Actor and musician
Blind: Retinal Detachment
A well-known actor and a musician, Rick Boggs of the United States began his acting career in 1987. He started with a small part in a prime time TV serial called 'The Wizard', followed by a small role in a short film called 'Follow my Leader'. This was where his talent was recognised by a Hollywood agent. For Rick there was no looking back after that. Today Rick has about thirty-five television commercial appearances to his credit. His roles in various films, television shows and stage plays have won him great acclaim. Some of the popular serials he has acted in are 'Veronica's Closet', 'The Net', and 'Allie McBeal'.
Rick has spent years being a part of innovative radio programmes and his multiple music performances are something worth listening to. Rick also writes and produces his original songs, plays keyboards, guitar, drums and saxophone.
Rick lost his eyesight at the age of 5, due to retinal detachment caused by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Their mother in Los Angeles, California raised him and his three siblings. In spite of being blind, Rick had an active childhood. He learnt to swim, play Baseball and basketball, ski, surf, golf, and even skydive!
Rick's life is a true example of how adversity can be turned into advantage. Accompanied by his guide dog Timber, Rick makes spoken presentations to large audiences, which include the corporate, non-profit organizations, staffs of schools and hospitals all around the United States. Besides entertaining his audiences, Rick's presentations inspire, educate and motivate individuals and groups. His aim is to motivate his listeners and help them make the most of their professional and personal lives. He does this by incorporating corporate culture and team building attitudes.
As a musician, Rick's musical pursuits are widely varied. He is a singer and a songwriter. Some of his awards winning songs are 'free at last' and 'listen to the children'. Rick has high competence in playing varied musical instruments. His instrumental compositions have been licensed for use in sports highlight TV productions, industrial videos and also in radio commercial jingles.
Rick's music publishing company, Sound Adventures, is affiliated to Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). He is also an active member of American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
Rick is also a professional sound engineer and audio producer. In the early 1990's he was one of the few blind musicians to research and develop methods to access music recording software and produce professional quality recordings. Given proper training with a particular configuration of pro audio recording hardware and software, Rick made sure, blind individuals could gain employment as audio engineers. In the year 1999, Rick founded a company called We See TV, which is committed to train and employ disabled people in technical positions. His efforts to work in this field were soon recognised and he was awarded the prestigious California Governor's Trophy at the National Business Leadership Conference in 2003.
It's surprising for many, but Rick says it's a dream come true for him to have his paintings recognized and awarded. Rick says he paints by first visualizing a picture in his mind and then measuring out distances on the sheet with his hands. He keeps the colours systematically so that he knows where is which colour. He prefers to have an assistant to let him know if the brush has no remaining paint or if the water needs a change etc.
Rick has a busy schedule as an actor and a musician but he still finds time to serve his community. He is an active member of several boards of directors of non-profit organizations. Rick also volunteers keenly to advocate the efforts that benefit people with disability. He currently serves on the board for the Blind Children's Center - An organization that provides educational facilities for parents of blind children. He also is a member of Music To The Rescue, a charity for the homeless children. Additionally, Rick serves as co-vice-chair of the Tri-Union National Performers with Disabilities Committee.
Rick has won awards and commendations from many National organizations and Government agencies for his civic leadership and social responsibilities.