Dear Jody and Cindy,
You get the call. Your agent says “She’s perfect for it,” or “He is exactly what they are looking for.” You and your child both begin to fantasize that this is the call you’ve been waiting for. This is the BIG BREAK! As your daughter or son prepares for their audition, their worries also begin. You may hear things such as:
- “I wonder who else will be there auditioning,”
- “I wonder what other shows have they’ve been on?”
- “Is someone else at this casting call better for the part?”
- “Will I remember all my lines?”
- “WHAT IF I DON’T GET THE PART?”
Your child can become self conscious and begin to doubt herself as her anxiety increases. As parents we never want to see our children unhappy. When they are sad, we are sad. When they hurt, we also hurt. It is our job as parents to recognize and contain our own personal thoughts and reactions, so that we don’t project our issues and fears on to our children. It’s important to validate your childs’ courage by reassuring him or her that they are brave by taking risks and stretching beyond their comfort level.
Help your son or daughter understand that they may not get chosen and not because they didn’t perform well, but because they didn’t fit the part for which they were auditioning. Assure them that it is not personal and that they may have to go on many auditions before they get “that part.”
Keep in mind, if your son or daughter doesn’t get the part, now isn’t the time for “constructive criticism.” Instead, try the following;
- Acknowledge their feelings
- Support the process: offer classes to enhance their skills and self-confidence
- Stay real: don’t give them false hope and teach them that it takes perseverance to achieve their goals.
- Understanding that disappointments pass and things will get better and more opportunities will come their way
- · Resilience: teach kids the importance of bouncing back quickly
Most importantly, encourage them to stay on their path. Remember that you are enough and that the love you give and the belief you have in your kid is what it takes. Now go and take her out to the movies. Enjoy!
Hollywood Mom Blog Contributors Jody Frank and Cindy Busto are Licensed Clinical Social Workers, and the directors of West Coast Counseling Center. To contact the center, please call 310-475-0223 ext.2#/3#, or visit their web site at www. wcccla.com