Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Tim and Mike, here’s what you should know about them…
In 2001, Tim Wambach visited a school district office and filled out an application to be a substitute teacher. Soon, he met Mike Berkson, an affable and charming 12-year old boy with cerebra l palsy. What could have simply been a chance encounter or casual meeting soon turned into a meaningful and lifelong friendship.
Over the years that friendship evolved into speaking engagements together. But it wasn’t long before they realized that there was a more entertaining and impactful way to get the message across, by telling their story in a more theatrical manner and developing a show around it. Thus, Handicap This! was born. Through a series of vignettes, stories, and scenes, the two men are able to get their message across through humor and storytelling.
“There’s a lot of different layers to [the show],” says Tim. “One, I would say, is we don’t talk about disabilities, we talk about possibilities. But we use Mike kind of like an example. And I think it’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about breaking down barriers, it educates people about what it’s like living with a disability – ”
“And it’s also very entertaining as well,” adds Mike.
And while not preachy or self-righteous, Handicap This! does have its messages that impact audiences beyond mere entertainment – mainly we all have differences and accepting them is the key.
“I think it’s a combination [of] pointing out the differences while bringing everyone closer together,” says Mike.
“It really does bring everyone closer together,” adds Tim, “and [helps them] realize that we’re all just people and we’re trying to do the best we can with what we have.”
Below is the video of Johnny interviewing Tim and Mike.
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