Erica's Thought on Hollywood, our film Dreams and The Good Doctor
I was 14 ounces when I was born in SC. I have cerebral palsy. My thought on Hollywood is that there is not enough representation for people with disabilities. I've seen an actor, Micah Fowler, star in Speechless with Minnie Driver. He was in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy like me. You saw it in on The Facts of Life with the character named Geri. One episode of The Facts of Life stands out to me. It was the episode where Tootie(Kim Fields) is having trouble hearing. She tells Geri she doesn’t want to be handicapped. Geri basically says that life may not always be perfect, but what matters is what you do with it. Yes, old sitcoms, can still be relevant). The scene featured great performances from Kim Fields and Geri Jewell.
My disability doesn’t define me. My goal with my work is to inspire my audience, which is why representation is important to me. We are doing much better with that now. Seeing Micah Fowler star on Speechless and give such an incredible performance for all those years was a gift. I may have to use an electric wheelchair on my set, as well a walker. Does this make me different than the rest of my peers? Yes, it does. You don't see many people in wheelchairs on a set, in my opinion. People might see me differently, but I haven't had the "real" Hollywood experience yet. I don't live the LA lifestyle, with the social media and press studying my every move. I definitely want to earn respect. I'm sure there are a lot of disabled people fighting to break into this industry.
Honestly, breaking into Hollywood is incredibly difficult to begin with, especially when you have a small body of work. I certainly haven't taken the traditional path as a screenwriter. I wrote my first film, Dreams, back in college. My first draft was 25 pages long, but I ended up getting really good feedback on it, yay! In August 2020, my screenplay was picked up by a wonderful production company called Sherr Productions, LLC. I tried to produce the movie myself a few years back, but I'm not budget orientated! It tells the story of an artist. Hope finds a letter from her late mother wishing for her to travel and see the world. After finding the address to a restaurant on the back of an old photograph, she decides to leave her life behind and travel to South Carolina to find direction after this heartbreaking loss. This original drama about love, hope, and light will take you on a journey toward self-discovery and realized dreams. It's a beautiful, powerful story that I love so much. These characters are such a part of who I am. The first scene literally came to me in a dream. I've learned that filmmaking is a process with ups and downs. It'll be my first time co directing. I have a wonderful cast and two great producers and want to reach a wide audience. I’ve been trying to get this movie made for four years.
The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore, who I first saw in August Rush. He plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, a doctor who has autism. He is wonderful in every episode. Antonia Thomas played Clare, and she departed after four seasons. They ended her storyline well. There is a new addition to season 5, the character of Salen, who is portrayed beautifully by Rachel Bay Jones. She is a really good, well rounded character. I didn't like her much at first, but she's growing on me! What I love about Freddie as an actor is you see every nuance in his performances. You feel every emotion! He is brilliant and deserves more recognition. Fiona Gubelman is incredible too. Morgan went from a character I didn't really like to a character who I find myself rooting for. It's an incredibly special series!
Thank you for reading this article.
© 2021 Erica Pawluk