Fred Beam is a well-known deaf actor, dancer, choreographer, poet, and director, who tries to attract attention of all Americans and the world community to the problems of the deaf people. He considers that the deaf people do not differ from the rest and they should have rights and possibilities to express themselves.
Fred Michael Bean was born in Covington, the state of Georgia. When he was a little boy, his family moved to Tampa, which is situated in Florida. Fred’s father and mother were teachers, who were very devoted to their work. Fred was brought up in a very sophisticated and hard-working family. He inherited from his parents such traits of character as persistence, patience, and devotion. It happened so that he was the only deaf member in the family. He got only oral education in his childhood and early teens. After graduating from the school, Fred entered Tampa Technical Institute. He got the Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering and the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Electromechanical Technology at this institute, but Fred made up his mind to go on studying at Gallaudet University. It should be mentioned that Fred is doing his best to gain the Master degree in Deaf Education. It is very difficult for him to combine his education with his busy and eventful life (Exclusive interviews with contemporary newsmakers).
Fred Beam gets used to say that the most remarkable people who have influenced him greatly are his father and mother, his dance teacher, Jerome Cushman, and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. When Fred saw Michael Jackson on American Bandstand, he was very astounded. Michael Jackson inspired Fred to take up dances. While being at National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), Fred began visiting dance classes and taking part in different performances. Fred got an idea to organize a local dance company for deaf people in Florida, but his plan failed and was not realized because there were not enough money and support. This failure did not influence him greatly, and he decided to move to Washington to try his luck there. This city turned out to be his lucky ticket on the way to his success and recognition not only in the USA but in the whole world. Fred joined the National Deaf Dance Theater in Washington. The Gallaudet Dance Company invited Fred Beam to be a guest performer. As a result, the Wild Zappers was founded in 1989, which has been directed by Fred.
Fred Beam and the Wild Zappers
The Wild Zappers is a dance group which consists of the men only who are all deaf. They cannot hear music which they perform. They are accustomed to use eight counts in order to follow a beat. The members of this group try to combine the American Sign Language, dance, and various music styles in order to promote and help develop the education of the sign language not only for people who have some problems with hearing but for other people as well (Donatelli, 2011). The Wild Zappers played in the film ‘If You Could Hear My Own Tune’ in 2011. This film dwells on difficulties which do exist between two worlds. The first world is the world of people who can hear, and the opposite one is the world of those who can hear nothing. This group is well-known not only in the USA but in different parts of the globe. The Wild Zappers and Fred Beam have gained many awards, for instance, the Media Access Award and the Linowes. In the year 2006, Fred Beam was nominated and awarded as ‘Real Men of the Year’ for his outstanding work in solving the problems of the deaf people (The Wild Zappers, 2011).
Fred Beam managed to create his one-man show. It was called ‘Black Deaf Male: Who Am I?’He tired to show the audience what it means to be a black deaf man in the nowadays USA and world.
Fred – a director of Invisible Hands Inc.
The main aim of this group is to help deaf people and make them believe that they can realize themselves through various arts. His colleagues and Fred try to convince people that there are no boundaries in this world which they could not cope with or break through. Fred’s group promotes the culture of the deaf people through various types and genres of the arts. Invisible Hands Inc gives consultations, provides different trainings, and helps deaf people find jobs which will be connected with the arts. Invisible Hands Inc is a sponsor of the National Deaf Dance Theater, the Wild Zappers, and other organizations. Fred is an initiator of creating a specific theatre program for the people of color and deaf people at Gallaudet University. People who attend this program are taught artistic leadership in order to gain their goals in future. Fred Beam is also the President of National Black Deaf Advocates.
It is worth stressing that Fred Beam is a rather persistent and enthusiastic person. He has many ideas which he wants to realize in the nearest future. Fred is very eager to get to television to represent deaf people and their problems.
In conclusion, Fred Beam is an excellent example of courage, strength, persistence, and devotion. He is a deaf person, but it does not prevent him from living a normal life and helping other people to solve their problems.