‘Breaking Bad’ star to speak about overcoming adversity

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The Union Program Council is hosting RJ Mitte, a supporting actor in AMC’s television series “Breaking Bad,” at Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union today. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and Mitte is scheduled to take the stage at 8:00 p.m.

Mitte was cast as Walter White Jr., a character that has mild cerebral palsy, in “Breaking Bad.” Mitte was born with mild cerebral palsy and will be speaking about overcoming the adversity he faced breaking into Hollywood, as well as the bullying he received throughout life.

“We are always looking for people to come to campus who have important topics to discuss,” said Michael Murray, UPC forums co-chair and senior in political science. “If the speaker is a big name, plus has the star power to bring students out and hear what they have to say, that’s what we hope for when picking speakers to bring to K-State.”

Mitte is being brought in as a part of K-State for All Week. K-State for All Week is sponsored annually to promote disability awareness through different events, speakers and presentations on campus.

“For me, this is personal,” said Georgia Campbell, UPC forums co-chair and senior in family studies and human services. “I have a brother that has cerebral palsy. Although a disability is a part of a person, it’s not totally or completely who they are. They’re humans and they’re not any different from others.”

Both Campbell and Murray said the forums committee began the process of bringing Mitte to campus last fall.

Since the “Breaking Bad” series ended in the fall of 2013, bringing someone from the show had appeal, said Murray. He said if there was a perfect time to bring someone from the show to K-State, it was now.

“With this presentation, we want to be able to see it from his perspective – what it’s like to have cerebral palsy,” Murray said. “We want to bring a better understanding to someone in his situation.”

The presentation will feature 45 minutes of speaking from Mitte and a 30 to 45 minute Q&A; session. Murray said Mitte likes to focus more on answering questions than the presentation itself.

“He might touch on the show, but it will be more focused on his personal story,” Campbell said. “His personal statement and life experiences are really interesting. I am excited to hear his personal story.”

There will be free food and beverages provided by UPC before the event starts, and a section for VIPcats near the front of the stage.

“I want people to get something out of this presentation,” Campbell said. “I want people to realize normal is a subjective term created by society.”

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