We offer a wide number of services including Film Set Accessibility Doulas who offer one-on-one problem solving and peer support to Mad, neurodiverse and Disabled onset performers. This kind of support is often in place for the main cast. We are here for recurring characters, day players and featured extras.
We help your actors so they can deliver their best possible performance. Using new best practices in disability culture we strive to make the performers' feel safer, understood and supported ahead of time and we have a clear line of communication open and ready for action to remove unexpected barriers.
After being interviewed by Heidi Gulka and Hailey MacLeod for a study exploring the experiences of actors with disabilities Lisa realized what she had been missing in all her years as a disabled actor is actual human help, and that is exactly what Film Set Accessibility Doulas offers. Lisa is a seasoned managing partner of a film production company and is skilled in gently dealing with issues as they arise while keeping on schedule. We are dedicated professionals whose services will support your actor while saving you time on the shoot day, even in rapidly changing shooting conditions
The term doula was first used in a 1969 anthropological study conducted by Dana Raphael, a protégée of Margaret Mead. Raphael suggested it was a widespread practice that one the same species is present at major events. Important and stressful situations require dedicated human support.
Access Doula is a term coined by Critical Design Lab. They are a multi-disciplinary and multi-institution arts and design collaborative rooted in disability culture, and they use the term for a support person in crip nightlife gathering to help patrons connect to the experience.
The doulas can be available in advance and all through shooting with a check in afterward for feedback. They also act as liaisons with production. With first hand experience of how executive functioning tasks and having to advocate for yourself depletes energy and bandwidth. Accessibility needs are different for everyone and can change on a daily, even hourly basis.
Emily and Lisa both have vibrant artistic careers, and lived experience with disability as well as solid backgrounds as Peer Support and Active Listeners in the Mad Artist community. Together we bring decades of the perfect mix of experience and knowledge.
Lisa Anita Wegner is the creative producer of Mighty Brave Productions and is a two time Canadian Comedy Award Nominee for best actress in films she produced. After being diagnosed with complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, she began exploring visual art and performance as a means of healing. Her art practice grew to encompass photography, immersive theatrical experience and social experiments as film. Lisa was subsequently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and this increased understanding of what was going on with her body caused her to re-evaluate her approach to putting art out into the world; she adopted a slower, more compassionate methodology and began exploring ways of bringing people into her practice to establish a community of artistic support. Lisa is currently producing and directing a film based multi-disciplinary project in residency with ArtworxTO and is interested in the vital integration of disability culture through public art. Lisa is an artistic consultant, a regular speaker and panelist with Artworx Speaker Series Live at Five and co hosts a bi weekly podcast.
Emily Gillespie is an author, disability activist and artist with a Master's Degree in Critical Disability Studies. She identifies as Mad, Autistic and has a Learning Disability. In addition to lived experience, Emily has worked as a mentor and access coordinator for disabled college students and facilitates programming and offers peer support to folks with mental illness. In addition she runs leadership programming for disabled women, and provides accessibility support for protests and activism events in addition to general accessibility consulting. She also does research linked to disability inclusion and justice. As a multi-disciplinary artist she is completing her second novel shedding light on our broken mental health system which is funded in part by both the Toronto and the Ontario Arts Councils. Emily also performs with Lisa.