People with dwarfism are often misrepresented in media and popular culture. Yet our own voices are rarely heard. That’s why we started our Role Models in the Dwarfism Community series – to showcase figureheads in our own communities. Today, we spoke with Cara Reedy, writer, actor, producer and director. Check out her excellent Digg video and CNN interview. Here’s what she had to say.
Please introduce yourself: who are you and where are you from?
My name is Cara Reedy and I live in New York City.
And what do you do?
I am a writer, actor, producer and director.
Do you enjoy it?
I love it. It took me a long time to work as a full time creative. I am enjoying every minute.
How did you end up doing it?
I spent a lot of time in jobs I didn’t like. They paid the bills, but didn’t make me happy and I struggled to get out of them. So, eventually I started a blog, Infamouslyshort and then I started writing for CNN part-time. I took some Improv classes, which lead me back to performing. Most recently, I just finished a pilot called The News League, that I co-wrote and directed.
If you were 21 again, would you do something different?
If I were 21 again, I would start pursuing my passion sooner. I let teachers discourage me from doing what I loved. I got tired of fighting. I wanted life to be simple. Later, I realized life is never simple and you should fight for what you really want and not what others think you should have.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I am constantly learning and growing. It feels like there are endless opportunities to create something cool or make someone laugh.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
Night and Weekend Customer Service Associate at a medicaid HMO.
What are the best and worst aspects about being small?
The worst is being eternally underestimated and undervalued. The best is having a completely unique view of the world.
If you could pass on one piece of advice to your teenage self what would that be?
I think I would tell myself to chill out. Don’t take everyone’s criticism of you as gospel. Sometimes people criticize because they don’t feel good about themselves. As long as you know you are doing your best, you will be successful.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
There are a lot, including many members as a family, but as a journalist I know that is not what you are looking for, so I will say President Obama. He spent eight years in office having horrible abuse thrown at him and he kept his cool the entire time. That level of cool, is something I aspire to.
How do you like to pass the time, outside of work?
I like to hang out in the park, walking and reading. I love to go to movies. Eating is my sport. I like trying new foods and I love cooking.
What’s your favourite book?
This is the hardest question. So, I will pick 3. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, White Teeth by Zadie Smith and The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
So far, it’s been directing the pilot. It was my first time directing. We had a large cast and decent size crew. It was scary, but I am so glad I did it.
When your time comes, how would you like to be remembered?
That I fought for what was right.