Aria meets Kitty Castledine

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Hi, Kitty. Introduce yourself to our community:

Hi! I’m Kitty! I live in London, I am an actor and currently studying at Drama school.
At the age of 7, I had a spinal cord injury through a virus called Transverse Myelitis leaving me paralyzed from the waist down. Because of that, I am a wheelchair user AND more IMPORTANTLY, a proud Aria ambassador! So, I guess it all worked out in the end… ;)

Tell us more about your passion for acting

I’ve always loved acting. I know that’s what most actors say, but it’s true… I promise! I do, however, think it’s better to say I’ve always loved ‘the arts’. From a young age, I enjoyed my fair share of sports and dance but once I became paralyzed I began putting more energy into acting. I was lucky enough to be a part of the 2012 closing ceremony of the Paralympics, held in London, which was the most incredible experience. I was in the short film and in the actual ceremony… I pretty much paraded shine-bright-like-a-diamond-Rihanna around on a mechanical boat while she sang. Phenomenal.

Kitty at the 2012 closing ceremony of the Paralympics

Something that intensified my love for acting was a BBC short film I was cast in called ‘The Break’.

It focused on a newly paralyzed teen girl, her battle with navigating friendships and her self-confidence, while closely relying on a virtual goblin on her phone. As I’m growing, I am becoming more and more interested in theatre. I have found it increasingly frustrating with the lack of disabled representation. It’s very hard to find plays (or any medium of art for that matter) that include, correctly portrayed, disabled characters… as well as just finding disabled writers! I know there are MANY disabled creatives out there, but unfortunately many don’t have the platform they deserve!

Hopefully, I can be a part of this change and we can prove how we desperately need to diversify the content we consume. Disabled stories deserve to be heard!

Tell us a story about your acting school

Drama school is such a crazy place.

One day you’re acting out a fairly normal scene, the next you’re on the floor pretending to be a gust of wind traveling through an air vent. There is no in-between.

Talking of being on the floor, I’ve recently been doing a lot of movement classes. This is where we play and explore how our bodies can move so we can be free, as actors, when performing.

As the only paralyzed wheelchair user in my class, I can feel restricted in my movement and assume I can’t achieve the same level of freedom as my non-disabled peers. Ohhh how I was wrong. Something that is very ‘drama school’ is a movement class called ‘animal studies’ where we completely embody an animal for the duration of the class…. I know. During these classes, I have been transferring to the floor and exploring my own kinds of movement.

Kitty acting at the drama school

Being outside of my wheelchair in front of others was something that was exposing for me, but embracing the vulnerability of it, it’s been so liberating. In one session, we focused on big cats. Let me just say, being a disabled lion hunting for prey is SO much better than a boring average able-bodied lion, I’m telling you. It’s also worth mentioning that most of my freedom, whether that’s as an actor or in everyday life, comes from my wheelchair. I am the freest when in my Aria and I wouldn’t be able to do ANY of the things I love doing without it.

Kitty with her classmates

What's your advice for a person with disabilities who wants to start acting?

To those with disabilities that want to start acting: Do it! Please! The world needs more actors like you.

It’s hard while there are few disabled actors to look up to, but the ones who are there are amazing. Do some googling and see who’s out there! Sometimes, it can also be about ‘being your own role model’. Be someone who you would like to have looked up to. Also, join/audition for any drama clubs/drama schools you like. Whether they are specifically for disabled people or not.

We already adapt so much for the world, people can (and will) adapt drama training for us.

Lastly. Make sure, in the grand scheme of things, you’re having FUN! It’s not worth it if it’s not FUN!

What are your main goals for the future?

My main goal for the future is to keep pursuing acting, and all the fun things that go alongside it. I want to be performing in plays, tv shows, films- the lot! I’m very keen to explore the video game world too; voice-overs & motion capture and all that excitement. I also want to begin writing. Whether I’ll be any good, who knows! But, it’s important that stories are shared- especially from voices that aren’t heard often. Cough cough, disabled stories!

How did you meet Aria Wheels?

Aria Wheels have always been on my radar! I’ll had seen a fair few people on social media rock Aria's wheelchairs and was totally and utterly jealous.

Kitty in her Aria Speciale wheelchair

What has impressed you most about our products?

Aria Wheels never fail to create wheelchairs that are pleasing to the body and to the eyes. It’s perfectly created to be comfortable while also looking incredible. Something that many wheelchairs don’t offer. The sleek appearance and the ergonomic design are an absolute winner when it comes to Aria Wheels!

In your opinion, what are the strengths of Aria Wheels products?

Aria has many strengths with their wheelchairs. The best part of any Aria wheelchair you buy is the guaranteed sleek look. They look effortlessly smooth and also feel effortlessly smooth to roll in. Especially when you’re rolling every day, the ease of wheeling becomes very important. Aria has nailed it.

Also, the huge selection of customizable parts and adjustments you can choose from is fantastic- you are able to make your Aria chair the perfect fit so it is individual for you and you only!

My personal favorite is the Speciale wheelchair.

This is because it’s super light which allows me to ace car transfers every time as I can easily lift the lightweight frame!

Tell us where people can follow you:

Here are my social media. Follow me!

Instagram & Twitter: @kittycastledine

TikTok: @kitscastle

Thank you, Kitty!

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