DSiAM
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DSiAM on Hallmark Channel's HOME & FAMILY!

See DSiAM included in a segment on the Hallmark Channel’s morning show HOME & FAMILY on Friday, May 23, 2014. Check your local listings!

 


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Entertainmet Weekly

See the Entertainment Weekly story featuring actors with down Syndrome in the March 2, 2012 edition.

Krystal's Big Break
Could my daughter, who has Down syndrome, succeed in her first major role?

Gail & Blair Williamson’s comments in
L.A. Times’ Article “Raising Stars”

“Mr. Blue Sky” star Ashley Wolfe with cast members Katelyn Reed and Haley Ramm and director Sarah Gurfield. More info...

Michael Johnson, Painter
More info...

Jimmy English cast in video for Taco Bell Corp. More info...

 

 

Online Service to Locate Talent with Developmental Disabilities

Down Syndrome in Arts & Media (DSiAM) is the passion project of Gail Williamson a well-known advocate for performers with disabilities. Gail is employed by Kazarian, Measures, Ruskin and Associates Talent Agency (KMR) in Studio City, CA. She works in their diversity department representing actors and models with diverse disabilities. KMR Diversity clients have appeared on PARENTHOOD, GLEE, NCIS, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, SIGNED-SEALED & DELIVERED and more.

DSiAM (Gail’s passion project) is a non-profit casting liaison service for individuals with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities like William’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, those on the autism spectrum and more.

 


Blair Williamson, CSI, ER, SCRUBS; Jamie Brewer AMERICAN HORROR STORY; Luke Zimmerman THE SECRET LIFE OF AN AMERICAN TEENAGER; Lauren Potter GLEE.


Gail and "The Guardian" director Emilio Estevez discussing an upcoming scene.

It’s a place where talent of all ages can be found before they have the credits to get them professional agent representation. With a photo, resume and a consent form, information available on DSiAM’s JOIN page, Gail can set up a file and have your loved one with a disability on file for opportunities to work as an actor or model. Gail is responsible for launching the careers of Lauren Potter of GLEE and Jamie Brewer of AMERICAN HORROR STORY, they both had DSiAM representation when they were cast. Many individuals from all over the U.S. and the world have found opportunities to be in ads, commercials, feature films, music videos and television shows. DSiAM is a project of ABILITY AWARENESS, who serves as its fiscal sponsor.

Gail’s motivation comes from personal experience. Her own life as the mother of a 10 year old with Down syndrome in 1989 was changed for the good by the episodic television show LIFE GOES ON. Gail realized the show, that featured Corky a teen with Down syndrome played by Chris Burke, was the first time her son Blair had a role model on TV like himself; and Blair’s older brother Tim found a role model of a sibling of someone with Down syndrome in Kelly Martin’s portrayal as Becca. This was a wonderful and affirming time for their family. Then about two seasons into the show the Williamsons noticed that not only was the show a great role model for their family, but a role model for others about how to treat someone with DS. Suddenly waiters were asking Blair what he would like to eat; when previously they had asked Gail or her husband Tommie what “he” (Blair) would like to eat. This lit a fire under Gail to do everything she could to bring more role models to the media. She wanted every child to see someone just like them on television, and to let every employer see people with disabilities for their abilities and as potential employees.

Gail started her journey working for the California Governor’s Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities at their Media Access Office more than 20 years ago and continues today with her work for KMR Talent. She has received several awards for her efforts including the SAG-AFTRA-AEA Diversity Award in 2004, the National Down Syndrome Congress’ President’s Award in 2009 and their Media Award in 2005. In 1999 Gail was named one of Family Circle Magazine’s Women Who Make a Difference, a Women of Hope for Goodwill Industries, she was recognized by Changing Images in America with their CHIA Award for her impact on the entertainment industry and was named the California State and National Mother of the Year by American Mother’s Inc.

Registration with DSiAM is not a sure thing, it’s a waiting game, and while waiting the talent needs to keep their photos current with the DSiAM files and work toward being the actor or model they want to be. This should include performance classes. It can be drama or musicals, dance, singing, improv, just make sure the talent is learning. Little ones can do role play with their parents to learn the art of acting. In many ways a child born with a disability is trained from the start as an actor. All their various therapists are directors, instructing these children on what to do. Often these therapists instruct the child to do the same task or skill over and over again, much like acting. The therapist can even put a camera in the room to document the child’s progress and the child is instructed to continue on and ignore the presence of the camera. These children are taught to be actors from their first intervention class or therapy session.

While waiting I encourage you to follow the DSiAM page on FaceBook, you can keep up with all the latest news about our clients.

Thank you for your interest in DSiAM. Together we can make a difference in acceptance, inclusion and understanding.

To contact Williamson about being added to the Down Syndrome in Arts & Media Website or to locate talent, go to this page.



Lauren Potter


Jessica Kishner Morgan


Jamie Brewer


Chris Burke


Robin Trocki


Andrea Friedman


Blair Williamson


Edward Barbanell


Luke Spinelli

Peter ten BrinkPeter ten Brink

Christine YoungChristine Young

Katelyn ReedKatelyn Reed

Sarah GordySarah Gordy