Okay, my kid is “in” acting. Meaning that she has been to a lot of classes and workshops over the last few years and has been in a couple of productions. She has auditioned for a few movie roles and commercials and she either did not get them because of distance, she wasn’t fit for the role, there were people who did a better job, we were not financially able to relocate for a role. But if you notice when I mentioned the reasons why, I did not criticize her, or the people who did the casting. What I did instead was merely point out that there are factors that were both out of her control, and some that had to do with her performance.
The truth is, you can be the best actor out of anyone that you know, but there will always be more skilled people. You can be gorgeous, smart, talented, but they may go another direction. It is hard to say what people are looking for when casting for these roles, and sometimes honestly they do not know. Last year was a whirlwind because my daughter did this 3 month prep to try out for the “big dogs”. These dogs consisted of agents and casting directors from LA and NYC. Though she fared well according to feedback, there was something missing because she never got a callback.
But, the good news is, we got away from that false and slick manager she had and now we are doing our own thing. She is under my tutelage now which means that I tell her things that make sense and do not sugar coat things for her. But I also encourage her to take risks because I know how intelligent and driven she is. So, I provide a good balance for her. Let’s get on thing clear though, I am not seeking fame. My daughter is. I hope for her to do what she loves, and put money back for college or in a trust fund. She hopes for Disney. So we have two motives here.:)
I do only have her in plays right now, and taking music classes because that is what she loves. She also takes an art class. But I do not have her in dance and voice like many parents do. For one thing, I can’t afford all of those various classes and 5 days a week of rehearsals and sometimes more is all that either of us can take. But also, I want her to be a kid. Play at the park and play dolls and go to festivals. Not be tied down like some of her other friends are to the point where they never have free time!
But I finally told her over the last 6 months that she can reach for the stars and that even though she is more talented than many kids her age (comments from directors and acting coaches), she may be famous as a kid or teenager, or it may happen in college. Or…it may happen never. I did not want to say that. I felt like a real ass for saying that. I felt like I shot down her dreams like an arrow to a balloon. But she is interested in science and other things and I don’t want those interests to wane because acting is the end all be all.
I don’t think it is mean at all, but I still felt crummy. I just want to let her know that she can reach for the stars and even major in theatre, but she may not get exactly what she wants out of it. She said that she has fun and loves it, and you can see in her eyes that she was born to perform. But, I don’t want the sparkle to die because she doesn’t achieve what she thinks she should when she should. I want her to have more goals than being a star. Being a scientist is just as noble if not more noble of a career. It is easy to tell a kid that they can become a fireman, or a doctor, or a business owner and those things can happen and do happen for many people. But not many people become successful actors. It is just a fact.
My friend/acquaintance on the other hand, lies to her child. She tells her child that she is the best and will be famous and that she is going to be on tv one day. I think it is awesome to think so positively. But her child is not disciplined, or focused, or really that great. Her son has a nice personality, but he doesn’t take direction well and does not have a good voice, and doesn’t have natural talent. So, is telling him that he WILL be a star a setup for failure? She also pays an acting coach and kisses up to this coach and the coach always praises this child unevenly. What I mean by this is, my child and a whole groups of kids had a class with this kid and this kid never remembered lines, goofed off and did not follow direction, but got a pass and tons of false compliments to go with it.
I have learned after a smarmy manager and this acting coach, that if you are paying them enough and regularly that they will say anything that you want to hear. My kid was told when the classes or showcases came to a close that she was extremely talented and the best in the class, but it was done in a whisper as to not piss of the mom that spends a lot of money and who also kisses up and praises this coach. So, would I be happy to find out everything told to my kid was a lie? Heck yeah I would.
So that is why I am going back to my point. Positivism/unrealistic and Realism/negativism. Is there a correlation? Or maybe for better terms, a parallel? I want to be positive for my kid. I mean I yell and fuss like every parent, but I go out of my way to provide nice opportunities to her and make sure that she knows that she is the cat’s meow. But I also treat her like a person and give her respect by treating her like a person, not like a pre-schooler. Is that wrong?
Or, is it more wrong to gas your kids head up with false promises and lies? Is it better to make them think they are something they are not so that they can get a huge blow to their self-esteem years later that they may not recover from? Is candy-coating their whole existence the right way to prepare a child for the future?
I would have to say no. I am not perfect. I can be bratty sometimes, even as a parent. I can have a mini-tantrum if things are not put away properly or if my child does not do what I ask after asking 5 times. But, I care so much for my child that I tell her the truth in a way that she can handle emotionally for her age in practically every situation. Now, I still haven’t told her the truth about her dad being a womanizer, but I have to draw the line of “being real” somewhere.
I want the best for my kid. I want to provide guidance and wisdom to my child, on a smaller scale in the way that God does for us. I want to teach her what I know, and tell her things that are right and just even if she doesn’t want to hear it. I also want to lead as a parent with as much truth and honesty as I can muster while allowing her to enjoy her childhood dreams because hey-those dreams could turn into reality. But mind you, I said-COULD…