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Marlee Matlin - Unscripted

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[various voice clips] ♫ Piano/Jazz (Jack voicing for Marlee) Hi, I'm Marlee Matlin and I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Actually a suburb of Chicago, Morton Grove, Illinois. And actually, I became deaf at 18 months old, and everybody was certainly shocked at that. But my upbringing was about as normal as one can get. In reality, for me, the upbringing was much like an episode of "The Brady Bunch". Well, I recall as a little girl, thinking that I live in the present, I was that kind of person. And I enjoyed what I had, whether it was something that my parents gave me, or the friends that I had around me, or the love and support that I got from my brothers - also the protection that they provided me. But there were bad days - for example once when I was eleven, and I remember being so angry that day for some reason, and I thought to myself, when I become an adult, when I get older than eleven years old, I'm going to write a book, and tell the world that it's okay to be deaf.

So perhaps that was the moment in my life where I realized that I am not going to be a little girl forever, and I knew eventually that there would be woman, down the line waiting for me, which would be who I am today. What people have asked me, first of all, if I remember hearing. because I became deaf when I was 18 months old. And I tell them no. But for those who might remember me as a hearing girl, because I have been told that I spoke, and I heard, just like anyone else does. I tell them I don't remember that. I wouldn't wake up every morning and say, oh, it's a brand new day and I'm deaf - that's not how I operated I just went about my business as any other little girl would I played with my friends, or played dress up, or read Judy Blume books, or go to school, and go to learn. But there were times that I was reminded that I was deaf, or "different". And I would stop, and I would think, oh, right, I don't hear like they do. They remind me of me being deaf. And sometimes it was good, and sometimes it was bad. And it was bad when they made fun of me, and I learned to defend myself, by either speaking out, or when I got older, just walking away from it. But all in all, listen, all in all, in all honesty, it's just part of growing up. It's just part of who I was. Well, I was introduced to the stage, the concept of the stage, when I was seven years old at summer camp, and a director of the camp came up to me, and said, "would you like to sign a song with a group of hearing girls on a stage?" And I said, "What's a stage?" And so she showed me what a stage was, and I check it out, and I stood on the stage,and I thought, "Okay", "What am I supposed to do? And she gave me a sheet of paper that said, this is the song that these girls are going to be singing, and you're going to be signing it. And there will be somebody down in the audience who will feed me the cues what they are singing, but you need to memorize it, sort of. So, I memorized as much as I could of the song, and we rehearsed, and I fell in love with it, only because my family and my friends and my teachers and my counsellors, they were all in the audience and they were smiling and applauding for me. And that's when I knew that I was hooked, in doing what I was doing on the stage, which was acting. But I didn't take it seriously. I really didn't take it seriously. I didn't consider that this was going to be my goal, my career, until my mother put me in a more productive, conventional environment. where we had deaf and hearing children together, acting in a troup, in a place, not very far from our home. And we did plays, and we did songs,and we did sign language, mime - we did everything, and I fell in love with it at that point. But I don't know a specific time, I just recall really enjoying performing for everybody. Actually, I performed at this center on deafness, where we did those plays, and those songs, and sign language from 8 until I was 13 or 14 years old. But I mean, I tried to do the stage. Then I would fly off to New York, and then fly off to California, and audition for the film, for a completely different role, and I had lots of call backs.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 1,195
Posted by: ccwebguy on May 17, 2010

CC Version of Marlee Matlin Unscripted

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