I hid my heart under my bed because my mother said if you're not careful someday somebody's going to break it. Take it from me, under the bed is not a good hiding spot.
I got bullied a lot when I was a kid, and because of that I thought for the most part that I didn't really have a childhood - I had to grow up so quick and there was no real enjoyment in that for me.
Bullying, to me, starts very small around the kindergarten age where the first thing we learn is to call each other names. Something so small can be so long lasting in someone's life.
I think everybody gets bullied in their own way. Even athletes probably get it from their parents. To a degree everybody gets bullied.
When something's painful, you just avoid it. Why bother dredging up the past if it's nothing but bad stuff?
I guess initially I was amazed that somebody would see something within my work that they could really relate to, but the more it's happened, the more people have come forward, I've really realized that we're all kind of going through the same thing at the same time.
For me, poetry was... the fastest way to express what I was feeling, what I was going through.
Opera is the original marriage of words and music, and there's a theatre element, a dramatic element. It's right up my alley.
For me, growing up and going to school and not seeing any anti-bullying posters and not hearing people talk about bullying was very desolate.
When I was a kid, I used to think pork chops and karate chops were the same thing.
I make a good living doing what I do.
Having seen TED from a distance, I always thought if ever there was a place for someone like me, the outcasts, people who maintained who they are despite being told what they were, it was TED.
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