Dear Doreen,

as I was going through Yahoo's vast actor & actress site listings, I eventually found myself visiting your site about Mary Kay Bergman - and after spending over three hours reading some of the most important articles, I now feel obliged to let you know that I've never seen such a bold and touching site.

For me happiness means just one word: Emotion.  The thing that keeps me going is to be able to share the emotion.  If I'm not capable of sharing emotion, I feel I could die as well.

In today's world people are continuously transforming into lesser-feeling machines without any sincerity and humanity, which makes me very sad, but also makes me to fight even more to make people rediscovering emotion  - the sincerity and humanity within themselves.

Thus, your site was indeed a wonderful experience for me
- you really have succeeded marvelously in creating a humane, touching, yet incredibly informative and entertaining site saluting the incredible talents of Mary Kay Bergman.
Your devotion and love towards the matter can be felt while visiting the site
- finding sites like this created by people like you really makes me happy to realize that I'm not alone fighting for emotion and some common sense.

So, warmest thanks to you, Doreen.
Mary Kay, somewhere out there, will surely be proud of your work.

Let me introduce myself briefly.
Believe it or not, I'm from Finland. I'm nowadays a 27-seven-years-young  Managing Director of my own company, and my aim to be be one day as famous as Walt Disney. Fifteen years ago I created a concept of fantasy characters which nowadays is featured at a Finnish amusement park's "haunted house" attraction, a project which I designed and supervised completely two years ago. A year ago I wrote, illustrated, designed and directed a Finnish-language "read-along" book & cassette version of this attraction. My younger sister composed the orchestral music and surprised even myself with her incredible vocal talents as one of the lead characters and also as  the sound  which indicates the time to turn the page (!!! - a thing that was a "tongue-in-cheek-inside-joke" we wanted to include to this "read-along" version, which was produced by the same company that produced the original Finnish Walt Disney "read-along" series too).

The new version of Walt Disney's "read-along" book & cassette of SNOW WHITE was the first thing to introduce Mary Kay Bergman to me. Totally honestly I wasn't initially much thrilled about her performance - I think the recording's poor dramatic direction was the cause for so many good actors sounding too much "over-the-top", but naturally I understand the recording was purposely "softened" for a child audience. The original SNOW WHITE movie is actually still my most favorite of all Disney Classics, because it's the most purest and most dramatic of them all, magnificent in storytelling and in animation - simply a masterpiece; so that's why I may be a little subjective when new voices appear to "rape" the beauty and all the exact nuances of the original performances.

Much later it was SOUTH PARK the TV series which made me to realize how incredible chameleon Mary Kay was with her voice. Unfortunately I didn't like the TV series almost at all, but all this changed dramatically in the movie version - thanks to the incredible amount of musical & animation inside-jokes within the movie, plus a very witty and warm message, and - yes - totally hilarious and unmerciful humor, but with such a "class" which, in my opinion, is still missing from the TV series. Anyway, in the beginning of the movie, just hearing Liane Cartman saying (with Marc Shaiman's beautiful background cue) "Oh, look Eric - it's your little friends", gets goosebumps all over me every time because with this specific line Mary Kay sounds more Snow White  than on her initial actual SNOW WHITE "read-along" role.... :)

During last month I finally purchased the splendid two-DVD package of SNOW WHITE and I was positively surprised with Mary Kay's added performances.

So even though the initial experience wasn't exactly thrilling, I do admit that for me Mary Kay means SNOW WHITE - and now, knowing so much more about her personality, thanks to your wonderful site, it's obvious that Mary Kay simply is  the kind, loving, and beautiful princess who had to flee the horrors of a dark forest to a more beautiful place.

Now, I'd like to share with you a little different story about this battle which we call life.

So, I was born some 9900 days and nights ago, apparently under very happy stars, because from very early childhood I've had an incredibly sunny yet determined personality. The divorce of my parents and their alcoholism never effected on me because I had such strong fantasy worlds where I was able to live in, and apparently simultaneously "processing" some of the incidents of the real life.

In the early age of seven years I made an oath to become another Walt Disney with a production company for movies, animations, a theme park, and lots more.

But my strong self-confidence was intensely tested during the high school years and especially the next five following years. I tried, in vain, to get into various film schools (in Finland, and also abroad, California's CalArts being the very last place where they didn't want me in) - and every year my self-confidence just went lower and lower, eventually resulting as a major depression where I didn't do anything else except coming home from work, lying on the sofa, eating like a pig, and finding the only content into my life from television's soap operas. The depression triggered also an asthmatic cough, but luckily it didn't develop into an "authentic" asthma - the cough and some breathing problems vanished completely after a month's medication.

During that specific month I realized myself that I simply couldn't continue my life as it was.
I took a bold step quitting my (dull) job in the family business - and only two months after that, by a lucky coincidence, I got a deal with an amusement park to improve their old "haunted house", and thus my dream-career ignited. Within the next year I got my first taste of being a minor "celebrity" because of my adventure attraction creation - I had some interviews in magazines and my fantasy characters even appeared as a comic strip in Finland's second most biggest newspaper. During the next summer, the second year of my "success", I met many people who promised me many things - but all my expectations, all these promises, resulted nothing. The result ?  Yes - after two and a half years of some very hard working - I got another depression.

This happened during last autumn. The irony is, that even such a pleasant job as doing my company's home pages didn't result in anything pleasant (due to too-many problems with computers, programs, etc) - and as the autumn got colder and darker, I started having real problems in believing that nobody needed my talents or wanted me around. I had gotten my very first Internet connection as late as the end of the summer, so I spent almost the entire autumn just surfing in the Internet, meeting wonderful people - and really getting hooked on various sites because of the kind people who seemed to be interested in me and my talents.

But that's not all. Already from the year 1994 I have had a growing, continuous headache and stomach pains - but because I have inherited some peculiar stubbornness from my parents, I have been able to cope with the pains and aches and continue my life ...mainly because of this peculiar characteristic that I simply won't go  to a doctor nor in a hospital "before my other foot is already in the grave"  (as a saying goes). But other reasons for my reluctance of going to a doctor can be explained by that I have never been afraid of dying - my mother has taught me that every day of the life should be lived to the fullest, and that's why I'm able to enjoy every single day of my life and yet be prepared for dying the moment it arrives. And, although it's somewhat horrifying to admit, during those disastrous five years I wouldn't have minded at all if I had died  - even though I've never been precisely thinking about committing  a suicide, mainly because almost all the ways committing a suicide are too  nasty, too  painful, too  messy for me even to think about...  (and I think it's a healthy way to keep away from killing oneself).

I should also mention that I have always had a fascination with the supernatural, because in my philosophy the life and human being itself are very supernatural things. I am not a religious person - I can honestly admit hating all religion; in my humble opinion religions have killed more people on this planet than anything else.  I think the world could be a much more better place if the people stopped searching the truth outside,  from space or books, and start searching the truth inside themselves  - because I have found the truth, a balance in this "sharing the emotion", within myself, within my very own heart;  and I sincerely believe that everyone can find the truth if they just would open for a closer inspection and be honest when exploring themselves. Basically "finding the truth in oneself" means that one is capable of accepting oneself as a wholeness. One's bad features are okay if they just don't hurt anyone else  (except maybe the one self with these bad features). Tolerance, kindness, sincerity, honesty, discussion - they are some of the things which take oneself many steps towards finding the truth in this life.

So, back to last autumn - when my headaches transformed in such a severe ones, that especially during the December I just couldn't get out from bed and thinking rationally about anything
...I just wanted to sleep, and sleep - and, again the feeling about "not minding at all if I would die"  surfaced. But again, a rescue came, this time in a form of another big change in my life, moving to a bigger apartment - getting proper office space for the thousands and thousands of papers of my projects, and literally more room(s)  for myself and my thoughts. So I thought the physical exhaustion and depression would disappear - but unfortunately I was wrong.
The headaches and the physical exhaustion grew only worser.
So, now it was time to quit playing with life and march to a doctor's office.

And as the result, I was almost healthy as a horse. Or a camel. Or a human being.
The only problems were that apparently the last eight years or so I have been biting my teeth together while sleeping, resulting as this constant headache, and that some bacteria have been roaming in my stomach, and together both of these problems have resulted as some physical exhaustion. With specific medication these problems have been defeated and the physical exhaustion is about to vanish completely.

But still I have to win the biggest battle against my "demons";  to regain my self-confidence.

I wanted to tell you my story because it shows that "mental illness" comes in many shapes.
During the last half a year, under this enormous depression, I have many times thought that should I really seek psychiatric counseling.  But there has been an ironic conflict - why should a person who claims to know himself completely need an outsider to tell him what to do ?  And what could the psychiatrics advice him to do when he himself knows exactly that he should just grab himself by the neck and start working...  In these kinds of thoughts I have made it very clear that actually I don't need "counseling", but more like people with whom I can talk about things - again, sharing things, sharing emotions.  I haven't had any true friends in many years, so after such a deep depression I honestly understand how essential and important it is to have someone listening and sharing the thoughts......

.....WHICH FINALLY LEADS ME TO THE POINT IN THIS LETTER;  the importance of such great sites as yours, Doreen.

Now, although I don't regard myself as seriously "mentally ill", anyway I found incredible similarities with me and the stories about Mary Kay Bergman - it appears that I might be as good actor as she was, because I have never wanted people to know about my headaches nor exhaustion, mainly because I have not wanted to "bother" other people, especially my loved ones, with such "irrelevant" things.  (I know there is a conflict with this thing and my philosophy of being honest  and sincere,  but there is a tiny difference...)  Anyway, this recent depression (which still hasn't released me entirely from its grasp) has been such a major one, that it has initiated similar thoughts in my mind as Mary Kay seemed to have - about fearing to be classified as a complete nutcase and a completely weak person, which would be in my case such a conflict because I do  have a very strong personality, strong philosophy, and sort of a "strong" mind that I know I could never start acting irrationally, hurting people,  or start using drugs or alcohol to "wash away" the problems - my only weaknesses are good food, Coca-Cola, and movies or other entertainment with a big heart which give me a "channel" to process my periodic craving for me to vanishing completely from the face of this chaotic earth (- in other words, to make me cry away the bad feelings, loneliness, insecurity, and to "recharge" my emotional batteries which keep my faith up on a better tomorrow).

The important thing is that now when I have resolved the mystery of my headaches and physical exhaustion, I have found courage to tell my family and friends about what has been going on with me all these years. Thus, there was a lesson to be learned here - it is never a wise decision to keep things unexamined, especially with one's health;  I know it myself that if I had gone to see a doctor many years earlier, I could probably have directed my energy and thoughts for much better things than dreading silently what was wrong with me (- was I going to die, was I seriously ill, or worser, was I insane.....)

I have always believed that when a person him/herself knows having a problem,  admits its existence, it is possible to conquer the problem. My only problem has and always will be that I'm such an emotional being  that I simply can't prevent myself being so sincere, and caring for other people's happiness;  I know it's not very wise to devote oneself totally to everything,  to plunge into all the possible things with one big, sincere heart - but what can one do - ? - It's just not possible to rip one's own heart away...

- - - So, with all this it is pretty obvious why I found it simply fascinating to read about Mary Kay Bergman on your wonderful site.

I wanted to write this letter personally to you, Doreen
- but naturally I don't mind if this is published completely or in an edited form on your site's "Letters" section;  I always hope my thoughts and experiences give other people new ideas and strength in coping with this world.

Thank you, Doreen, for the most touching site I've yet seen.

Sincerely,
KENNETH SUNDBERG
kenneth.sundberg@kolumbus.fi

PS. My company's home pages are still - yes (...) - under construction,
but if you would like to see what I look like and know more about my
more positive personality, please check the following link:
http://www.moviemusic.com/member.asp?1109