A professional actor, producer and advocate, who just happens to be deaf, Antoinette Abbamonte pushes boundaries within the entertainment industry and beyond. Also, the owner and founder of Mermaid Signature Production for TV and film within Hollywood Industry.
She recently announced her being the initiator and creator of introducing the first deaf superhero being utilized by Disney in the Enternals releasing November 2020 and gained attention for her portrayal as the perceptive ‘Lisa Chesnick’ opposite Larry David in his critically acclaimed HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Her standout television roles also include appearances on the beloved ABC Family series Switched At Birth, and two FOX hit-comedy shows, Raising Hope and Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal. Music fans recognize her as the deaf mother exploring her relationship with her hearing daughter in rock band Adelitas Way’s music video Alive, from award-winning director Gavin Bowden.
Coming soon, this talented actor aspires to bridge the gap into the hearing world with her insightful role in the new feature film Since August. The story follows a young girl in search of redemption whose journey ultimately helps a deaf woman find her freedom.
Antoinette seeks to advance artistic boundaries for herself and the industry in many ways. In addition to starring in Since August, she has stepped into the project as a consultant, working closely with the editing team related to the use of closed and open captions. She previously worked as a moderator on Edgar Wright’s critically acclaimed feature film Baby Driver and was the ASL Director alongside celebrated director/writer Linda Palmer on the upcoming indie feature Turnover.
A Brooklyn, New York native, deaf from birth and raised in a deaf family, Antoinette was accepted as the first deaf student at the renowned American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. She went on to study at the National Theatre of the Deaf, pushing herself and the other actors around her to new heights. Since then, she has performed on numerous stages around the country, including a national tour of Children of a Lesser God with Cleveland SignStage Theatre Company and most recently as ‘Peggy’ in South Coast Repertory’s production of Found On Pandora Avenue.
Antoinette has taught theatre workshops at A.C.T., Deaf Arts Council, Deaf Media, Opera Piccola, and scores of other schools and theatres for children. Currently, she works with both hearing and deaf home-school students in the Los Angeles area, directing and instructing American Sign Language and drama. She participated in the children’s video Sign and ABC’s for Alymer Press, and authored two books, the insightful Gratitude, Trust, Intimacy and Love and the children’s book Tree Wise.
An advocate for artists of diversity and with disabilities in Hollywood for years, Antoinette continues to encourage production teams to consider deaf actors not only when the role is written for a deaf individual, but for any role. She was instrumental in the successful SAG, AFTRA and AEA tri-union campaign I.AM.PWD (Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People With Disabilities) and has represented Deaf and HOH Actors on panels and at conferences throughout the country. Currently, Antoinette helps lead the charge as a Women In Film committee board member and by speaking at industry events around the country to help guide and educate filmmakers, directors and producers on career opportunities related to diversity and people with disabilities.
Antoinette is a proud activist off-screen, seeking to level the playing field for the non-hearing community. Among her victories, she negotiated with the Los Angeles Science and Discovery Museums to add subtitles and closed captions to the educational films to ensure deaf children receive an equal opportunity to learn. Clearly, Antoinette refuses to wear the label of disability and states “it’s simply a different language and culture so those who practice inclusion will reap the benefits with a more fulfilling life.”
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