This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

Blog number 1 / 1 September 2011

Black and White portrait of Sam Jacobs

Black and White portrait of Sam Jacobs

Zoom in to this image and read text description

Here's to being 68, disabled, newly trained as a choreographer and about to go freelance. I had been a full time academic, teaching drama as well as running my own theatre company but I have now been compulsorily retired. I had already been told that I was a liability due to my disability and my several serious conditions.

I was just past retirement age and had worked full time, with their approval, for three years past the statutory retirement age. Done a very good job to according to all eternal assessors of these things, external examiners and my students and such like. But everyone knows that what really counts in these things is the number. 68 is clearly the mark of the beast. Having trained a huge number of highly successful theatre, television and radio scriptwriters, artistic directors, scenographers and choreographers counts for little compared to the number... and my number was clearly up.

However I am very excited about starting as a freelancer again. It is going to be so easy getting lots of producers and directors to agree to see a recently trained 68 year old disabled guy and the jobs will surely come rolling in-yes? PS I am also Gay, Jewish & Radical by nature. It is going to be an absolute shoe-in. So watch this space. I will keep you posted.

Meanwhile the word is that my university is employing someone a third of my age to do my job - and for a third of my salary of course. And they will naturally have at least a third less experience than I have, probably even less than that. And you can be sure they will have at least triple my mobility. Probably even three legs. I do see their point. Writers must have legs, as many as possible. I mean without them how could they possibly write?

Next time I want to share with you what super fun there is to be had by paying huge amounts of money to an internationally recognised dance academy, for them to train you to Masters Level as a choreographer. All this In a stunning new building, internationally acclaimed and copied for it's disability access. As long as you aren't disabled and/ or in a manual wheelchair that is.

Keywords: ,