Canadian actress, Lisa Jai
Written by Celebrity Talk Australia Guest Blogger
By: Celebrity Talk Australia- Guest Blogger
Imagine, if you will, being limited, because you are a woman in a male dominated world. Now, imagine being a non Caucasian woman having to compete in an industry dominated by majority white women. Then, add to those disadvantages the disadvantage of having a physical disability. Now, imagine how it feels to overcome those minor obstacles and inspire others to do the same! There is no feeling like the rejection a person can feel, when thoughts of inadequacy arise in the face of diversity and establishing oneself amongst others that may seem to have it all going for themselves at that moment. How much more pain would YOU feel, if you had even the smallest suspicion that you could not succeed because of a disability that set you apart, even more so, from the majority?
This is only a fraction of the trials faced by a delicate young flower that goes by the name, Lisa Jai! Ms. Jai transformed the word disability into the concept of physical diversity. The word in and of itself, disability, depicts an inability to carry out specific tasks. On the contrary, the word diversity conveys range, assortment, diversification, and contrast. In war, it was always said, ” Cut off the head, and the body will fall,” but the opposite also holds true, ” Where the mind goes, the body will follow.” The tenacity and will to overcome manifests themselves in this realm as pure genius when done in the light. In this light, the blind can finally see, the lame can walk, and the hopeless can find hope.
For those of Toronto’s underground world of slam poets and wordsmiths that have been touched by the words of Akimi, the rest of the world has come to know your flower as Lisa Jai. From Hollywood to Broadway, this woman’s name will go down in history for being synonymous with breaking down barriers of age, color, religion, ethnic background, and most of all, physical diversity. Ms. Jai has proved that the sincerity of having been through diversity trumps even the best actor trying to portray the role. She received the Unsung Hero Award from the city of Toronto in 2010. The award goes to people living with physical diversity who work hard advocating for inclusion and change for people of physical diversity. Talk about drive, Lisa, despite all of her challenges, flew back and forth from L.A. to Toronto to accept her award for the work she did there, while balancing a lead role in a play, recording episodes in an animation she starred in called, “Pillars of Freedom”, having a full-time conservatory in the theatre, and maintaining a scholarship making it to classes on time! In her zealousness, Ms. Jai says, “ I have a dream of being a recognizable face so that other young girls living with a ‘disability’ can look up to me and see it is possible. Because I had no one like me to look up to, in fact, I was told I should quit acting, but until I see a change I can’t quit!
In retrospect, lisa Jai, has done more for aspiring actors/ actresses with physical diversites than anybody. She probably would not admit to it, but she was one of the driving forces that spearheaded the campaigns of quite a few well known organizations that support and advocate the rights of people with disabilities to give a voice in entertainment and media performers and journalists with disabilities who often go unseen and unheard. These organizations were endorsed by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild, as well as, the International Federation of Actors, also known as FIA. Lisa Jai is in a position to make a difference, and actually does make a difference. Not only is she a mentor to people that have physical diversification, but she is an inspiration to all.