Despite being more disabled than usual (a paraplegic with a broken leg sounds like the start of a bad joke) I’ve managed to get my arse in gear and contribute to two brilliant podcasts in the past few weeks.
I join in with the Abnormally Funny People crew once a month to give a little update on life in LA. They’re currently kicking ass at the Edinburgh Fringe so grab a ticket if you’re in town. Read more about them here: http://www.abnormallyfunnypeople.com and you can listen to the latest podcast here: https://audioboom.com/boos/3424767-afp-show-13-show-13-lucky-for-everyone
Also this month I joined BBC Ouch when I stepped in as wing woman to presenter Kate Monaghan on their August show recorded here in LA. We were joined by some pretty cool guests, hip hop dancer and star of reality show Push Girls, Auti Angel, talent agent Gail Williams and actor RJ Mitte, (better known to some as Walt Jnr from Breaking Bad). All of us work in the entertainment industry so we talked at length about roles for disabled actors and representation of disabled people in both the UK and US industries.
RJ is in a unique and enviable position, an actor with a disability who has worked on an immensely successful and well written show which has provided an excellent springboard to other high profile opportunities. (He recently walked the runway for Vivienne Westwood at Milan Fashion Week.) One of the reasons I’ve campaigned for better representation of disability in the media is because I believe there is a direct correlation between how disability is portrayed on screen or in print and how disabled people are treated in society. Films, television and books tell stories, sometimes informative and sometimes entertaining but too frequently those stories don’t include disability, they effectively censor disabled people and our experience. It’s pretty frustrating to feel that your experience isn’t worthy of representation other than as an alien cell structure under the microscope of a reality show. That’s why it’s important that performers like RJ and Auti are given the same opportunities as able bodied counterparts, the chance to tell our stories and reach a larger audience.
It raised some great discussion points and I had a blast, I think I was hyper excited to be out of my apartment and hanging out with a large group of inspiring people discussing topics I’m pretty passionate about, (I may have been going slightly stir crazy spending so much time in my apartment, my broken leg is somewhat curtailing my social activities) I left the studio feeling fired up and ready to put some plans into action.
Here’s the link to the BBC Ouch podcast: http://bbc.in/1NKGxe3