Our Blind Low Vision NZ accessible library is one of our most loved and popular services. With more than 30,000 items in our collection and huge demand for local and specialised content, our inhouse narrators are kept busy turning the printed word into audio. Meet one of our narrators, Donna Brookbanks, who is also an actor and a comedian.

1. What motivated you to become a narrator at Blind Low Vision NZ?

When I first started I was a poor actor who happened to be doing a show at The Court Theatre with Laura Hill. She had been a narrator at some point over her life and suggested to me that I try and get some work with Blind Low Vision NZ. My grandma, Mirabel Brookbanks, also used to narrate school text books for Blind Low Vision in the 90s, which I had always known about, so that was a really lovely connection for me.

2. What do you narrate and what do you enjoy most about it?

I narrate anything from Woman’s Weekly to Time Magazine, to kids’ books to adult fiction! I love the variety and not knowing what I will have on for my session that day. I learn so much when reading as well. Although, I probably know more about the Royals than I would otherwise…!

3. Is there any piece of narrating content that stands out for you?

I did some young adult fiction by Barbara Else that I really loved – The Volume of Possible Endings was one of them. She’s a great writer. I love to be able to narrate Kiwi fiction – that’s a real gift I think.

4. When you are not narrating, what do you do for work?

Great question! I’m mainly a stand-up comedian and actor so when I can be doing that, I am. I work as an MC and do some other voice work for commercials etc. I write for The Project occasionally and have been on Funny Girls, Jono and Ben and 7 Days. I also randomly transcribe medical reports for Neuropsychologists and a Paediatric Neurologist.

5. I hear you have a comedy show coming up, could you tell us about that and where we can go see you?

I do! It’s on at Auckland Fringe at The Classic Studio on Queen St. It’s called David Correos and Donna Brookbanks Do it Again (because we did a similar show last year). It’s on from 4 – 7 March at 8:45. It’s a work in progress show where we will be doing half an hour of stand up each in preparation for our NZ Comedy Fest shows in May. I’m also part of an improv group called Snort which is on at the Basement Theatre every Friday at 10pm.

If you’re a client of Blind Low Vision NZ and would like to become a library member, call us on 0800 24 33 33 or email info@blindlowvision.org.nz