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Eve Ensler : Harvey, why don't you start by telling me what you're most excited about in your life?

Harvey Keitel : Well, that's a question that if I really answered would take me a couple of weeks.

Of course, I'm terribly excited about my new son and about the revelations I'm having and the understandings I'm gaining... They have to do with childhood wounds and understanding where they come from, like the difficulty I've had with speaking.

Eve Ensler : Give a specific example of a wound you're talking about.

Harvey Keitel : Well, I will not let anyone tell my son not to cry. I don't want anything interfering with his expressiong what he's feeling.

As a kid I was told to shush, and as a result it's taken me a lifetime to be able to speak. ... I had to hide it -- you hammer it down until you can't think anymore, you can't speak anymore, and your inner world is in retreat.

You can't function, and you stutter, which I did as a boy. You will stutter not only vocally, but inwardly. You will hesitate, you will fumble, you will futz, and you will deny the truth because the truth is too difficult to handle.

It's hard to select which situations to run away from once you become a runner, so you hide from everything.

> Interview magazine, March 2005

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My mum brought me up very strictly. I've had a typical Russian education, very down-to-earth. 

You're constantly being reminded that you are your parents' little shadow. 

It sounds sweeter in Russian, but my mum's nickname for me is "my snotty-nosed one." 

I was a very disciplined kid. I was never treated like a little princess, I was never told: "Oh how cute you are like this!" 

My mum criticized me more than she complimented me: that's another Russian characteristic.


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The idea being, that a child should not be allowed to become completely self-assured. 

It's funny, but I think that I'm more of a child now, exactly because I'm no longer afraid of being one. 

I've more freedom. Before I was always trying to seem like an adult. I matured rather early. When I review the interviews I gave when I was little, I can't get over it.

Milla Jovovich  /  Vogue (France) June/July 2003 - 
posted on millaj.com

photo at right from Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) 
by Rolf Konow / Screen Gems


 
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If you’re well into your career but still aren't really sure what you want to be "when you grow up," join the mid-life career crisis club! ///

In his famous interview with Bill Moyers, renowned mythology scholar Joseph Campbell said, "The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you are really happy -- not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy."

The first place to search for clues to your present day passion is in your own childhood. 

I once read about a man, who, as a young boy loved to make sand castles. 

Guess what he does for a living now? He runs a company that travels around the world making elaborate sand sculptures for ocean-side special events!

> from article 3 Ways to Figure Out What You Want to Be When You Grow Up - By Valerie Young

from the Changing Course Newsletter: 
Issue 93 - Jun 25, 2004

from her site : Changing Course

photo from sandude.com


 
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Julie Andrews

Original caption: 5/25/1947- Instead of the usual playroom, Julie has a music room in the Andrews home.

Everything in the room pertains to music. Julie is decorating a wall with a few bars of favorite music here. This one is "una furtiva lagrima" - one furtive tear.

photo [detail] from Bettmann/Corbis


 
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J.K. Rowling recalls an awkward childhood. She describes herself in January, a literary magazine, as "short, squat, very thick National Health glasses -- free glasses that were like bottle bottoms -- that's why Harry wears glasses. 

"I was shy. I was a mixture of insecurities and very bossy to my sister, but quite quiet with strangers. 

"Very bookish. Terrible at school. That whole thing about Harry being able to fly so well is probably total wish fulfillment."

from A Biography of J.K. Rowling page

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all quotes and photos from Arabella Figg's Hogwarts Express site

photo at left : Jo (left) and Di Rowling in the early 1970s.

Harry Potter Hardcover Box Set      [Amazon]   [Powells]


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Hermione was very easy to create because she is based almost entirely on myself at the age of 11. She is really a caricature of me.

I wasn't as clever as she is, nor do I think I was quite such a know-it-all, though former classmates might disagree. 

Like Hermione, I was obsessed with achieving academically, but this masked a huge insecurity. I think it is very common for plain young girls to feel this way. 

Similarly, her crushes on unsuitable men... well, I've made my mistakes in that area. Just because you've got a good brain doesn't mean you're any better than the next person at keeping your hormones under control!

J.K. Rowling  - Salon.com interview, 1999



 
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Paula Malcomson's.. character, Trixie, blows a hole right through the head of an abusive john. As the toughest whore in one of the toughest mudstreet towns of the old west, Trixie is a stick of dynamite lighted at both ends.

The energy Malcomson brings to acting reflects the self-reliance and passion for life that propelled Paula from her home in Northern Ireland at age 15. She explored Europe for a few years before locating in New York's East Village in 1991.

Of her childhood in Belfast, Paula Malcomson recalls a constant state of violence and strife, during which "people's spirits were very intensely alive. What better preparation can you have for acting?" 

  HBO / Deadwood bio


 
..related page:....abuse & creative expression

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Being flawed is the thing that makes her interesting. Also, the thing that makes her the most intellectually aware are the things she probably understands the least about, such as her conviction that she's right. 

[Referring to her character in "Mona Lisa Smile": Katherine Watson, an Art History teacher at Wellesley College in 1953].

I just want to make a point that it's not just great teachers that sometimes shape your life. Sometimes it's the absence of great teachers that shapes your life and being ignored can be just as good for a person as being lauded. 

Julia Roberts  .. [darkhorizons.com interview by Paul Fischer, Dec 9 2003]
photo: Julia Roberts, Daisy Baldwin, Julia Stiles on set of Mona Lisa Smile

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Cradles of Eminence: Childhoods of More Than Four Hundred 
Famous Men and Women - by Victor Goertzel, et al

What were the common childhood experiences of 700 eminent adults? Among other things, they disliked school; their families valued education; they had strong mothers; and they grew up feeling "different" from others. 

This exciting update of the 1964 classic includes information from "Three Hundred Eminent Personalities" (1978), as well as from new biographies published in the last six years. 

   < Key findings include: 
Most had at least one ambitious parent who was striving and driving. 
Their parents were highly opinionated 
Their parents often held unconventional opinions that were shocking, even antagonistic, to others. 
Many of the parents -- especially mothers -- dominated their children's lives. 
As children, few liked school, and still fewer liked their teachers.

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Written and performed by author / actress / radio show personality Sandra Tsing Loh, "Sugar Plum Fairy" comically explores Loh's teen angst growing up in a tract house in the San Fernando Valley, and it's as insightful as it is inspired. 

With the aid of slides and charts, Loh takes us through her teen years for 75 minutes without intermission in this Los Angeles premiere [at the Geffen Playhouse through Dec 21 2003]. ....

When the lights dim and we first see Loh, she is costumed as a Christmas tree. Only when she takes off the costume do we glimpse the authentic Loh we know from her KCRW show "The Loh Life": an attractive, slim performer with a seemingly unending supply of energy. 

But it has not always been this way. As a 12-year-old, Loh weighed 142 pounds -- "a big girl," clumsy and overweight. She had problems with her slim, graceful older sister. 

And there were worse things, like the time the Beverly Rosann School of Dance in Chatsworth was casting for "The Nutcracker," and she was sure she'd be cast to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

But after auditioning, she was relegated to the chorus for "The Waltz of the Flowers," the lowest part of the food chain as far as the "Nutcracker" ballet is concerned. 

Or as Loh would have it, "When Cinderella goes to the ball, what happens to the rest of us?"


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Ultimately, she learns that her tortured teens are years that we all go through. She is now seemingly "at peace" with those troubled years. 

When she looks back -- Loh now has two daughters of her own -- she even sees the time coated with a sort of wry nostalgia. 

She has come of age simply because of her nonstop imagination: infectious, articulate, eccentric, silly and spacey.

from review by Ed Kaufman, Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 24, 2003

interview  with Loh [by Douglas Eby]

---books by Sandra Tsing Loh :

Aliens in America  /  Depth Takes A Holiday

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from article: What Gifted Adults Say About Their Childhoods
by Deborah L. Ruf, Ph. D.

I gathered detailed case study information from 41 adults who scored in the 99th percentile and were between the ages of 40 and 60.

The following excerpts illustrate some of the feelings and conclusions that subjects had depending on their exposure to ability grouped classes, explanations about intelligence, and emotional support from family, schools and friends. ....

[One] subject had many events and experiences in her childhood that led to confusion and anger.

"I read well in first grade. I think I read before that, but my mother [a high school teacher] had the idea that it was detrimental for children to read before first grade and she vigorously discouraged any attempts to read."

As an adult, she was still angry about her mother's refusal to accept her abilities.

"My mother never wanted me to feel superior, so she always told me that I was not terribly smart, just good at taking tests.


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"Perhaps that explains why I have such a distorted view. The most important turning point in my life came in my first year of high school when I got hold of my school records and learned my IQ.

"That information explained why I felt so different from others, why I had different interests, and why I had trouble understanding other people. It was a great relief." ...

A man in a creative arts career described how his own issues with authority came about:

"I regard myself as 'normal' - this created (creates) a problem in that I became disillusioned with people around me who constantly fell short of what I regarded as 'their potential' - teachers who could not, or would not, attempt to answer complex questions - people who seemed to have no passion, people who took the beauty of life for granted. I have no desire to feel exceptional."

It is possible that his intolerance could have been changed to tolerance if adults around him could have helped him understand his level of ability and how it impacted his understandings and reactions compared to others.

< image at left from book : Creative Home Schooling 
for Gifted Children: A Resource Guide

**related pages : .........social reactions / interactions..........giftedness characteristics

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I got to run away with the circus. [She traveled in a number of countries from ages 7 to 12 with theater group La Mama E.T.C.] 

My parents treated me like I had the ability, and therefore I did have the ability. The more you are trusted, the more capable you are. So I was a very capable young girl. ...

I remember being resentful that it was OK for my parents to let me go away for two months. I saw "A Clockwork Orange" when I was, like, 9 in Denmark, and I was very angry that I had to be exposed to those images.

It was a mixed blessing, I guess -- it gave me so much strength and survival confidence in myself. 


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Because if you're never tested, you'll never know. You'll never have mental muscle if you don't have any heavy stuff to pick up. ...

I got that whole precocious thing [as a child]. I had no reason to doubt my own abilities or not share my opinion. The adults were offended, and the kids were resentful. I was persona non grata in both camps for quite a while.

Diane Lane... [Lifetime lifetimemag.com Oct 2003]

images:  left: 1979 Time mag. cover: "Hollywood Whiz Kids"
right: in the movie from the memoir Under the Tuscan Sun

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Growing up "lower middle class" in Detroit, Jerry Bruckheimer said he developed a love for visual arts using hand-me-down cameras from his uncle, and Steve McQueen action films turned him on to movies. 

The talents of a producer came naturally, meanwhile. "I had an ability to organize things and put them together," he said, citing two stories from when he was 8 and 12. "I was never a good athlete, but I put together a baseball team so I could play. Got a sponsor, got uniforms. Then got together a hockey team so I could play." ... [Assoc. Press July 21 2003]

Bruckheimer films include "Bad Boys II" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" - TV shows include "CSI..." and "CSI: Miami."

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