Tag Archives: teal sherer

SCI Superstar: Tiffany Giddes

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It’s not easy being fabulous and paralyzed, yet somehow Tiffany Giddes manages to pull it off.  An actress living in L.A. but a Southern girl at heart, Tiffany knows exactly what it takes to adapt to her surroundings.  She’s an actress, producer and the first person in a wheelchair to be on Sons of Anarchy.

When her injury occurred, she was like a cat too, and landed on both legs and kept moving forward.  From making skydiving a regular habit to producing and starring in her own original film, read on to learn about the amazing Tiffany Giddes, an actress determined to change how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media.

Why she’s fearless

Originally from Florida, Tiffany made her big move to California to pursue her acting career in 2008.  Her injury occurred just 6 years prior when she was 19.  Like so many spinal cord injury stories, she was a passenger in a car accident and everyone walked away except her.

Once out in L.A., she teamed up with Teal Sherer, another SCI superstar of ours and an actress doing her thing from a wheelchair. Tiffany’s goal – to produce and star in her own film.  She decided on the script, Collision, a film that would be the first to feature two female wheelchair user is in leading roles.

The story is about a girl who becomes paralyzed and befriends another woman who’s paralyzed. The two set out to seek revenge (but of course learn at the end of the film that revenge is not the answer). Tiffany was able to raise the $20,000 on Kickstarter to complete the film. Watch the trailer

Also after moving to L.A, Tiffany became a spokesperson for Colours Wheelchairs, the hip wheelchair company known or creating completely customizable manual wheelchairs. Tiffany travels with the Abilities Expo around the country helping promote the company.  Watch her do her schpeel at the Abilities Expo

And in 2010, she became the first person who uses a wheelchair to snag role in the FX series Sons of Anarchy. Tiffany played the best receptionist ever.

When she’s not busy ac7ting, producing or promoting, Tiffany is a lover of all things extreme – scuba, extreme fitness, driving ATV’s. She also skydives regularly and surfs as often as she can with Life Rolls On. “Getting carried by the boys is definitely a perk of adapted surfing,” jokes Tiffany.

What’s next?

Over the last year or so, she also joined the video-blogging team The Ability 411, a group of people spinal cord injuries talking about important issues.  She’s also the co-creator of the Spokes ‘n Perceptions channel, which she runs on the Disability Today Network.  This show tackles touchy subjects mainstream shows are afraid to.

And one of her most recent career “additions” is becoming a fitness coach.  Healthy eating, in-gym working out, all of it. Keeping her body in tip-top shape is one of the most important things to things to Tiffany, as it rightly should be. You got to take care of your body, you.

What do you think of this amazing lady? Have you seen Collision yet?

Watch the videos!

Tiffany Giddes in the documentary about her injury, Dare To Move

Tiffany Giddes and Teal Sherer in a teaser for her film, Collision

Tiffany Giddes representing Colours Wheelchairs at the Abilities Expo

Tiffany Giddes for The Ability 411 on coming out if you’re disabled

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SCI Superstar: Teal Sherer

Teal Sherer (yup like the color), whose an actress and paraplegic, has come a long way from the log house she grew up in in rural Tennessee. After breaking her back while riding in a car to Labor Day fireworks show when she was just 14, she found a new passion post-injury – acting – hasn’t looked back since.

After college, Teal decided to make the big move out to LA to pursue her dreams of acting. Her first break came in 2004, when she was cast in HBO’s Warm Springs (a film about the life of FDR starring Kenneth Branagh. She played a young woman with Polio. Loved this movie).  She’s also been in several national commercials, including one for Liberty Mutual insurance and another that I remember from awhile ago to get people to get out and vote.

And the past couple of years, she’s developed a huge online following for the character ‘Venom’ she plays (a member of the “Axis of Anarchy”) in the web series hit, The Guild. She is mean and wears a lot of black eyeliner. Watch out.

Last winter, Teal became even more internet famous after playing (and producing) the blonde elf in a wheelchair lightsaber video that went viral last Christmas (watch here). There’s also a little person in the video, another hot chick besides Teal, cute elf outfits and some really kick butt lightsaber moves (aah the awesomeness).

But…BUT she’s much more than the “geek girl in a wheelchair” (although if you ask me that’s enough).

Why she’s fearless

Teal is THE preeminent actress in a wheelchair in Hollywood. There is no other woman in a wheelchair acting who gets cast as much as she does, but while all that sounds great the reality is that she still isn’t cast as much as she should be, which is why Teal has become an activist as well as an actress (making her an even brighter superstar in my book).

We’re all in this disability experience together; all compradres at the same front you know. It’s always better to make a difference while doing your own thing.  Teal is also a member of the SAG Performers with Disabilities Committee, which just launched this really cool civil rights campaign they’re calling I AM PWD (seeking to create more employment opportunities for artists and professionals disabilities in the entertainment industry).

Changing the mind-sets of the old men that run Hollywood won’t be easy, but Teal, with her effervescent personality, is doing the best job I think anyone could.

She’s also been a dancer in the Full Radius Dance (a mixed-ability dance company) and surfs with Life Rolls On in her spare time, founded by another SCI Superstar, Jesse Billauer. I’ll have whatever awesome superstar drink Teal is having…

What’s next

Big exciting news: Teal’s personal project, My Gimpy Life (produced by her company Rolling Person Productions), was picked up/funded by Dracogen Strategic Investments last fall. It’s a comedy web series showing all the funny things that happens to an actress in a wheelchair in LA. They’re producing six full episodes and the series is slated to premiere any day now.

If you watch the trailer for the series, you’ll see why I’m really excited about it (“Like uh….(from a random guy while you’re trying to get money out of on ATM)…can you have sex?” WIN (and yes, this really happened to her).

And what I really love is that Teal is only 31, which means she has decades of acting head of her. From a growing geek girl icon (she co-hosts a World of Warcraft podcast or this Oracle/Batman spoof video she made. She’s also hosting a panel at GeekGirl Con this year on disability in the media), to developing her hard acting skills, like starring in the Pulitzer-Prize-winning play Proof or her role in the short about her and a deaf man in Transients, Teal’s acting abilities have more range than the buffaloes had in the 1400’s.

Don’t put anything past this lady. I can’t wait to see where Teal’s career is 10 years from now. All it takes is one huge role (the first Academy Award winner in a wheelchair?) Hey, you never know.

Watch her videos!

Teal Sherer’s Elf Light Saber duel
Trailer for Teal Sherer’s upcoming web series, My Gimpy Life
Trailer for the short, Transients
Teal Sherer as “Oracle” Addresses the DC Comics Reboot
Official acting reel of Teal Sherer