Who would think that a crooner in a wheelchair, singing in a park, would lead to one of the most inspirational videos of the year?
hen Tony Dee was approached to audition for the Channel 4 ‘We’re The Superhumans’ video, he didn’t even have a backing track. So with his wife, he went to the local park and, with the soundtrack playing in his ear, recorded his audition on the phone. 6 weeks later, he was on a flight to the UK to record “Yes I can”, the Sammy Davis Jnr song.
The video features over 140 people with disabilities in 65 different scenes and took over 3 weeks to film. Tony, being a true professional, recorded the song on the first ½ day and spent the next 3 weeks, pretending to sing to his own voice.
Yes, he has come a long way from singing at his church in Brisbane, but he’ll tell you that those 12 hour days were fun, boring and manic all in one.
For insider tips, the helmet-wearing stuntman is actually the same guy in the supermarket with a Mohawk – Rick Rodgers, a wheelchair stuntman. The final scene features Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham who was the first guy to do a back flip in a wheelchair in 2006 and a double back flip in 2010.
Tony says, “It was inspiring to see the high jumper and car driver do their thing, but in reality, all the performers were just ordinary people. Nice people and not-so-nice people.”
The video has now had over 4 million views on YouTube and over 28 million views on the Channel 4 website. If by some miracle you haven’t seen it yet, then you are in for a treat. One of the most common reactions I have heard from people watching the video is “I’m just not trying hard enough.”
Tony has returned to Australia now and will be performing at the 2016 Disability Awards Night in Canberra in December this year.
Our hat is off to you, Tony, and your amazing band.
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