Teal Sherer's "My Gimpy Life" a Relatable, Laugh-out-Loud Online Comedy Series

Teal Sherer
by Cheryl Price

Picture an extremely crowded restaurant. Tables are lined up without room to spare, leaving the smallest paths to pass. Now imagine running a few minutes late to meet a blind date. You enter this restaurant and see him at a faraway table. The goal, of course, is to make it to that table in a nonchalant yet confident manner. Sounds easy enough, right?

In the episode titled “Crowded,” from season one of “My Gimpy Life,” Teal is this woman at the restaurant. The star of the web sitcom doesn’t want to stand out, however she must ask most of the restaurant diners to move their chairs so that she can get through…with her wheelchair.

“Excuse me!”


“Can you move in a little, please?”

Can you relate? I know I can! While watching this episode last year, I nodded and laughed at this and many other awkward scenarios Teal found herself in, and my reaction continued throughout the remainder of the season.

For those who have not yet watched, “My Gimpy Life” is an online comedy series about the awkward situations star and creator Teal Sherer has encountered in Hollywood as an actor with a disability. As Teal explains, “A lot of the first season of ‘My Gimpy Life’ is based on my real life experiences, like the alley audition or the time a stranger asked me an extremely personal question in a bank parking lot. We start with those moments and then create characters and stories to heighten them. In real life, I generally avoid confrontation and brush those things off, but that wouldn’t make a very interesting show. There’s plenty of my real life in Season Two, even if it’s something mundane like getting dressed to go out, but this season Gabe Uhr (series writer and producer) and I started exploring the relationships between fictional characters. I don’t have a roommate or a circus boyfriend so a lot more is made up this time around, but there are still real, relatable moments.”

Teal’s character of the same name definitely does not shy away from situations that may be uncomfortable, and that unapologetic, sarcastic humor is part of what makes the characters and show both appealing and highly memorable. It’s not surprising that some of Teal’s favorite comedians include Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler. Their comedic styles are definitely similar. For example, in one of Teal’s favorite episodes from season one, “Inspirational,” Felicia tells Teal to break a leg, and then Teal says, “Good one bitch.” I’m sure many mobileWOMEN here have been in a situation where you’ve wanted to react as Teal does here, and so watching her respond this way makes the viewer smile and laugh. You really want to high five Teal, as if to say, “I’ve been wanting to say that for years. Thank you!”
Brent and Teal in season two episode "The Morning After"
While “My Gimpy Life” is currently in its second season, Teal and Gabe started working on the show in late 2010 when they filmed the pilot episode. Steven Dengler, co-founder of the currency site XE.com who financially supports indie projects through his investment company Dracogen, saw the pilot. He believed in Teal and her “dream project” and funded the first season. After that season ended, fans clamored for another round. When “My Gimpy Life” had trouble finding funding to do more episodes, it was their Executive Producer Steven Dengler who suggested they look at crowdfunding. Fans around the world raised almost $60,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to get season two into production. Through that campaign “My Gimpy Life” found another great partner in Russell Winkelaar, who along with Steven Dengler, is a Season 2 Executive Producer.
But how did Teal get the idea to create this groundbreaking, buzz-worthy series? Says Teal, “Being in Felicia Day’s groundbreaking web series ‘The Guild’ definitely influenced me to want to create a show of my own. I’m not a writer, so Felicia recommended that I meet with a comedy writer named Gabe Uhr. We immediately hit it off and ‘My Gimpy Life’ was born. First and foremost, we want our viewers to be entertained. The comedy and drama are very important to us. As a disability advocate, I want to share my perspective and broaden people’s minds. Disabled people are out in the real world, but we’re underrepresented in films and on TV. I want producers and casting people to consider disabled actors for any role, not just ones that are written as disabled characters, like teacher, best friend, scientist, or whatever. The stories don’t necessarily have to revolve around disability for those characters to exist.”
Teal’s first experience on stage, actually, proved that actors with disabilities can fill any role. She explains, “I started acting in college at Oglethorpe University. I had to take a theatre class as part of my Communications major and fell in love. My theatre professor, Troy Dwyer, was so supportive and encouraging. He cast me in my first play, ‘The House of Bernarda Alba,’ playing a character that wasn’t written to be disabled.  It didn’t matter. I’ve been acting ever since.”
Teal and Teale reunite in the episode titled "Also, Teal Too"

Indeed Teal has staked her claim in the acting world. In 2004 she was cast in HBO’s Emmy Award-winning “Warm Springs” starring Kenneth Branagh. She also appeared on stage with Dustin Hoffman, James Cromwell, Annette Bening, and Richard Schiff in “American Voices” at the Broad Theater in Santa Monica. In addition, Teal produced and starred in the Pulitzer Prize winning play “Proof,” as the first person with a disability to play the lead role of Catherine. These credits are merely a few from Teal’s impressive list of professional accomplishments.

At age 14, when Teal was paralyzed in a car accident, she tried to look toward the future with a positive perspective throughout her rehab at Shepherd Center. While at that pivotal stage in her life, Teal may not have visualized her future as being in the spotlight, highlighting the humor that exists in everyday life, regardless of your challenges, but clearly she carved out a path to this unique position. Teal advises those who may be dealing with a new injury, “Be patient, take it day by day, and know that it will get better. Also, be thankful for the good things. Life could always be worse and we often fail to appreciate all of the positive things, even the little ones.”
Teal can certainly speak of “the good things” at this prosperous time in her blossoming career. Season two of “My Gimpy Life” is in full swing. This season delivers hilarious comedic moments, much like the preceding year, but there are also new developments in store. The Nashville resident says, “Expect more of my roommate Brent, the ‘Other Teal,’ and Brian is also back so we can explore my love life. By the end of the season there’s also a pretty big shift in Teal’s acting career. We’ve also added some super talented new guest stars to the show, like Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers), Mitch Silpa (Bridesmaids), Geri Jewell (Deadwood, Facts of Life), David Barton Harris (Disaster Date), and Carlos Knight (Supah Ninjas). Sandeep Parikh and Robin Thorsen from The Guild will also be in an episode.”

You can watch the first three episodes of Season Two on the “My Gimpy Life” YouTube Channel, and the season finale will be out later this week. And if you need to catch up on Season One, you’ll find that on their channel as well: youtube.com/MyGimpyLife. 

For more information and to follow the series, visit Facebook and like “My Gimpy Life” and check out www.mygimpylife.com. For more about Teal Sherer, visit www.TealSherer.com

Updated note: "My Gimpy Life" lands on Facebook October 1st (with captioning, of course). For more information, visit www.facebook.com/MyGimpyLife?fref=ts.


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