Robert Tarango may be the first deaf-blind actor to play a leading role in a movie.
Filmmaker Doug Roland found the inspiration for his next movie at 4 a.m. in the East Village, Corey Kilgannon reports in The New York Times.
He saw a man standing on a deserted street corner in need of help and holding a sign explaining that he was deaf and blind and needed help crossing the street.
“It was the first time I’d met a deaf-blind person and he just took my arm and trusted me, a total stranger on a New York street, to direct him,” Mr. Roland told The Times. “In that chance encounter, there was an instant connection with someone from a community I knew nothing about.”
The result was “Feeling Through,” an 18-minute film inspired by that meeting. It’s a window into the world of deaf-blindness, in which a late-night encounter on a New York street leads to a spiritual connection between a troubled youth and a deaf-blind man.
Mr. Roland was adamant about finding a deaf-blind man for the role, and he eventually found Robert Tarango, a kitchen worker from Long Island with no acting experience.