Saturday, March 14, 2009

Roloff friend attended the Academy Awards

A Roloff family friend that has appeared in many episodes of Little People, Big World, attended this year's Academy Awards.

Now I know you're asking, the same thing I was, what was Jacob Mueller doing at the Academy awards? No, no, no, I'm just kidding, these recent episodes have really increased Jacob Mueller's profile and the inquiries we receive about him; he's probably the first name that comes to mind when I say "Roloff friend".

In all seriousness, it is this site's favorite Roloff friend, Jen Montzingo, who wrote a very touching blog about her experience at the Academy Awards (along with some celebrity photos for those interested) and what it meant to her. It does show how far society has progressed in terms of the opportunities for people with dwarfism vs the more demeaning "opportunities" not that many years ago. Here is a portion of Jen's story. I would like to re-iterate how much those of us at Keeping Up With the Roloffs respect Jen ( I could have done with a vacation swap of Mueller for Jen! although Mueller really hasn't been portrayed badly on this vacation...but if we were going to get to know a Roloff friend for several weeks I would have preferred it was Jen!). If Little People, Big World does another episode where they dedicate time to a friend of the Roloff family, I'm hopeful they'll give Jen her chance in the spotlight as I think she has a lot to offer with her story as her blog portrays.

Tears that don't seem to fade
(Written directly after the Oscars)

I remember when I was a little girl, about 12 years old, I went to the circus in Idaho with my family. After the circus, somehow I was introduced to a boy, a little person about 19 years old, who was sent away to work in the circus. How this happened, I really have no idea. All I know is that he lived and travelled with the show and had no idea that a life outside the circus tents might be possible. When he found out that my father was a teacher, his eyes lit up and he seemed surprise that such a path might be possible. What was conveyed to me most specifically was the realization that the world had not changed very significantly from the days little people were side show acts in the “carnivale freakshow”. While I understand that this was probably a rare encounter, it impressed upon me that my human dignity could only be taken as seriously as I carried myself. And that certain privileges had been bestowed upon me, an education, that had I remained with my biological parents in Israel, would have never been possible. A scary encounter but an encounter that planted a mustard seed of hope that sparked a desire to live boldly and fearlessly.

A little over ten years later, I find myself at the Academy Awards. While not on my own merit, it was certainly a “full circle moment”. Over the years I’ve heard Oprah talk a lot about dreaming. Often times, during the course of her specific shows, women will say that their biggest dream was to attend the Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah will usually smile and say, “you’ve done it honey, now dream a BIGGER dream.” My experience at the Academy Awards was never exciting to star-gawk or wax poetically about being less than five feet from so-and-so. While that was random and surreal, that was not the reason I was so weepy at nearly every acceptance speech and moving moment. (The weepiness has not faded three days later). My tears come from the fact that the realization of achieving a smaller dream now allows me to have just a little more confidence to dream a bigger dream. The immense gratitude I feel in even being allowed to experience this makes me abundantly thankful. I now have just a little more spark inside me to realize my own potential and be able to carry the liferaft and hopefully be able to pull someone else up too. I have always wanted to be an actress, without it, nothing else in the world makes sense.

You can read Jen's full blog and leave her a comment on her experience at her blog:


Jocelynn said...

That really is quite sad that the boy didn't realize that his life could be more than a side show act.

Thank God times have changed.

Anonymous said...

Jen is an inspirational gal and we really should get to see more of her. Hopefully, that will happen. Go Jen!

Julie said...

Congratulations Jen! You go girl! I loved Oprah's "Dream a bigger dream" advice, too.