Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart was revealed as Miss Moth on ‘The Masked Dancer.’ HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Elizabeth about why she did the present and the way ‘nerve-wracking’ it was to carry out.
Elizabeth Smart stepped outdoors her consolation zone in a giant means when she determined to do The Masked Dancer. The 33-year-old was unmasked as Miss Moth through the Jan. 13 episode. Elizabeth made headlines when she was kidnapped in 2002 on the age of 14 by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. She was held captive for 9 months till she was rescued in 2003.
Since then, Elizabeth has spent her life attempting to “end the victimization and exploitation of sexual assault through prevention, recovery, and advocacy,” based on the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. talked with this unimaginable lady about doing one thing completely completely different like The Masked Dancer, her connection to panelist Ashley Tisdale, and her plans for 2021.
What did you wish to do The Masked Dancer?
Elizabeth Smart: So that is means outdoors of any consolation zone I’ve ever had in my complete life. It’s positively nothing I’ve ever completed earlier than. But the inspiration behind saying sure was truly my grandma. She has been an enormous affect on my life. I did a research overseas in London, and she or he got here out and picked me up. We toured round Spain afterward. I’ll always remember that she organized for us to go to those little caves up on a mountainside the place they’d flamenco dancers. They have been attempting to get folks from the viewers to return up and dance, and my grandma tried to tug me out. But I wasn’t going up. My sister wouldn’t go up. But she acquired up and began dancing. And that was simply who my grandma was. She ended up passing away this previous summer time, proper across the time that the folks at Masked Dancer requested me to take part. Initially, my first response was simply to say no. But I used to be sitting at my grandma’s funeral, and she or he had truly been dancing when she fell down and broke her hip. It was all downhill from there and a matter of weeks earlier than she handed away after that. As I used to be sitting at her funeral, I used to be crying like an absolute child, however I used to be additionally laughing so exhausting as a result of that was simply who my grandma was. She meant a lot to me. While I used to be sitting on the funeral, I simply thought, you realize, I ought to do that. I reside a reasonably critical life. I work and have devoted actually my life to an extremely critical, sobering trigger. And it’s okay to have just a little little bit of enjoyable. It’s okay to do one thing purely for the sake of enjoyment. Honestly, it was terrifying. In reality, I can nonetheless really feel the adrenaline operating via me proper now simply considering that my finale might be airing. But I’m so glad I did it, and my grandma was the inspiration behind doing it.
You aren’t any stranger to public talking, however dancing on tv is a very completely different world. What was it like for you while you have been on stage performing as Miss Moth?
Elizabeth Smart: It was terrifying. It was exhilarating. It was nerve-racking. It was simply the entire spectrum of emotion. Because, after all, I wish to do my finest. I type of went into it with this thought that so long as I do know that I do my finest, I received’t really feel unhealthy. Whenever the time comes that I’m eradicated, I really feel like I did my finest. I didn’t develop up dancing. I’m not a dancer. I positively reached thus far past my consolation zone. I’m so pleased with myself for doing it. I had a lot enjoyable and the choreographers and my dance companion and everybody that I had any interplay with have been truthfully so type and so supportive. They made the expertise such an amazing expertise for me. I’ll stroll away from it with nothing however good reminiscences and good emotions.
The Miss Moth costume was so lovely. What was it in regards to the costume that stood out to you essentially the most?
Elizabeth Smart: Honestly, they introduced it to me they usually stated, what do you consider this? Back then it was simply type of a tough sketch. And I used to be like, positive, why not. But then once I truly noticed the costume in actual life, once I went in for my first becoming, I used to be amazed. It was so lovely, and it didn’t finish there. After the primary time, I assumed that each time I noticed it once more, it truthfully acquired an increasing number of lovely. I imply, even as much as the final day that I used to be dancing, they have been nonetheless including extra crystals and extra hand-beading. I want everybody might stand up shut and see it in order that they may actually actually respect the entire expertise and the time that went into creating that. Obviously, none of that expertise or time is mine as a result of I didn’t create it. But the wardrobe group who truthfully created this masterpiece, it’s so lovely. I really feel like a whole lot of issues in life while you get actually near inspecting you’re just a little bit disenchanted. With this, there isn’t any stage of disappointment. It solely will get higher.
The panelists dished out all kinds of names, however Brian Austin Green truly guessed you. What was your response in that second while you heard your identify come out of his mouth?
Elizabeth Smart: I felt just like the clues within the second present… I used to be like, whoa, if this doesn’t give it away in need of saying her identify begins with Elizabeth and her final identify ends with Smart, I don’t know what number of extra clues or hints you may give. So I wasn’t stunned when he stated I do know who it’s. Actually, I type of thought that possibly Ashley [Tisdale] would have guessed who I’m as a result of she was in High School Musical, which was filmed at the highschool that I went to. She clearly spent fairly a little bit of time in Utah, so I keep in mind initially considering if anybody goes to guess me it’s going to be her. But she didn’t. She was stunned. There was Brian that guessed me, however I wasn’t stunned by the point he lastly guessed me that they guessed me.
The Masked Dancer was filmed in 2020, which was such a loopy yr. Now that we’re in a brand new yr, what are your plans? You tackle the extremely vital activity of advocacy on behalf of survivors, and also you had your Finding Justice specials final yr, so what are a number of the issues on the horizon for you?
Elizabeth Smart: Those are nonetheless endeavors and targets that I plan to proceed to work on. I’ve my nonprofit, Elizabeth Smart Foundation, that I’ve spent a lot time engaged on. We have a couple of new initiatives that we are going to be rolling out this yr. One of the initiatives that we truly rolled out on the finish of final yr and can at all times be there may be our We Believe You marketing campaign, and that one might be one of many ones that’s nearest and dearest to my coronary heart. I’ve spoken extensively across the United States. I’ve been to each state. I’ve met victims and survivors from all over the world. And no doubt, the primary remark that I get is that no person believes me. This marketing campaign is so particular to me as a result of we wish to change how we react and the way we deal with our victims and our survivors. I would like them to know that there are individuals who do care about them and who will imagine them and who will assist them. Honestly, one of many blessings of working on this area is that I’ve been in a position to meet the kindest individuals who truthfully sacrifice their lives to attempt to make a distinction. I’m attempting to assist the survivors. This just isn’t a simple topic to speak about. It’s not a simple topic to return again to work to each single day. It’s very exhausting, so with the ability to meet the individuals who preserve doing it, who determined to do it possibly not as a result of they’d private expertise, however simply because they’re good folks. That’s fairly wonderful. The We Believe You marketing campaign is so particular to me personally. I simply hope that this yr as we proceed to push it and attempt to develop it that we actually are in a position to promote training and alter. For all of the darkish issues that we see on this world, I really feel like this additionally helps me see the nice in it as properly.