As a momager for over 9 years, when it comes to the modeling and acting careers of my kids you may be surprised that I have had to do the lion share of the work and it has been all behind the scenes. I always try to warn moms and dads of this, but I know what they see…the end result. They see the “BOOKED!” posts, and the ads and campaigns and think “How hard could this be? My kid is soo cute!” .
They may send a few pics to an agency, or go to a casting and get frustrated when their child isn’t in the latest Gap ad. They ask me all the time how they can get started and after sharing the basics I tell them – like everything in life, anything worth having and the road to any success requires, time, dedication and persistence.
I don’t post all the background stuff because often there is no time to take a photo during the madness. But when a gig is booked…and you are on set, you take a picture! And when the work is spotted, months and sometimes years later…you share on social media. It looks easy and fun! But the reality is much different and even still the work that goes with this #momagerlife is not what this post is about.
This is about planting, sowing, and growing a dream. It is about the fact that many of the seeds that me, my family, all the teachers, and of course my sons have planted over almost a decade have started to sprout. My oldest son Caleb has been in front of a camera for over 8 years, taken acting classes for 6 years, dance for 5 years, and voice for 3 years. He has been submitted on hundreds of castings, and been through hundreds of hours of rehearsals. He has appeared in 6 theatrical productions and countless commercials, print ads, and web campaigns. And he has had wins big and small over the years – sprouts of success, here and there.
As a result of Caleb’s dedication and commitment he booked 2 dream roles back to back this year. The first being the role of Young Simba in the Stage Door Productions The Lion King Jr. If there were ever a role made for him..this was it. Everything about the experience was amazing and it gave us all the confidence and assurance that he had truly found something he loved, and he was in the intersection of passion, talent, timing and hard work.
During the rehearsals of his play, he found out that he had been cast in an even bigger role that would take him around the world. He recently booked an international Broadway tour! He is going to be playing the role of ‘Young Lola’ in the Tony Award winning play Kinky Boots!! We head to NYC for rehearsals in a few weeks and then it is off to China for 3 months! 2018 is just halfway through and we are starting to see exponential growth and opportunities unfold for Caleb! Things that we thought may happen years from today are happening now!
There will be much more to share once we get to China but for now…there is more work to do. From passports, visas, and flights to manage for my family (and extended family that want to visit.) to contracts, employee paperwork, work permits, taxes, etc. I am up to my neck in paper!
Oh…and then there is school! He will be away when school starts and he will miss the entire first quarter. So…I am in the process of enrolling him ( and his brother) in school online. It’s a whole new world to say the least and we are figuring it out as we go.
And while I am going bonkers trying to figure out life, taking a leave of absence from work and all of my income opportunities and plans – he is counting down the days ’till he boards the plane! I feel like I am running out of time and for him time can’t move fast enough! Oh to be a kid again!
But while I am stressing now, I know once I board the plane with my little star, I will breathe, and relax, and enjoy. And yes…post and share our journey. And it will look like the trip of a lifetime…which it will be of course! However, I will be reflecting on the very first casting at 5 months old and his very first solo in a play that I didn’t even know he had until I heard his little voice on stage, and all the nights he went to bed wondering if his audition was good enough for the part he wanted, and all the nights I stumbled into bed exhausted from managing his schedule and driving all day and night.
And though this is just the beginning of his professional career, it is so nice to know that when the seeds are planted, watered, and nurtured, the harvest will be abundant. It will not be overnight. It will not always be pretty or easy. It will sprout when we least expect it to. And we will have more to tend to, and manage when it does but if we are smart we will not only take a picture, we will stop to smell the roses and enjoy the fruit of our labor and God’s grace.