Actor and comedian Shannon DeVido talks with Ben Hauck on the many facets of working as an actor who also has a disability. In the interview, Shannon covers the topic of marketing herself as an actor versus as an actor with a disability, what “PWD” means on a résumé, and what to show (or not to show) in a headshot. She shares what kinds of roles she auditions for as well as the logistics involved when auditioning in a wheelchair. Shannon also offers advice for breaking out of being seen as a disabled actor and more primarily as an actor. She shares other ways she makes money outside of acting, not to mention how doing a web series increased her visibility as an actor. Shannon concludes the interview with her opinions on the need for the industry to open their minds to disabled actors when it comes to casting. Ben rounds out the episode with information on Inclusion in the Arts, which has a database of performers with disabilities.
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Shannon DeVido’s Bio
Shannon DeVido is an accomplished actress, comedian, and singer. She has appeared on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Difficult People (as Andrea Mumford), Good Beer (as Shannon), Law and Order: SVU (as Beth Myers), and Sesame Street. As a stand-up comedian she’s performed around the country, including opening for Jim Florentine. She can be seen performing around Philadelphia with her improv groups Wussy Riot and Hell on Wheels and sketch group Adventure Friends, and in her web series Stare at Shannon.
- Actor website: http://www.shannondevido.com
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/shannonleigh327
- Twitter: @ShannonDeVido
Stare at Shannon Web Series
In her web series Stare at Shannon, Shannon does “awesome” things and invites people to stare at her. In the podcast interview, Shannon refers to one episode wherein she sneaks food in a grocery store, namely ice cream cones:
Shannon’s Other Jobs
Inclusion in the Arts
As I mention at the end of the episode, on June 2, 2015, I received an email from SAG-AFTRA’s New York Local whose first item addressed performers with disabilities. Here’s what it said:
Attention Performers With Disabilities: Submit Your Headshot and Resume to Inclusion in the Arts
Last December, the joint SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) Task Force on Disability met to find ways to facilitate increased audition opportunities for performers with disabilities for both disability-specific and non-specific roles. The AMPTP member companies were extremely receptive and immediately began to call upon available resources, including Inclusion in the Arts, which maintains a nationwide database of performers with disabilities.
If you are a performer with a disability, click here to find out how you can add your information to Inclusion’s database. They request that you email your current headshot (JPEG only, no larger than 2MB) and resume (PDF preferred, Word accepted). Please be sure to include complete contact information, including representation (if applicable). [Direct the email to] their Disability and Programming Associate David Harrell using email@example.com.
For more information about Inclusion in the Arts, visit: http://inclusioninthearts.org.
The Inclusion in the Arts website also contains this blog post with a similar request.
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