For Drew Bates, his injury has been all about turning lemons into sweet, sweet lemonade, and it’s looking pretty tasty from here. A trained actor by trade, after his injury Drew created a unique offshoot for his talents, knowing he wouldn’t get as much screen time and roles as a chair-user; a sad but true fact of the industry.
What he ended up specializing in is truly exciting – animation and voice-over acting, and he’s developed a very cool animation series that Cartoon Network and MTV have shown interest in. Read on to learn all about Drew Bates, a hardworking Southern boy who’s an expert at reinventing his talents.
Why he’s fearless
Drew’s journey into life as a quadriplegic began in 2007. He was 32 years old and driving home from Las Vegas, all the way to Columbia, South Carolina, when he got caught up in a blizzard and was hit by a semi, becoming a C5-6 quad on impact. After being in denial and his condition the first few months, he started to accept his new life, and he knew he had to make some serious modifications to his acting career if he still wanted to make a living from it. Watch him talk about his injury
A year before his injury ironically enough he created his company UniquePublications LLC, dedicated to providing entertainment for kids and families. He decided to branch off from that, adding more voices to his voice-over skills repertoire. And let me say – this guy had some mad skills in this department.
Big announcer voices, animals, talking chickens, straightforward commercial voices, the Wookie voice, an awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger, not to mention the perfect Southern accent, he does it all. Listen to his commercial demo reel
Armed with his new voices, Drew decided to create an animation series called Redneck Ninjas, featuring exactly what it sounds like – Rednecks with ninja skills, or at least they think they have them at least. It’s pretty hysterical, and it has a great energy to it. Drew has been busy shopping it around at big networks Cartoon Network. Hopefully we’ll see it on TV very soon. Watch the Reneck Ninjas infomercial
With Redneck Ninjas waiting for its day in the sun, Drew and company have created another project – a full-length animation movie script called HOTEL FIREFLY, an 80-min animated action/comedy feature film for Children & Families.
The HOTEL FIREFLY provides shelter for weary travelers. Yet bad storms, and debt threaten its security. So Firefly, the hotelier, seeks insurance from an old school gangster, Don Cockroaccio. With a cockroach as a guide, insects chase their dreams in New Jersey’s “bug-eat-bug” world. Sounds like something kids will love, and exciting exciting – he plans on pitching the script in LA next month. Good luck Drew! Check out cover-art for the script here
At the end of the day, the awesome thing about Drew Bates is this – he hasn’t let his creative energy be diminished at all by his injury. He is one determined guy and we love him for it.
Visit his site: DrewBates.com
How have you re-tooled your skills after your injury?
Watch the videos!