I Hear You
When thrust into a school project together, 5 multifarious college freshmen learn to see past cultural, hearing and language barriers, as they are forced to come to terms with and confront their own personal prejudices against each other.
Keep it Colorful
Inclusion StatementThis project shines a light on a much undervalued community; the Deaf. The Deaf Community has been overlooked, mocked, and abused. Our series explores their struggles and triumphs, exposing the ignorance of both communities towards the other. We include both hearing/Deaf talent and crew.
About The Project
Imagine enjoying a beautiful day on your way home from work, when all of a sudden, you’re side swiped; spinning your car out of control. You’re in a state of confusion and dizzy, as officers arrive on the scene, directing you to get out of the car. Officers are speaking to the other driver and gathering witness statements. When they finally approach you, it’s to try to force you to sign a document stating that the accident was all your fault. You try to plead your case, just to be handcuffed and thrown into a police car.
Now imagine that your only source of communication has been taken from you…your hands. Why? Because you’re Deaf. Not only are you scared, unable to hear your surroundings, with no method of communication, but you’re also falsely arrested for DUI, because Officers believe that you are faking your deafness.
Now in a jail cell, you’re ignored and intimated with the threat of doing jail time if you don’t agree to sign papers stating false accusations against you. You’re denied an interpreter and can’t even make your 1 phone call, due to the fact that the Police Station does not have a phone system that can be operated by those who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.
This scenario may sound completely farfetched, but it isn’t. This is a true story. Unfortunately, we as people often go to extreme measures (like unfair detainment or inaccurate diagnoses) when we do not take time to try to understand the things that we don't understand.
Incidents and biases just like this happens every day to members of the Deaf community. As hearing people we are often guilty of committing audism (the notion that one is superior based on their ability to hear or an attitude based on pathological thinking which results in a negative stigma toward anyone who does not hear). We do this when we don’t make eye contact with the Deaf person or focus our attention on the hearing individual, expecting them to speak “for” the Deaf individual.
It breaks my heart when my Deaf friends are treated less than, simply for being unable to hear. I hate watching my Deaf friends become self-conscious in public, fearing that they will negatively draw too much attention to themselves.
I see the issues and the untold stories. If I sit and do nothing to shed light on an often over-looked group of people, then I have not only failed as a filmmaker, but I have failed as a friend and ally of the Deaf community.
We all want to see "ourselves" properly represented on screen. There's absolutely no way for us to be an inclusive society without their stories. I Hear You is the missing piece to this inclusivity.
Deaf Talent is slowly but surely making its way through the entertainment industry. I Hear You plans to be the foot bursting every glass ceiling that has been placed to stop them!
Meet The Cast
Celia Frances as Brynn
After a tragic childhood misfortune that left Brynn deaf at the age of 8, college creates a challenge for her as she struggles with her identity as a deaf person in a hearing world.
John Autry as Blaze
Blaze is physically deaf, not culturally Deaf, thereby striking a cord and antagonistic reactions from proud Deaf members in the Deaf Community.
Kiana Thompson as Red Rose
Beautiful, wealthy and famous! What more could a college girl ask for? Most may interpret her self-absorbed and nonchalant demeanor as snobbish or entitlement, but she’s just a privileged girl who genuinely doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t have a rich daddy like her.
Joshua Conteh as Shane
Your typical jock, ladies man, and class clown. He is also the track star of Wychester University.
Nathanael Martinez as Bob
The eccentric, fun loving and entitled track team manager. Did we mention that he has great taste in fashion too?
Bree K. Jones as Missouri
Everyone's favorite hippie! She sees the world in bright colors and beautiful flowers. She can put a positive twist on anything which sometimes, drives other people crazy.
Shelley Meche'tte as Dr. Chunn
What is a university without a prominent and well respected Black woman in position? Dr. Tabitha Chunn gives no room for excuses in her classroom (which is why she’s also one of the most hated professors by her students). Wait… Tabitha Chunn is the name of a Black woman? Yes!
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About This Team
Creator - Executive Producer - Director - Writer
In addition to her I Hear You titles, Shelley Meche'tte is also a passionate Women’s Life Speaker/Success Strategist. She is extremely dedicated to the empowerment of women through strategized personal and professional development.
Shelley is an author and the founder of The PowHERful Woman; a non-profit empowerment organization designed to empower, inspire and educate women from all walks of life.
Shelley studied Theater Arts at Cal State University Northridge. Extreme attention to detail afforded her the opportunity to share her proficiencies with the likes of such companies as Warner Bros., Walt Disney and Saban Entertainment.
Shelley has been acting and writing since childhood. She loves theater and has had the pleasure of gracing the stage on many occasions. She is greatly looking forward to gracing it again in the near future.
Creator - Executive Producer - Writer
Bree K. Jones is a Deaf Culture Merger and the Creator of the web-series I Hear You. This Biola graduate and millennial extraordinaire is changing the way the hearing world views the Deaf Community.
Understanding the challenges that are before the Deaf community, Bree’s mission is to merge both the hearing and the Deaf communities together by breaking down stereotypes and easing social anxieties between both worlds.
Bree has held workshops for the community and has received a grant for the work she’s doing from the Pollination Project. She too has won an award from Black Women rock Nationally Women’s Organization and a certificate of recognition for raising awareness to the importance of sign communications for the Deaf community by the 64th district.
Bree has spread Deaf culture awareness on several empowering radio shows. She has also been featured in the HuffPost as one of the top 15 youth to look out for, on PopSugar, Ai-Media, the RiRi Show, and other media outlets.
Producer - 1st AD
LaToya Re'nee Pratcher is a woman of many talents. She is an actress/screenwriter/director/ producer with a BA in Film Production & Directing who loves to tell, highlight, and share stories visually through television and film, stories of the disenfranchised, invisible, and unappreciated. She loves every aspect of the creative world of television/film. It is her gift and passion that she loves to share with the world. In the words of LaToya "I'm excited and honored to be apart of this groundbreaking upcoming series 'I Hear You'!"
Royalle Renae is a 16 year old dancer and choreographer. She has been fully commited to dance since the age of 12 but first began her ventures at the age of 3. Over the years she has been in many musicals such as Aladdin, The Lion King, Fame, and many more. In 2017, she joined the I Hear You family as the Director of Photography. Royalle Renae is a honor student and plans to double major in Dance and Business at University California of Irvine.
Wardrobe - Production Design
Angel Latrease, also known as "A. Latrease" is a Chicago native, who was raised in Los Angeles and considers herself a “Cali-Girl.” A. Latrease has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
A creative and keen eye for fashion has afforded her the opportuntiy of becoming a sought-after Fashion Stylist. A. Latrease has performed her "magic" in various Fashion Editorials, Commercials, Television, and Celebrity styling projects. She has been credited in Seventeen, Shape, Emmy and LadyGunn Magazines to name a few. She has also been featured in VoyageLA!
Angel plans to continue her career as a Fashion Stylist with an emphasis on Celebrity and TV/Film styling.
Communication Specialist, Tyrone Oraguize mediates between the Deaf and hearing actors, ensuring that ASL is properly used in its proper context. He himself is apart of the Deaf Community and is hard of hearing.
Tyrone is from Nigeria and grew up in Inglewood, CA with his family. Tyrone is passionate about the authenticity of showcased in I Hear You. He loves assisting our deaf and hearing crew in communicating and learning to "hear" each other.
When Tyrone isn't on the I Hear You set, he works as a ASL Music Artist, interpreting song favirotes in ASL. As a successful Professional Network Marketer, he is giving back by educating the Deaf community in financial literacy and how to live a debt-free life. Tyrone hopes to one day be recognized as a prominent Hard of Hearing Film Director.
Aaron Makai McGlover began modeling at the age of ten. Aaron enjoyed an amazing internship at KJLH Radio 102.3 FM, as well as participated in four film writing/production during his college years.
In more recent years (since 2014) Aaron Makai McGlover has dedicated himself to following his film industry ambitions. Aaron has kept busy, acting in short films, writing and modeling for various campaigns.
Aaron believes that with the talent and diversity of the I Hear You cast, its talented crew, and strong support, the future of this web-series will surpass...success!
Special Thanks to Our Other Deaf Talent Behind The Scenes
CJ Jones - Director
Martina Bell - Writer
Kerry Cooler - Writer