As a psychologist, special educator, and the mom of a working actor (Natasha Sattler), I am always interested in obtaining information to share with other families. In this particular case, I want to ask these questions – Who exactly are the talent agents, managers and casting directors who work directly with children with disabilities? And, does the entertainment industry understand the intricacies of working with children with specific learning challenges, such as Autism, Deafness, Down Syndrome, or Learning Disabilities? I want to explore these questions and many more this Fall on my radio program – ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT and the BUSINESS of it ALL- the PARENTING THE TALENT series.
Recently, there has been an upsurge of actors who are “nontraditional” on television. Several wonderful deaf actors appear on the ABCFamily show, SWITCHED AT BIRTH and PARENTHOOD has an actor portraying a child with Asperger’s syndrome. The Discovery Health Network dedicated a show about children with physical and learning challenges, including Jaylen Arnold from Jaylens Challenge. Bravo to the entertainment corporate executives who had the vision to show inclusion on television!
Keep in mind that although television is now more inclusive than ever, there exists no clear roadmap for any parent with a child who wishes to become a working actor, let alone a child with special considerations. For many families their child may have exceptional needs and extraordinary talent, yet the course to becoming a working actor often can be bumpy and without any guidance. Therefore, I wish to learn more from industry specialists. I know how Natasha was able to overcome her learning disabilities, to be able to shine her way through auditions and secure work as an actor, however, what about others? What are their stories? Who can help them? Who are the talent agents, managers and casting directors that work with our friends in the special needs community? I would love to hear from any or all who can help enlighten! And if you wish to be a guest on the show – let me know!
ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT and the BUSINESS OF IT ALL! (including the PARENTING THE TALENT series) is co-hosted by Dara Blaker and Louise Sattler every Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST on BLOG TALK RADIO. This show is part of the 411 VOICES network. Both Louise and Dara are available for guest speaking on topics educational and about “parenting the talent”. Connect with us via PINE MEDIA. Thank you for reading!