Here’s an actor with Tourette syndrome

Here’s an actor with Tourette syndrome

Dash Mihok has more than 70 acting credits, notably as the damaged brother Bunchy the TV show Ray Donovan. He appears alongside Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane, and Annabeth Gish in the new supernatural thriller Before I Wake and adds another facet to his career with an upcoming hip-hip album.

Diagnosed with Tourette syndrome as a child, Mihok is a national ambassador for the Tourette Associate of America.

How has your role on Ray Donovan been different from your other work?

I had never worked as a TV regular for more than one season. I love making films. The difference has been in the balance of forming a character over four years, mixed with the uncertainty of where that character may be going, depending on the writer’s vision. In movies, you sort of know what you are signing up for after reading the script.

What inspired you to record a hip-hop album?

I have been making hip-hop since I was a kid growing up in New York in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s always been a hobby of mine – I’ve been making beats and writing songs for as long or longer than I’ve been acting. The inspiration to make a record was a combination of people I really trust, along with some random listeners telling me that this sound needs to be available to the public.

When I was growing up, there wasn’t a demographic of fortysomethings and their kids who would be nodding their heads to this kind of music.

But that’s the beauty of evolution, and a testament to how positive hip-hop has shaped the trajectory of our mainstream culture.

How has your career been affected by your willingness to take risks?

Every moment in life can be interpreted as a risk, depending on our outlook – and level of obsessive-compulsive disorder! I do my best to depend on my gut. If you sit with a decision long enough, your gut/soul will tell you what path to take.

Have you noticed a shift in public awareness of Tourette syndrome?

I’ve seen a shift in general about the literacy of the public to what Tourette’s is. And that’s a testament to local kids and parents having the courage to share their experience. Tourette’s has always been a tough one for many to digest because of its seeming irrationality: “Why do you have to twitch or make noises? You seem normal, with no physical defects.”

It’s next to impossible to answer without living it. The key is providing the environment for all to feel accepted to speak their truth. I firmly believe young people are growing up more tolerant and empathic than ever, and that gives me hope that we’re all closer to being understood. – Reuters/Lamarco McClendon




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