Initially, I was extremely hesitant to allow my daughter to pursue acting or modeling…or anything in the entertainment industry. Having played a mother for Mattel, Disney and more…during booked sessions and at auditions, it was obvious to me when the children I acted opposite were into it…and when they were not. I know well all the patience and dedication it takes, the long hours, the preparation, the down time. It’s WORK.
Us parents are TIRED! I had also seen what it takes to support a child’s career, from maintaining relationships with agents, casting directors, coaches, keeping pics and info updated on physical and online resumes, to getting the child to and from auditions and being available and on-set if and when that child books something! With the amount that’s already on my plate, I just couldn’t imagine doing all of that on top of the current balancing-act that is my life.
BUT…alas, my daughter, Charlotte, did get a chance to be on set with me for a Buzzfeed video we did together. And I think she got a taste of what it’s like to be directed, to perform, to be on camera…That was in 2014, when she was just 4 1/2 years old.
Then came my insistence that if she perform in a musical geared towards her age, I would consider letting her go on auditions and such. She was asking and asking…So I told her that she would have to prove to me that she could listen, respect the process of putting on a production, and only then would I allow her to have pics (headshots) taken and be considered by an agency. She ended up acting in a fabulous little musical called Peter Pan Jr., played the role of Iridessa, the fairy, and she did beautifully.
So, I allowed her to get pics done by good friend and insanely talented photographer, director, producer extraordinaire, Bryan Beasley. He was updating my pics, and we threw her in the mix. These are some of the results:
She’s a natural in front of the camera, and loved every second of that part of the process, as you can see.
Next was signing with the Colleen Cler Agency, the agency that represents me for commercial and print…and she was off and running!
Now with representation, she went on her first more formal, real-deal audition. And guess what?! She BOOKED it. No joke, folks. Going into the audition, I had told her to listen well and be herself, have fun. No pressure. The job she booked was as a model for toy packaging for Jakks Pacific / Disney as “Belle” from Beauty and The Beast. What makes me especially proud of this is the fact that they took pics of her with her glasses on. So great of Disney and Jakks to do so!!!
We had no idea what was in store (pun intended)…and after 8 or 9 days of photo shoots over a few months, we just kind of kept an eye out at our local Target to see if we’d see her on anything…and she kept on going to t-ball, camp, going to the beach, keeping up with school work, soccer…you know, a busy kid’s life!
While we waited, she went on another casting, also for Jakks Pacific, for a Disney commercial for the Belle Musical Tea Party Cart. AND she booked it. While on set for that shoot, they asked her to come back the next day to play with a Cinderella Wand toy for another Disney spot. Those two days were long, 8 1/2 hour days…and she made me insanely proud. She listened, performed, was respectful, had energy (to say the least), seemingly loved every second. She dealt with the down time (with the help of amazing on-set teachers I might add!)…and she left wanting more!
You can see both here:
Serious props to the production team at Fiction Films. They did a beautiful job with both ads.
And yes, she’s also been busy in the voice over world:
For example, she voiced a radio spot for Dell Children’s Hospital (thank you AB2 Talent for the opportunity & Dave & Dave Studios for such a fun, professional session!). She also voiced the narration for the PlayKids song My Goose is Giving Up. I mean…how cute is this song? Her narration is at the 1:53 mark:
In the end, 2016 proved to be quite busy for our little angel! It’s been incredible watching it all happen, seeing her grow and understand more of what’s going on, teaching her how to deal with the attention she’s receiving…and reminding her that while these are special moments to have happen, she absolutely must not brag (that’s for me to do here! hehe). If I hear she is, we take a break or are done with it, period. So far, so good…and she is still loving it.
As long as she continues to enjoy performing, I will support it, just as I do her love of soccer and oysters (THAT’s another post…man ‘o man…). Proud of my little Char Char. Can you tell? Yes, I am. 🙂