So I have only recently gotten into reddit and I thought it would be cool to share my experience with the VMAs. I'm an actress who just happens to be a little person and have recently been roped into a debate about the way we have been portrayed in the media, especially with the way Miley has been using us. I wrote a blog post on it which you are more than welcome to read here:


Comments: 2750 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

IsTheNameTaylorTaken1437 karma

Was the money worth it?

bluest_blue2514 karma


THE_BIG_SITT1223 karma

Is "little person" the PC term now? Are you offended by midget/dwarf/ect?

bluest_blue2190 karma

Thank you so much for asking this. I was raised in a family where my dad was a little person, my mom was average height, and my brother and I are both little. Growing up, we were taught that midget was incredibly offensive due to it's history of being used for circus or freak shows. Dwarf doesn't offend me very much because I technically have dwarfism, but it does make me feel like a bearded Tolkien character.

AlexanderDavidBand1373 karma

But everyone loves Tolkien characters... :(

bluest_blue2365 karma

I know, I do too! As a girl though, I try to not give people the idea that I'm bearded. My ex used to joke and called me a hobbit, but every time he did that I would insist I get a second breakfast

THE_BIG_SITT371 karma

Follow up:

I was listening to talk radio this morning, and they had Brad Williams on, who is a comedian/little person. He said something to the effect that there really isn't a good term to use for people like him (and you, I guess). He said little person sounds like some one talking to a baby/dog, saying "Oh hes jus a lil person!"

How do you feel about that?

bluest_blue763 karma

I can agree to a point. But at the end of the day, people are going to want something to call us and I just prefer little person....or my own name.

I_Pee_Sitting_Up215 karma

As a white guy I feel equally awkward about black people. When someone says "what did he look like," I could describe his clothes and hair color, but if I dont mention something so discernable as skin color, nobody will know who I'm talking about. So when someone is describing you I have to imagine there is an equal stigma. "Oh....she's the one wearing the pink shirt and blue jeans with blonde hair." Wait.....the midg....I mean....dwar......ummm shorter person?

bluest_blue401 karma

Exactly. My friends joke that they always go "oh yeah, my friend in LA blah blah blah..." And people give them blank stares and they just deadpan ".....the little person." Then everyone "ohhhhhh!"

dustin_allan123 karma

As a person of average height, if it's ok with you I'll just think of you as Hollis Jane, actor.

Mostly unrelated note - predictably you've been asked about Peter Dinklage (and I do love the show, Tyrion is probably tied with Arya for my favorite character, etc).

However, the first time that I really noticed a serious, meaty role for a little person was in the HBO series "Carnivale", with Michael J. Anderson as Sampson. I definitely appreciated that he was there in no way for comic relief, he wasn't a sideshow attraction - he was The Boss and just happened to be a little person. If you haven't seen that series, I recommend it highly.

Regardless, you sound like an awesome person and I hope you can find serious roles that you can really dig in to, rather than just gigs to pay the bills (though I think there's nothing wrong with work that pays the bills)!

bluest_blue76 karma

Thanks so much!! I haven't seen the show but will absolutely check it out.

fupa1624 karma

Do you feel that if you weren't told your whole life that "midget" is an offensive term, you maybe wouldn't be offended by it? Have you considered that people empower hateful words by showing weakness to them?

bluest_blue87 karma

There are a lot of little people who believe that and perform in shows like "Midget Wrestling" or there's Bridget the Midget. I'm not sure if I would feel the same if I wasn't taught that growing up. But like I said, I've never been called a midget in a positive capacity so I don't think I would like it still.

frostchomp2 karma

and here i was thinking midget was technically politically correct. but then again, I am ignorant and also don't run into many little people/ they don't really come up in conversation so i never thought about it. i will call them little people from now on.

but just know, if someone says something about 'midgets' they probably don't mean it to offend, they just didn't know. like, if i was to say something about the little people population/ wonder something, i would have previously called them midgets. I have no prejudice against you guys, i don't have prejudice against anyone with a trait that they didn't choose to have, and a lot of people are the same, just wanted to let you know we're not trying to offend/ we don't know we're being offensive when using the word midget.

i've just been educated though.

bluest_blue2 karma

Right and that is something I've come to learn. I don't necessarily get angry at the person when they say it to me. I tend to just lean towards "Hey, by the way, we actually prefer to not be called that." I have had average height people question me when I say that which is really bizarre.

lovelystargazer800 karma

How much of it was Miley freestyling? Also how did Robin Thicke feel about her performance?

bluest_blue1665 karma

Most of it was pretty planned. They both knew in rehearsals exactly what they were going to be doing. Robin seemed very onboard and even suggested some of the moves. That being said, his wife and son were there the entire time...

ShaidarHaran2747 karma

So her tongue motions, those were planned?

bluest_blue1594 karma

Yup. When we were rehearsing and she wasn't there, the choreographer would step in for her and she goes "and she's gonna stick her tongue out like this" and did it.

thisisallpractice745 karma

How do you bear with it?

bluest_blue1532 karma

It's been tough...sometimes my ideas get a little fuzzy...but ya know, you catch more bees with honey.

MacDagger187695 karma

Did you have any personal interactions with Miley?

bluest_blue1648 karma

I had more with Robin Thicke. He was actually a really nice guy, introduced himself to all of us. She was a lot more aloof and didn't really interact with us.

ragn4rok234637 karma

If you had stopped at "I was a bear AMA". I would be much more interested in asking questions

bluest_blue381 karma

I just cackled out loud. Thank you.

chugz602 karma

did she lick you?

bluest_blue379 karma

Nope. Sorry to disappoint.

burnt_plastic448 karma

How did you get the job?

bluest_blue707 karma

I live in LA and they were originally only looking for people in NYC. My brother is a little person in NY and he was approached to do it, but he doesn't do any type of acting or performing so he gave them my name.

nosebleedx128 karma

Who in the world approached your brother to do it if he doesnt do any type of acting? Like, why did they have his information?

bluest_blue212 karma

It was a little person friend of his who does acting like this. They only did it because he was in NY and thought maybe he would want the money. He works in sports and was going to Vegas that weekend so he had bigger fish to fry.

Ima_POLE362 karma

Did you get paid well for the event? In one of your answers you claim to not approve of the whole little people in costumes, so why do you do it? Have you ever met Peter Dinkladge? In a tall woman's perspective, he is effin HOT

bluest_blue831 karma

Unfortunately no, I have not met Peter Dinklage. As a short woman, I agree. HOT. I did get paid relatively well. It was my first time ever performing in something where my height was being used as a joke. I didn't realize how strongly I felt about little people being used as props until I actually did it myself.

GinandJinger290 karma

How do you feel about the Little People Big World tv show? Do you attend the LP conferences?

bluest_blue497 karma

I attended the conferences almost every year until college and then I just got too busy with school/work etc. I think Little People Big World is great because it's educating people who may have never encountered a little person or had a negative experience. It just shows we're normal people who are just small.

Charli3q240 karma


bluest_blue452 karma

Yeah it gets pretty raunchy. When I turned 18 and was technically "legal", I don't think I've ever been more grossed out. People I had grown up with as friends of my parents started approaching me. But they're also great for a kid growing up "different". You get to not feel so alone and talk to other kids your age about stuff they may only understand.

zach299271 karma

That's almost what I didn't like abou5 that show. It was showing how they're normal people. Why do I want to watch a show about normal people?

Hopefully that's not offensive.

bluest_blue46 karma

Haha, it's not! I like that viewpoint.

slapFIVE260 karma

How did you end up working your way up to where you are now in your career? I'm sure you didn't say, "Hey, forget the stars, I'm shooting for a dancing gig as a bear behind a twerking, tongue out, Cynthia-doll-looking Miley Cyrus!" Are you a backup dancer normally or something?

bluest_blue392 karma

No, I'm an actress and this just came to me as a gig and I thought it would be fun. Going into it, they didn't exactly explain what we would be doing, so I thought it would be more like what the LA Bakers did onstage (the girls with the bears on their backs). I had no idea it would be so...different.

underdabridge414 karma

There's a really big role for a female little person on Game of Thrones coming up. Keep your eye out.

bluest_blue878 karma

Thanks :) I've actually read the books and have been biding my time and networking to try and get an audition

ShekhMaShierakiAnni60 karma

I hope you get to audition for that role! That would be amazing! And then you would get to meet Peter!

bluest_blue60 karma

Me too! And thanks!

erosion241 karma

How has being part of this performance impacted your life?

bluest_blue823 karma

It's forced me to learn where my line is drawn when it comes to what I will do for money. It taught me that no amount of money is worth my self-worth. (And I got to meet 2Chainz so...not all that bad).

54lzy221 karma

Did he introduce himself as 222222 chhhhaaaaiiinzzz?

bluest_blue931 karma

He just gave me his birthday list. 1 Big Booty Hoe.

fryfrychickychick215 karma


bluest_blue687 karma

Everyone knew exactly what she was doing. Her mom was in every rehearsal I attended. She had a prop foam finger she practiced with. I remember someone in management saying "Lady Gaga is going to get out there and be too artsy. Let's get out there and show the audience how to have fun!"

SupaPhly180 karma

How many ounces of sweat did you produce during the performance?

bluest_blue398 karma

It was disgusting. If you've ever done P90X or Insanity, take that sweat and multiply it by 5.

BuyMeLotsOfDiamonds179 karma

Did the other LP performers share your views (i.e. did they regret agreeing to a performance where their height was being used as some kind of joke)?

bluest_blue370 karma

If any from Miley's performance did, they haven't mentioned it to me. The girls who are on tour with her now are really upset by what I have to say. But frankly, it's just my opinion. If that's what they want to do and they feel comfortable doing it, that's their own business. I just feel that it's not doing society's idea of little people any justice.

MellaX177 karma

What do you think of Miley in general?

bluest_blue889 karma

I think she is a 20 year old kid who has been given a lot of money and freedom. To be fair, I don't think anyone is super proud of how they act/behave in their 20's, she just happens to have a platform to demonstrate immaturity. That being said, I think the girl can SING.

guitarandstyle134 karma

I think you hit the nail on the head. She can sing, but she is immature. That Wrecking Ball song? Awesome song, but the video is disgusting and takes away from it.

bluest_blue189 karma

EXACTLY. When I first heard that song, my jaw dropped it was so good....then came the video...

Miett161 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! My question: When talking to a taller person, do you prefer they just look down to make eye contact? Does the taller person squatting to chat come off as condescending or is it a nice gesture? What's more comfortable for a little person?

bluest_blue304 karma

It depends on context I think. ie, I was at Barnes and Noble the other day getting my tablet fixed and the counter was too high for me to see what the guy was doing, so he came around and bent down to help and show me. I thought that was a really nice thing he thought to do without me having to ask. If it's really loud somewhere like a bar, I prefer to be sitting on a barstool so my friends don't have to squat and we can still have conversations.

fenny13143 karma

Did you see the faces in the audience? What was the crowd reaction?

bluest_blue467 karma

I basically couldn't see anything except directly in front of me. The masks were extremely uncomfortable and very hard to do anything in. That being said, I saw some members of One Direction backstage and they looked shocked. Terry Richardson was also backstage and he was thrilled which isn't surprising.

hacksilver145 karma

he was thrilled which isn't surprising.

What a wonderful way of saying 'Terry Richardson is an exploitative asshole'. You're awesome :)

bluest_blue147 karma

Yeah, do a quick google search of Terry Richardson and some of the allegations against him. Sick.

aragogogara140 karma

How did your parents meet?

bluest_blue554 karma

They met at a Detroit Red Wings game. My dad was a sportscaster and my mom is an opera singer and she would sing the national anthem for the Wings. They're divorced and my dad passed away a few years ago but it's still an adorable story :)

KeytarVillain140 karma

What do you think about "Mini-Me" from the Austin Powers movies, played by Verne Troyer? Funny or offensive?

bluest_blue317 karma

It's hard to say because I saw those movies as a kid and thought they were comedy gold. So as a kid, I thought it was funny. Probably still might now. I didn't care for that "eeeee" noise he made though.

DR_BuTTS_OB-GYN125 karma

You're really attractive.

bluest_blue194 karma

Thank you, DR BuTTS!

2OQuestions114 karma

What is something that the average person could do to make life easier for Little People?

bluest_blue276 karma

I would say educate other people and educate your children if you have them. In my opinion, it's way worse when a child is staring at me and says "look, Mom! That lady is little!" And the parent shushes them and pushes them away. I've had all kinds of reactions from parents but the best ones are the ones where they encourage their children to say hello or ask a question. I love talking to and working with kids because their so curious and usually don't understand mocking or that their being rude. Also, if you hear someone refer to us as midgets or say something offensive, maybe just tell them we don't prefer to be called that and we have feelings. TL: DR treat us no different than anyone else I suppose.

MyOpus232 karma

You'll like this...

My daughter and I were in a store several years ago, she was 4 at the time.

A little person got in line behind us at the checkout. My daughter said "Daddy, that person is the same size as me!" and I explained things to her, saying things like "yes, but she's no different inside" etc and all those things us parents are supposed to say when presented with a "teaching moment".

I told her that the lady had a condition that kept her from growing big and tall like mom and daddy.

To which my daughter said "could you and mommy get that condition so we could all play in my castle-fort?"

It was a really cute moment.

bluest_blue232 karma

Oh my gosh, that is adorable!! And well done on handling the situation so well. When I was in elementary school and people would say things about my height, my cousin would always just yell "shut up, she's just a dork!!" ...she couldn't pronounce dwarf.

Adam198786 karma

all of you doubting her need to flippin relax as she said above she just recently got into reddit.

here's proof

as far as my question what are your goals in the acting industry? what type of character role or position in general for others would you like to hold?

bluest_blue143 karma

Thanks! Growing up, I was told by numerous people that "no one would want to see a little person on TV. It's just not going to happen." So I went through a lot of self doubt about being an actress an what I could be "allowed" to do. Finally one day I just thought fuck it, I'm doing it. Later that year, Game of Thrones premiered and I felt incredibly vindicated. I would just be really happy if one day, a little person child said that they didn't think they could be taken seriously because of their height until myself or someone else changed their mind. Sorry if that sounds really cheesy. More superficially: I want to be on a TV series.

SensibleMadness86 karma

Knowing that casting directors are pretty much universally looking to cast a certain "type" (as determined by the director), how do you reconcile that with your stated desire to be hired as an actor based primarily on talent rather than being a little person? It seems like most actors in Hollywood, outside of the very few who manage to get incredibly famous, are pretty much going to end up being cast as certain types (ie, are going to be typecast), and those types are primarily going to be based on their physical appearance (after all, the first thing the casting director sees is a stack of headshots with basic physical chracteristics).

Is the desire that more serious roles be written with little people in mind, or that more roles be offered that don't carry a desired height range?

bluest_blue187 karma

I would say, ideally, I would love to live in a world where people are willing to see a little person on television and not think anything of it. So to answer your question, I would love to see more casting directors, producers etc be willing to let a little person read for a role that's not necessarily written for a little person.

MajorMuffinCakes66 karma

When she was rehearsing this act, were people nodding, smiling and generally in approval of her performance? Or did people know it was going to be awful, but didn't care because it would make people watch?

bluest_blue193 karma

Nope, everyone loved it. I do not remember a soul even going "woah" except for one time, one of the other bears came up to me and said "thank goodness I can see her cooch through her shorts"

dremic61 karma

have you only dated LP? If not what was it like to date somebody that wasnt little?

bluest_blue241 karma

I've actually never dated a little person. My ex of 6 years was average height and since then have only dated average height people. I have nothing against little people, just haven't been seriously or respectfully approached by one. My ex faced a lot of stigma though. People accused him of having a fetish and being a pedophile. It was awful. He did not respond well to those accusations.

aReallyGayHobo59 karma

If whoever produced it came to you again for a second gig, or Miley or thicke wanted to work with you again for the same type of role, do you feel like you would take the job again? From your answers so far I'd guess no, but money is money. Thanks!

bluest_blue198 karma

They actually did ask me to come on her most recent publicity tour as a mushroom or flower. If you google pictures, you can see what I'm talking about. I thought about it for a long time and ended up turning them down. It just wasn't worth it.

prysma54 karma

What are your thoughts on Miley's appropriation of black culture, and usage of black women and little people as props in her white woman's narrative?

bluest_blue251 karma

As a white girl, I don't want to comment too much on ER appropriation of black women because I can't begin to understand what black women go through and have gone through. I feel like she is just trying to project a certain image of herself that doesn't come off as genuine. As far as the little people being props thing; I think it's absurd. She is just trying to be weird and alternative and make people talk about her. People say she cares about how the little people feel about all of this, but I feel like using people as shock value shows a serious lack of respect.

Whoa_Bundy52 karma

I'm curious about the culture of little people. You have your conventions, your social gatherings, you probably tend to date/marry within your group, you have your little people Olympics/and or sports competitions like soccer, etc, your shared struggles and experiences (negative and positive) dealing with the rest of the world.

This is very similar to deaf people and their struggles. Deaf people are bound together by everything I just mentioned plus a common language, ASL.

So my question is...there was an episode on Seinfeld where the little people turn away from Mickey, another little person, because he added "lifts" to his shoes in order to be taller. They shunned him because he was "heightening".

Is this an actual thing or competently made up by the show?

In the deaf culture, there is sometimes a disdain for those who get cochlear implants. I was just wondering how similar this was to the culture of little people being against "heightening" or if this was simply a made up thing? Do you see anything similar to what I'm talking about? A certain pride in ones disability and it becomes a subculture.

bluest_blue122 karma

Heightening is definitely a thing little people do. There's even a surgery where you can have your bones broken and stretched in a way that you can be 6-8 inches taller. I've never met anyone who has done it though. I've never had the desire to do it because I'd rather just be who I am and try to make the world a better place rather than hide it. I have never really encountered or heard of anyone being shamed for adding lifts or trying to be taller. I have to wear platforms when I go to certain amusement parks :)

bluest_blue45 karma

This was amazing and I thank you all so much for the questions! Even the weird/offensive ones! I didn't think anyone would care about this, so this was "pretty cool". I'll try and come back a little later today but there are second breakfasts to be had now...

MrArizone36 karma

I'm so sorry for your loss.

bluest_blue60 karma

Thank you. My dad was also a motivational speaker and was a big advocate for little people, so spreading awareness makes me feel like I'm continuing a legacy.

hebruh34 karma

Were you encouraged/pressured to actually take drugs?

bluest_blue135 karma

Never. I smelled something....herbal ;) in the rehearsal space but never witnessed anyone taking anything.

ganja42025 karma

Weren't you in a bear costume? How can you say people were laughing at your height?

I agree it probably isn't fun to be laughed at, but did anyone actually know you were a little person?

I'm not trying to be mean, but I didn't even notice the bears height.

bluest_blue46 karma

We didn't put the masks on until we walked onstage. Which means we encountered hundreds of people before we walked up there. It's easy to tell when people gawk or laugh.

Beefcake2120 karma

What everyday task is hard for you, that most people don't even give a second thought at?

bluest_blue58 karma

Reaching things in the high shelves on the kitchen or paying a parking meter if it happens to be too high. But I have stools and I'll usually just ask someone on the street to help me with the meter.

seanzackandgiobored17 karma

Can you verify to the mods?

bluest_blue41 karma

I'm trying but imgur isn't working. In the mean time, you can check out my twitter where I have posted pictures: hollis_jane

happycowsmmmcheese17 karma

Reading through some of your answers so far, it sounds like acting is your real goal. What parts have you auditioned for recently? What parts have you been cast for, or turned down for? What is you DREAM role? Who would you most love to work with?
Thanks so much for doing this AMA, you seem like a very intelligent person and I have really loved the insight about Miley and the VMAs.

bluest_blue57 karma

Thanks for all of the questions! As far as auditions go, for a little person they are extremely few and far between. I most recently auditioned for Eastbound and Down which I didn't get (major bummer). I turned down going back on tour with Miley. Ok, about to gush: I would LOVE to work with: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Nick Kroll (anyone on The League), Matt Smith, David Tennant, Maggie Smith, David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Joss Whedon,. I'd love to be a character on a television series, preferably comedy. I'm in the process of writing a show with a character I intend to play. Hoping to pitch it to some networks :)

Sleeper_197216 karma

Do the words 'midget' or 'dwarf' offend you and if so why?

bluest_blue59 karma

Midget, yes. Dwarf, no. I've never been called a midget in a positive light. It's always in a mocking "hey! Look at that midget!" tone. Honestly, I preferred to be called a person or my name.

largestonedoors15 karma

Miley had a little person playing guitar on one of her SNL performances. It didn't seem like she was using it as a gimmick, but now that I read your AMA, maybe she was? What are your thoughts?

bluest_blue45 karma

The guy who played guitar for her is actually a good friend of mine. I thought it was cool he was actually demonstrating and talent and not wearing a costume but at the same time...why did he get the gig? He's a great guitar player, don't get me wrong, but he's not Joe Perry or Slash.

julesyoudrink13 karma

Hollis! I worked with you at a certain news show, in the vault. You, I and another friend had an obsession with Spice World. It was a pleasant surprise to see this on the front page! No question, you just keep up the good work!

bluest_blue18 karma

Jules!!! Ahhh!!! Hilarious. Thanks girl and maybe I'll see you soon!

carbonaras10 karma

Hey, fellow achondroplastic person here. I don't really have anything to ask you, but this is a pretty neat AMA. I'm sorry your experience sounded more like a harsh lesson than anything else. But I find it reassuring that there are other really conscientious LPs out there. I know that everyone should have the free will to earn money how they want, but I feel disheartened when I see so many LPs who don't seem to give a shit and I think it has a larger impact on all of us. Keep up the good work! (and happy dwarfism awareness month)

bluest_blue12 karma

Thank you so much!! I've had a ton of criticism from what I've said on Facebook from a lot of other little people, so it's really nice to know I have people in my corner.

Subalpine7 karma

Did it hurt to be played by Bobby Moynihan in the last episode of SNL?

bluest_blue18 karma

Nope, I laughed out loud. "We shouldn't be doing this!!!"

GringusMcDoobster4 karma

About the portrayal of little people, wouldn't taking these 'degrading' roles bring more awareness to the issue? Isn't the first step visibility? Is there really an issue in the first place? Why not just roll wit he punches and bring 'little people' to the social forefront?

bluest_blue33 karma

In my opinion, taking these roles only encourages people to keep creating these roles. If people think you will accept the treatment they're giving you, they will continue to treat you that way. Yes, visibility is very important, but it's important to learn the difference between visibility and a minstrel show.