Layne Apffel


About Layne

I was born deaf. At two years old, I underwent cochlear implant surgery. This gave me a different perspective on life. It taught me to observe earnestly and watch for details the hearing world takes for granted. Then at 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic disease that affects both hearing and sight, which made my world come crashing down. Everything I knew or found interest in didn’t matter anymore.

Because of the diagnosis, I was forced to look at life through another lens—again—and to rebuild myself from ground zero. This started with simply wanting to live.

After years of learning how to live life well, I now want to show the world the art of being human. This is what inspired me to pursue an acting career.

I found a growing audience on TikTok and Instagram (with 260K and 114k followers as of May ’23), and found expression in reworking audio clips and making observations from the lens of a bisexual genderqueer person. This enabled me to reflect the world as I see it, and helped prepare me for a world in front of and behind the camera.

In 2023 I was cast in the short film, Rain in My Head, which won Best Film and Best Director for the EasterSeals Disability Film Challenge. I am thrilled to be awarded Best Actor for my role in the movie.

Rain in My Head – 2023