Calgary Herald: – “…Beck will be sharing screen time with actors Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche when the indie drama Words and Pictures begins shooting in Vancouver later this month. It’s an opportunity that just a few years ago would have seemed impossible. “I was afraid of rejection, unable to speak out in large groups of people or in classes,” said the teen, as she explains the cognitive dissonance of going from being “bullied” to winning a screen role. Beck says acting helped her break out of social isolation after years of bullying, and her own experience growing up in a disadvantaged home was very different than what she will be portraying on film…She said her hope in sharing her story is that her journey from being a bullied kid who felt like an outcast, to sharing screen time with some of the world’s best known actors, will inspire other kids to believe in their own dreams. “My parents came here from England and were so broke when I was born my baby stroller and mattress came from the dump,” she said in a phone interview. Her parents started out on welfare, but eventually got work. The family settled in Port Coquitlam, but life was anything but smooth. Beck was hit by a car at age seven, and was hospitalized with a head injury. Her father abandoned the family when she was nine, and event that “destroyed my self-confidence and self-esteem and I became withdrawn and quiet.” Beck’s vulnerabilities, including needing special assistance in school as she recovered after her car accident, made her a target for bullies beginning in grades 4 and 5, she said. “People I thought were friends became abusive, they made threats, stabbed me with pencils, made hurtful remarks. I was the only African-American in the school and they would feel my hair and ask questions about it…When Beck returned to live with her Mom in Grade 11, she decided to try acting. She found her calling after years of confidence and self-esteem issues…After a year of acting classes and “persistence,” Beck started getting gigs. “When that started happening my grades went up in school, my friendships were healthier…Beck is hoping to get a message out to other kids that might be struggling with self-esteem issues or bullying in schools. “School doesn’t last forever…Acting wasn’t given to me, I worked hard for it and it grew my self-esteem…” – Denise Ryan, March 11, 2013 (READ MORE)
Bernadette Beck (Born in Islington, London, England, UK on May 23, 1994), now living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Beck is currently managed by Kalee Harris at Play Management Inc. Her facebook page listed outdoor activities and public speaking as her personal interest. She currently filming “Words and Pictures” slated for 2014 release and featured in “Girl in Progress” (2012) and on television series “Level Up” (2011-12).
Societal Control – “…Rev. Dr. James Christie directs the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy at the U of W. He said opposition to the legislation is not about religious freedom. “It’s essentially about control – societal control and that is clearly not a gospel value, and it is not something the Christian leadership quite frankly ought to ever promote,” said Christie. Christie said faith should not be so fragile that it could be shaken by teens who want to form a club at school…” – CBC News, Mar 11, 2013 (READ MORE)
Religious Freedom – “…The other problem with this bill is that it threatens religious freedom. Specifically, Bill 18 requires all schools, including independent faith-based schools, to facilitate student groups that may undermine the schools’ religious values. In its enthusiasm to stamp out bullying, the Manitoba government appears prepared to run roughshod over the right of private religious schools to uphold their faith. If this sounds eerily familiar, look at what happened last year in Ontario. The McGuinty government’s Bill 13, Accepting Schools Act, contained a similar provision mandating specific student groups in schools. Despite strong opposition from Catholic school boards, the government passed the legislation, ignoring their concerns. Obviously, some people will say that since some faith-based schools receive government funding, they should accept Bill 18 without question. However, the acceptance of funding should not eliminate the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Many parents, in fact, choose faith-based schools specifically because of the school’s values. Until now, the Manitoba government has been careful to respect the religious freedoms of faith-based schools. But, public opposition to Bill 18 continues to grow. A website has recently been set up by opponents of Bill 18 (protectourschools.ca), which has resulted in hundreds of emails being sent to provincial politicians….” – Rodney A. Clifton and John C. Long, Winnipeg Free Press, Feb 20 2013 (READ MORE)
Protection from Bullying – “…We know clearly that young people need to be protected in this particular area. We know clearly that young people who are gay have higher rates of depression and mental health issues, they talk about suicide, they are harassed and bullied,” she said. Ms. Allan said a gay-straight alliance is simply a venue in which students can share their feelings and get support. “You’re just providing a space for young people to talk.” But Mr. Altein said a gay-straight alliance would be the same as a group demanding non-kosher food in school. “It would be wrong for a student of an Orthodox Jewish school to demand the right to eat a lunch of non-kosher food such as pork. It would be even more disrespectful for students to form an official group within the Jewish religious school to advocate for the ‘right’ to eat pork…” – Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press, Mar. 15 2013 (READ MORE)