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David Harrell

Asking the question: What IS “normal?”

Meet David...

David came to me through a former student at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training where I worked for many years. He already had a successful solo acting career, but he felt compelled to expand his message to a broader audience. I wanted to work with him the minute I saw the video of his performance; a performance that made me laugh and it made me cry. I was hooked!

Born without a right hand, David’s performance was funny, poignant and thought-provoking. Immediately he had me asking myself the questions: what is normal? Why do we have to name things as either normal or not normal? Don’t we all have aspects of our life that others think aren’t normal (too tall, too short, too this, too that)? David’s message is one of introspection and compassion.

He is a masterful storyteller and his presentation is full of hope.  His message shows us all that we can find success by not allowing circumstances to define our abilities or the abilities of others.

Brooklyn College Disability Symposium
Holocaust Education Center
Lee University
University of Georgia

David’s presentation is a captivating and transformational journey. What starts out as one man’s challenge to accept his own strengths and limitations, becomes a compelling charge to all of us, challenging us to look more closely into our own lives. Also, it’s entertaining as hell.

JAY PUTNAM, Associate Professor
High Point University


One of the most moving and inspirational keynotes that G-CASE has ever experienced. David has a true gift of touching people’s souls. One of his themes, finding the flip side of limitations, truly impacted our leadership audience.

Georgia Council of Administrators of Special Education


David connects with a whole range of emotions in the audience; I laughed, teared up and even got angry. Just as David learned in life, we learn that being different is not limiting at all; a true lesson we should remember in the business world as we strive to succeed.

BRUCE DIXON, President Dixon Management
Marriott, Inc.


David is a delight. His message really hit home with the audience. This program is perfect for an organization that wants something different from the “routine” speaker, but a program that also conveys a lasting message about diversity.

SUE SCHERR, Diversity Program Manager
US Department of the Interior – David is part of the staff for Camp No Limits whose mission is to provide support, mentorship, and support to children with limb loss and differences.

Speaker Topics

Navigating a Two-Handed Word... Single-Handedly

Subtitle: Not allowing our circumstances, no matter what they are, to peel away the core of our humanity.

Theme: We all face difficult circumstances in our personal and professional lives. We may face limitations placed on us by our peers, by our superiors, or even by ourselves, but in the midst of those circumstances, we have the choice to not be defined by those limitations. We can find our own path, celebrate our differences and take creative control of our lives.

Benefit: In this presentation, participants will learn that our differences can be strengths and lead to stronger teams and synergistic partnerships. They will be encouraged to look beyond the immediate differences they have with others to find common ground.

Keys to this presentation: David’s personal story contains a universality that encourages the audience to recognize our shared humanity and our ability to succeed in spite of the circumstances we face.

Ideal for: Students/ Educators/ Teams/ Entrepreneurs/ Corporate and Civic Leadership/ Disability Advocates

The Boy Who Would Be Captain Hook - And - A Little Potato And Hard To Peel

David Harrell’s solo performances A Little Potato and Hard to Peel and The Boy Who Would Be Captain Hook have been adapted for school performances. The goal is to use his story to encourage audiences to recognize the universality of our shared experience and be a catalyst for discussion about broader themes of diversity and inclusion.

David relishes the opportunity to show that disability is not a heroic obstacle to overcome but a unique aspect of one’s life. Through his school performances, David entertains, enlightens and educates children to not be defined by limitations. To help them learn the valuable lessons of acceptance and how to not let circumstances peel away the core of who they are as human beings.

Virtual Presentations

I can present any of my programs virtually. My office setting is professional, and I have high-quality equipment to broadcast my virtual presentation.

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