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Daily Inspiration: Meet Diana Elizabeth Jordan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Elizabeth Jordan.

Diana Elizabeth, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always known I wanted to be an actor. I was just one of those kids who has known what I wanted to do. I have memories of sitting on my swing set in Rockford, Ill (I grew up in Rockford and Oak Park Ill) and dreaming about moving to California and becoming an actress. I also had an aunt who died a year before I was born who was an actress so I have so grew up hearing about her and how talented she was… I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be an actor. As I got older and started on my journey as an activist, my art and activism became extensions of each other and my art expanded. I love directing, producing and creating and developing content as well as teaching my craft.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road for me but I don’t think I would want it to be. My life experiences have always been the emotional fuel I use in infuse in the characters I play and the stories I tell. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy ( a neuromuscular disorder that mildly affects my speech and gait) so growing up as an African American Woman who has a disability, there will be obstacles and challenges. For me, it is what you do with them. I have always chosen to acknowledge the challenges and obstacles and keep ongoing. You just find a way. Not all challenges have been related to my disability Life experiences, death of loved ones, disappointments, setbacks are all part of the journey.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am an award-winning actor, solo artist, theater & filmmaker, artist-educator & disability influencer. I have been cast in over 60 theater productions, film and television including CBS’s S.W.A.T. I recently performed my self-written solo show Happily Ever After (One Woman’s Journey To Find A True Love) directed by Paul Kampf. At the 2021 Hollywood Fringe where she received a Diversity Scholarship was nominated for Solo Fringe Award and was selected for Pick of The Fringe and Encore Producers Award. It was an amazing experience and I had an incredible support team including Women of Color Unite.

I am an award-nominated director, a member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Association and one of the disabled advocates for Women of Color Unite founded by Cheryl L. Bedford. . I teach acting at Performing Arts West, a performing arts studio for performing artists with disabilities and have spoken on numerous panels, on disability inclusion, equity and intersectionality. I also host the weekly vlog A Morning Cup of Joy on IGTV.

I am the Chief Creative Artivist and Founder of the production company Dreaming Big On A Swing Entertainment and the EduTainment company The Rainbow Butterfly Café, a company that creates performances and expressive art workshops to eradicate ableism, racism and othering stigmas, celebrate the disability experience and offer tools for cultivating resiliency, imagining and goal setting. Both companies were founded in 2015.

Whether I am portraying a character, sharing a personal story, directing, or producing a project, I am committed to celebrating the disability experience through the transformative power of storytelling.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Believe in the power of your dreams. Your dreams may not manifest in the way you think they will but the way they will manifest in a way that is more amazing than you ever could have imagined. I have also learned the only way to guarantee that something won’t work is to never try. I believe if you try something even if you’re terrified, you increase the chance of that dreaming come true by 50%. I also always like to say Don’t Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Expand it and find something to be grateful for everyday.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Photo credit – floral shirt – Lauren Hoskins, Photo credit – princess costume David Zimmerman. Other photos Self portraits.

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