HLM Cover Feature: Lynn Rousseau

9 05 2011

The May/June 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (HLM), which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), is hot off the press! This month’s “cover girl” is my dear friend and HLAA member Lynn Rousseau. I first met Lynn in October 2008 in Denver, Colorado, when we both received a Focus on People Award from Oticon, a leading hearing aid manufacturer. Barbara Kelley, Deputy Executive Director of HLAA and editor of Hearing Loss Magazine, secretly nominated me for the award. Oticon flew all the winners (and a guest) to Denver for the ceremony, and I wrote about that amazing experience (thanks again, Barbara!) on my blog here.

Lynn and I hit it off instantly and talked for hours that weekend. She was very funny, sweet and a great listener. Last year I told her that she needed to share her life story with the hearing loss community. She has led quite a colorful and creative life, so I knew she would have great photos to illustrate the article. She didn’t fail me with the visuals—she mailed a big bag of newspaper clippings and photos collected from a lifetime of dancing, performing and modeling. It was hard to decide which ones to use first! I had the pleasure of photographing Lynn for the cover when we met up at the 2010 HLAA Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last June. Lynn confessed that while she didn’t think she was a writer, she would do her best to repeat some of the stories she shared with me when we first met. I enlisted the help of my father, Hershel M. Dyer, as editor (thanks, Dad!). He crafted a beautiful article from Lynn’s notes and stream-of-consciousness prose. You can read more of his work on his blog at www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com.

Lynn’s love of dance and performing garnered her several “15 minutes of fame” moments—in her teens she was just one of three girls chosen to perform every Saturday on the Rick Shaw Show and the Saturday Hop Show in Miami. She performed at legendary Miami Beach hotels and her first television show was with Paul Revere & the Raiders, Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Diamond. She also had a small part on the big screen in Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason, had the opportunity to dance with the June Taylor dancers, and was an extra on the movie, Doc Hollywood, with Michael J. Fox.

In this month’s feature article, she shares both the sad and funny moments in her life concerning hearing loss, introduces us to her incredibly supportive family (husband Joel, three children, and eight grandchildren), and reveals her diagnosis of and subsequent recovery from breast cancer in 2008. On this month’s cover I wrote Lynn Rousseau: Fearless, Persistent, Resilient. Lynn is all those things and I’m thrilled that readers will get to know a little more about her colorful life. My father has always told me that I march to the tune of a different drummer. Lynn most certainly does, too, (sometimes literally!) and I am so proud to call her my friend. To read the entire article, click to download the pdf file here: Lynn Rousseau

Deanne Bray from NBC’s Heroes

2 11 2009

HLMNovDec09 CoverThe November/December 2009 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America) features actress Deanne Bray, whose is guest starring as Emma on the NBC series, Heroes. She appeared on the September 28, October 5, and October 12 episodes.

From Heroes Wiki: “Emma has the ability to see sound waves as beautiful lights. Her power can also shoot out the sound waves as a concussive blast if heavily pressured enough. She demonstrates this by playing her cello so furiously that a blast of ‘sound’ leaves a scar on the wall.”

Deanne has a severe hearing loss and wears a hearing aid in her left ear. She was previously the star of the PAX-TV series, Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye. Based on a true story, the series followed the adventures of Sue Thomas, a deaf woman working for the FBI in Washington, D.C. Although the series ended in 2005, it was one of two highest rated shows on the channel.

Read Barbara Kelley’s feature, Deanne Bray—A Hearing Loss Hero, by clicking this link: DeanneBrayFeature. Be sure to click on the link once and then again when it appears a second time. The pdf should download to your desktop and open immediately.

Deanne is married to Troy Kotsur, an actor who is deaf. Kotsur was on the Lifetime series, Strong Medicine, and guest starred in Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye. He was also on the special deaf themed episode (December 13, 2008) of CSI: NY and an episode of Scrubs. Kotsur is also an award-winning director. Deanne and Troy have a four-year-old daughter, Kyra Monique.

I am fortunate to be able to photograph the majority of the covers for Hearing Loss Magazine. I would love to have flown to Hollywood to shoot this latest cover and feature, but alas, there wasn’t a budget for it. The cover photo was provided by Los Angeles-based Felicity Murphy.