Elaine Hall talks about Atypical Season II coaching autistic actors

Atypical Sam's Support Group

An Art of Autism interview with Elaine Hall, acting coach for the Netflix series Atypical

How did you become involved with the series Atypical?

Casting Directors for the series Atypical called me at The Miracle Project seeking actors with autism to portray actors with autism on Season 2 of the series.

Why did Atypical decide to include autistic actors and actresses?

The creator of Atypical, Robia Roshid and  the other writers of Atypical are dedicated to authentic portrayal of individuals with autism.  This season they purposely wrote characters with autism to be peers with the lead character Sam.  Robia fosters diversity and is committed to changing the way the world perceives disability.

How were the actors and actresses chosen?

The actors and actresses from The Miracle Project interviewed and auditioned among a broad talent search.  The casting directors received hundreds of inquiries.  The actors and actresses were chosen for the talent, professionalism and wonderful distinct personalities.  At The Miracle Project, we work on acting technique, self confidence, self-advocacy, interview and auditioning.  They brought their unique personalities to the casting call and their talent rose above the others.

What can we expect this season because of the new actors and actresses?

I feel you can expect to see Sam dealing with many of the very things that our older teens and young adults deal with i.e. leaving home, seeking a career path, getting a job, dealing with money issues, etc.

Can you provide any antecdotes about your experience?

Keir Gilchrist, the actor who portrays Sam, is one of the kindest, warmest, loveliest actors I have had the privilege to work with.  The entire cast and crew were kind, respectful,  interested, and supportive.  Each shot with the Peer Group involves multiple takes.  Each character in the Peer Group is filmed in a close up. So they need to repeat their lines many many times and then react many many times to the actor who is getting a close up.  All of the actors with autism in the Peer Group stayed focused, their energy was terrific and they were incredibly professional.  Keir gave 100% to each take even when he was not being filmed.  Keir and truly all of the cast and crew related to our autistic actors just like they would anyone else.  It was an authentic representation of diversity.  One of the best sets I’ve ever worked on.

 

Elaine Hall

Elaine Hall

Elaine Hall,  award winning acting coach, author, and international speaker,  is the founder of The Miracle Project, www.themiracleproject.org a groundbreaking, evidence-based theatre and film program profiled in the 2 time Emmy winning HBO film Autism: The Musical

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