Bernadette Beck
Bullying Survivor
Female | Port Coquitlam, BC   Canada
Bullies attacked her at school
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: 2Fast
3/22/13 8:54 AM
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When 18-year-old Bernadette Beck landed a supporting role in a feature film she knew right away she wanted to use her good fortune to reach out to other teens.

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.

The story is set in a New England prep school, with Owen playing a charismatic English teacher, and Binoche a reserved art instructor. Beck plays a high school student in the 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abandoned the family when she was nine, and event that “destroyed my self-confidence and self-esteem and I became withdrawn and quiet.”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.”

Beck struggled, switching schools frequently, trying to start fresh, with little success. “I wanted to leave my past behind but it always followed because I was the same person.”

In Grade 7, she finally reached out to school staff for help and an “intervention” was staged.

Beck said she and her bullies had to meet face to face, something that had surprising results.

“A lot of the girls broke down. Many of them were going through divorce and abusive situations themselves.”

Things improved for Beck when she went to a boarding school in Lillooet, where she could be close to nature and have more structure than her single mother, by then working three jobs to keep things afloat, could provide.

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.

“I was never the super-smart whiz kid, I wasn’t athletic, I didn’t have any special talents, but this made me feel special.”

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.”

Everything clicked.

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,” said Beck, who graduated from Westview Secondary in Maple Ridge last year and plans to study law at the University of Bristol in England next year.

“Acting wasn’t given to me, I worked hard for it ... and it grew my self-esteem.

To increase your self-esteem, find a talent or Local actress Bernadette Beck is an 18-year-old Vancouver actress who just scored a role in a film with Clive Owen. Bullied as a child, Beck hopes to use her success to help other kids understand that high school doesn’t last forever, and “it gets better”. as she had discovered in new film career. hobby that makes you feel happy,” said Beck.

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Posted By: RedApple | 3/22/13 9:35 AM
Successful with the odds stacked against her and she still has a wonderful attitude about life and not walking around with a chip on her shoulder.Keep up the good work sweetheart!
Posted By: SouthSue | 3/26/13 3:14 PM
Future A list actress in the making!
Story Details

Name: Bernadette Beck
Age: 27
Country: Canada
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC
Gender: Female
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Profession: Other
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