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Adam Bowes has been selected as one of 10 actors who will showcase their talents to key players in the industry. Image: Contributed.

Show us your diversity

Geoff Helisma |

In December 2010, Adam Bowes made a speech to those gathered at the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre in Yamba, who were celebrating the International Day of People with Disability.

Adam, who attended Yamba Public and Maclean High schools, is a double above the knee amputee, born without tibia bones in his legs.

Looking around the centre, it reminded him to tell those there “that it is not only people with a disability but their families, friends and local community who are a part of this day”.

“However,” he said, “I also feel that every day of the year should acknowledge the importance of people with a disability because we all, in our own way, make a contribution.“This can be, on the one hand, making people more aware of the difficulties facing people with disabilities, such as physical access; and on the other hand, developing a change of attitude so that there is acceptance and, indeed, celebration, of people with a disability.”

The ideas outlined in these words are pivotal to how Adam lives his life, which, combined with his acting and musical talents, have made him one to watch.

He has been selected among 10 actors to participate in a diversity showcase at the Actors’ Centre Australia, Sydney on Thursday July 26; five directors and six writers were also selected for the showcase.
Casting director Anousha Zarkesh said in a media release that “the quality of new faces testing was very exciting”.
“It was great to get so many people responding to the call out; there was such a wealth of talent.”
Those selected will participate in rehearsals, panels and professional development workshops during the preceding five days.

Adam played the part of George Gleeson in the web series Call me Katie and its sequel Nothing like the Sun, for which he won a Literary Inspired Web Series Award.

In 2016, he had small part in Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge; in 2017 he played Kyle in Jeremy the Dud, a short film that “lifts the lid on disability in a meaningful and funny way”; and, he played a farmer amputee in 2018 supernatural horror film Winchester¸ which grossed $41.3million (US).

On being selected from among 500 applicants, Adam said: “It’s a very important thing to me: diversity and authentic representation on the screen and on the stage.”A recent Screen Australia report highlighted the fact “that close to 60 per cent of television drama programs had only Anglo-Celtic main characters and that LGBTQI characters and those with a disability were vastly underrepresented”.

Adam’s role in Call me Katie touched on these underrepresented issues.

“My onscreen boy friend and I won an award for onscreen chemistry,” Adam said.
“It’s fantastic, we were over the moon about that; and we had fans who made a lot of drawings and sent them over to us from, like, Germany, like, book marks they’d made and drawn us on.
“My partner in the series is one of my best mates.
“He was called George Bates and I was George Gleeson.
“We are known as George Squared amongst the fandom of Call me Katie.
“Steven [George Bates] and I are very good friends and, once we got around to being in a relationship in the series, our girlfriends at the time, well, my fiancé now, it was a bit hard for them to watch.”
Adam said he was looking forward to being mentored during the week preceding the showcase.
“We’ll also be seen by a lot of casting directors and directors, and some key decision makers in Australian film and TV,” he said.
And, having initially graduated from the Australian Institute of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree (music theatre), he is aiming for a multifaceted career.
“I love all the mediums I may be able to get into,” he said.
“I love doing musical theatre; but I’ve gotten a lot more into doing film and TV – I’ve done a TV pilot and a bit of film this year.”