Golden opportunities for young actors with disability

Golden opportunities for young actors with disability
Posted on Fri 17 May 2019

Getting a break in acting is extremely tough for anyone. Acting Head of Children’s content on ABC estimates that 95% of time actors are out of work. So, what are the odds for young aspiring actors living with disabilities to find success in such a competitive industry?

We spoke to 10 year-old actor Logan Reberger, who stars in Hardball, a new children’s TV program produced by the ABC, about his experiences. Logan lives with Multi Mini-Core Myopathy, and plays Jerry who lives with cerebral palsy.

 

How did you get involved in Hardball?

I had been doing some drama classes for about a year when I decided I wanted more and would like to be on TV, so I started going to Brent St at Fox Studios. I hadn’t been there long and was asked if I wanted to be put forward for a role on a show where they wanted a kid with a physical disability. I went to a casting call and that was the start of my journey in acting....

 

What made you want to act?

Besides drama classes I have never acted before. Hardball was my first audition. One of the reasons I want to be an actor is to learn the magic on set and how it all is done to get it to the screen.

 

Did you face any challenges finding roles because of your disability?

Well Hardball was the first audition I went to and I got it! During filming if Jerry was standing in the script but I needed to be in my wheelchair cause I was tired, the director just juggled a bit for me and I was able to do the scenes how I was most capable. I hope my disability doesn’t stop me from getting more roles, because I should be known for my acting ability. I’m not a disabled actor, I’m an actor with a disability.

 

Your character Jerry has cerebral palsy but you have a condition called Multi Mini-Core Myopathy. How did you represent your character’s condition?

Well the visual difference between the conditions is my muscles are loos but people with cerebral palsy have tight muscles, but the equipment is use is very similar. There was also a person on set at the start who had cerebral palsy and she helped me with any questions I had.

 

What’s Hardball about?
It’s a series about Mikey coming to a new school and meeting new friends, Jerry and Salwa, who train him to be the best in the west in handball by aiming to win a tournament. But Tiffany and her minions are out to stop him from competing in SASI-WESTS-HAT. Watching Mikey through the journey you feel the happy moments and the heartfelt moments that he experiences.

 

What was the funniest scene?
Probably the rap dream sequence scene at the start of episode six. It was fun and exciting to film and we also got to go to a recording studio to record the song for it. Being involved in this stuff is awesome!

 

What’s your favourite character trait of Jerry?
Probably his knowledge and wits because he uses them quite a bit to get him and his friends out of sticky situations. His knows a statistic for 84% of things, which is pretty cool.

 

What were the director and other actors like?

Everyone was so awesome, funny and kind. We have stayed in contact since filming ended and we can’t wait to see if there is a season two so we can all hang out on set again. There were actually three directors over the 13 episodes and the behind the scenes shoots, and they were all amazing! I hope to work with them again.

 

Is Block Street Primary School on Hardball anything like your real school?

Not really to look at, in the classes at my school we have awesome furniture and seating, not individual desks. We also have more kids at the school and in our classes than Block Street. They also never seemed to do any work at Block Street!

 

What’s your real school like?

Fun and full of supportive people. I have been at the same school since starting Kindy and really enjoy going. We have heaps of opportunities for students at the school, drama, sport, debating, arts, chess club... the list goes on. I am trying to decide which teacher is our Ms Crapper!

 

What do you think about the representation of disability in TV and film?

A big breakthrough in the entertainment industry. It’s good that they are getting people with actual disabilities to play characters with disabilities, instead of getting people who don’t have disabilities to play them. We are more than capable of doing it! I think it is important that everyone is treated equally and it is their acting ability that gets them the role.

 

What advice do you have for kids living with disabilities about choosing a career?

Choose something you will love and you are passionate about. If you feel it’s not accessible, get it modified to fit without losing what it is, then go for it!

 

What would you most like to do in the future?

There are two things I am aiming for. One: star in a Marvel Studio production and Two: be in a BBC Doctor Who episode. I have watched both of these all my life and would feel complete if I could achieve this, or should I say WHEN I achieve this.

 

Which TV shows, films or characters would you like to play?

I would love for Marvel to make a young version of the X-Men, but have the characters as they are now with their powers. I want to play a young Professor X, I already have the wheelchair organised.

 

Who and what are your acting inspirations?

I love watching Hugh Jackman in movies. In each role he is completely different and plays his characters well. I would love to be as good as him one day.

 

Who would you most like to meet?

I would love to meet Marshmello the DJ. Because I love his music and it makes me happy and he is so talented

 

What’s your idea of fun?

My idea of having fun is doing something that you like and love. I love playing video games, especially with friends online. At the moment my favourite games are Fortnite and Spider-Man. Getting out and about with my friends is also fun.

 

Read the article featuring ABC’s Acting Head of Children’s content.

Speak to one of our client service consultants to discuss where your career could take you. 

CPA transform lives through finding the perfect home for clients who need accommodation support. Our client Ashley is now living his best life, since moving homes he's build independence, made friends and taken up new hobbies.

CPA is pleased to welcome specialist psychology team, Diverse Minds, to our Allambie Heights campus in northern Sydney from 23 July 2019.


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