That is the image I want to place on the walls of my office, so I remember why I’m doing this: the kid’s face during that so expected screening. Beaming.
This is a very smart boy, critical, passionate, and difficult to manage. He has loved books since baby. I would read to him every night since he was born until he was 4 or 5 when I finally let him do the reading alone – he learned to read by himself when he was 3 years old. He is definitely the drama king, creative and full of imagination, self-assured and inquisitive, and a challenge to a parent.
We tried different sports and arts, and with everything he would be interested at first and then forget it. But then, through friends, he discovered acting, and he would do anything for it. It stuck. I got books in the library, I looked for information online, I educated both him and myself as much as I could on what we were getting into. He was 10 years old then. The community theater was not exactly what worked for him – he loved doing it, but there was a clique vibe that put us both off (and we kept on it for 3 seasons until he finally called it off, thankgod).
So I dusted off my photographic skills, learned a bit about headshots and took a stab a it. We started self-submitting through LA Casting and Actors Access. We also got started with training – first at a local place that ended up not being so great, but after some research we got him into South Coast Repertory and Second City (and he absolutely loved both). And then we found his long-standing teacher, he’s been with her since then and has grown a lot.
The boy started auditioning for student films, worked in some and, as luck would have it, the perfect role came along. This was for the lead in a graduation project film, from someone that had already experience in the industry, and it was as if written for him. It was the longest audition session ever, and at the end the director came out to talk to me and offered the role right there. He said he had seen so many, many actors for this role and could not find the right one, to the point he was losing hope of ever finding it, and that he finally found the perfect match.
We grew to love the project, and after production got over a few problems that came along, the kid finally got to shoot for 4 days straight. Long days, and he was in every scene, but he was not tired; he was having fun.
It has been about one year since that audition, and eight months since shooting, and we finally got to see the results at the screening a month ago or so. My all-so-critical son was enthralled. His intensity was similar to the first screening he went to, of one of his first student films, but this one was much more important to him. When it was over, he told me: “it was everything I expected, and more.”
I rest my case.