Eugene Pidgeon

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Eugene Pidgeon is a dwarf actor/writer/activist. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Pidgeon (51) now divides his time between New York City, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, California.

In 1975, Pidgeon graduated from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College and spent two seasons touring with the circus in 1976 and 1979. Among his instructors were Victor Gaona, patriarch of the famous Flying Gaonas Trapeze family and James Donlon, the celebrated mime artist and former movement coach for such noted actors as Kathy Bates.

Additionally, Pidgeon toured Mexico and Puerto Rico as a clown for Stardust Productions in 1982.

In 1985, Pidgeon moved from Memphis to Santa Barbara, California and began writing for the Santa Barbara News and Review, under Editor in Chief Marianne Partridge; the first female managing editor of "Rolling Stone Magazine" and the first female Editor in Chief of the "Village Voice."

At the News and Review Pidgeon created the music column "Positively State Street." When the News and Review became the Santa Barbara Independent Pidgeon followed with his column. Though Pidgeon stopped writing the column full-time in 1989, "Positively State Street" is now in its 21st year of publication.

In 1993, as a producer for the "Dean at Dawn Morning Show," on K-CAL 96.7 in Redlands, California, Pidgeon helped to organize and execute the only commercial rock radio tour of Somalia in support of "Operation Restore Hope." Pidgeon with radio hosts Dean Opperman and Steven Pierce received a Humanitarian Services Award from the California Armed Forces Recruitment Centers for the success of this civilian foray into the war zone.

In 1994, Pidgeon was once again on the frontlines. This time it was as a journalist attached to "Operation Provide Promise," in Bosnia and Croatia.

After moving to New York City in the spring of 1997, Pidgeon was cast as the Mayor of the Munchkin City for the national touring company of "The Wizard of Oz." The tour was produced by Madison Square Garden Productions in conjunction with Radio City Entertainment and featured Eartha Kitt as The Wicked Witch of the West and Mickey Rooney as Professor Marvel and the Wizard. In 1998, Pidgeon contributed to the cast album which was recorded in Toronto, Canada and was nominated for a Grammy Award. While on hiatus from the tour Pidgeon also performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the world famous Rockettes in Chicago and the following year in Mexico City.

Pidgeon perhaps is most recognized for his three year campaign to get a dwarf actor on the cast of the Warner Brothers television series "Gilmore Girls." His persistence yielded no success with the casting policies.

Undaunted, he diverted his energies in a gambol that would ultimately result in policy shifts at Screen Actors Guild. Pidgeon with several members of the dwarf acting community in Los Angeles lobbied for over a year for SAG to create a committee which specifically dealt with issues facing dwarf actors. Until this, all matters of policy concerning dwarf actors were dealt with under the umbrella of the committee for the performers with disabilities. The assignation of disabled did not sit well with Pidgeon and his colleagues who were offended at being labeled incorrectly.

This led to a flurry of media attention. In August 2004, Pidgeon's campaign was championed by the Los Angeles Times, which published a cover story in the Calendar Section that was syndicated nationally. This was followed in September by a cover story, written by Pidgeon himself, in the Los Angeles News Magazine LA City Beat entitled,"Little People's Progress."

In March 2005, Pidgeon and his colleagues Michael Gogin, Marcia DeRousse, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gieb and Danny Woodburn were able to get the Screen Actors to ratify a joint proposal to create "The Short Statured Actors Forum." Pidgeon, who correctly paraphrased the astronaut Neil Armstrong, is said to have responded to this success by saying, "yeah..its one small step for a little man...but one f.....g giant leap for little mankind!"

Pidgeon found himself on the fringe of controversy again when less than a year later he took film director Tim Burton to task in the pages of the New Yorker Magazine about his casting choices for his interpretation of the Ronald Dahl Classic, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with Johnny Depp and the dwarf actor Deep Roy as the single OOMPA-LOOMPA. The writer Lauren Collins quoted Pidgeon as saying, "For every Deep Roy, there are a hundred and fifty of us who are forced to do whacked out shit on the Man Show!"

Pidgeon continues to act and will be featured as the first homo-erotic dwarf zombie in the annals of cult filmdom in the Mindfire Productions slasher "Dead and Deader" with Dean Cain scheduled for release in 2007. He has appeared on episodes of "Charmed," "General Hospital" and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

To date he has appeared in several national commercials and in over 10 music videos, including Sean Lennon's "Parachute" from the new release "Friendly Fire," Papa Roach, "She Loves Me Not," Wakefield, "C'mon Baby" and "The Worst," from the Wu-Tan Clan. Pidgeon has also toured with Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie on Ozzie's "Merry Mayhem Tour" in 2001.

At the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in 2000, Pidgeon was featured as part of an ensemble of dwarf actors with Blink-182 who closed the awards with an entertaining if not confusing live performance of "All The Small Things"...and much to the dismay of Lars Ulrich of Metallica who introduced the band.

When not acting or writing, Pidgeon travels to the European battlefields of the Second World War and is the only dwarf on record to have successfully completed flight training to solo in an ultra-light aircraft. One day he hopes to be the first dwarf to fly an ultra-light aircraft from Portsmouth in the south of England across the English Channel to the Port of Cherbourg on the Normandy coast of France.Currently, a documentary film about his flying adventures, "Eugene Can Fly!" is in production in Los Angeles with film director Tracy Adams and Adams Apple Films.

This summer, Pidgeon attended the Yale University Summer Writing Program in New Haven, Connecticut. While in school, he published a cover story for the New Haven Advocate. "Dance Little Sisters Dance," was written about his impression of two dwarf sisters who make their living as strippers.

As for acting, he remains committed to the idea of one day seeing a dwarf actor on "Gilmore Girls," though he does relent that he would be satisfied and would settle for writing and acting in a film with Vera Farmiga. "My God! Did you see her in "The Departed?"

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