At first glance, acting, with its requirement of memorizing pages of dialogue, wouldn’t seem to be a good fit for someone with dyslexia.
But one of Hollywood’s most successful actors is dyslexic.
Danny Glover is a keynote speaker at the first Atlantic Conference on Learning Disabilities, being held at Mount Saint Vincent University today and Friday.
It’ll be the second visit to Nova Scotia for the star, who filmed Poor Boy’s Game here in 2006. His talk will be aimed at both children with learning differences and their parents.
“We’re just going to have a dialogue about many things, things about my life, about the world we live in and trying to find ways in which we can become better citizens,” Glover said this week from Berkley, Calif. “Those are the things that I generally talk about.”
Glover will share his experiences living with dyslexia, as well as his thoughts on education, the arts and current events. Audience members will be invited to take part.
“In San Francisco in the ’50s there was no test for dyslexia. I don’t believe there was a real discussion about the idea of dyslexia and learning differences. I remember . . . in the seventh grade, because of my grades, the councillor made a comment to my mother that I was retarded. I think that people were naive at that time. I was tested in L.A. at a clinic later on in life and at that time I was diagnosed as dyslexic,” he said.
“By that time I had found different ways to manage my sense of . . . inadequacy. You celebrate those things that you’re good at, and you become better at those. I was always good with numbers, always good with math; history was something that I was attracted to, so there are ways you can manage.
“There are ways that you can manage memorizing lines. Even with my learning difference, I’ve always been pretty good at memorizing. Sometimes people don’t get the opportunity; they’re overburdened with the effects or the symptoms of what’s happening with them.”
Glover said the world of education became less frustrating for him when he got to college and met others “trying to shape their ideas, their perception of the world. When you go to college, now you’re integrated into whole different levels of discussion, discourse with people from other places in the world,” said Glover, who describes himself as a child of the civil rights movement.
“In my time, we actively talked about the elements of social change, and how you become a participant in that.”
Glover said that to this day, his speech can be affected by different levels of anxiety and uncertainty.
“There are ways you can overcome that, and maybe acting was the perfect storm for me,” he said.
By BILL SPURR Features Writer
Thu, May 12 – 4:54 AM