A young aspiring actress writes into Chalese about her parents who don’t want her to audition. Additionally, Chalese answers a question about a casting director who doesn’t give her son callbacks.
I’m 11 and my parents don’t want me to audition for movies. What can I do to change their minds? – Mary P., Bend, OR
I understand it is disappointing when your mom or dad tells you that you can’t do something you sincerely want to do. However, you should be old enough at 11 to see your parents’ points of view as well. I’m sure your mom and dad are only trying to protect you. Auditioning and acting for film is a difficult and emotional process and is hard whether you get the job or not—and not just for you, it is a big commitment for them as well. If you do not get the job, it is not easy seeing your child, whom you think is the greatest, being rejected. If you do get the job, it’s not easy for them to re-arrange their schedules, get out of work, pull you out of school, or make other arrangements to get you to your auditions or film sets all over town.
Respect your parent’s wishes and recognize that it doesn’t mean you have to give up! The best experience you can gain, especially at your age, is getting into a school or community play that offers a more set and predictable schedule. Being in a school play also means you can usually take the school bus, which makes life easier on your parents. Plays are great for young actors because you will get to learn how to develop a character, memorize lines and perform in front of an audience. Also, if your parents are okay with it, you can talk to them about taking a film and TV acting class or auditing seminar and start to learn and understand the art and develop your craft so that when you are allowed to start auditioning, you stand a very good chance of succeeding!
When I practice my sides, my mom always has these silly moves she wants me to do when I say some lines. Should I do them? I’m 10 years old. – Ben K., Billings, MT
Your mom is only trying to help you. However, your instincts are correct. Be nice and respectful to your mom when you tell her that choreographing hand gestures makes your performance fake and doesn’t allow you to be in the moment. You need to make your audition as real as possible. You need to feel the situation and emotions your character is in, not show it. Create a story for your character. You will see that using your imagination and actually believing what you’re saying is more important than using “silly” moves.
There are only two real casting directors where I live. One gives my son callbacks and the other doesn’t. What should I do? – Tara L, Portland, OR
Don’t take it personally. Each casting director, director, writer, producer has their own vision of what they are looking for and sometimes the actor is just not the right “fit” for the job. Additionally, a casting director’s style can often affect an actor’s performance and it is up to the actor to rehearse accordingly. One of my favorite acting coaches often had us practice auditioning in ways that appealed to the various casting styles he had run into over the years, and it was a very revealing concept. Some casting directors offer the freedom to use more space, others expect you to stand still on a mark. If you are only comfortable with one way yourself, it makes sense that you would need to improve your auditioning skills to be capable of a solid performance no matter what style you might face. As long as your son is doing his best, improves on his weaknesses, and continues to go in without any expectations, success is sure to follow. Until then, be excited for the callbacks he does get because that is an amazing accomplishment!
– Chalese Thill-Stevens
Chalese Thill-Stevens is the founder of the non profit organization, Rainy Days Foundation, which helps individuals heal after loss. She is a motivational speaker, children’s book author, Liberation Guide, as well as a program director in leadership.Her story comes from a tragic accident in which resulted in the loss of her 4 year old son. She tells about her journey of healing and how she found the strength to carry on. She built her wings and now is helping others to build theirs. She began writing The Adventures of Bug children’s book series in hopes that her son’s thrill of adventure will live on.
Chalese is also blessed with two more beautiful children that keep her on her toes and remind her of what is truly important in life. In her free time she enjoys singing in a band, kickboxing, hiking and spending time with her friends. Her infectious laugh, passion for life and ambitious “no fear” attitude build strong and lasting relationships, inspiring those who come into her life. To purchase one of her books, please visit: The Adventures of Bug Books
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Last modified: September 25, 2017