Ever wonder if your child has a passion for acting, or if it’s just a phase they are going through?
With all the negative media surrounding child actors, when you have a child that comes to you and starts telling you they are going to be on TV or in films, or they want to be in a play, or just act, it makes you wonder if this is just a phase they are going through, or if they’re serious about it. There is no sure fire, guaranteed way of knowing the answer to this, so we as parents tread slowly and lightly and do as much research as we possibly can to mitigate getting ripped off or having our child getting hurt in the process.
The Hollywood Mom Blog posed this question to a number of parents of working child actors. This is what they shared:
So, how do you know if your child has a true passion for acting?
1. My son can memorize 20 pages of sides in 30 minutes and knock the audition out of the park, but he can’t remember to pick up his dirty socks and underwear, or think to clean his room.
2. Our child presented us with a PowerPoint presentation of all the reasons why he should be an actor, everything he has done thus far to prove himself and why we should get him to Los Angeles.
3. When they say it will be 100% OK to be late or even miss a friend’s event/party/day at the movies, etc. because they will be at an audition, callback, or filming.
4. My daughter kept pretending to hurt – giving me a heart attack every day. She’d come down the stairs crying and call out for me – then would begin an elaborate story of some unseen catastrophe and then all of a sudden stop and say, “I was just pretending – did you believe me?”
5. My 8-year-old daughter will run to read and sing over any video game playing session….
6. At my child’s first real audition, he went in nervously praying to maybe, hopefully get a spot back in the ensemble cast and shocked everyone by snagging the lead and completely flipping the cast. Comes out of the audition and says, “Mom, I think I did ok. I hope they liked me.” Made us all go, “Hmmmm.”
7. When my son was 4, he started doing the following every morning while I was getting dressed: hold casting calls for his stuffed animals, rehearse them (and himself), and plan for a full show that night, with sets and lighting. He’s now 11 ½ … the only thing that ‘s different is that he has an iPad so he now makes movies.
8. There are more than one million “things” in the world. Acting is THE ONE THING he does not whine about.
9. They say “I want to be on TV,” multiple times. Incessantly. Over and Over. Repeatedly.
10. When my child is on set (no matter how long the day), she never wants the day to end. She always wants to stay and work more.
11. They say, “I don’t care if I get paid, I just want to act.”
12. When their social plans are ranked “fun,” “important,” and “book out important” and almost nothing ever ranks as “book out important.”
13. When your kindergartner asks to leave “the best spring break ever” which you booked out months ago in order to make a mid-afternoon audition the next day. To which you oblige and drive 7 hours to get home, while she memorizes the sides.
14. When they’d rather be on set than anywhere else, including their best friend’s birthday party.
15. When they wake up the day of a performance sick, stay in bed all day and sleep until call-time. Afterwards, my daughter was so excited she said she didn’t even notice she was sick while performing because she was having so much fun. That’s when we realized her commitment.
16. They will crank out multiple school assignments, even on the weekends, if it means they get to work, go to an acting class, take a workshop, or audition.
17. My son did theater in elementary school and loved the attention. He begged me to get him a job. I waited until he was 11 and he’s now 14. He’s more driven now than ever. And he loves to make people laugh, even though I think he’s going to be cast as a more serious guy.
18. My son practices crying in front of the mirror and tries to get me to believe he’s really crying.
19. When your four-year old twins combine hours on set to work three 12 hour days, and then are bummed that they have the next day off.
20. Or when you put said four-year-old twins to bed at 8:00 p.m. and then at 10:00 p.m. you hear a gigantic crash in their bedroom and go running to find their beds moved across the room and dressers emptied and one excitedly shouts “We’re acting out the Titanic mom – I’m Captain Smith and we just hit the iceberg!” while the other is “swimming” on the floor towards a “lifeboat” (drawer from emptied dresser).
21. My son will only wear solid-colored tees (an audition staple). He has every color tee shirt in the coloring box. And it’s the only thing he likes to wear. Wardrobe-ready – to walk on set or an audition 24 hours a day.
22. For me it was a process. My daughter started modeling as a baby because her much older brother (16 years her senior) was a model and his agents began booking her for jobs as well. She loved getting dressed up, having her hair done, and posing for the camera, and generally being on set. When she was 5, she booked a national commercial; after a few commercials, said she wanted to do more TV and film. She also learned ballet, and began ice-skating – after her very first ice-skating performance, she came off the ice and said, “I belong here. I am happiest when I am on stage, or the ice, or on camera and people are happy with what I am doing for them.”
23. When their joy about acting is so apparent, there is nothing left to do but help them follow their happiness.