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Little person Jon Novick gives shocking glimpse into life in NYC

'Little Person' Gives Shocking Glimpse Into Life In NYC

NEW YORK (PIX11) – His name is Jon Novick. He's a 22-year-old filmmaker who lives in Queens. He's a student at Hunter College and his favorite show is "Game of Thrones." But most wouldn't know that because the average person typically zeroes in on just one thing.

"The term is dwarf or little person," Novick says, describing who he is. "Either one is fine, just not midget."

Being on the receiving end of endless stares from gawkers is unfortunately part of Novick's daily routine. "It's frequent enough to the point that I think about it when I'm out in public. It makes me aware – very aware, that I'm different more than I'd like to be."

A native of Fishkill, N.Y., Novick moved to the Big Apple a year ago. An incident that happened during that time forced him to take matters into his own hands.

"One day I was coming out of work and one individual jumped over me, while a crowd of people looked on," he said. "It got me so furious and simultaneously powerless."

From powerless to inspired.

The outcome was "Don't Look Down On Me" –- a documentary where the filmmaker exposes the daily harassment from onlookers with a hidden camera.

"What is he!?" shrieks a passing girl, while another yells "Hey short stuff!"

During the encounters, Novick kept his cool. He explains that his reaction is usually prompted by the day he's having.

"It depends on who I'm with. It depends on how I'm feeling that day."

"There was one day I was on the subway. I was on the 7 train going back to Queens when I see a man with his phone out and it looks like he's about to take a picture ," he recalls. "Then I'm on the tipping point and then I hear the shutter go off."

"I look him dead in the face and said 'Hi! Are you taking pictures! I love taking pictures. I'm a filmmaker. We should talk."

"He just wouldn't acknowledge me."

If it's not pictures, its assumptions.

"You ever been on TV?" a stranger asks Novick in his YouTube film. To which he responds no.

"You know who you look like? You ever watch that show – "Little People, Big World"?

Novick does not watch the show.

The filmmaker insists he's not looking for pity with his now-viral YouTube documentary instead, he wants to relay a very simple message.

"The next time you see someone who is different than you, think about what their day might be like," he said, "think about all the events of their life leading up to that point, and think about their day -- and think about what part of their day you want to be?" His documentary has gained more than 1.5 million views already.

Watch his documentary "Don't Look Down On Me" below:

Join the discussion

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Steve August 22 2014 at 11:38 AM

People need to grow up and respect everyone that coexists with us on a daily basis..

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2 replies
baldbiker2 Steve August 22 2014 at 3:37 PM

We do coexist, see how he walks around coexisting with others? What makes you think he isnt co existing? Or others aren't coexisting with him?

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1 reply
nojohnnyno baldbiker2 August 23 2014 at 1:39 AM

Your play on words fall very short. No pun intended

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roseyoungstewart Steve August 22 2014 at 6:46 PM

it will never, ever happen. People willnever get along with each other or show respect for another or give an underdog some space. Never .

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HEY DANNY August 22 2014 at 1:36 PM

hes a bigger man than most big men

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2 replies
Debbie HEY DANNY August 22 2014 at 7:04 PM

And definitely a bigger man than the smartasses poking fun at him. Hope life brings you incredible happiness Jon. :)

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Franco HEY DANNY August 22 2014 at 9:09 PM

Jon, is that you? :o/

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Mike August 22 2014 at 3:16 PM

Not all dwarfs are nice. I know of seven of them who gang banged some chic named Snow White while she was sleeping.

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5 replies
citykitty123 August 22 2014 at 2:17 PM

So sad that people still stare and make remarks about someone that is different from themselves. I was in a mall and saw a woman who was dressed inappropriately for her age and figure and saw someone walking by and snapping a photo of her with their cell while they laughed. I have neuropathy ( a degenerative nerve disease) which doesn't have any outward signs of illness but I am in a lot of pain and have to walk with a cane and use handicapped parking. I am not old by any means and you wouldn't believe the stares I get as if I'm faking. I think people need to mind their own business and treat everyone with the respect they deserve.

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3 replies
skitzlpk August 22 2014 at 3:40 PM

One of my best friends was a dwarf. He used to be one of the best pool shooters around & I can remember more than once having to defend him when he'd hustle guys on the table (fair & square) then they'd make it personal because of his condition.

Little Buddy passed away a couple yrs. ago but had one of the biggest hearts of anyone around & everyone in the community loved him.

In our eyes, he was larger than life & he took his bumps & bruises with a grain of salt. He had far more friends than narrow minded gawkers who felt it important to raise their status in life by looking down on a person with a birthed condition he couldn't control.

He fought against their insecurities in life,, not his..

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2 replies
Joan skitzlpk August 22 2014 at 5:03 PM

Well written and expressed, skit. Thank you.

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roseyoungstewart skitzlpk August 22 2014 at 7:16 PM

what was cause of death?

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1 reply
bbhuey4213 roseyoungstewart August 23 2014 at 2:29 AM

What difference does the man's cause of death make?

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quincy_maxwell August 22 2014 at 12:19 PM

Amazing the intelligence level of some people in this country. Ignorant and just plain insensitively stupid. Morons. Grow up people.....
Makes me sick to see how people are.

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2 replies
mgt0331 quincy_maxwell August 22 2014 at 2:52 PM

You obviously have never been Midget tossing.

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baldbiker2 quincy_maxwell August 22 2014 at 3:39 PM

Cool, so you watched the Ferguson riots on TV right? Yeah, pretty insensitive and stupid.

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1 reply
Debbie baldbiker2 August 22 2014 at 7:05 PM

Yes some of the "remarks" were made by blacks...so I would suggest that they also be less racist and demeaning to others also. And Ferguson is NOT what this story was about...not everything has to do with that.

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jim August 22 2014 at 12:31 PM

Yeah, that's gotta be tough. He seems like he's taking it all in stride and has an amazing insight on human behavior, especially as relates to discrimination and cruelty. The thing to do is stay above it as he seems to be doing. Stay stong, Jon.

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1 reply
Debbie jim August 22 2014 at 7:10 PM

He definitely is a bigger person than a lot who whine and complain .....he sure doesn't seem to have a pass to ride the pity train. Love it!!!

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Benmgb August 22 2014 at 1:15 PM

I'm 6' 7" - You are all short to me!!

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2 replies
roseyoungstewart Benmgb August 22 2014 at 6:48 PM

Too bad. You should have worn your sox to bed when you were little.

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nancy1ann Benmgb August 22 2014 at 6:49 PM

thats a different issue.....have a 6'5 son..

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jcs9 August 22 2014 at 1:31 PM

Jon you might be small in stature but there are plenty of mental midgets walking around in New York city.

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1 reply
Joan jcs9 August 22 2014 at 5:04 PM

Also, on here posting their hatred and discrimination. I admire you, Jon.

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no1chef99david August 22 2014 at 3:43 PM

I have a lady friend who is only 4'6", My grandmother was 4'10" I always tell my lady friend be proud of who you are and what you have done with your life. Just as this gentleman should be - be proud because yu are a bigger person than those that make fun of you

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart no1chef99david August 22 2014 at 6:49 PM

they were both dwarves then.

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1 reply
mesesmom roseyoungstewart August 22 2014 at 11:53 PM

Not necessarily. Just because one is 4'10" doesn't mean they're a little person--they might just be short.

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