'Glee Project' Member Talks Paralysis & Future
By ROBERT PACE
June 12, 2012
Though Ali Stroker was involved in a life-altering car accident at two years old that left her paralyzed from a severe spinal cord injury, she has always been able to pursue her passion to act and sing through sheer talent, hard work and the unwavering support of her family. And now, after already enjoying a lot of success pursuing her goals, she is undergoing a once in a lifetime experience on The Glee Project, which is set to open even more doors for her.
Although she has been in a wheelchair for the majority of her life, Stroker concluded that even though it may have been frustrating for her at times to be paralyzed, her disability has created more good than harm.
"There have been definitely moments of frustration but, more than anything, now I feel like my disability has been my opportunity," the 24-year-old said. "I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my chair. Part of my story is taking my career places."
Stroker was accepted to Glee Project's first season but couldn't participate because of a previous acting commitment. She then had the fortune of being selected for the show's second season after a successful open-call audition in New York.
Although she has been pursuing acting and singing since she was six years old, Stroker referenced the original Glee's character "Artie," who is also in a wheelchair, as an inspiration in encouraging her to pursue her goals.
"That character has paved so many roads for me," she said. "['Glee'] has changed my career in many ways because other directors who I'll be auditioning for will be more...open to the idea of an actor who uses a wheelchair."
Stroker expressed confidence about her future in the entertainment industry with Glee having paved the road for wheelchair-using actors. "His character really is a huge part of why I'm going to get to be able to have a huge career in this industry," she said.
Check out the full interview above, and see Stroker in action on The Glee Project, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Oxygen.