to watch the play.
I have experienced how painful it is to be excluded from life experiences. I want to see everyone embrace digital and livestreaming options for the arts, so that people can join in from anywhere. I want to see disability arts organisations and companies led and run by disabled people, and more disability representation on stage and screen.