The Legion of Leia Podcast is back this week! Hosts Jenna Busch and Anastasia Washington welcome guest Amanda McDonough. You’ll recognize her from the TV series Switched at Birth, and her new book, Ready to Be Heard: How I Lost My Hearing and Found My Voice. McDonough is 100% deaf in both ears, and has dealt with a number of obstacles in Hollywood. She tells us all about the day she woke up in college, completely deaf and mute, and how she struggled and succeeded in finding her voice again.
There is so much here that most people don’t know, from the thoughts the deaf community has on deaf actresses speaking English (it’s very hard to hear that McDonough is deaf in her voice), learning to speak again, the controversy in the community about playing hearing characters, which McDonough has done, and about using an implant.
Amanda McDonough’s recent credits include ABC’s Speechless, NBC’s Bad Judge, ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, Chris Lilly’s Pilot series Just Us Guys, and films such as Listen directed by Michaela Higgins and Silent Star directed by Steven Sanders. Her films Passengers and Loud and Clear have gone on to show in various festivals and win awards. Her film Lady Electric showed at Cannes Film Festival this year.
Amanda’s life story has even been the subject of documentaries such as USC’s Amanda and radio broadcast stories such as KCRW’s Silence. She also speaks around the country about being deaf and overcoming obstacles in your life. Check out the podcast below!