What does the Fonz, a Beatle and a Pig(sy) have in common? They’re all incredibly creative dyslexics and they’re all featured in this week’s “hit of happy”:
1. Henry Winkler (aka the Fonz from the hit show Happy Days) is one of the most loved and lovable dyslexics in the world. He’s a successful actor, author (of the Hank Zipzer series featuring a boy with dyslexia) and advocate — always finding new ways to encourage kids with dyslexia. Last week, he sent a letter congratulating the dyslexic kids graduating from grade 8 at Vancouver, B.C. school.
Here’s the letter:
2. Beatle Paul McCartney is one of the most successful songwriters in history, having written or co-written 30 U.S. number one hits — and he’s also dyslexic. He recently celebrated his 77th birthday, and we learned that he’s unable to read or write a note of music:
“I can think songs up, I can think arrangements, I can structure things, but I can’t physically write stuff down on a page. I always had a kind of
#dyslexia when I was a kid,” said Paul McCartney, as quoted in the article, Happy Birthday Sir Paul McCartney! (June 18, 2019).
John Lennon is alleged to have been dyslexic, so that makes two Beatles with some form of dyslexia!!!
3. A new short film called “Pigsy,” made by a dyslexic filmmaker about a dyslexic artist, is getting lots of buzz on the indie film circuit.
The movie tells the story of Irish artist Ciaran McCoy (aka Pigsy) who struggled for his whole life with severe dyslexia. Being dyslexic brought feelings of shame and inferiority, but Pigsy took those feelings and channeled them into something that would allow him to express himself. He says he turned his dyslexia into a competitive advantage:
“I treated dyslexia as a competitive edge so I basically said in my head well nobody’s going to call me slow because I know I’m not slow and I’m going to prove everybody wrong” ~Ciaran McCoy, artist (Pigsy) 🎨🐷
I love how words feature in his art: he wrangles them down, figures them out and spits them out again on a canvas like a dyslexia word warrior.
The back story to the doc is just as interesting: director Mike Andrews was so passionate about telling this story that he made the film out of his own pocket. He says making the film helped him accept his own dyslexia.
In an interview by Hannah Byrne, Mike says: “The message really, of the documentary, is that your so-called weaknesses can also be your strengths.”
- Interview Exclusive | Mike Andrews, Director of Documentary Short Pigsy (story by Hannah Byrne, Headstuff, June 17, 2019)
Watch, share and enjoy!
That’s your hit of happy for this week. Shine on!!