Monday, October 04, 2010


I know I have mentioned it before, but my son really, really wants to be an actor.

I thought it might be a phase. That makes me sound almost thespiaphobic doesn't it. (There's a word I just made up. I like it!) But you know how kids are. They all want to be firefighters, dolphin trainers, and the president at some point in life.

But my son doesn't want any of those things. Just yesterday my daughter said to him, "You're either going to be a billionaire or the president, buddy."

To which he replied, "I don't want to be the president. But my career might make me a billion dollars. Really famous actors sometimes make a lot of money."

I mean, the kid's not dropping it.

Except for a few weeks when he was four-years-old and wanted to be a plane driver, he has only ever wanted to be an actor.

So I put him in the Young People's Theater Program at school. And he loves it. It takes him a couple of hours to turn off the acting after his rehearsals. (The kids in the hockey locker room think he's a weirdo.)

But I wonder.

If he really, really wanted to be a professional baseball player, I'd go out and play catch with him. He'd be playing Little League, but he'd also be going to the batting cages, clinics and camps too. I'd probably get him a private coach.

Well, his chances of being a professional athlete are close to nil, but why do I take acting less seriously?

Am I doing a disservice to him by not letting him do the local players group? Am I letting him down by not putting him in acting classes with a professional?

Is acting like an instrument? If you want to be awesome and make a living at it, you should start when you're a little kid. Heck! He's been seriously studying the violin since he was four-years-old!

An old acquaintance (and professional actress with some pretty decent credits) opened an actors' studio this year. She does online teaching and coaching, plus has summer intensive training back in Louisiana.

Another old acquaintance has her kid in the young actors class.

Today she posted her kid's headshots on Facebook. And I felt...yucky looking at them.

It just seems...icky to promote your child. Head shots smack of marketing. Well, actually it is marketing. And that seems...distasteful to me.

So even though my son would love to go to those disgusting casting calls he hears about on the radio, I know in my heart that I could never let him do it.

Supporting your kid's passion is one thing. Marketing your kid is another.

He has years and years left to be a kid. And I'm doing my damn best to make him a well-rounded kid. He'll have plenty of time after college to pursue a career in acting.

If he still wants to.


What do you think? How seriously can you take the dreams of an eight-year-old?

Think about it while I go get the kids some head shots for their violin concert programs. Thanks.

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