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Interview: Pryscilla Monroy García

We interviewed Pryscilla, a deaf actress in the new music video for ‘All By Myself’, a song by Alok, Sigala and Ellie Goulding.

We’ve been supporting the launch of the new music video for ‘All by Myself’, which shows the story of a young deaf woman enjoying herself on a night out with friends. 

Pryscilla Monroy García

Pryscilla is a deaf actress who lives in Mexico, who plays the role of the young woman in the video.  

Here she tells us about her involvement in the song, and why representation is important.

(This interview has been translated from Spanish). 

  1. Can you tell us about your deafness? Were you born deaf, or did you become deaf when you were older? 

When I was two years old, I was diagnosed with deafness and immediately my parents informed themselves in many aspects. They bought me my first hearing aids and I started speech therapy. At the same time, I learnt to communicate in sign language. 

2. What type of sign language do you use, and how did you learn? 

I use Mexican Sign Language (LSM) and I also teach through LSM academy. My grandparents were deaf and it was their way of communicating, soI learnt it as a second native tongue. As a baby I saw how my mom and aunts communicated in LSM with my grandparents, so it was easy to learn.  

3. What is Deaf culture like in Mexico?

Unfortunately, in Mexico there is still a lot of work to be done to promote easy access for the Deaf community and to encourage the northern community to learn more about deaf people and how to communicate with them. Many people think that deaf people are mute and that is a complete myth.

4. How did you get the part of this character for the music video?

I was contacted thanks to my social networks. Monica, the director of the video, saw my profile and liked it and the artists Alok, Sigala and Ellie Goulding accepted the proposal because I was like the girl they had in mind to reflect. It was a great experience – I enjoyed it and I learned a lot. It’s super exciting to work for artists of that level and I would love to meet them in person one day because I love their music.

5. Your character in the music video enjoys dancing and going to a club. Do you enjoy music and dancing in real life?

Yes, that’s right, I love dancing and I enjoy life – I try to see the good side of everything. Thanks to my hearing aids I can listen to and enjoy music.

6. Do the lyrics to the song resonate with your personal experience of being deaf?

Definitely, yes – so much that I cried when I read it and I understood each phrase because it is so similar to what my life has been; it is a reflection of my experiences. When I’ve arrived at a party, I know I have to have a good time with myself and with the music. Sometimes my friends or acquaintances would forget that I am deaf and unintentionally I was left out of their conversations and laughter, so I had to encourage myself to get into the music, dance and enjoy it.

When I dared to upload my first video on Tik Tok I was afraid that people would laugh at my different voice, but I took courage and thought: no matter, I will be the voice of many deaf people and children. People began to follow me and that helped to strengthen me as a deaf person. What I seek is to be of much help to my Deaf community.

7. How important is it to see deaf representation on our TV screens?

It is so important, especially for the Deaf community. I want it to be an inspiration for everyone, we can all achieve what we dream, I once dreamed and it came true.

8. How do you think people will react to this music video seeing a deaf person going out and enjoying music?

Hopefully they will be amazed and it will encourage them to be more inclusive and take important steps forward. People are sometimes surprised to see me dance, the belief is that a deaf person does not dance, does not listen and therefore cannot dance, but this is a mistake – music is not only heard, it is felt and carried in the blood too.

9. When you were growing up, did you ever think you’d be in a music video?

Yes, I love dancing so much that I always saw myself dancing for a video, short film, or something with many people watching.

10. What would you say to your younger self today?

I would tell a younger Prys to keep believing in her dreams and keep trusting in her inner self, not to worry about what others say and think when they hear her speak and not to get frustrated or angry about being deaf. I would tell her that she will get strength from wherever she can to go forward and to always believe in Disney’s saying: If you dream it, you can become it.

11. How can the general public be more deaf aware?

For me, when anyone learns to use sign language it is a great act of love and empathy and a big step for real inclusion. People should be open to the fact that they will have to be more patient, people with different abilities need patience.

12. Is there anything else you would like to say or think is important?

Yes, to my Deaf community especially: I would like to tell you do not give up, I know how it feels, it can be very frustrating and exhausting when we do not understand or when people speak at the same time.

There are things we can do every day to improve our language, to listen better, to keep our hearing aids in the best condition – not everything has to be done by others. You are not less for not understanding and just as everyone has to be patient, we also have to be patient with ourselves and with society.

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