Oct 19, 2021 in Public Speaking
MY truth about Little People
What is it like to live life as a little person? Is it true little people hang out together? Read on to find out...
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She is a little person who stands only 3’ 7” and is the only little person in her family. She began writing at a young age and had some of her poetry placed in the National Library of Congress when she lived in Michigan. Lizzie flourished in her writing career and wrote a bio for Chat Magazine UK and around the same time had her first book “Capturing Silence: Silenced Poetry” published. She was so proud of the work that she had completed that she kept writing more and more. While many at this point didn't believe she should continue. Those people wanted her to fail because they too had failed so many times to count that they easily gave up, but not Lizzie. She continued.
As of these last few years, Lizzie has begun writing scripts and became a scriptwriter for Glass Asylum Productions until the recent death of the director and founder of the company. She still continued to write her own material. Lizzie found it hard for little people to break into the film industry. No one was willing to give her a chance and big named agencies would tell her unless she was a well-known actor there they weren’t trying to put an unknown little person in the industry. She had an agent at one point who dropped her because she felt Lizzie wasn’t doing enough to get into the industry but advised her to write. So that is exactly what she did. Lizzie wrote, “The Short Audition” which is on Amazon. It’s a satirical take of what it’s been like from the beginning to the end of an audition for her over the years. It’s not as easy as agents think it is for little people.
Agents have this mindset that they don't know how to "sell" or promote a little person to film and unless you are already in the industry then no one else can get in. So most agents will drop their little people clients because they can't find them work and then make it seem like it's the little person's fault for not "doing more" to be seen. Most auditions are very specific in what they seek from "Seeking 5'0", athletic, red-haired woman" we'll use that as an example and there are no auditions seeking "Little people under 4'5" so then because we don't fit what the industry calls for we are booted. I spoke to several agents from Chicago, to LA, to NY, to GA, to Miami who literally has been honest about saying it's hard to get little people into the industry because we don't know how to promote them. It's easier for you to jump out of a cake at a birthday party than anything else. It seems to be easier for little people to find themselves in degrading opportunities than to be taken seriously.
Most little people find it easier to do circus acts, "midget tossing", porn or other degrading things than to be taken seriously in movie roles UNLESS you are already a little person actor and they reuse the same little people over and over. So when it comes to inclusivity to little people, that hasn't happened yet. Where is the love story of a tall man going after the woman he loves being a little person? Where is the female little person I can look up to when I look in movies?
I am an actor and am still waiting to see changes made for us ALL! It should be common to see not only someone in a wheelchair on tv but little people and more of us with special needs. There is a need for little people on the front of BIG NAMED magazines as well. There needs to be inclusivity for us all. Little people have still been treated like freaks or sideshow acts. Some of us, including myself, are expected to perform a trick. Those days should be gone but until we are taken seriously and given serious roles to play and not use the same little people over and over then nothing will change. Where is the little person who is a leading lady that people can go to? They have a leading man of sorts for little people, but no leading lady. Ask yourself why?
When Lord of the Rings came out, little people signed up to try and audition, but instead, the entertainment world wanted to work with already known taller actors and shrink them down because they wanted more of a “natural look” for little people. What’s unnatural about us? Just like tall people have dreams and want to make money and take care of their families, so do we. So I ask the entertainment industry to start being inclusive and magazines to be more inclusive for us all… There was a call to action for race/religion/ethnic equality… now how about size inclusivity for us all. Not just one size. One size doesn’t fit all and is unfair in the world of acting. That is why I came up with “The Short Audition” - (on amazon) to make that point in a satirical way. To make sense out of the nonsense. That is why I created The Shrew comic book because (facebook/theshrew2020) I have only seen 1 little person that they made a giant in a superhero movie. I am reminded of the golden ages when there were little people in comics. That’s great. But what about presently?
The more that was on my mind with the unfairness of trying to become an actor, it’s just as hard trying to be in a real relationship. I had to do something with all my writing and all the things I’ve been through and so when I wrote “Beautifully Unkept Girl” it was based on part fiction and nonfiction of my life. My relationships I’ve been in. Unkept Girl was a name I used when I joined a secret website shared by someone I was with who was speaking to a girl on the side that I wasn’t supposed to know about. How they mocked me and joked about how fun it was to cheat and the woman we’ll use the name Claire, kept on telling Chris (that’s what we’ll call him) to make sure I wasn’t behind him while she and he made fun of me. My book revolves around the different situations that I may have/haven’t been in (at least not all the situations) and how little people, even when it comes to love can be used and taken for granted.
I had had to express that point of view. Let it out. We are just like anyone else except shorter. Some believe because we are short we aren’t smart and that is so untrue. Height has nothing to do with brains. I’ve seen tall people who lack common sense and shorter people that have more common sense than given credit for.
Have you ever wondered why you don’t see a group of little people picketing about being treated unfairly in films? You have not! Now ask yourself why? If you saw a group of little people holding signs asking for fairness and equality in films they would be mocked and people would take pics and it would become a meme. We wouldn’t be taken seriously! Now if you have tall people picketing about equality and being treated fairly in films, you would have people coming out of the woodwork, even celebs to help with the cause.
Little people should be a common thing to see on the covers of well-known magazines from Fashion to Business to People’s Magazines. We need more inclusivity.
Here is the untold truth of what little people encounter that is dismissed/ignored because people find it an uncomfortable topic. As long as it remains an uncomfortable topic the longer seeing little people out in public will be taboo. We aren’t a mistake. We are just as qualified. And we deserve the same respect and the same opportunities.
For those of you who feel let down, lift your chin up and keep moving forward. I believe in you and am so proud of how far you’ve come. Don’t give up now! You’ve got this!!