Bree Klauser | The Beauty Of Disability Representation In Art
- Editor’s Note
- Beyond Sight Magazine Cover
- YouTube Video
- Introducing Bree Klauser
- Bree Discusses Her Congenital Legal Blindness
- Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
- Film Synopses
- Disability Consulting Work With Mastercard
- What’s Next for Bree
- Connecting With Bree Klauser
- Image Descriptions
It’s that time of year again for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge! In view of this special occasion, this month’s Cane EnAbled publication is being published early in recognition of our featured guest Bree Klauser. Today’s publication will also provide everyone the opportunity to support talented artists with disabilities by watching, liking, and sharing the highlighted films.
So great to work with other people with disabilities because we just all get it. And so when we’re writing stories, whether it’s about disability or not, we’re infusing that into our art it because it’s part of us, it colors everything we do.~Bree Klauser
Beyond Sight Magazine Cover
Introducing Bree Klauser
Nasreen Bhutta: Welcome to Bold Blind Beauty, I’m Nasreen and this is our April’s edition of Cane EnAbled. I’m here with the lovely Bree Klauser. Welcome Bree.
Bree Klauser: My name is Bree Klauser. I use she/hers and they/them pronouns. I am sitting in my home studio, I am wearing a pair of black headphones. I have dark brown hair with bangs. I’m wearing a little bit of makeup, and I’m wearing a pinkish blouse with a striped gray and white blazer. Very springtime dress right now. And I’m very happy to be here.
Nasreen: Great to have you Bree. Thanks for joining us here today. Bree you are defined as low vision, can you share your sight loss journey with us?
Bree Discusses Her Congenital Legal Blindness
Bree: Of course. So it’s always funny when people ask me what my sight loss journey is. My journey is I was born. And that’s it. There’s a little bit more to that.
So I have a genetic condition called achromatopsia. So my, my parents are probably like 15th cousins or something. It’s one of those recessive gene things both me and my sibling were born with this condition which affects the cones and rods, of the eyes so I am technically legally blind. Even with correction I’m over the legally blind spectrum.
I use legally blind, visually impaired and low vision interchangeably, depending on the situation. But all intents and purposes on paper, I’m legally blind. I have absolutely no color vision. I am photo phobic so I wear tinted contact lenses. When I was younger, I used to have to wear dark sunglasses inside.
I also am very nearsighted and have very poor depth perception. So things like driving a car are out of the picture for the safety of myself and others. And I would say the most noticeable part of my visual impairment is when someone’s looking at me telling that I’m visually impaired is that I have nystagmus, which is a rapid involuntary movement of pupils. So they do like a little wibbly wobbly dance, I like to call it.
Nasreen: Bree, you’re involved in an Easterseals initiative. Can you tell us a little bit more about this? I think this is one of your current projects as well.
Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
Yeah, so it’s actually the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. It’s been going on for many years and it happens this time every year. And the last couple of years it has been virtual competition, which has been great because then we’ve been able to collaborate with people all around the world.
It is a short film competition in which people have just a few days. We had shot the film, we had gotten the theme and the topic last Tuesday, or well, I’m recording this on April 13. So on a Tuesday, we got the topic on a Tuesday and by Sunday, we had to have the film submitted and edited.
So writing, filming, editing has to happen within a four to five day period. And then the next leg of the competition is on April 16th. The film comes out and there is a social awareness campaign. So not only does it spread awareness about disability, but it also helps people see the films.
What makes the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge different from other film festivals is that in order to participate in Easterseals is there needs to be at least one person with a disability on the team in a key role. So writing, acting, directing producing.
Starring as Chimera in “Pandora”
This year I am working with Anna Pakman again on her film is called “Pandora.” And the theme this year was a superhero movies. So we do a super villain anti-heroes story. And in that film, I play one of her baddie girlfriends. This kind of little coffee clutch of villainesses that she talks to on Zoom.
- YouTube: https://youtu.be/ik7pzgDkmKs
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/disabilityfilmchallenge/videos/965906704288143/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcZv4RZD1Zg/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Please watch, like, comment, and share to support the group of talented artists with disabilities.
Starring as Dr. Bree Leeont in “There’s No I in Sidekick’
And I’m also doing a film with Zack Mechum, who wrote and produced and directed and acted in this film and also being produced by Erin Noon Kay of Erin Claiming Disability LLC. This film is called “There’s No “I” In Sidekick” and this is such a funny little take on superheroes kind of working in an office environment. Going to like a mediation meeting that is the hero and the sidekick not getting along and messing up the mission. I play the this this kind of cartoonish Batman villain called Dr. Bree Leont, and it was this was so much fun.
- YouTube: (1) There’s No I in Sidekick – 2022 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Entry – YouTube
- Instagram: ES Disability Film Challenge (@disabilityfilmchallenge) • Instagram photos and video
- Instagram promo reel : https://www.instagram.com/reel/CcdU99qshKt/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Please watch, like, comment, and share to support the group of talented artists with disabilities.
Both films were hilarious to work on. I would say they both are more on the comedic side for superhero films. I would say Pandora is a little bit more like a Deadpool kind of comedic. While “There’s No “I” team kind of has a feel like The Office if The Office was a superhero movie.
But I really enjoyed working with both of these teams. And I’m really excited for everyone to see both of these films. For Anna’s film, my character is a chimera, so we wanted her to be like part snake and part cat. So my roommate who does drag he did my makeup and hair and it’s just like this look was just fire!
I’m talking like I’m wearing it’s like silver hair, and all my real hair. He just like took my little short brown hair and just made this, I look like Martin Short from the Santa Claus 3 in sequins like cat dress with like scales painted on my face.
So it was just, it’s so much fun to get into character in these costumes that I made. And the other one I was like I put on a corset and a mink hat and was all like, “Oh, darling, how’s that working out for you? ” And so I got to kind of play with that voice acting side were put on like accents and voices for both of them. Which, you know, if I’m playing like a standard protagonist, you know, you are often more like real and grounded and more sunlight, your natural self.
So great to work with other people with disabilities because we just all get it. And so when we’re writing stories, whether it’s about disability or not, we’re infusing that into our art it because it’s part of us, it colors everything we do.
Disability Consulting Work With Mastercard
Other work that I’ve been doing, that kind of falls into the purview of all this is I recently did my first professional disability consulting job. It came from that first commercial I did with MasterCard back in the fall, where they interviewed me and other blind visually impaired folks about our experience shopping and our experience being blind, visually impaired. And we discovered the touch card.
So they had decided to not only bring me on for this voiceover campaign, as well as a series of other like internal industrial campaigns I’ve been doing for them for this product, but also as a disability consultant. And basically, I would meet with them, I would look at a script that they wrote and kind of tell them you know what to do to make this more accurate or to make it more inclusive.
Like when you have a line, like, ‘Please close your eyes, this is how blind people are,’ like, no, you don’t do that. Like, if you’re going to say, Okay, please close your eyes. This will help you engage in your other senses like we do, then it’s like, yeah, that’s closer.
And you know, it’s a very interesting world to be a part of, as a disability consultant, the perspective that you have to take is, okay, this is my view as one visually impaired/low vision person. And constantly reminding them that this is just my view. This is also what I’ve heard from other friends in my community. This is how it is for us or this how it often is. And also doing that and playing the balancing act of, okay, there’s a corporate brand that wants maybe certain words, certain things.
Trying to find a compromise, to get what they want and advocate for what you need for your community. And it was a really, really welcoming experience. I felt like I was really heard. I felt like most of my ideas were implemented and the ideas that maybe weren’t exactly like there, I think we were able to, in the end strike a balance. And I was also to be able to provide input for future campaigns and future advertisement.
Nasreen: I gotta ask you Bree. What’s next for Bree?
What’s Next for Bree
Well, as mentioned, the two films that I am in on Easterseals are out now on the interwebs. Please share, like, view, comment on these films that we’re in. We’re in the midst of the the social awareness campaign right now. And so we have until the 25th to get as many views as possible. So if you look up #EastersealsDisabilityAwareness all these hashtags, #DisabledAndProud. Please share and like @EastersealsDisabilityFilmChallenge.
You can follow me on Instagram I’m the most active so it’s Bree B-r-e-e underscore K-l-a-u-s-e-r underscore official. I am hoping that in the next couple of months you can hear me on Audible on the on Indie novel Unbroken in the short story Britain the bike God and also hear me on your Pandora and Spotify and podcasting ads in a MasterCard Touch Card Moment of Clarity spots.
And yeah follow me online breeklauser.com If you haven’t checked it out already See Season One, I believe Season Two is out too. But if you want to start it from start and see me play the role of Matal to pre-stage that is available for streaming on Apple TV Plus. Also Phreaks is still available on Audible as a free listen.
Nasreen: Thank you so much for you for taking some time out and coming on to the Bold Blind Beauty platform and speaking to us today. Really enjoyed the conversation and learning more about you and your work out there.
Like what you’ve read and want to chat about it? Join us in the Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group.
Connecting With Bree Klauser
- The header photo is identical to the image used on the Beyond Sight Magazine cover and YouTube thumbnail. Bree is white with short brown hair and identifies as she/hers/they/them. She’s sitting outdoors cross-legged on the pavement wearing a red tank top jumpsuit over a light-colored short-sleeved shirt paired with black lace-up boots. Her red lip color complements her outfit perfectly as she smiles directly at the camera. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight April 2022 | Cane EnAbled | Bree Klauser.”
- YouTube video description – In the video, Bree is sitting in her home studio, wearing a pair of black headphones. Her short dark brown hair has bangs and she’s wearing a little bit of makeup and wearing a pinkish blouse with a striped gray and white blazer.
- The Pandora movie poster with a multicolored galaxy background. The actors are in a circular formation with Maysoon Zayid in the center. White text on the bottom of the poster contains the actors names: Maysoon Zayid, Anita Hollander, Shashi Bangera, Lachi, Danielle Perez, Bree Klauser, BJ Lange, Shashank Sharma. Additional text says: Produced, Directed & Written by: Anna Pakman & JD Michels | Story By: Anna Pakman | Edited By: JD Michaels | Sound & Music By: JD Michaels | Poster Art: Lindsay Reddick
- A photo gallery containing three photos of Bree as Chimera with silver hair and shimmering green lip and eye makeup. She’s also wearing a green sequined dress that perfectly matches her beautifully exaggerated makeup.
- A movie poster with a golden background with a superhero with a red and gold suit on. With Actors from our Easterseals Film from left to right Bree Klauser @bree_klauser_official a white disabled woman with beautiful short brown hair smiling next to Steve Way @thesteveway a white disabled man with blonde hair and a ventilator tube in his nose with glasses next to Verton Banks a black disabled man with glasses and a turquoise suit on on the bottom Madi Green a blonde woman with bare shoulders next to Director Zach Mecham with a red sweater with glasses and beard looking sternly at the camera next to Producer Erin Noon Kay CEO and Founder of @erin.claiming_disability_llc with long curly hair and makeup smiling with white texts that says Written and Directed by Zach Mecham Produced by Erin Noon-Kay with the list of actor names]