Steve Way. Photo Source: https://www.thesteveway.com/
In a video shared by Gawker, comedian Steve Way talks with Rich Juzwiak on how muscular dystrophy impact his comedy and affect his life. Way shares the misconceptions that people have about him and how they think that he can’t talk. He also says that dating has been difficult. He met his girlfriend on Tinder, and she accepted his disability and also what she is expected to do as his caregiver.
When it comes to comedy, the main topic is always muscular dystrophy as he shares his difficulties. He aims at raising awareness of this disease and show people that just because he has an illness doesn’t mean that he can’t tell jokes or enjoy life. Steve is a comedian, disability awareness advocate and motivational speaker. He is 25 years old. Way uses his jokes to raise funds to support the research of muscular dystrophy.
Jon Braylock, who is his funny friend, helped Way to create a web series called Uplifting Dystrophy. The duo helped in raising ten thousand dollars through online funding in 2013. Showing gratitude for their community, they hosted their annual Comedy Charity Explosion which was free of charge. They accepted donations from those who attended. All the funds raised were donated to a Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In an interview, Steve shares about the experiences, the lives, and contributions of people who want see improvement of those living with disabilities. Steve started speaking publicly at the age of 10.
Background of Steve
He is from Rutherford, New Jersey and was born with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. So far he doesn’t know the type that he has, but he has been trying to understand it. By profession, Steve is a standup comedian, substitute teacher, a motivational speaker, and an actor. He is starting to concentrate more on motivational speaking, and he has been doing it for about 15 years. Way started fundraising and events while with Muscular Dystrophy Association. Since then, he has been comfortable talking to people while on stage. This gave him more confidence during stand up comedy.
Steve used comedy throughout his life to cope with his disability. He uses every setback or any bad thing he faced and turn it into a joke. He realized that it helps him to cope with it. He loves being on stage and making people laugh. He also educates them about his life.
Working as a Substitute Teacher
Steve was a history major as he loved to teach that, but he doesn’t mind about the subject that he teaches but the students in his class. He usually loves to interact with people and students in that school are respectful, helpful and accepted him. He does what he does for the kids.
How Muscular Dystrophy affects Steve’s life
In muscular dystrophy, muscles don’t take in proteins yet it essential for development. He has muscular dystrophy that is classified as congenital since he is the only one in his family that has it. Steve is frustrated that he doesn’t know the type of muscular dystrophy that he has. He has made it a personal goal to know what he has. He said that he might never have closure as long as he doesn’t know the type that he has.
He accepted his disability long ago. He was aware that he was different. Fortunately, he has a lot of supportive friends. He has always known that he had a purpose and he figures it out recently and that made him concentrate more on motivational speaking.
Message Steve has for Those Living with Disability
Steve has a message to those with a disability, and it is about overcoming anything in life. He said that despite that he has a disability, he can do everything that he wishes. He hopes that people know about him and he wants to educate them about disability. The message is that disabled people should not be underestimated since most of them are doing important and significant things. Steve doesn’t wish to be given special treatment just because he is in a wheel chair. He said that he doesn’t deserve or want it.
Impact of Internet on Disabled People
The Internet has a lot of resources. Steve loved working on his computer as he keeps on learning new things. He has been trying to figure out what type of muscular dystrophy he has, but if the internet wasn’t there, it could have been impossible. The Internet is also crucial when searching for medical information such as medication and getting new doctors. Steve and his family have a lot, and there isn’t enough time for research, and the internet helps in lessening the burden.
Steve’s Thoughts on Technology and Future of Disability
Steve has always been hopeful for the future. Communication has been easy due to technology. He hopes that accessibility will offer more. For instance, he lives a few distances from New York City and a wheelchair accessible taxi cannot be found. But with the recent apps, it has been made easy. No one knew that one day we would have the technology that the watches and phones use such as a phone that can make calls. No one can predict what the future has people. Steve could not have made it in comedy and motivational speeches if there was no internet. He is happy that technological improvements have helped him in his career.
Steve’s Greatest Accomplishment
His greatest accomplishment was completing college by a semester early. In a summer before his senior year, he broke his legs and during fall, semester started, and it was the hardest of all. He doesn’t know how he did, but his determination helped him finish early.
Steve hopes that one day he will act in a TV show or a movie. However, he intends to engage in full-time public speaking – colleges, high schools and professional environments. He wishes to reach very many people and share his story. He wants to offer a better understanding. Steve wishes to give back to the community since people have been helping him too.
The Type of Comedy that Steve Does
Steve usually makes fun of himself and the things that happen in his life. He does this for few reasons: to help him cope with the disease and to educate people on disabled people. When doing comedy to new people, Steve realized that they were not sure how to react to the comedy. But as he continued, the audience see that he is just like other comedians.
Uplifting Dystrophy Web Series
As Steve and his friends decided to write a TV pilot and when they were preparing to shop it, one of the friends got a job on a television show at Nickelodeon. This made things even harder for him, and he couldn’t do anything else. His friends, however, help him to do something. So they decided to take one theme from the pilot and made episodes for web series. This made them raise ten thousand dollars. He found it to be fun and this helps him in his career, and most of the things started happening after the web series. He wishes to do something similar to that in future.