FOX 24 Goes ‘A Little Bit Country’
ANDREWS, SC (LEYLA GULEN, WTAT-TV) — “We can’t go no where without nobody knowing it now.”
Brian Tisdale has always been a bit of a celebrity in Andrews, South Carolina.
“I recon being different, I mean, there wasn’t too many people in Andrews with a type of dwarfism, so I was very noticeable,” he said.
But now, this country boy is getting used to a different kind of attention.
“When the reality show did come and do the first take, it happened to be in Andrews. Everybody was coming into Antonio’s restaurant.”
That’s right, Brian and his wife Amanda are the stars of reality series ‘A Little Bit Country’ on CarbonTV.com.
“The show is basically the life of a little person, couple, family who live in the country and lives a normal, regular life as anybody else that does hunts and fish.”
If the premise sounds familiar, ‘A Little Bit Country’ is the brain child from the director of ‘Little People, Big World’ that aired 11 seasons on TLC.
It chronicled the lives of the Roloff’s running their family farm near Portland, Oregon.
“They were the pioneers, in my opinion,” said Amanda Tisdale. “They were the ones that started it, that really got that in edge to start educating people. And people got to see how it is everyday. They did a fantastic job.”
Amanda and Brian are now carrying that torch.
“The more and more of these types of shows with people like us, being out and giving people a sneak peak into our lives, and all of those other little people on TV with their families. That’s a good depiction and it gives people an insight. So there is a lot of education that is going on through the media, which is awesome, because people realize; maybe people that have never had an encounter with a little person wouldn’t know what to say or how to react, or might use terms that are derogatory and were just ignorant about or didn’t know were bad things to say.”
A reality all too familiar for Amanda who grew up miles away from the countryside, in Greenville.
“My story growing up is way different from Brian’s story growing up,” she said. “I always had plenty of friends and people encouraging me, but with Brian coming up in a small town, it was like he was in a bubble. I’m not saying that was a bad thing, it’s just he was born and raised in a town where everybody new him and knew his family. He hardly ever experienced any bullying, where with me, there was always somebody. You get tough or you make a front at school, then you go home and cry.”
A big reason why she joined Little People of America, a national organization that unites little people from all over the country.
“My wife has been in the LP for a lot longer than I have,” said Brian. “I didn’t really have interest in it when I was coming up. I just run with the boys, you know?”
“I think it is very important because in our world we are constantly looking up or we are having to climb. It’s not adjusted for us, so we get the opportunity to meet, or have, these events we are looking at people face to face,” said Amanda. “We are sharing the same stories, the same struggles. But also, the same victories.”
Victories, enjoyed by Brian once he found a reason to join.
“He was, you know, trying to use the LPA as an inside to talk to me, like he wanted to join an all of this stuff, and he was just persistent,” said Amanda.
They married in 2012, eventually moving to the tranquility of Andrews where they live with their two children, 16-year-old son Theron and 4-year-old daughter Harper.
“I just like the peace and quiet, you know, there is no riffraff, it’s a good community, we know all of our neighbors, so it is like a colony,” said Brian. “The parents are next door, everybody is real close-knit. I love it.”
An adjustment for Amanda who went from city girl to country girl. Brian went through changes of his own, going from a professional welder to Mr. Mom because of degenerative arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
“We don’t want to give the impression that he goes 24/7, cause he doesn’t. He goes as long as he can go, and then he rests,” said Amanda.
But, that doesn’t stop them from having a fulfilling life.
When they are not at home, the Tisdale’s visit their 300-acres of hunting grounds 20 miles away.
Though Brain and Amanda have been married for nearly 5 years, there is always a first time for everything thanks to this series.
“I taught Amanda how to shoot a gun for the first time,” said Brian.
“When we did the gun scene, I wasn’t even worried. I wasn’t even thinking about that camera being there,” explained Amanda. “So for me, that part of it was, I was so terrified about shooting the gun that I forgot about the cameras being there… as you can tell by my response. I was about to cry.”
Brian has a knack for getting people to try something new when the cameras are turned on them.
Not once, not twice, but three times I hit the target after Brian’s lesson.
The Tisdale’s and ‘A Little Bit Country’ going great guns and promoting LP and a positive light.
“It’s showing that even though we are different, smaller than everybody else, you can still do whatever you want to do and live a normal life like everybody else, just in different ways,” said Brian. “It’s a pretty good way to get stories for other people with disabilities and dwarfism to react with the world. So it’s been pretty good.”
You can watch the Tisdale’s and A Little Bit Country on CarbonTV.com.