Welcome to Upstander Central, where you you can share your views, connect with other schools, and get key tips and encouragement from exciting guest BullyBust ambassadors to keep your Upstander Alliance going strong! View a personal message from WICKED cast members below, and watch a special re-enactment of one of the show's biggest scenes!
Connect with WICKED!
You asked for it! Youth from all across the country asked WICKED cast member Donna Vivino for her thoughts on Bully Prevention, see below for what she had to say!
Did any of the cast of Wicked get bullied when they were in school. If yes, then how long did it last? If yes, then what did they do about it? —Stephanie Butler January 19, 2012 at 9:41amDonna: I was bullied in middle school. I came into the school in October and was the new girl. One of the boys in my class was very nice to me and I remember that there were a group of girls who decided after that that I was 'a flirt' and called me names like 'fat' or 'slutty' even though all I had done was talk to a boy. They threatened to 'kick my butt' and since they were the popular clique they also told everyone not to talk to me. I was so scared and wanted to fit in so badly I ate lunch in the bathroom to avoid them and then I also stopped dressing nicely or doing my hair. I remember telling my mother who told me I needed to be who I was and not care what anyone thought. It was hard at first but I focused on my studies, got involved in the choir and ignored the bullying girls and by the next year I had friends and some of those girls were nicer to me but I didn't care anymore either way cause I had my own self-confidence. I think that once I didn't allow the bullying to bother me some of the bullying went away and the bullying that DIDN'T go away no longer affected me cause I had my own sense of self. Hope that helps!
Many people say that just standing by and watching someone get bullied is as bad as the bullying itself. What advice would you give to a child (or anyone) on how to have the courage to intervene and stop the bully?
—Zoe January 24, 2012 at 4:27pmDonna: Well I think that by setting an example by not laughing if a bully makes fun of someone or to say 'hey that's not nice' can stop a bully. But it someone is being bullied PHYSICALLY and you feel that intervening could put you in harms way please get or call a teacher, parent or adult immediately. Also if you are witnessing bullying and it isn't stopping...tell an authority figure who can help.
I am a high school student, and I have been bullied in the past. I know how painful it can be. However, when I sing or act, all of that worry and stress just falls right off, because I am doing what I love. When you were in high school, what was your creative outlet that you would go to when you needed to take the load off?
—Caroline Thompson January 24, 2012 at 4:28pmDonna: Well Caroline....I am so glad that you have found an outlet to take the pressure off of the bullying. And I'm sorry that you have to deal with bullies. When I was in middle school I discovered the same thing actually! Doing the school choir and the musicals and plays completely took the pressure off for me and I found it very empowering. I think getting involved in something you love like the arts, or sports or math club can be so rewarding and build confidence. Keep it up!
Hello. I’m 13 years old I’ve been a fan of Wicked for a while now, and the show has truly changed my life “for good”. My question for the cast is: I don’t have much talent when it comes to singing, but I can’t imagine myself doing anything else besides musical theatre. What advice do you have for me to pursue my dreams? Again, I LOVE the show; it gives me the courage I need to be myself no matter what my peers think or say. Thank you so much for being a part of this amazing show!
—Gabrielle Depalo January 24, 2012 at 6:53pmDonna: Hello! I am so glad that Wicked has inspired you to be yourself and not worry about what anyone thinks. I'm glad you love the show thank you! I love it too. Well...if you feel that you want to work on your singing you can try to take voice lessons and practice as much as possible. In musical theater there is singing required but some people are better at dance as well. I would say though that everyone has to act so I would work on acting and dancing and singing and become well-rounded in all of those disciplines. Eventually your strength in at least of one the three will help you feel more confident about your singing and you'll be able to sing more freely. I hope that helps! I would say just keep yourself involved by participating in as many plays and musicals as possible and don't give up on your dreams!