Disability Means Diversity

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My co-star from The Ringer, Eddie Barbanell

I was honored to be invited to celebrate the Farrelly Brothers as they received the Morton E. Ruderman Award for their work of inclusion of people with disabilities. In this industry, nobody comes close to the work they’ve done. It’s been an honor to work with them in the past. Shooting with them on The Ringer is an experience that changed my life. 

This star-studded event included so many performers with disabilities like Marlee Matlin, Geri Jewell, and Danny Woodburn.

I first met Danny on the set of Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups. (Read HERE) Fortunately I was seated right there next to him so we were able to reconnect. We shared a few jokes about the fancy butter dish.

Here’s the thing. They are all so amazing that it didn’t occur to me when I met them there that they are people with disabilities. I just got the star-struck “don’t know what to say” feeling that I get whenever I’m at an event like this.

Other names you may recognize were Ted Danson, Larry David, Kevin Pollack, Kevin Nealon and so many others that I just didn’t have the time to meet. And I made some new friends including Matthew Sauve. What a nice guy. We talked about parenting, table etiquette and his belief that the arts are not just a privilege, they’re a right.

Would you like to join in that call for making more roles available for people with disabilities? Click HERE. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts about creating more opportunities for people with disabilities and including people with disabilities in the diversity discussion.

I’m a Foreigner, not a Stooge!

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I was up for the part of “Curly” in the Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges movie. It’s mentioned in an article on Split Sider. You can read all about it HERE.

The film opened last weekend to mixed reviews as can be expected. I have not seen it yet because I’m in Fayette, MO where there is no movie theater nearby. But I hear from some friends that it’s actually a funny movie. And I’m glad to hear anything that keeps The Farrelly Brothers churning out new Nyuks.

Why oh Why am I in Fayette, MO? I just completed a four day run of a play called The Foreigner. The Sedalia Democrat wrote a nice article about it. The play was at Central Methodist University’s “Little Theater”, the same place that I performed plays throughout college.

The cast included: Jordan Brennan (senior, Marshall) as Froggy LeSeuer; Shamika Pegue (junior, Kansas City) as Betty Meeks; Jeff Byous (sophomore, Peculiar) as Rev. David Lee; Kate Kellner (sophomore, Strafford) as Catherine Simms; Josh Kirby (senior, Armstrong) as Owen Musser; and Dakota Gladbach (junior, Brookfield) as Ellard Simms. The understudy for Charlie was Roger Weaver (sophomore, Overland Park, Kan.) The students did a GREAT job, and made me feel so welcome that I felt like I was going back to school at CMU again.

It was a really fun show, and I’m so glad I was able to make it out here to be a part of the show. The audiences were AMAZING. I played Charlie Baker (No, that’s not a code. That’s his name!) It was great to work with the cast and crew at CMU’s Little Theatre. And I’d really like to thank Mark Kelty for asking me to be a part of it. Mark did a fantasitc job of directing the show. I plan to have some pictures of the show up soon. I’m looking forward to seeing how we looked. I was onstage for most of the show and so I didn’t have a chance to pop out and catch any of the action when I wasn’t in a scene. But below is a picture that was taken by a student in the dining hall where we did some spontaneous theater. We performed a scene from the play where Charlie tells a story in a language that he’s making up on the fly.

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Have you ever seen The Foreigner? I know it’s performed a lot, and Matthew Broderick played Charlie recently off Broadway. I’d be interested in hearing people’s favorite lines, or interesting performances that you’ve seen.

 

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