William Shakespeare wrote that the world is a stage, and all humans are actors on it. Elisabeth Good ’15 became convinced at an early age that some have only been invited as spectators, specifically individuals with a disability. 

A graduate of the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts, Good always believed there was a magic to the entertainment and arts industry while simultaneously thinking she could never break into the exclusive club of those holding the wand. 

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Good felt excluded because she has cerebral palsy, which is a group of disorders affecting movement, muscle tone, and posture. She never saw herself represented on television, movies, stages, or runways while growing up in South Bend, Indiana.

Elisabeth Good celebrated completion of her ISU degree with family, including her grandmother and mother. (Photo by Ashton Myerscough)
Elisabeth Good celebrated completion of her ISU degree with family, including her grandmother and mother. (Photo by Ashton Myerscough)

Thanks in part to her Illinois State education and undergraduate experiences gained as a creative drama puppet major, Good developed the confidence to overcome barriers for herself and others. She continues working to change how people with disabilities (PWDs) are viewed, marketed to, and represented in pop culture as a talent executive for Gamut Management

Gamut is a for-profit company providing representation for people with disabilities in the marketplace across industries that include fashion, entertainment, publishing, sports, and fitness. 

Created by Mindy Scheier in 2018, Gamut complements the Runway of Dreams Foundation. She is a former fashion designer and mom to a son diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. 

Scheier quickly realized that while PWDs are the largest minority on the planet, they are under-represented in mainstream culture. She consequently launched Gamut to address the need for industries to reach out to people with disabilities. Based in New Jersey, the company helps businesses by providing talent management, product development, and targeted marketing. 

Good works remotely from her home in South Bend, Indiana. She uses her expertise in theatre and film to assist Gamut clients, who number nearly 700, in reaching their entertainment dreams while making the industry more inclusive. The work puts in the spotlight individuals not typically chosen as models for a product or included in a production, including people using wheelchairs and living without a limb. 

 “It feels pretty cool to see the work and progress being slowly made, especially in the fashion and film industry,” Good said. “When I was younger, I didn’t see any people with cerebral palsy on a Target ad. It’s been a cool experience to know I helped with that process.”

“When I was younger, I didn’t see any people with cerebral palsy on a Target ad. It’s been a cool experience to know I helped with that process.”

Elisabeth Good

Her job duties include representing clients and reaching out on their behalf to casting directors. She is the first point of contact for production companies wishing to do business through Gamut. Good notifies clients of roles or opportunities that arise within businesses such as Tommy Hilfiger and Appaman, both of whom work through Gamut. 

EDI ISU wordmark with words equity, diversity, and inclusion is YOU, Illinois State University

Good brings to the position experience gained at Hollywood Casting and Film, Gunslinger Motion Pictures, RespectAbility Lab, and Zeno Mountain Film. She served as a script supervisor for the 2020 movie Best Summer Ever, available on Hulu. 

That same year Good joined Gamut as an intern, never envisioning her current role working with models and actors with physical disabilities. One key aspect of her job is to make sure companies think about accessibility, which could involve accommodations such as building a ramp.

 “When you do grow up with a disability, you have to go into something knowing that it’s going to have to be adapted to what you need. It’s definitely important for clients to feel like their needs are being met,” Good said. “It makes you think outside the box.”

She began doing so at Illinois State, where she was introduced to career opportunities on the other side of the camera. Good attended the Kennedy Academy Theatre Arts Festival with Professor John Stark, head of the design and production area for the School of Theatre and Dance. She participated in a workshop that fueled her interest in the production side of performance. 

Good fully invested herself in opportunities while on campus. She was a part of a Pride and Prejudice production put on by Professor Lori Adams, and co-taught elementary students at a Saturday Creative Drama Classes for Kids. Associate Professor Dr. Michael Vetere had Good as a creative drama student and noted she was never afraid to try new experiences. It’s a drive that still defines Good today. 

 “I remember observing Elisabeth during a creative drama session with children and how she moved about the space working with them,” Vetere said. “Her tenacity and optimism were evident and enjoyable to observe, as she didn’t let any challenges disrupt her experience.”

  • Elisabeth Good attending Runway of Dreams
  • Images from Gamut Management with wording Get Connected to PWDs (Partner with Gaumut) and Be a part of the Gamut (Join Gamut)

That in itself is a testament to Good’s own perseverance. She found it hard to relate to others and vice versa while attending a public school in northern Indiana. She gained confidence at the University, believing in her qualifications and aiming high in an industry that has had a defined ceiling for people with disabilities. She takes great pride in accepting the responsibility of helping others find their own inner strength.

“I think it’s still a work in progress but having the role as general manager for people with disabilities, I feel like I have to become more comfortable with myself,” Good said. “In college, I became more comfortable with the identity of having a disability, and the disability community was decent at ISU.” She is grateful for the University’s Student Access and Accommodation Services, through which she mentored a freshman student with a disability. 

Life lessons learned while advocating for herself have helped Good break through a door that she strongly holds open for others. Her advice is to gain from every experience and fully invest in your passions. She is grateful to have found her life path at ISU and for a career that allows her to pay it forward. 

“Her ability to advocate and recognize the need for inclusivity of people with disabilities in our current culture is truly remarkable,” Vetere said. “Her experiences make her work more genuine and authentic. I, along with the School of Theatre and Dance, am proud of Elisabeth’s achievements. We anticipate great accomplishments from her attention to inclusivity with individuals with disabilities.” 

Arts and entertainment have withstood the test of time because they invite people to feel emotion. Thanks to Good’s efforts, more people in generations to come will be invited to create it.