STEPHEN COLLINS

Actor. Filmmaker. Instagrammer.

About

I'm an actor with over four years experience in both theatre and television. While I spent most of my time on stage or in front of the camera, the other time is spent on filmmaking, devising workshops, writing plays and photography.

Born and based where the bow bells once rang, film and theatre have always stood by me growing up. From my earliest memories watching Laurel & Hardy, I knew then that this was the path I wanted to go.

Over the years I have seen my work progress, through hard work from a small role in a nativity play in school to performing as the King on the big stage at the Globe this year.

2012 had been an incredible year career wise and I was very fortunate to work with so many wonderful people. I was involved in Graeae Theatre's critically acclaimed Reasons To Be Cheerful The Musical. The group went on to perform at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony blasting out Spasticus Autisticus. For the first time in the Shakespeare Globe's history, Deafinitely Theatre along with ten Deaf actors (myself as King Ferdinand), performed Love's Labour's Lost in British Sign Language on stage as part of Globe to Globe Festival. All this has only built my appetite to do more and better.

Please do have a look around my work at the 'Pages' Section at the bottom left of the screen.

You can contact me by clicking on the round links above (Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr & Linkedin)
I will be happy to answer any comments or questions you may have.

Hope we meet along the way.

Stephen

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2012

How would you describe 2012 in one word? 

I cannot. But one thing for sure is that 2012 had been and still is an eventful year. Where can I begin? Well in a shortest paragraphs I can possibly put together.

At the start of the year, my sister gave birth to the most beautiful and funniest baby boy in snowy February. I became an uncle for the first time. Its been a real joy and he still makes me laugh in his own little ways. This year also saw many people I know having babies, successes in their careers, getting engaged or married and buying houses. One thing for sure is that the gate had finally fully open for our year. It had been wonderful seeing close friends moving on to the next chapter of their lives. Enjoy it. Of course not everything had been plain sailing, but this quote from Marilyn Monroe stood out for me and I wish to share it to everyone:

'Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.'  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 

This year was a beginning of the next chapter of my life in a scale I could not even imagine. Its a good year for my career. It all started with me donning my punk outfit once again as Colin for the two months national tour of ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful The Musical’ with Graeae Theatre Company, performing ‘Love Labour’s Lost’ at The Globe with Deafinitely Theatre, devising theatre workshops with Handprint Theatre and again with Graeae performing ‘Spasticus Austisticus’ at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony (We have a single on itunes track no 13 - http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/where-is-it-going-paralympics/id556067029?i=556067183) & songs from the show for Hackney Empire, Paralympic Ball, Liberty Festival at Trafalgar Square and to finish off in style a show at Southbank. Along the ride, I have met so many amazing people and seen so many brilliant shows by other artists. I am so glad to be able to share this with the people I love and care about. I want to thank every single person I have met. I would name every single person here but it would be like reading a book which you all don’t have time for on this blog. There are people I cannot say thank you enough but you are all very special to me. For those that I don’t get to see or speak to very often, I still think of you guys and I am sure we will meet again soon.

Amazing opportunities have been booming for Deaf and Disabled artists everywhere this year. It had been overwhelming seeing all artists really showing the world what we have got and blowing the sky open. The Paralympic Opening Ceremony and Deafinitely Theatre at the Globe is evident of that. While 2012 had been amazing for many of us, It is important and up to us that we ensure the work is carried on to the next year and the next. 

2012 had been incredible year for the sport especially the Olympics & the Paralympics. Seeing the whole country coming out to celebrate this many occasions is what makes me proud to be British. I don’t think I have seen so much national pride like this ever. Long may it continue.

Time to take a breather now. Woo.

Back in July I saw an opportunity on twitter. So I followed my gut instinct and applied for it. Now in five days I will be jetting off to Sri Lanka along with Sophie Allen & five other deaf people volunteering at Deaf schools for two months. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and working with SL Volunteers (http://slvolunteers.com/)

Over the next two months I will be posting up a weekly (or two) diary of our journey in Sri Lanka. So please do keep checking for our latest developments.

Time for me to finish off now with this simple message…

Thank you.

The 2012 checklist that you should do this year.

Here is the checklist of things that you should put in your diary for 2012:

1. First up Reasons To Be Cheerful The Musical is back but this time on tour for 46 shows across the UK. Check the website for the tour dates and more information about the show: http://www.reasonstobecheerfulthemusical.co.uk/tickets/

The show is heading to Ipswich, Truro (Cornwall), Hull, Watford, Dundee, Hackney (London) & Nottingham. So if you live around there or nearby then do come! The dates are 9 February to 7 April 2012.

It’s Punk! Its Anarchy! Its Vibrating Loud! Its the late 70s/early 80s! The music are from the great lyricist - Ian Dury and of course The Blockheads. 

All the shows are Captioned Dialogue, BSL Interpreted Songs & Audio Described.

2. You have a pile of clothes or materials that have been stacking up in your wardrobe that you want to get rid of. But you are too attach to them. Fear not. 

This wonderful woman, who goes by the name Hannah Butcher, can recycle all your clothes into iPad cases, Laptop covers, Book covers, bed runner etc… See her website here at http://auburnroo.co.uk/auburnroo-shop Email her if you are interested and for a quote.

I think its fantastic as it is more of a personal touch and a fantastic way to recycle your things. For example, this is what she did to my £50 Superdry shirt:

The shirt had now been recycled and put into a better use as a iPad case. 

3. Check out BSLBT for new deaf programmes or repeats on Film4 or the Community Channel every week -http://www.bslbt.co.uk/ There are more exciting stuff coming up in 2012. 

Or watch the list of previous films and TV programmes from the last three years - http://www.bslbt.co.uk/programmes/

4. Its a busy year for Deafinitely Theatre who will be starting with 4Play, a showcase of four plays written by four winners of Deafinitely Creative competition.

4 new short plays in 1 great show:

A Sweet Slice by Stephen Collins

Absence in Time by Vitalis Katakinas

TwentyFortySeven by Lianne Herbert

Confusions of a Shadow Boxer by Matthew Gurney

The show will be at RADA STUDIOS (Formerly Known As The DRILL HALL) on Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25th February.

Details and to book tickets: http://www.rada.ac.uk/productions-and-events/other-events/sales-four-play

Secondly, coming back for the second time is Gold Dust. Its returning in March 2012 with three performance in the Midlands and four shows at London’s Soho Theatre. Full details will be available soon so watch this space… http://www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk/index.php?pid=1

Thirdly and probably the most exciting of them all is Love’s Labour’s Lost. This is one of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. So Deafinitely Theatre will be making their own interpretation of the play. And what is more exciting - its all in British Sign Language and at Shakespeare’s Globe. Its all part of the Globe to Globe London 2012 Cultural Festival where 37 different countries (in their own languages) will present every one of the 37 Shakespeare’s plays over six week.

Tickets are on sale now: http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com/plays/loves-labours-lost/english-79

Dates:

 Tuesday 22 May, 2.30pm 

Wednesday 23 May, 7.30pm  at Shakespeare’s Globe

Phew. That was exciting.

6. This one particular person deserves a mention here. His work have always had me in awe, full of surprises and always curious in what he will do next. This person is of course Ashton Jean Pierre - a fantastic Photographer. He is very creative and he really captures what we, as people, are about.

Ashton have now moved on from Digital and now solely focus on Film. This is what got me all exciting for 2012. I know we will see more of him after what had been a great year for him in 2011.

So you should and I am saying that you should check his blog at http://www.ashtonjeanpierreblog.com/

Click like on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashton-Jean-Pierre-Photography/94873527468?sk=info

and do check out a BBC Feature on Ashton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVy2p03JrT8

7. SOCIAL NETWORK - We are now in the world full of social networks popping up here and there. We are more connected around the world than ever before (unless they discover the time machine this year.) While Facebook have unveils the new Time Line which I personally think is a fantastic concept. As a person with interest in History, this will be a great format for future generations to use to look back at their family history (that is if Facebook is still around by then.) Anyway, the two social network sites that I think should be on your checklists are Twitter & Instagram. Check them out.

8. FESTIVALS - Festivals have been on the increase every year and this year is no exception. Although Glastonbury is taking a year off this year, there are many more festivals for everyone to check out. Plus there are many free festivals around too. This is the cultural year with it being the Olympics, so many things will be happening. Check out your locals and Google it

9. Support your local shops. 

10. Its Euro 2012. Yes! More football mayhem again! Will Capello win us the Euro before giving up his baton to the next England manager at the end of tournament? I look forward to see who the next English manager is but it’s not going to be Harry Redknapp I’m telling you.

11. Deaffest 2012 - UK’s only Deaf-led Film & Television Festival is back on 25 to 27 May 2012http://deaffest.co.uk/

12. Its the year of the Olympics. London is hosting the 30th Olympic Games & 14th Paralympic Games in the summer at the regenerated Stratford. One of the most excited news about all of this is that Jenny Sealey had been appointed joint Artistic Directors with Bradley Hemmings for the Opening Ceremony of London Paralympic Games. 

An article to read: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/cultural-olympiad/8595066/Paralympics-opening-directors-are-named.html 

Enjoy watching the Olympics & Paralympics at the Stadiums or on the Telly.

I think this list should fill you up to at least to the Olympics. Its a new start. So try out new things, don’t be afraid to make some changes and enjoy it.

I will be posting another checklist in the near future. 

Happy 2012.

- Stephen Collins

ACTORS! ATTENTION ACTORS! GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

There are couple of fantastic acting opportunities you may be interested in: 

Matthew Gurney, Stephen Collins, Lianne Herbert and Vitalis Katakinas are currently on Deafinitely Creative course with Andrew Muir. They have been writing and creating their own plays since September 2011.. The plays are half hour and will be performed as part of ‘4play’ at the Drill Hall, London in February 2012.

We need five actors range from age 20 to 40+ to take a part in one of four plays.

Five Roles: 

1) Hearing female actor with good BSL
2) Deaf female actor for the speaking role
3) Deaf male actor with good BSL and over 40+ years old
4) Hearing male actor aged 20 to 30 who does not sign too well
5) Deaf male actor with good sign visual, aged 20 to 30

The auditions will be held in London on Thursday 15th Dec and Monday 19th Dec. 

Rehearsals: Full time from 6th to Wednesday 22nd February 2012. 
Performances: Evenings from 22nd Wed to Sat 25th Feb plus afternoon performance on Sat 25th. 

If you interested and want know more details : 
Please contact 

Paula@deafinitelytheatre.co.uk

I was involved in ‘4 Play’ last year and it was a fantastic experience. You should go for it. I am really excited to take part with Deafinitely Creative again and writing this time. 

More information and updates about Deafinitely Theatre: 

http://www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk/

Also Deafinitely Creative is holding a Xmas Party on 25th November. Party is at Christmas Underground @ The Boom Boom Room, Waterloo, London.

It promises to be a fantastic night out.

Deafinitely Theatre have teamed up with The Old Vic to create a Big Party in the Tunnels with unlimited Drinks, Foods, Cabaret, Circus Performances, Djs and many surreal and Christmasy decorations.

All this is for £50.

£50 might seems a lot. But think about it. You are more likely to spent more than £50 on a night out plus food, expensive drinks and being the same usual places.

This is very different. Surreal. Full of excitement & entertainment and you have as much drinks and foods as you want. All for £50. You will save load of money in the long run.

PLUS you get to feel like a good Samaritan & Charitable because the money will also go to Deafinitely Creative to ensure that Deaf Theatre carried on beyond 2012 and for more deaf actors on stage. You all want to see more deaf actors in Theatre? Then come along and support us. The money will also support and motivate four Deaf writers who have been given an opportunity to create a exciting play for you all. 

More information and where to buy tickets

http://www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk/index.php?pid=16&aid=338

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=263925170317034

Thank you and hope to see you there.

Cinema comes top… for failing to provide subtitles. Again.

I am not usually one to rant on social networks because I like being positive every time I update my status or tweet. But today I am going to make an exception.

It’s Friday and it’s Remembrance Day. A day we celebrate those who fought and fights for our fundamental rights. We would not be here without them. So a good day so far, just finished my part time job so me and a friend thought we treat ourselves to a trip to see Tintin at the cinema in 3D with captioned. Great. Excited. It’s the only 3D captioned show of Tintin this week that is nearer to us and the only one in London. Well I live over 40 minutes away from the cinema. I occasionally go there, am usually happy with their services and it was easy enough to get home after.

I was running a bit late as the bus was taking forever. A friend texted me to say that she got the tickets but it wasn’t in 3D. I was disappointed but hey It’s still captioned. I finally arrived and caught up with the friend for bit before going inside. We were saying how visually wonderful Tintin would have been in 3D after seeing the trailer on TV but we weren’t complaining because we had the captioned.

So we found our seat that was perfect - in the middle of the row and halfway from the screen. I would say there was about 10 people around us. Got ourselves all comfortable. Drinks at the ready and nibbles in our hands. Fanastic opening credits and the film is about to start. I heard voices, people moving their mouths, more voices and I look down at the bottom. Nothing there. No captioned. I told my friend I will see what is going on.

I went down and asked the lady collecting the ticket “There is no captioned coming up for Tintin just now.” She said that she will check with her colleague on the walkie talkie. “Is it the 2.20 show?” She said. “Yes” I replied. “Ah there is no captioned for Tintin today” were the words that come out her mouth. Oh those sweet words. ‘No Captioned’ But I have heard those words before. A few times actually.

This is how this always goes. I complain. They apologise and give me a refund (sometimes free tickets). I tell them my frustration. They say they are sorry and will speak to the manager. We go our separate ways.

But here is the thing. I heard it all before. I have done it before. My friends have done it all before. We all have come across it at some point in our lives. You are lucky if it happened once but to me this is fourth/fifth time now.

This time we stood our ground and told them enough is enough. My friend specifically asked the lady at the box office if Tintin was captioned. She wrote it down. She had it typed on her phone and shown it to the lady. The lady specifically said yes it is. So why did she give us the tickets when it wasn’t captioned? The manager came. ‘We are very sorry. We had a discussion this morning and decided not to have it captioned.’ So it wasn’t ‘a techincal problem’ that you said to us first. Cinema always have the hack of saying ‘Technical problems’. Now it was your decision not to show it.

Okay we should have checked on the website since we can’t call the cinema personally. But yourlocalcinema website wasn’t updated (they only provide what they are given) nor was the Odeon website. I asked that you should have updated the website.”Its outside our control. The head department deals with it.’ But you have a phone so use it. “Its takes time to update the website.” But correct me if I am wrong - doesn’t the internet have a refresh system that update news regularly
Iike BBC News, BBC sports or Twitter even? I am very sure that news are updated regularly and quickly as possible. This is how fast information gets out every day.

This is happening again and again. It doesn’t seems that the Cinemas have taken on board our feedbacks nor do they have plan B in what to do. They are often very clueless. The manager said “We understand your frustration.” Well frankly you don’t. She said that she will personally speaks to her boss to deal with this. I like to believe that but it goes in one ear and out the other.

Deaf people - often ended up disappointed, wasted journeys (long and short), spent bit more money (Yes we get refund and that but we have to make alternative plans to make up for not going to the cinema), all that aggravation and make us feel even more paranoid if our next trip to the cinema will be better or not.

The Cinema - they get two/three deaf people or a group complaining. Apologise and give refund. Think nothing of it because they have hearing people to fill the seats so all is not lost.

Where is the plan B? How can the cinemas safe us from wasted journeys? Why is it their discussion to stop showing captioned? Its our rights. We only get several captioned films out of the many all over the country. We have to meet the times the cinemas have chosen and in limited places they show them. So why can’t they meet our needs?

The cinemas, especially Odeon in this situation, should take responsibility in updating their websites or using the social network sites that many of us use now to inform us of the changes they have made even if the decision was made in the morning.

Disappointing really.

So me and a friend got our refund. We went to the nearest cafe to have lunch since we didn’t want to go a long way home and have our day spoilt. And I still had to pay over 10 pounds for that lunch that I wasn’t suppose to have if I went to the cinema.


Stephen Collins

Where did the time go? Now it’s almost November and the end of 2011. So it’s time to get ready for Christmas and New year… well not exactly.

Why? 

Well for starters It’s Movember! 

Movember?

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Sound like an excellent cause. So?

Well your lovely lovely friend, me, will be growing his own moustache along with thousands of men for THE PROSTATE CANCER CHARITY.

Lovely. Why?

Well for obvious reasons, it’s for charity. I want to raise money for the charity and to raise awareness about prostate cancer. It affect men and it could affect me as well. We do tend to ignore issues about our health so we need to acknowledge the danger and what we can do to prevent it and to stop it. Also it’s because I’m a lovely man. :D I have never grown a moustache before so what a better way to start now. 

What can I do?

You can help by donating money to the charity by going to my Mo Space here: 

http://uk.movember.com/mospace/1522878/

From the 1st November, we all will start with a clean shave and then from then we will grow and groom our moustaches for the whole month. Purely just a moustache. No beard or a goatee. 

I will be posting updates and uploading photos and videos daily of my progress of the wonderful Stephen Collins’ Moustache.

Please do donate, comment or rate on my page.

Sound like a challenge…

Ah! Before you go. That is not all. I am also doing a Santa Dash 10K run in London on 4th December in a Father Christmas’ outfit with my wonderful friend Sophie Goddard. I am raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. They do fantastic work and I want to add to that. 

Please visit my page http://www.doitforcharity.com/stephencollins to donate.

I know It seems that I am asking a lot with two charities. But I am doing this for them. Please donate. Even if it is just 20p, 50p or £1. Any money coming in will go to those charities. I am very grateful for your time and really appreciate your support.

Thank you. Have a good Movember and Happy Holloween, Happy Bonfire Night & Happy Christmas.

Please wear a red poppy for Remembrance Day to remember those who have died on duty since the First World War. 

Stay Safe. Be Happy. Smile.

Love

Stephen Collins x

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