10-year-old deaf Keivonn Woodard has made history as the first black deaf actor to earn a nomination in the Emmy awards of 2023.
Keivonn Woodard, a 10-year-old American actor got nominated for the Emmy awards(awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and International television) as industry outstanding guest actor in a drama series.
He got the nomination for his role as apocalypse survivor Sam Burrell, the brother of the main actor in the HBO (Home Box Office Inc) hit drama ‘The Last of Us’.
Keivonn is also the youngest and first-ever deaf black person to be nominated in the category. He said he was shocked when he heard about the nomination.
“I think that everybody should just do their best when they’re trying to act and just go for the auditions,” he said.
Keivonn said though the role was challenging for him as he had to learn the American Sign Language but with the assistance of his production team and his own cooperation, he was able to achieve the role.
He also added that Child actors should not be afraid of attending auditions whether they are disabled or not.
“Don’t worry about it, and just go ahead and try to act your best. Yes, it was hard with the facial expressions and learning how to interpret the script for American Sign Language, but I think it’s really important to also learn to listen to your production team and to collaborate with them. I got in, and so can you,” he added.
Keivonn’s mother, April Jackson-Woodard said she has been receiving messages since her son was nominated. She stated that she has been overwhelmed since her son got the role being a widow and a black deaf mother.
“People kept sending messages, and I cried immediately because I never thought or dreamed it would happen to my son. You know, I never even considered it,” April said.
”After Keivonn got the role, I asked myself, ‘How do I even prepare my life?’ It wasn’t easy, especially as a Black Deaf mother and also being a widow. I was trying to take care of everything on my own, but he would say, ‘Mom, I got this.’ And he did,” she added.
Keivonn made his film debut in 2018 with the film Seeds of Hope; The Andrew Jackson Foster Story before appearing in The Last of Us as Sam.