Orlando Bloom is a brilliant ambitious actor and a huge inspiration to people around the world for battling dyslexia, ‘attracting’ his success, following his gut wrenching intuition and passion and enduring a very unique childhood. Here’s his 10 facts that truly empower anyone fighting the odds on the way to their dreams.
Orlando Bloom struggled with mild dyslexia as a kid and had challenges with many classes. He was first diagnosed at age 7 and had challenges with reading and writing. “When my mother told me that I was dyslexic it was both a gift and a bit of a cross to bear, but she tried to make me feel like it was something special and I was going to be great with it. But it was something that I hid from other kids as best I could.”
“I was an angry child at times. I was frustrated with the learning disability. It makes you feel stupid; you just don’t feel smart. Somewhere in me I knew that I was smart, I knew I wasn’t thick, but I was just really struggling with spelling and writing, and it was holding me back.”
2.) LEAP OF FAITH:
Bloom felt inspired enough to become an actor and instantly moved to London and joined the National Youth Theatre at the young age of 16. He then attended the British American Drama Academy. His training led to parts on British television and his film debut in the 1997 Oscar Wilde biopic,Wilde.
3.) MASTERY OF PASSION:
Orland Bloom understood the necessity of mastering his talents to perfection. He continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he regularly performed on stage. According to friends and family, he apparently had a very strong work ethic to become great at what he did. Bloom admits that being diagnosed as a dyslexic gave him a very hungry spirit to succeed at something he truly enjoyed.
4.) FREAK ACCIDENT:
Bloom had an almost-crippling accident when he fell three stories from a terrace, trying to cross between two buildings with friends, and broke his back. He nearly went paralyzed. He stated in an interview, “I’m rather accident-prone, I have to admit. I’ve broken my back, my ribs, my nose, both my legs, my arm, my wrist, a finger and a toe and cracked my skull three times.”
5.) HIS CONFUSING CHILDHOOD & UPBRINGING:
As a child, Bloom was told that his father was his mother’s husband, who was a Jewish South African-born anti-Apartheid novelist Harry Saul Bloom. From the time he was 4 years old until he was in his teens he wouldn’t find out about his biological father, who was actually a family colleague named Colin Stone. When Harry Bloom died, Stone, who was the principal of the Concorde International language school, was finally made Orlando Bloom’s legal guardian.
6.) SUPPORTIVE PARENT:
Orlando Bloom’s mother, Sonia, was a very uplifting and supportive mother who instilled some very important qualities and characteristics in her children. She encouraged her son and daughter to incorporate the arts into their lives and Orlando, who began to get highly intrigued with acting, began taking parts in regional theater in his youth.
“I didn’t do a lot of reading, though I did a fair amount—mostly because my mom bribed me. As a kid I always wanted a motor bike, and she said, “If you read 50 books, I’ll get you a motor bike.” I never got to 50 books and I never got a motor bike until I was old enough to pay for it myself. But that carrot definitely helped; she did that with me a lot. She said, “I’ll give you five pounds if you learn this poem,” and I’d learn this poem and get five quid; put it towards a motor bike. It was great.”
7.) HIS INSPIRATIONS:
He embraced the arts and enjoyed pottery, photography and sculpturing. He was also a participant of his school plays and was active at the local theater. “My mom used to sign me (and my sister) up for poetry reciting competitions, and we would always win. I think that somewhat inspired me to be an actor.” Orlando Bloom idolized larger-than-life characters and was always drawn to the performing arts, he would gravitate towards serious acting. Like many aspiring actors, he auditioned for several television roles to further his career, finally landing bit parts on British T.V. shows.
“I decided really young that I wanted to be an actor, which was a gift actually, because I’m nothing if I’m not driven. I’m like a dog with a bone in many respects when I set my mind to something, and I was just like, I’m going to be an actor.”
8.) HIS BIG BREAK:
As a passionate and desire driven individual, Orland Bloom would continue doing what he loved and let the chips fall where they may. As destiny would have it, one night in 1999, future director of “The Lord Of The Rings” Peter Jackson was sitting in the audience. After the show ended, Orlando would get the opportunity to meet Mr. Jackson, who ended up asking him to audition for his new movies. After graduating from school, Orlando began to work on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
He went on to make archery an extremely popular sport amongst youngsters in the UK for his character as Legolas.
9.) ‘ATTRACTING’ HIS DREAMS AN EVEN PEOPLE INTO HIS REALITY:
When he was 9 years old, he apparently had a girlfriend who he used to compete over with the other fellows, and whomever could race up to her would get to be her boyfriend. He claims “I wanted to be like Superman and fly in and rescue her. Once I realized Superman was an actor, I thought, “That’s for me.”.
Orlando Bloom also admits that he idolized actor Ian McKellen (Gandalf) as a kid, and would even dissect his video’s and performances. “It was like a drama school of its own, being on set. Peter [Jackson] is a genius. Ian McKellen is the greatest theater actor in Britain. He’s somebody I look at and say, “That’s what I would like to do.” I had studied videos of his performances, so it was bizarre to be thrown into an environment with him.”
10.) A BIG HEART AND GOOD CONSCIOUS:
Orlando Bloom is not ‘just’ an actor nor is he ‘just’ a pretty face. During the filming of Kingdom Of Heaven in Morocco, he saved and adopted a dog who he named Sidi. He has a spiritually curious side too as he is a devout Buddhist for several years and is a full member of a Buddhist association. He is also an environmentalist who renovated his house with solar panels and uses energy efficient light bulbs.
EMPOWERING QUOTES AND WORDS OF WISDOM BY ORLANDO BLOOM:
“I’d say just hold on to your dreams and never ever think that you’re not good enough or that you’re stupid. Never let anyone tell you that you’re not capable. We’re all the same, we’re all equal and we all deserve a shot. Take this obstacle and make it the reason to have a big life, because if you can overcome this obstacle you are going to be that much further ahead than anyone else. It takes having obstacles to learn and grow and be better. The challenge of dyslexia—the challenge of climbing that mountain—is something that you can make your own and make it a reason to be a winner in life.”
“Theatre is something that I feel very important for an actor to keep doing. I think it keeps you sharp. But at the moment I’m intrigued with movies and filmmaking. It hasn’t lured me away from theatre, but I’m just going to try to ride this wave and then jump onto another and see how far it takes me.”
“When I’m not working, I prefer to sit and do nothing. The simple things suddenly become more enjoyable.”
If life isn’t about humanity, then tell me what it’s about, because I’d love to know.”
“Johnny’s always telling me, “Don’t go for the money. Follow your heart, Orlando!” He’s a role model for me. He has integrity and makes choices that are brave and unusual. He doesn’t have hissy fits; he conducts himself with grace and humility.”
“School was a struggle; it was really hard work. I remember reading a school report that said, “If he would only stop looking out the window or into the hamster cage, we think he’s probably a bright boy.” I was quite distracted. I was good at sports although I was very accident-prone, very physical.”
“But reading out loud was just a disaster. I always had excuses: I was sick, I had a sore throat, whatever it was just to avoid speaking out loud, because it was a disaster. And to be honest, if I was calm I probably would have been fine, but it was just the anxiety of having to read out loud that led to me jumping, skipping words, skipping lines. It was the anxiety that really freaked me out.”
“I mastered reading out loud in drama school somehow. The three years of training at drama school, with reading stuff like Milton’s Paradise Lostwhere the imagery is so profound and great, you start to connect with thoughts. I had this great teacher, a Russian director who couldn’t speak English actually, and he had a translator, but he seemed to be able to see your soul when you were performing. He taught us to learn everything by thought as opposed to just learning the text. Just learn the thoughts and forget the text, and we weren’t allowed to even recite the text. So that sort of stuff helped.
“I think creativity is the key to any child who has dyslexia. When I was on stage performing, creating—that was really what got me through. When I was in high school I had the character roles; I would never get the leading roles because I was younger, but I got the character roles. So in The Pirates of Penzance, for example, I played the Chief of Police and in The Boyfriend I played the dirty old man. I had a lot of fun and actually it was thanks to that creative outlet of performing. Because when I was on stage I was more focused than I was anywhere else.”
“The gift of dyslexia was that I learned everything forward and backward, inside out, so I was fully prepared. I had to learn everything so that I wouldn’t have stage fright or the lines wouldn’t fall out of my mind. I was terrified that with my dyslexia I would not be able to retain the dialogue. So I suppose I had a good handle on language, in a sense, at a young age. I would find that if I learned my lines at night and slept on them and then looked at them first thing in the morning, they would sort of sink in.”
“If you have kids who are struggling with dyslexia, the greatest gift you can give them is the sense that nothing is unattainable. With dyslexia comes a very great gift, which is the way that your mind can think creatively. If your kids can be given the opportunity to find that way of thinking, what works for them, they will be very happy and successful in whatever field they choose to go into. That I think is what my life has been.”
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