Family Life

Q & A with Matt Roloff

posted: 01/17/11
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Matt Roloff from Little People Big World interview. See more pictures of Matt and Amy Roloff.
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More FeaturesLittle People, Big World Chat Transcript, Explore the Roloff Farm, Meet the Roloffs

Q: Were you surprised by viewer reaction to the first season?

A: Yes, very much so. Who would have thought that a show about our family would touch so many people?! We truly had no idea. We have received hundreds of e-mails from people all around the country telling us how the show has touched so many lives. We are thrilled with the positive reaction the show has received, and it's one of the most important reasons we are doing a second season.

Q: How has

A: It has brought us closer together in familiar and unexpected ways. First, it has bonded us all in this great project, working as a family to achieve something that will hopefully make a difference in people's lives. But more surprisingly, it has also closed us off a bit from the outside world. When people used to come to the farm, we would always be thrilled and welcome them with open arms. Now, we are all a little suspicious - does that person want to buy a pumpkin or do they just want autographs? It has made us a little vulnerable.

Q: What sort of reaction have you received from the little people community?

A: Many little people have written us over e-mail letting us know that the show is helping raise awareness of the issues that we all face. There was one e-mail in particular that I remember. There was a young man, about 18 years old, in the Midwest and he wrote to tell me that the kids in his school had finally stopped making fun of him and now accepted him as one of their own.So that's incredibly heartening. Hopefully, the show is helping people recognize that even though we do face challenges, we just adapt and do things a little bit differently from average-size people.

At the same time, there are some in the little people community who worry that our lives will be depicted as the lives of all little people, and that isn't the case. We don't pretend to speak for all little people and certainly there is a great variety of life stories within the little people community, just as in the average-size community. We can only speak from our experiences, that's all.

Q: How do you balance your heavy work travel schedule with the show and trying to maintain a

A: This is a really good question. It isn't easy, that's for sure. The lesson I've learned is that we can't do everything. As much as I want to answer every e-mail personally, take every business trip, be there for every second of filming, and more than anything, be with my family on our farm, there just isn't enough time in each day to do everything. I've lost touch with many friends that I hold dear; my hope is that they understand.

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Matt Roloff from Little People Big World interview.
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Q: What can viewers expect to see in the second season?

A: Because we filmed this season in the summer rather than the school year, viewers will see us off the farm more. Cameras followed us on vacation in Hawaii, in Milwaukee for the Little People of America national conference, on a business trip in New York and more. While the first season was really about "little people," this season is more about the "big world." There are new locations, for sure, and viewers will also get to meet some of our little people friends and our own families that they haven't yet met.

Q: One of the episodes in the second season shows the family at the Little People of America (LPA) national conference. How active are you in the LPA?

A: I have remained fairly active in the LPA since my tenure as president from 2002 to 2004. I remain on the LPA national board of directors. In fact, I'm helping them craft our 50th anniversary celebration for next year in Seattle.

Is there anything the cameras haven't captured that you would want viewers to know?

A: I always have new projects, of course. One of the ones I'm most excited about at the moment is a new nonprofit I have started with some friends. It's called the Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy, or CoDA. Our goal is to raise funds to continue to foster the cause of awareness-building and understanding for little people everywhere. I think it will end up on the show this season, but people don't see all the work that goes in for months beforehand.

Q: You always seem to have so many projects going on. What's next for you?

A: There isn't enough space here. Of course, I have my plans for the farm. I've just installed a new 860-foot zip line, which should be fun. We have Halloween coming up and pumpkin season, so I'm making some special plans for that.

I continue to make personal appearances at various conferences around the country, and that is work that I truly enjoy. There's no feeling like being in front of a crowd and hoping that you can touch the lives of the people in the audience.

I'm also beginning work on a second book, and looking into another possible publishing venture. So, stay tuned...

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