Congratulations to Santina Muha, awarded the 2013 Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship at the annual Media Access Awards held in Beverly Hills, CA October 17.
Santina was awarded the $5000 scholarship by Angela Rockwood, Tiphany Adams, Mia Schaikewitz and Auti Angel, the four young women who star on the reality television series Push Girls.
Santina, left, with Push Girls Mia and Tiphany.
Santina is a Jersey girl who recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue acting classes and to hone her craft, hoping to get a break in the acting business.
“No matter what hand life deals you, you can still win the game if you play those cards right,” says Santina, who uses a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injured at age five. After graduating from Rutgers, she was named Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey in 2009; she has modeled, written for a national nonprofit, and performed comedy.
Santina has always been attracted to the stage, she says, but her goal is to normalize the disability experience into the mainstream. “We take so many cues from movies and television and pop culture in general, and if the only time you show disability is in a show that’s about disability, you’re just reaching the same audience over and over; those are the people who already know about it.”
Santina and former Reeve Scholars Zack
Weinstein and Toby Forrest.
The Media Access Awards honor members of the entertainment and broadcast industries for their efforts in promoting awareness of the disability experience, accessibility for people with disabilities, and the accurate depiction of the disability experience.
The following awards were presented at the event:
*Media Access Awards’ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Norman Lear, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, The Facts of Life
*Media Access Awards’ VISIONARY AWARD: George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice & Fire, the basis for Game of Thrones
*SAG-AFTRA Disability Awareness Award: Jenni Gold, Producer of the Documentary Cinemability
*SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award: RJ Mitte, Breaking Bad
*Casting Society of America Award: Deedee Bradley, Switched at Birth, Veronica Mars
*Writers Guild of America, West Evan Somers Memorial Award: David Shore, House
*Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award: Bruce Cohen, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook, Academy Award-winner for American Beauty
*RJ Mitte Diversity Award: Ryan Lane, Switched at Birth