Why This Actor Isn’t Afraid to Be Called a ‘Freak’


The fourth season of “American Horror Story” is called “Freak Show,” a title that may offend many — but not British actor Mat Fraser.

After 15 years of researching what it means to be a freak, Fraser has come up with his own definition — “a radically different person, on stage, entertaining with their radical difference,” he says in the YouTube video below.

Fraser was, who plays “Pal the Illustrated Seal” on the show, was born with Phocomelia — a birth defect that causes severe deformities, especially of the upper limbs, according to RareDiseases.org. In his case it was caused by his mother taking a drug called thalidomide while she was pregnant with him, according to the video below.

Fraser embraces his condition.

I’m powerful and awesome,” he says in the video below. “And I’m a freak. And I’m an actor. And I’m a freak actor, playing a freak. And it’s awesome.”

Listen to what else he has to say:

Fraser is primarily an actor and a writer, but he also regularly hosts cabarets, chairs conferences and gives lectures on acting and disability, according to his website. And he’s a professional drummer with over 25 years of experience.

The accomplished performer opens up in the video above about his previous experience working in Coney Island freak shows, his role in “American Horror Story,” his black belt in karate and much more.

h/t Upworthy 

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