Running head: THE PSYCHOSOCIAL LAYERS OF ELLEN DEGENERES
The Psychosocial Layers of Ellen DeGeneres
The Psychosocial Layer’s of Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres is an eleven-time Emmy Award-winning American stand-up comedienne, television hostess and actress. The development of life can be outlined through Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages. Each stage set a layer of foundation in defining who she is and how she became the talented comedian. The interactions between her experiences, whether conscious or unconscious, played in integral part in developing her ego. These experiences, such as trying to ease her mother’s depression attributed to DeGeneres discovery of her comedic talent.
According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography (2003), Ellen DeGeneres was born January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of two devoutly religious Christian Scientists. She spent most of her childhood living just outside New Orleans with her four year older brother, Vance. When DeGeneres was thirteen years old, her parents divorced, and she moved with her mother to Atlanta, Texas. She recalled using comedy to help her mother through the painful period after the divorce (Encyclopedia, 2007).
After DeGeneres graduated from high school in 1976, she moved back to New Orleans, holding down a series of jobs, none of which suited her personality. Ultimately she realized that she did not like following other people’s rules, and she would have to make a career for herself that allowed for independence. At the age of twenty-three, she started to put together a comedy routine, first performing just for friends and then at local coffeehouses and comedy clubs (Encyclopedia, 2007). In 1982 she entered a national talent contest held by the cable network Showtime, sending in a videotape of her stand-up act. When DeGeneres won the contest, earning the title of “Funniest Person in America,” she went immediately from local New...