William Shakespeare wrote that the world is a stage and all humans are actors on it. Elisabeth Good ’15 was convinced early on that some were only invited as spectators, especially people with disabilities.
A graduate of Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts, Good always believed there was magic in the entertainment and arts industry while simultaneously believing she could never break into the exclusive club of those who hold the wand. .
Good felt left out because she has cerebral palsy, which is a group of disorders affecting movement, muscle tone and posture. She never saw herself portrayed on television, in movies, on the stages or on the catwalks while growing up in South Bend, Indiana.
Thanks in part to her upbringing in Illinois and her undergraduate experiences as a creative theater puppeteer, Good developed the confidence to overcome obstacles for herself and others. . She continues to work to change the way people with disabilities (PWD) are perceived, marketed and portrayed in pop culture as a talent manager for Range management.
Gamut is a non-profit organization that represents people with disabilities in the marketplace across all industries including fashion, entertainment, publishing, sports and fitness.
Created by Mindy Scheier in 2018, Gamut completes the Runway of Dreams Foundation. She is a former fashion designer and mother of a son with muscular dystrophy.
Scheier quickly realized that while people with disabilities are the largest minority on the planet, they are underrepresented in mainstream culture. She therefore launched Gamut to meet the need of industries to reach people with disabilities. Based in New Jersey, the company helps businesses with talent management, product development and targeted marketing.
Good works remotely from his home in South Bend, Indiana. She uses her theater and film expertise to help Gamut’s nearly 700 clients realize their entertainment dreams while making the industry more inclusive. The work highlights individuals who are not usually chosen as models for a product or included in a production, including people in wheelchairs and living without limbs.
“It’s pretty cool to see the work and the progress being made slowly, especially in the fashion and film industry,” Good said. “When I was younger, I didn’t see anyone with cerebral palsy in a Target ad. It was a great experience to know that I had a hand in this process.”
Her duties include representing clients and contacting casting directors on their behalf. She is the first point of contact for production companies wishing to do business with Gamut. Good informs clients of roles or opportunities arising at companies such as Tommy Hilfiger and Appaman, both of which work through Gamut.
Good brings to this role experience from Hollywood Casting and Film, Gunslinger Motion Pictures, RespectAbility Lab and Zeno Mountain Film. She served as script supervisor for the 2020 film The best summer everavailable on Hulu.
That same year, Good joined Gamut as an intern, never considering his current role of working with models and actors with physical disabilities. One of the key aspects of his job is to make sure businesses think about accessibility, which could involve things like building a ramp.
“When you grow up with a disability, you have to go into something knowing that it’s going to have to be adapted to what you need. It’s certainly important that customers feel like their needs are being met,” Good said. “It takes you off the beaten path.”
She started doing it at Illinois State, where she was introduced to career opportunities on the other side of the camera. Good attended the Kennedy Academy Theater Arts Festival with Professor John Stark, head of the School of Theater and Dance Design and Production Area. She attended a workshop that fueled her interest in the production side of performance.
Good is fully invested in opportunities on campus. She was part of a Pride and Prejudice production directed by teacher Lori Adams and co-taught elementary school students in a Saturday Creative Drama Classes for Kids. Associate Professor Dr. Michael Vetere had Good as a student of creative drama and noted that she was never afraid to try new experiences. It is an engine that still defines good today.
“I remember watching Elisabeth in a creative theater session with children and how she moved through the space working with them,” Vetere said. “Her tenacity and optimism were evident and enjoyable to watch, as she didn’t let any challenges mar her experience.”
That in itself speaks to Good’s own persistence. She had difficulty relating to others and vice versa while attending a public school in northern Indiana. She gained confidence at the University, believing in her qualifications and aiming high in an industry that has a set cap for people with disabilities. She takes great pride in accepting the responsibility of helping others find their own inner strength.
“I think it’s still a work in progress, but having the role of general manager for people with disabilities, I feel like I need to get more comfortable with myself,” Good said. “In college, I became more comfortable with the identity of having a disability, and the disability community was decent at ISU.” She is grateful for the University’s student access and housing services, through which she mentored a first-year student with a disability.
The life lessons learned while standing up for herself have helped Good walk through a door that she holds firmly open to others. His advice is to take advantage of each experience and fully invest in your passions. She is grateful to have found her life path at ISU and a career that allows her to give back.
“His ability to champion and recognize the need for disability inclusion in our current culture is truly remarkable,” Vetere said. “His experiences make his work more genuine and genuine. Like the School of Theater and Dance, I am proud of Elisabeth’s accomplishments. We anticipate great accomplishments from his attention to inclusivity with people with disabilities.
Arts and entertainment have stood the test of time because they invite people to feel emotion. Thanks to Good’s efforts, more people in future generations will be invited to create it.