David Roche and Terri Tate, born with a severe facial disfigurement and a survivor of two bouts of oral cancer, respectively, have had a head start on their peers in processing it all – and they’re determined to share their humorous perspective to help others do the same.
They’re taking that campaign to the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts with ‘Getting Old with Roche & Tate,’ a Feb. 11 event in which Roche and Tate will share in conversation “their hard-won wisdom” on aging issues. “Come have your deepest questions answered to ease the adjustment and delight in your dotage,” Roche says.
Roche was born with a severe facial disfigurement and and has long been a pioneer in disability culture, appearing all over the world, including at the White House and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a comedian, solo performer, actor, filmmaker, author and storytelling coach. He is featured in the National Film Board of Canada’s film Shameless, wrote The Church of 80% Sincerity, for which Anne Lamott wrote the foreword, and has embarked on a new culturejamming project, “The David Roche School of Beauty,” which seeks to radically change the world’s standards of beauty.
Roche and his wife Marlena Blavin recently completed Love at Second Sight, an educational video that seeks to transform attitudes about appearance and encourages students to accept themselves and others. The video was shot at the Mill Valley Middle School.
Tate is a speaker, storyteller, and author whose life and voice were threatened by two bouts of oral cancer from which she had a 2 percent chance of survival. But Tate says that her sense of humor was never in danger. Offering customized keynotes, workshops, and webinars, Tate seeks to move audiences to laughter, tears, and standing ovations by her powerful performances. Her memoir, A Crooked Smile, also contains a foreword by Lamott.