Saturday, 18 August 2018

Disability In The Entertainment Industry: An Interview With Cara Readle

Hi Cara, welcome to my blog! For those viewers who don't recognise your name, where will they know you from?
I used to be a regular on a Children's TV programme called The Story of Tracy Beaker, I have since played roles in other television programmes.

How would you describe yourself and your life right now?
I'm a very happy and determined person. I am still acting but finding it very hard to get seen for auditions, I know this is partly down to my disability but I will keep going.

Growing up, what was your favourite thing to do?
I loved drama in and out of school. I also loved to write, I was always writing stories.

What got you into acting?
I went to a local drama group when I was 10 years old, because I enjoyed it so much in school. My drama teacher from this group knew the casting director of Tracy Beaker, there were multiple parts being cast but for one of them was for a girl with a disability, I went to three auditions in total then I got the part!

How was being in Tracy Beaker? (also known as the most loved childrens programme ever!)
I was so lucky to have been in Tracy Beaker at only 12 years old. Filming for television was all new to me but I loved it, I got to learn a job that I still love today. All the cast had such a good time together and I really did make friends for life.

What has been your favourite role to date?
Layla in Tracy Beaker will always have a special place in my heart as it was my first job. But one of my favourite roles was Ellen in Baker Boys (BBC Wales). 

Who has been your favourite cast member to work with to date?
I actually have two, I did a series for BBC Wales called Baker Boys and Eve Myles was playing my Characters mum. I think Eve is a fantastic actress and I feel blessed to have worked so closely with her. Also, I had a small part in a Sky 1 drama called The Smoke where I got to work with Jodie Witiker, the new Doctor Who! Again it was a privilege to work with such a talented actress. 

Do you think that there is lack of representation for actors/actresses with disabilities in the entertainment industry? Why?
I do think there is a lack of representation for actors/actresses with disabilities in the entertainment industry. I'm not 100% sure of the reason but I think it could be the fear of the Unknown and fear of offending by asking certain questions. If people have never worked with someone with a disability before they are probably more fearful of doing so. Similarly, there maybe a fear of unintentionally offending someone if they ask certain questions. I'd like to say to anyone who might feel that way, there is nothing to fear, I'm an actress who will work as any other actress would, you can also ask me anything you want or need to know, you won't offend me.

What is it like being a disabled actress?
Like everything, it has its positives and negatives. It's good because when I do get roles people get to watch me which will raise more awareness of disability and also I've had people with disabilities telling me how much it helps them seeing me on screen witch is a lovely positive reaction to have. However, being a disabled actress (as I have discovered) you get far less auditions than able-bodied actors/actresses so it is harder to secure an acting job.

What do you think are your greatest strengths and your weaknesses?
I think my biggest strength is my determination which has got me to where I am today.
I think that my biggest weakness is that I allow myself to get very frustrated when there is a lack of opportunities around when I'm not working.

Do you have any advice for any disabled teenagers/young adults with a dream of an acting career?
Make sure it is 100% what you want to do as it requires a lot of dedication and a thick skin. Also try to get another job or hobby to keep you busy when your not working or auditioning.

Should you be afraid of other peoples opinions?
No, not at all. If it's someone trying to help take it as something that you can work on. If it is negative and not constructive at all then it will probably have come from someone you don't care about anyway so don't waste your time even thinking about it.

Do you have an experience of bullying in your past? At school/college or work.
I've been really not to experience bullying. Sure people look or stare but I'm not going to let that bother me.

Do you have any advice for anyone who is being bullied right now?
If there is someone you can tell in confidence then do talk about it. Do not be ashamed, it's the bullies that should be ashamed not you. Find something that makes you happy and focus on the people that don't give you a hard time. There will be a way out and a time when it stops. Someone who bullies you is not worth you time, thoughts or emotions.

What do you think the biggest cause of prejudice is?
I think it's a lack of understanding, when someone see's something or someone different, sometimes they won't understand why they're different or give a person time to learn that they're not so different on the inside.

If you could change anything about the world, what would you change?
That everyone was treated as equal and differences were embraced, like race, religion, disablity, sexuality esc.

Lastly, what has been your favourite memory so far in the entertainment industry?
I am lucky to have so many amazing memories but one stand out one is going to the Welsh BAFTA's in 2009, and we actually won! It was an amazing experience and I met some amazing people.

Thank you for your time! I really appreciate you answering these questions and sharing your experiences. All the best for the future Cara!


  1. Love the post! It gave me an insight into disabilities and the entertainment industry.

  2. This post was so interesting! A lot of very important points made that should be talked about more often! Used to watch Cara in Tracy Beaker when I was younger too! :) x

    1. thank you so much! yasss, tracy beaker was wonderful x

  3. Thanks for shedding light on something I never even thought about!

  4. yes, bullying is so much rampant.. you were spot on.. have faced some bullies myself..