"One of my favorite books is The Road Less Traveled, by M.Scott Peck. The book not only had a significant impact on ,my life but the book's title has served as a perfect metaphor for both my personal and professional journeys." Diana Elizabeth Jordan
"I have literally been fighting adversity since the day I was born, when my doctors' had to work on me for 45 minutes before I started breathing on my own. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy (which mildly affects her speech and gait) around age two, I grew up determined not to let adversity stop me from pursuing my dream of being an actor.
I have realized that dream and have been cast in over 50 plays, in films and in television. Since the beginning of my career I have refused to be limited to only being cast in disability specific roles but also cast in roles where my disability is incidental to the character or storyline. I am a member of SAG-AFTRA and The Actors Equity Association and I was the first actor with a disability to obtain a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from California State University Long Beach (2001). I was the recipient of the 2016 Best Actor Honor for The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge and I am one of the featured artists in Liliana Moldovan's new book Eroii Imposibilului, a book featuring multi-disciplined artists with disabilities from around the world. My award winning short film Best Friend (written and directed by Cory Reeder) which I co-starred in and also co-produced is a hit on the film festival circuit has had over 7.6K views on youtube. Currently, I am featured as “Ella” in the horror film The Edge of Isolation (written and directed by Jeff Houkal) which can be seen on Amazon. I will be directing my first film in 2019.
I have been speaking on my personal experiences of living with a disability since I was in high school. I have been invited to perform/speak and or facilitate workshops for colleges/universities, special events and conferences including The National Drama Therapy Conference, The Center For Disease Control, and The UCLA Mindful Madness Conference. I was recently a featured speaker at the Seasons of Change Bent Not Broken Conference and The 2018 Expressive Arts Conference where I co-facilitated a workshop Diversity A Creative Collective Exchange with several other artists, educators and speakers. I have also been a featured guest on podcasts and diversity and disability inclusion panels.
My passion for the power of the performance and the expressive arts to be utilized as a life-long learning tool to encourage personal growth, professional development and as an agent social change, inspired me to launch my EduTainment production company, The Rainbow Butterfly Café in 2015. The R.B.C combines the power of performances, speaking and custom designed expressive arts based workshops to celebrate diversity and disability inclusion, cultivating resiliency, goal setting and visioning. I also offer a re-imagined approach to the traditional keynote address for conferences, retreats and special events through performing one of solo shows Watch Your Head (written by Lynda Rodriquez) or Climbing The Chrystal Staircase; Reflections of Hope, Faith And Resiliency .
My passions extend beyond my joy of performing; I have taught acting classes and designed and facilitated performing and expressive arts based workshops for over 25 years. For the past 18 years I have been an artist in residence with Performing Arts Studio West, a professional training studio for performers with disabilities for over 18 years. Last year I adapted and directed 44 actors with developmental disabilities in a production of A Mid Summer Night's Dream. I serve on SAG-AFTRA's National Performers With Disabilities Committee, am an alternate to SAG-AFTRA’s National Equal Opportunities Committee, a Hollywood Ambassador for the Divas with Disabilities and am a two time Ambassador for The World Institute on Disability.
Whether I am portraying a character on stage or screen,, sharing one of my personal stories in a keynote or an expressive arts workshops. I am living my possible dreams and loving it.
- Best Actor 48 Hour Disability Film Challenge ( Now known as The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
- The Ricardo Maltobon Media Access Award For Diversity and Understanding 2001