I'm Kind Of A Big Deal

I'm Kind Of A Big Deal

Dwarfism is one of the only disabilities that is still wildly misunderstood. Christophe is 4’4” tall, as a result of a rare form of dwarfism, and is a drummer, actor, stuntman, entertainer, businessman, and an avid surfer. His show lifts the veil on this unique world by talking to people directly affected by dwarfism. Each episode sheds light on how short-statured people navigate an environment not made for them, what struggles they face, and why it’s important to hear stories from their perspective. Frankly, when it comes down to it, little people are just people, and life is a crazy trip. Tune in to hear stories about little people that don’t talk down to you.... Show More

Episodes

March 1, 2021 55 min

Little people have a history of being portrayed in media as dehumanized and unreal characters. The majority of roles for little people in movies, TV shows, and commercials have been demeaning, degrading, and misrepresentative of their actual experience. These roles include leprechauns, elves, munchkins, oompa loompas, Chucky, and others. Nic Novicki realized that the best way for little people and others with disabilities to have t...

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Using words to describe individuals who look different is a practice that goes back centuries. In recent years, people have used very offensive terms when referring to little people and African-Americans. Little people have been called ‘midget’, and African-Americans have been called the N-word. However, some people have likened the act of calling a person with dwarfism a midget to calling an African-American the N-word. Ali Chapma...

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Ali’s life with dwarfism has its challenges. Growing up in Indiana and seeking protection from pointed and harsh comments, Ali learned at a young age how to cover up in winter to disguise herself as a child so no one would realize that she was a little person - she practiced this behavior later into her teens. Having no ambition to leave high school and being met with constant rejection in the real world, she knows what it’s like t...

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Dwarfism may be the first thing people notice about a person, but there is so much more to Little People than having short limbs. In fact, data shows that less than 1% of Americans are diagnosed. In Season 2, your host Christophe Zajac-Denek, who is diagnosed with a type of Dwarfism called Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia talks with authors, actors, clothing designers, advocates, and business people about race, disabilities, limb lengthen...

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Welcome to Episode 20! This is part three of my conversation with Jon Michael Ogletree and the Season 1 Finale of I’m Kind Of A Big Deal. We are rounding out the season speaking with Jon Michael, who has a rare form of dwarfism and is an accomplished pianist and CFO. He also is a part of a strong faith community as he is a practicing Christian. Though he has a healthy and modest mindset about the challenges he faces, Jon Michael ha...

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Welcome to Episode 19! This is part two of my conversation with Jon Michael Ogletree. He defies the norm of what disability looks like for someone with SED. Jon Michael is an extremely gifted musician, which is a rarity among people with his type of dwarfism. In a body that should be wrought with hearing and vision problems, his senses are ironically heightened. Though, Jon Michael would refer to his condition as being God-made ins...

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October 17, 2020 53 min

Welcome to Episode 18! This is the first part of my conversation with Jon Michael Ogletree. Jon Michael has endured multiple surgeries, one to correct a spinal curvature of 88 degrees, which if not corrected would have caused his torso to collapse. Though he needed much medical attention, this was a mere speed bump in his path, as he was never coddled as a child or an adult. Jon Michael has worked hard his entire life and it shows....

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October 10, 2020 22 min

Welcome to Episode 17! This is the final part of my conversation with four-foot-tall Lorren Cackowski. Lorren lives in Las Vegas. In this episode, we delve into what it’s like to date as a little person. Turns out, it’s the easiest thing ever! … Just kidding. We, as little people, experience the normal pitfalls of any dating scenario. Plus add in a solid helping of being short-statured and you’ve got the perfect mix for an interest...

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October 4, 2020 42 min

Welcome to Episode 16! This episode is Part 2 of my chat with my friend Lorren Cackowski. Lorren is a four-foot-tall sexy nurse server at a popular restaurant in Las Vegas. We talk about her experience acting on a major film: Disney’s OZ: The Great And Powerful and also how she handles being in a position where she is constantly around different people. Her encounters run the gamut from easy to difficult and everything in between....

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September 26, 2020 40 min

Welcome to Episode 15! In this episode, I chat with my friend Lorren Cackowski. I met Lorren in Michigan when we were both hired to play munchkins on the Disney film Oz: The Great And Powerful. She’s an incredibly strong-willed individual who doesn’t let any obstacle stand in her way. At 4 feet tall, she received a lot of attention from being prom queen to working as a bikini-clad bartender at a dive bar in Detroit, to finding her ...

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September 19, 2020 51 min

Welcome to Episode 14! In this episode, I chat with my good friend David Lyons. David is an average height friend of mine from college. We were in the same program at Michigan State and bonded over a mutual love of punk rock. In this episode, Dave shares the story of how his view of little people has significantly changed over the years. We talk about how he went from making jokes from afar to have some of his closest friends be sh...

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August 27, 2020 35 min

Welcome to Episode 13! I'm wrapping up my conversation with Jonna Ross. She’s a 3’ tall dancer with a huge following on TikTok. After Jonna conquered her vices and learned to love herself, doors just began to open up for her. She focused on dance, her sobriety, and her self esteem. In this episode, we discuss how things in life can really align when you are in the right headspace and surrounded by positivity. I promised triumph...

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August 20, 2020 37 min

Welcome to Episode 12! In this episode, I continue my conversation with Jonna Ross. She’s a 3’ tall dancer with a huge following on TikTok. Growing up, Jonna experienced lots of setbacks and battled multiple forms of addiction, even as a kid. We talk about Jonna’s road to sobriety and the bumps and cracks along the way. We also hear about how she found the strength to start loving herself and about her getting back into dancing, on...

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August 12, 2020 39 min

Welcome to Episode 11! In this episode, I am talking with Jonna Ross. She’s a 3’ tall dancer with a huge following on TikTok. Growing up, Jonna experienced lots of setbacks and battled multiple forms of addiction, even as a kid. She shares some of the dark and difficult times with us. Her stories are incredible and heartbreaking, but she’s been a fighter through it all and teaches us that life, especially as a little person, has ma...

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July 2, 2020 34 min

Welcome to Episode 10! This episode is Part 3 of my chat with my friend Vinnie Rupolo. In this final part, we relive the day we first met on a reality TV show and how being a cast member on the show changed Vinnie’s outlook on many things in his life. He also is very honest and open about how anxiety is still a big part of his daily experience. Vinnie shares ways that he has learned to embrace life in his skin. I hope you enjoy Par...

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June 25, 2020 27 min

Welcome to Episode 9! This episode is Part 2 of my chat with my friend Vinnie Rupolo, a 4’7” musician who has toured the world playing guitar in a metal band. He grew up in a household filled where he was exposed to all types of music. Vinnie picked up drums and guitar at a young age, which led to him starting a band, and then he carved out a spot for himself in the tight-knit metal scene. His band, Auburn, toured the US and Europe...

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June 17, 2020 32 min

Welcome to Episode 8! In this episode, I chat with my friend Vinnie Rupolo. He’s a 4’7” musician who has toured the world as a guitar player in a rock band. Growing up, Vinnie was met with quite a few physical struggles. He needed to have his first operation when he was a baby, and over the years he received many medical treatments on his skull, neck, ears, and back. He found his love for music as a youngster and later started a ba...

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May 8, 2020 31 min

Welcome to Episode 7! This episode continues the interview with Sophia Herzog. She is a 4’0” Paralympic swimmer and silver medalist. We hear about Sophia’s medal win at the Summer Games in Rio in 2016. She also tells us how she met her boyfriend at the Olympic Training Center and how she operates really well under a lot of pressure in the water. 

Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com

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May 1, 2020 33 min

Welcome to Episode 6! In this episode, I chat with my friend Sophie Herzog. She is a 4’0” Paralympic swimmer and competed in the Summer Games in Rio in 2016. In her early years, Sophia had to deal with a lot of loneliness and isolation from her classmates. Sophia’s experience influenced her to get focused, making her a tenacious and driven individual. Instead of dwelling on situations that could’ve brought her down, she found ways ...

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January 24, 2020 28 min

Welcome to Episode 5! This episode picks up the second half of our conversation with Joseph Griffo. Joseph is a 4’4” actor and stuntman who often doubles Peter Dinklage. Growing up, he had to endure some pretty rough times because of his physical appearance. In Part 2 of our conversation, we delve more into the struggles Joseph has encountered with people reacting to the way he looked. He has developed a very inspirational and kind...

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