‘Survivor’ star plans her own show
Christy Smith, a local activist for the deaf and former contestant on the hit television show “Survivor,” will launch her own TV show this Christmas.Smith grew up in Aspen and currently lives in Basalt. She became a national celebrity two years ago after competing in CBS’ “Survivor 6: The Amazon Series.”Her show is called “Christy’s Kids: Challenge Yourself!” Under the direction of local Chris Tribble’s Versatile Production company, one pilot episode has been shot. The episode, which will air on Denver’s public broadcast channel on Dec. 26 and in Los Angeles at a date yet to be determined, was filmed at the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf.
Because she is deaf, Smith said she never watched television as a child, but the attention she received after her appearance on “Survivor” gave her the idea to use the medium to promote awareness of the challenges facing deaf children. “The response I received was so overwhelming,” Smith said. “I realized what a huge impact TV has. It’s a great opportunity to bridge the gap between the hearing and the deaf.”The show will feature four children – two hearing children and two deaf children. Smith, who reads lips and also uses American Sign Language, will host the show. Set up as an adventure scavenger hunt, the hearing and deaf children work to overcome communication barriers in order to pass certain challenges.
“There’s a diversity to deafness,” Smith said. “There’s people who can talk. People who use sign language, people who can read lips. This really helps to educate everyone about deafness.”Smith, who attended Aspen Elementary and Middle schools before enrolling at a special high school for the deaf, said there’s a lack of understanding in mainstream society about deaf children.”Deaf kids tend to get isolated from the hearing kids,” Smith said. “It was often really hard for me growing up. This TV show will hopefully make it easier for future generations.”
Smith is looking for sponsors to fund the first series of the show. Her goal is national syndication. To promote the show, she is holding a publicity day at Flatiron Crossing Mall in Broomfield on Dec. 22. “[A first series] is going to happen,” Smith said. “It’s so hard to visualize deafness. But now we have a pilot to show to people, I’m really confident the show will take off.”A website about Christy’s Kids, http://www.Christykids.tv, will soon be operational. Christy Smith’s website is http://www.amazinchristy.com.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite being a big star, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen has frequently connected with the young AVSC athletes while training at Aspen Highlands over the years.