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Oct 19, 2021 in 

A Little Person in the Entertainment Industry

Why is it that little people have it harder to get into the entertainment industry? Why use the same actors repeatedly?

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Elizabeth Martinez

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It’s hard enough being in a world that is tall. It’s hard walking into places made for “normal” people. Little people are supposed to acquiesce to what isn’t made for them and yet if something is made smaller for us, we are told to fix things to suit those that are “normal”.

I know people are made fun of but when a little person stands out there is more of a point and laughter that rings out. I’ve been there. I’ve been made fun of and still to this day I am laughed at and made to feel as if I don’t belong and so many other little people feel this way. It’s sad that in today’s societies that few people still aren’t as equal. Yet people shout out that people with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, and so many others need to fit in and yet as much as that rings true that everyone should, it’s still not so.

Do you know how hard it is to live a life where you are pointed at, laughed at, mocked, and called a “Midget” when you walk somewhere? Although I am a strong person and know that people are people, it hurts the psyche. It hurts my soul. I am raising a child who is a little person and now she gets to see and hear the hurtful comments. Do you know what it’s like to walk from your car through a parking lot into a store and have vulgar gestures of what men want you to do with them because you’re “at the right height” ... Do you know what it’s like to stand outside your front door and have strangers now and again approach you and tell you how you don’t have to get on your knees to service a guy and they think it’s funny? Do you know what it’s like for people to come up to you and want to tell you short jokes and then the conversation turns from jokes to vulgarness? Do you know what it's like to be approached and be compared to a hobbit on tv and ask if that’s where little people actually came from? Do you know what it’s like to try to explain to your child that this is how life is going to be for them growing up in this world because we aren’t considered “normal” people?  Do you know what it’s like to just want to fit as taller people do? 

 

How am I supposed to explain to my child that people weren’t raised any better? That there are people that are cruel and I am the only one teaching my child to respect and show love and consideration to EVERYONE!

 

Midget is not a word that should be used to describe little people. The word Midget was used years ago to have people come to circuses and little people were used to bringing in money. We were the freak show that people could laugh at. Point at. People paid money to see little people. It’s as if we were like one of the animals in cages.

The Klinkhart’s Troupe of Midgets Circus - were a hot commodity

 

In Egypt, little people were thought to be the intercessor between gods and men and were taken care of.

Later, Kings and Queens in England and other countries wanted little people as pets to keep next to them on display. To keep the Nobility company as if little people were nothing more for them. Little people were bred and then sold as a gift to other Kings and Queens, etc.

Did you know that a family of 7 dwarfs was saved from death in Auschwitz by Dr. Josef Mangele? He found them amusing and kept them as his personal prop to entertain himself and guests. They performed to stay alive.

 

May 19, 1944, The 7 Dwarfs (The Ovitz Family) of Auschwitz kept by Dr. Josef Mangele

The 7 Dwarfs (The Ovitz Family) of Auschwitz

The 7 Dwarfs (The Ovitz Family) of Auschwitz - they performed to stay alive for Dr. Josef Mangele's amusement and for others

There should be normalcy of seeing little people on tv just as there is a normalcy of seeing tall people and those with different disabilities, LGBTQ, and others. Having one or two main little people in movies like Peter Dinklage and Martin Klebba in movies doesn’t mean that there is normalcy. It means there is 1 little person. It doesn’t represent the rest of us. If you think about it, there is usually a leading lady and a leading man that people go to for films. 

Ex: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jude Law were there for a while, and Johnny Depp. 

When people are asked what Little People are there in movies now that represent the mass of us. That shows individuality in films. That one can name off like other actors. There are none. Most want to talk about past actors from long ago that have passed on. I can talk about past tall actors that are on tv but still, there is a mass of taller people in films. What about for little people? When shall we get as many opportunities as the rest?

Little People wanting to be treated as "Human Beings"

That’s why I wrote the comic book “The Short Audition”. It actually started out as a script, but I wanted to turn it into something where people could relate and visualize what it is actually like for little people. The Short Audition was written to show others what it’s really like for a little person to try and audition for television/movies? I did a satirical look based on my own experiences in the show biz. I had to think “outside the box” as I was told to after some of my less successful tries in the Entertainment Business. I take the readers from the first initial phone calls that I’ve received to the waiting room and into the audition room. The Short Audition features characters that are a parody of many people I’ve met in the entertainment industry. 

While some say it takes skill and study to make it, yes it does… for TALL PEOPLE. Unless you are lucky to know someone to help get your foot in, you just don’t succeed, and even more so if you are a little person.

I’ve spoken to numerous big-named talent agencies that admit that they truly don’t know how to submit little people for roles unless you already have your foot in the door. The Entertainment Industry doesn’t want to work with other little people who aren’t known and that’s why they stick with the same few little people over and over.

I’ve also spoken to numerous writers who say they find it hard to write for little people because they don’t move the same as taller people and so they would rather write for taller people. Excluding little people.

Why have little people go above and beyond and work their tails off only to find out or never find out that the entertainment industry is only going to work with existing little people and no new people? How unfair is that to do more and more and never know that you aren’t going to ever make it?

I want to turn “The Short Audition” into a live film. I want to bring more awareness and help little people have more opportunities. I think we need more diversity in film. We should be able to turn on the t.v. and see all types of people. Not selective people with disabilities. I would love to see other taller actors champion for little people as well. Little people want to make it as well. We want to make money. We want to buy things that taller people do and vacation and have the things we've longed for years. We share the dreams but not all of us (unless having our foot in the door) are allowed the same opportunities.

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