Sunday, May 27, 2012

From a Russian Orphanage to American Stardom

From the New Haven Register:
Mikel Beaukel’s story begins as he’s playing with puppets in an orphanage in war-torn Russia; the ending might be scripted by Hollywood.

He’s 20 now, featured in Pop Star magazine as one of its “fresh faces!” and he’s recording a disc of his songs while working toward that big break.

“Good grief, Mikel’s sexy!” Pop Star raved. “He is so hot!”

* * *

The beginning wasn’t pretty nor was it fun. “When my mother gave birth to my twin brother, Alex, and I,” Beaukel said, “she used a fake name so we could never contact her.”

After spending the first six months of their lives in a hospital, they lived in the orphanage for 3-4 years. This was in Moldova, which emerged as an independent republic after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. While Beaukel was in the orphanage, war was raging outside.

* * *

Beukel uses the word “rescue” to describe his adoptive parents’ role in getting the twins out of there. “They used an adoption agency in New York. When they saw a picture of us, they fell in love!”  

Alluding to his parents, Carol and Bill Snee, he said, “They gave me everything; I came from nothing. I grew up in a beautiful town on Long Island.”

“Then,” he said, “Pierre came into my life.”

That’s Pierre Patrick of New Haven. You might remember him as the entertainment industry manager, record producer, writer and big-time Doris Day fan I profiled about eight weeks ago.

Beaukel had already attracted the attention of the Suchin Company, the management agency that signed him. “They recommended Pierre.”

As soon as he met and sized up Beaukel, Patrick was ready to be his manager. “I said, ‘Fine, let’s make it happen!’” Patrick recalled. “I AM well-connected.”
You know how I feel about the whole rescue thing, but he's the adoptee and he can tell his story however he wants.  I just hope his adoptive parents didn't tell it that way. . . .


Sharon said...

Malinda, I don't like the term "rescue" either, but many kids adopted at older ages after life in an institution appreciate life in a family (if the family is loving, of course.) I don't talk to my kids about "rescue," and don't think they should be "grateful," and yet my kids often tell me how happy they feel in our family. My oldest child, who spent the longest time in an orphanage, and had the hardest adjustment in the beginning, is the most vocal about being thankful to have a family. (She also tells me she hates me sometimes, like a normal kid.) An orphanage is no place for any child, and a kid who remembers what it was like may indeed feel he was rescued. Parents should not promote that view, in my opinion -- just listen to what their child has to say and be supportive. Most kids will also have a few good memories of the orphanage that they should feel able to share with the adoptive family.

JennyT said...

Except that technically he's Moldovan, not Russian and was never in an orphanage in Russia.
Sorry, just a stickler for facts in the media.... Moldova became independent in 1991, but even before that they were still "Moldovans" not ethnic Russians.