12/27/2013 03:51 pm ET Updated Feb 24, 2014

'Glee' Actor Dances It Out (VIDEO)

Like the character he plays on the television show "Glee," actor Harry Shum Jr. is no stranger to feeling alienated or left out.

When he moved to the United States from his native Costa Rica at six years old, Shum, who was already facing an uphill battle communicating in a new language, faced a second battle with his peers. According to the video he made and uploaded with video blogger Ze Frank, he was "slapped in the face and called names designed to isolate him, designed to deliver maximum damage." As a result, he became almost painfully shy. According to Ze Frank, Shum learned to camouflage, to be unassuming and still.

Shum found release through theater and dance in middle school. Powered by pent up energy from his "still" years, he learned, first, to express himself through characters, and then through choreography.

Frank finishes the video with thoughtful advice: "If you, right now, are in a shell, you should know that you're not alone [and that] you'll find a way out... You might have to find a passion or a friend, but you will find it. And when you do, it will be so good to see you."



16 Ordinary People Dancing Brilliantly