English stand-up comedian, writer and actress Francesca Martinez took to the stage today (1 November) on day two of the RCM annual conference to talk resilience to delegates.
Francesca, who has cerebral palsy but prefers to describe herself as ‘wobbly’, spoke to delegates about her life with a disability and how she has learnt to love who she is.
She said: ‘Being wobbly is my normality, what is difficult is people’s reactions and attitudes to my wobbliness. We need to think about how we define each other.’
Francesca described her resilience when she eventually realised her dream to be an actress at a young age, despite a careers advisor who advised her against it.
She said: ‘Culture today promotes disempowering negative values – it’s concentrated on what you don’t have or what you don’t own. It’s all about perspective and we need to appreciate that we exist. A gift in life is achieving the right perspective.’
A delegate asked Francesca what advice she would you give to parents with disabled children, to which Francesca replied: ‘They need to have the strength of mind to reject the negative – disability is a natural and normal occurrence in humanity – we need a realistic and down to earth attitude.’
She added: ‘It’s important to embrace diversity instead of fearing it. Diversity makes us stronger - it is beautiful and we need to embrace it in ourselves and in each other.’