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Guestspeaker- Gaynor Young
Gaynor Young
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Category:
Speaker
Location:
George South Africa
Preferred Language:
English
Tags:
Actress,Author,Inspiration,motivation,Personal story,Professional Speaker,Womens Interest
Profile:
Guest Speaker Gaynor Young was an actress. On the 9th December 1989 her life changed irrevocably!
 
Gaynor was understudy for the role of Guinevere in Camelot, being performed at the State Theatre in Pretoria. On the 9th December 1989, Kate Normington, the lead, fell ill. Gaynor was to take over at the afternoon and evening performances. She went on stage that afternoon never having had a dress rehearsal nor a technical rehearsal! But she knew that she would be amazing in the role. And indeed she was FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC!!! The scene before interval, was when disaster struck! In the dark, Gaynor must have turned the wrong way or missed her footing during a scene change, who knows, because she fell off the stage - 18 metres down an unguarded lift shaft.
 
As a result of this accident, Gaynor is totally deaf, and has just 40% eyesight. She has extensive brain damage and is spastic down the whole of her right side.
 
However Gaynor is ALIVE!
 
Four years after her accident, in April 1994, Gaynor opened in her one woman show ‘My Plunge to Fame’. She got rave reviews and travelled throughout South Africa playing at the Civic Theatre in Gauteng, the Natal Playhouse and the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town. She also performed in both Washington and London.
 
Ten years later, her second show Gaynor Rising opened at in Durban and then moved on to the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.
 
In 2000 Gaynor's autobiography My Plunge to Fame was published to widespread popularity. The South African playwright, Athol Fugard wrote, ‘If you have lately been doubting the capacity of the human spirit to overcome calamitous misfortune, I urge you to read Gaynor Young’s story. It will restore your faith’.
 
Gaynor now spends her time giving inspirational speeches to blue chip companies throughout South Africa, writing and looking after her children, Perdita, a beautiful wire haired Dachshund and Spencer, a grey Cockateil with a great sense of humour!
 
In 2007 I had a Cochlear Implant and on the 17th July I was ‘switched on’! I cannot describe to you the joy of once more being able to ‘hear’. The delight of being able to walk down a street and listen to the birds singing is something I never thought I would experience again.
 
Last May she had a second cochlear implant in her other ear, so she now hears 'in stereo'! For the first time in 24 years she feels ‘complete’.
 
Gaynor has found that it is only when something has been taken away from one that one is aware of it’s true value.

Gaynor performed in the following theatre productions:
- Stop the world I want to get off Little Abbey Theatre
- The Runner Stumbles Pieter Toerien
- Isn’t It Romantic Pieter Toerien
- Celebration Baxter Theatre
- Murder At The Vicarage Pieter Toerien
- Deadly Embrace Pieter Toerien
- Othello Market Theatre
- Peril At End House Pieter Toerien
- Private Lives Pieter Toerien
- Cinderella NAPAC
- Midsummer Nights Dream Market Theatre
- Scorched Earth Market Theatre
- Crossing The Line Baxter Theatre
- Camelot PACT
Television:
- Playing With Fire
- Harry’s House Presenter
- Louis Motors Franz Marx Productions
 
Films:
- Big Game Heyns Films

Gaynor's own shows:
- My Plunge To Fame - Opened at the Civic Theatre, Johannesburg - 12th April 1994
- Gaynor Rising – Opened at Kwasuka Theatre, Sept 2005
 
Authored:
- Autobiograph - My Plunge to Fame, launched in Johannesburg - 30th July 2000.
 
Awards:
- The Durban Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer in 1982
- My Plunge To Fame (book) was nominated in the 2001 National

Booksellers Award:
- Judges Award at The Durban Theatre Awards - November 2004 for courage, talent and determination
- The South African Blog Award 2015 (Lifestyle Category)

Guest Speaker Gaynor Young was an actress. On the 9th December 1989 her life changed irrevocably!
 
Gaynor was understudy for the role of Guinevere in Camelot, being performed at the State Theatre in Pretoria. On the 9th December 1989, Kate Normington, the lead, fell ill. Gaynor was to take over at the afternoon and evening performances. She went on stage that afternoon never having had a dress rehearsal nor a technical rehearsal! But she knew that she
Synopsis:
PRESENTATION by Gaynor Young

A plethora of media coverage at the time of my accident, two subsequent one woman shows, "My Plunge to Fame" & "Gaynor Rising" and my book means that many people across South Africa know about me and my fall. I therefore keep my introduction brief and to the point, purely for those people who haven't stumbled across me before.
 
My fall happened over 26 years ago. I obviously touch on my recovery but that is really old news and fairly evident as I stand before the audience. I speak of my survival in a very different world to the one that I had grown up in.
Survival in a deaf world.
Survival in a disabled world.
Survival in a spastic world.
 
These were all worlds that were foreign to me. I had a new 'language' to learn. It was incredibly difficult to get to know, accept and like this new Gaynor! I speak about the most amazing thing that happened just 9 years ago - getting my hearing back! Without a doubt, my deafness was the most debilitating result of my accident. I speak on how difficult and sometimes embarrassing life was in this soundless, grey world of mine. I go on to talk about my cochlear implant operations, my incredible "switch on" and the difference it has made to my life.
 
I then fast forward to last October and speak about my return to the State Theatre for the first time since my accident. By agreeing to make the "Prosper Film", I returned to the Opera Stage at The State Theatre. There I faced my own demon who had been leering at me for 26 years. Finally I speak about receiving the Lesedi 'Spirit of Courage' award which occurred a month ago in Johannesburg at the Naledi Theatre Awards.
 
I speak on the glory of living.
I usually conclude my speech by showing my Prosper Film.
The aim of my speech to to encourage, motivate and inspire!

Gaynor's motivational/inspirational Speaking has taken her to places thoughout South Africa, as well as Internationally, to London, Washington and The Virgin Islands.
PRESENTATION by Gaynor Young

A plethora of media coverage at the time of my accident, two subsequent one woman shows
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