Gifted comedienne, award-winning actress, accomplished author, and renowned inspirational speaker Kathy Buckley is a force like no other. Billed as " America's First Hearing Impaired Comedienne", Kathy Buckley is also a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne. As an actress, she is known for her guest starring roles on shows such as Touched by an Angel, and for her critically acclaimed one woman Off-Broadway show, Don’t Buck with Me/Now Hear This!. As a motivational speaker, she inspires hundreds of thousands of people around the world, sharing her story of overcoming some of the most difficult obstacles one can imagine in life, and how she met those challenges with dignity, courage, and laughter.
Kathy’s book, If You Could Hear What I See, will have you laughing and crying as you experience the amazing story of her life. She has received thousands of letters and emails of thanks and praise, regarding both her book and her original PBS special, No Labels, No Limits! She was awarded the CINE Golden Eagle Award as the writer and executive producer of the special, and the Media Access Award for Outstanding Television Special. Her highly acclaimed autobiographical theatre play, Now Hear This! had its Off-Broadway premiere at New York’s Lamb’s Theatre, and not only brought the comic actress a legion of faithful new fans, but a wealth of critical praise from New York media. Little wonder, since the production (originally titled Don’t Buck With Me!), first opened in Los Angeles at Hollywood’s legendary Tamarind Theatre, with both Kathy and the show winning the distinguished Los Angeles Theater Ovation Award for Best Writing of a World Premiere Play or Musical and the Los Angeles entertainment industry’s coveted Media Access Award as Best Play of the Year.
Success, however, in the theater or any other medium, was far from mind the first time Kathy stood the world of comedy on its ear. On a dare from a friend, she entered a comedy contest called, "Stand-up Comic Take a Stand", in 1988. She was nervous. Not because it was her first time performing comedy on a stage, or even the fact that she couldn't hear the audience response except by vibration from the stage floor. What made her nervous was discovering that she was competing against comedians who had been in the business for years.
But, Kathy forged ahead, easily winning fourth place out of over 80 comedians, and soon began touring the U.S., playing major comedy venues like Caroline’s (New York City), Catch a Rising Star (Las Vegas, Reno), The Improv (West Hollywood), The Ice House (Pasadena), The Comedy Store (Hollywood), The Laugh Factory (Hollywood), and many others. In record time, she became one of the most popular comediennes in the country with material based on, among others things, her hearing loss. That impairment, however, is only one of the many hurdles Kathy has encountered in her life. Her poor performance in second grade landed her in a school for mentally and physically impaired children. It took school administrators, psychologists, and audiologists nearly a year to discover it was just a hearing loss and not a lack of mental acuity that was impeding her speech and language development. Today, Kathy shakes her head as she quips to amazed audiences, "... And they called me slow?"
During her late teens, Kathy's life was interrupted when she was run over by a jeep while sunbathing on a beach. As a result, she experienced intermitted paralysis in her legs. Her recovery took almost five years. Then, just six years later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Undaunted, she has turned roadblocks into springboards, using her personal experience as launching pads for humor and the education of others.
She was selected from among hundreds of performers to showcase her talents at The National Association for Campus Activities Convention. That appearance made her a favorite of the college campus circuit.
Kathy's popular appeal, unique persona, and refreshing sense of humor also attracted the attention of high profile comedy television shows, entertainment news programs, and talk shows. She has appeared on such programs as The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside Edition, Turner Entertainment Report, CNN'S Show Biz Today, Real Life, and Geraldo. She has been featured in several national magazines, including People as one of their most touching stories of 1997. She has performed on shows such as Stand-Up Spotlight (VH-1), Comic Strip Live (FOX), Evening at the Improv (A&E), and Caroline's Comedy Hour (A&E), to name just a few. She also served as celebrity guest host for Fox Television Special, Smart Kids, and made a cameo appearance in the ABC Television Movie of the Week, Breaking Free. She was featured in the HBO Television Special, "Women of the Night", shot on location at the U.S. Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado. She included in the E! Entertainment Television Special, The World's Most Intriguing Women. Kathy was also the focus of I Can Hear the Laughter, an Emmy award-winning documentary.
Although she regularly receives national media attention, Kathy is more than just a popular comic. Her humor has a higher purpose. "My comedy disarms people," says Kathy. "I love to make people laugh, but I love it even more if I can teach them something at the same time."
She backs her philosophy by tirelessly performing on behalf of nonprofit and educational organizations throughout the Unites States. She serves as the national spokesperson for No Limits, a non-profit organization, theater group, and school which provides educational programs and accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing children.
Among her many honors, Kathy has received the Woman of The Year Award from the Oralingua School, American Hero Award from the City of Hope as their role model of the year, the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award, the Dole Foundation Media Awareness Award for her dedication to all people with disabilities, the National Council on Communicative Disorders Individual Achievement Award, and the Hear Now Help America Hear award for her commitment to children.
She was also recognized by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army for outstanding efforts toward disability employment awareness.
She is a key motivational speaker for Anthony Robbins' Life Mastery Classes and works to entertain and enlighten people of all ages, but her heart belongs to children. "Every child deserves to have a real childhood," Kathy asserts. "And they should have healthy role models to show them that people do care about them deeply." Kathy speaks to the child in all of us.
Whether performing in a comedy club, appearing on television, speaking publicly, teaching at camps for children and teens, or appearing in any number of other settings, Kathy Buckley bears her message that anything can be achieved when the heart and the mind work together.