How Elizabeth started acting…

While I feel like we’re just starting this journey and are far from experts, I’m often asked how this all started for Elizabeth. I always try to help those who ask in any way I can, but I only know what we’ve experienced. So hopefully this will help you and your child, if he/she has been showing an interest in acting.

The answer to how she got started is pretty simple. We met with a local agent, and he signed her.

Elizabeth is primarily represented by Heyman Talent Agency. Since we live in Louisville, and they have an office here, it worked out great for us. What she DID NOT do is go to modeling school or pay for classes through them when they signed her. That is SO important to emphasize. They are legitimate agents who have relationships with casting directors and clients (national & regional companies) and are in charge of finding talent for print, online and television advertising. They are also involved in finding the right talent film and television roles. When Hollywood comes to shoot locally, they use Heyman. Elizabeth has had huge auditions through Heyman for major films with A-list actors. She’s yet to book a huge film role, but she’s 7-years-old, and she has plenty of time for that later. Right now, she’s a little sponge, and she’s loving soaking up any experience she can get.

A little more about agents… What legitimate talent agents are not:  They are NOT the people who set up booths at the mall and approach your child, trying to sign them. Those types of organizations are generally scams. They will charge you an outrageous amount for “modeling” classes and headshots through “their” photographer. I don’t claim to be an expert on this, but one of those “agents” approached me at a mall when I was in college. We went in to hear what he had to say, and it was a complete scam. You needed to purchase a $500 photo package with “their” photographer who had supposedly photographed Madonna, etc. etc. Needless to say, we walked right out.

Below is an early headshot of Elizabeth. I know she’s still little now, but I miss that sweet, baby face!

Elizabeth Howlett Child Actor in Louisville Kentucky with dimples

I have a few more things I’d like to talk about, so I feel you are fully informed before you decide if you want take your family on this journey. It isn’t as simple as “audition and book the role.” There’s a whole other side to it, like getting experience in local theatre, and there’s the travel involved with working and auditioning. Early on, I don’t think we were fully prepared for the travel (and the expense of it, which is on the parents) that goes along with it. I’ll explain more next week.

To homeschool…or not?

Child Actors with dimples

As parents, we worry and second-guess things all too often. We love our kids, and we want the best for them. We’re always wondering, “Am I doing the right thing for my child?” 

We’ve questioned this acting thing multiple times over the past couple of years, and we’ve taken breaks from auditioning when it just didn’t feel right.

Deciding on whether or not WE want Elizabeth to audition for a project is the very first step, and it’s just what works for our family. There have been a handful of projects we just didn’t feel we’re suited for Elizabeth, with her young age…horror films, for example. If we feel okay about the audition, we’ll ask her if she would like to audition. If she says no, it ends there. This is her journey, but it’s guided by us. If at any time, she wants to stop working, she has our full support.

We’re looking at homeschooling next year, despite loving E’s sweet school, because she’s been missing so much. Making that decision, as many parents of child actors know, is not easy. Last night, we were reading the script for her upcoming project, and I looked over, and Elizabeth had tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was going on, and she said, “Mom, I’m just so happy I got this role. These are happy tears!” She thanked us for allowing her to follow her dreams. Seeing her gratitude made my self-doubt fade just a little.