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In this Talk, actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves.

She shares the internal journey that helped her come to terms with her own otherness, and makes the profound point that this “otherness” that so much of civilization occupies itself with, creates separateness and keeps us from greatness.

Acting and dance gave her outlets through which she could disappear and simply be. She found she could disappear into the roles she played and when dancing, felt the sacred within her. She felt free and unoccupied with her otherness in those moments.

This is a deeply personal portrait of her journey to self-acceptance and I share it in the hope that it inspires someone who is struggling with their identity in any of the numerous ways our cultures, communities and even families, make us feel different.

I hope that you too, come to embrace your otherness.

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