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I'm Kind Of A Big Deal

I'm Kind Of A Big Deal

By Christophe Zajac-Denek
Christophe is a person living with a dwarfism. He is a drummer, actor, stuntman, entertainer, businessman, and an avid surfer. Christophe talks about life as a short-statured individual living in a world made for average height people. A place where many things are out of reach, over his head, and his position can get taken for granted. However, his outlook is not negative. He has worked a number of crazy jobs in Hollywood and across the US. Email us at: ABigDealPod@gmail.com

You can support the show here: patreon.com/bigdealpod
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Episode 20: Jon Michael Ogletree Part 3 - 3'8" CFO and talented pianist discusses Christian faith and the pitfalls of dating.
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 has a unique perspective when it comes to dating. I ask him if he is happy to be single and what his goals are for his personal life. I’ll admit, things take some interesting turns in this final episode! Please enjoy part three of my conversation with Jon Michael Ogletree. To watch Jon Michael in action, visit his YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/JonMichaelOgletree Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
35:46
November 8, 2020
Episode 19: Jon Michael Ogletree Part 2 - 3'8" little person pianist beats the odds with an extraordinary gift for music.
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 instead of being left to chance. Regardless, his notable sensitivity to the piano is mesmerizing. In this episode, we break down his experience on the instrument and hear about his musical journey. Please enjoy part two of my conversation with Jon Michael Ogletree. To watch Jon Michael in action, visit his YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/JonMichaelOgletree Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
58:01
October 27, 2020
Episode 18: Jon Michael Ogletree Part 1
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. He’s the CFO of his company and an extremely talented pianist. We talk about sneaking onto rollercoasters and how he’s shattering stereotypes in the homogeneous culture of the corporate world. Please enjoy part one of my conversation with Jon Michael Ogletree. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
53:54
October 17, 2020
Lorren Cackowski Part 3
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 interesting podcast. Please enjoy part three of my conversation with Lorren Cackowski. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
22:04
October 10, 2020
Lorren Cackowski Part 2
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. Please enjoy part 2 of my conversation with Lorren Cackowski. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
42:39
October 4, 2020
Lorren Cackowski Part 1
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 way to Vegas. Lorren has always left her mark and maintained a positive attitude through all of the ups and downs. It should just be said that people can be jerks sometimes.  Please enjoy my conversation with Lorren Cackowski. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
40:37
September 27, 2020
David Lyons
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 short-statured individuals. I commend him for sharing this story and for having an honest and fun discussion about his journey. Please enjoy my conversation with David Lyons. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
51:16
September 19, 2020
Jonna Ross Part 3
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, so here it is. Please enjoy Part Three of my conversation with Jonna Ross. You can follow Jonna at: IG: @lilmissross7 TikTok: lilmissross22 Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
35:28
August 27, 2020
Jonna Ross Part 2
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, one of her biggest passions. Please enjoy Part Two of my conversation with Jonna Ross. You can follow Jonna at: IG: @lilmissross7 TikTok: lilmissross22 Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
37:08
August 20, 2020
Jonna Ross Part 1
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 many crazy twists and turns. I hope you enjoy Part 1 of my conversation with Jonna Ross. You can follow Jonna at: IG: @lilmissross7 TikTok: lilmissross22 Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
39:26
August 12, 2020
Vinnie Rupolo Part 3
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 Part 3 of my conversation with the honest and kind Vinnie Rupolo. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
33:60
July 2, 2020
Vinnie Rupolo Part 2
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 for many years. Vinnie and I talk about his unique encounters, some positive and some negative, with all types of people and press; because being a little person and playing on a rock and roll stage definitely gets you some unique attention! I hope you enjoy Part 2 of my conversation with the ever-positive Vinnie Rupolo. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
27:32
June 25, 2020
Vinnie Rupolo Part 1
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 band that ended up taking him around the US and the world. Vinnie has lived a life full of unique experiences. Always an individual, he strives for positivity and inclusivity. I hope you enjoy Part 1 of my conversation with Vinnie Rupolo. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
32:33
June 17, 2020
Sophia Herzog Part 2
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 Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
31:27
May 8, 2020
Sophia Herzog Part 1
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 to direct her energy which turned into a passion for swimming. She talks about how her dedication has given her the opportunity to travel and compete around the globe. This is Part One of a two-part episode. Tune in to episode 7 to hear more about her experience at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio and about how she met her boyfriend at the Olympic Training Center. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
33:02
May 1, 2020
Episode 5: Joseph Griffo :: Part 2
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 way of diffusing awkward feelings caused by uneasy first impressions. Thank you for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the episode! Thanks to Jenny Lynn for co-hosting with me and to Shanan Snyder for being our production consultant. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
28:04
January 24, 2020
Episode 4: Joseph Griffo :: Part 1
Welcome to Episode 4! Episodes 4 and 5 feature Joseph Griffo. Joseph is a 4’4” actor and stuntman who frequently doubles Peter Dinklage in movies. He had to endure some pretty rough times growing up in the 1950s and 1960s because of his dwarfism. Joseph talks about the path to finally accepting himself and also describes some of the dangerous ways he’s made a living in the entertainment industry: working with fire, being dropped on wires, and wearing all types of creature costumes, just to name a few. Thank you for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the episode! Thanks to Jenny Lynn for co-hosting with me and to Shanan Snyder for being my production consultant. Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
38:24
January 15, 2020
Episode 3: My Mom!
Welcome to Episode 3! In this episode, we have a chat with my mom. She gave birth to me not knowing that I had dwarfism. She and my dad had to navigate some uncharted waters with trying to figure out the best way to find the proper treatment for my skeletal deformities and had to deal with unwanted criticism from onlookers in society. Turns out my mom is incredibly strong, very compassionate, and really carried me through some of the most difficult times of my life. But I already knew that! Fair warning: you may require a tissue or two while listening! Thank you for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the episode! Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
43:19
December 20, 2019
Episode 2: A Young Man And His Surgeries.
Welcome to Episode 2! In this episode, we delve into what it was like for me to grow up having to regularly see doctors, undergo major surgeries, and deal with a childhood that was not regular or normal. I’m grateful for everything the doctors were able to do for me. Facing all of the medical issues I’ve had to endure head-on has made me a stronger individual. Even though surgeries are scary to face, especially at six years old, I learned how to manage them in my own way. Thank you for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the episode! Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here: IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
38:35
November 30, 2019
Episode 1: An Intro To My Life With Dwarfism
Welcome to the intro! The beginning. The overview. In this episode, Jenny and I have a general discussion about my life with dwarfism. We talk about my having to see doctors, getting surgeries in my youth, work I've done, relationships I've had, and how I'd rather talk on the phone with people instead of text. Thank you for listening! We're so excited to have you along for our maiden voyage.  Feel free to drop us a line at: abigdealpod@gmail.com Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod Also, you can connect here:  IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
34:19
November 11, 2019
Introduction to I’m Kind Of A Big Deal
Christophe Zajac-Denek - short-statured actor/stuntman, musician, surfer, and producer, interviews people affected by dwarfism. He discusses the successes, the struggles, the funny, and the real day-to-day experiences little people face. The goal is to create a bridge between the average height world and people with dwarfism. Tune in for eye-opening stories that resonate with the human condition. Support the show! patreon.com/bigdealpod IG: @bigdealpod Facebook: @bigdealpod
03:13
September 25, 2019