This is Our Story

We're the Sprayberrys and we moved to Los Angeles about four years ago to have our go at Hollywood. When we met the folks at Children In Film, they thought it would be a great idea if we documented our story. After all, our failures and successes (hopefully more the latter than the former) can be your lesson book.

So here you have it - Dylan and Ellery working through the ups and downs of being child actors - their mother and I working hard every day to ensure their success not only as actors, but also as well-adjusted members of society.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Soup Scoop - a Campbell's Commercial

The Lesson: Be prepared for anything.

We are excited to report that Ellery’s Campbell’s Tomato Soup Commercial is airing at this time. Now for the scoop on the soup:

I mean, wow, a national Campbell’s commercial!

The Auditioning Process: we recently learned that when it comes to auditioning, there’s really no such thing as “the conventional process”

Fade back ~ It’s June, a Friday, and we receive a late-night commercial call for an early-the-next-morning, Santa Monica audition. At this point, we had only been on a total of two Saturday auditions within the last year. We get there and it's rush, hurry, don’t worry with filling out all the call sheet details. Don’t get me wrong; everyone at casting was very nice, just not the usual suspects. I’m standing there when Ellery and a little friend walk out of the audition laughing. They had just stepped past over the threshold ( emerging from the doors into which no parent ever goes) when the casting team asked for the two girls to come back in: “hey, bring those two back in please.” The door shuts. Five minutes later and we are on our way.

At the time it seemed like such a unique audition experience, and I did not expect to hear anything further from it.

Fast forward ~ it’s the next day - Sunday afternoon - and we are buying a cell phone when I get the call from casting. I take the call. “Hi, is this Ellery’s dad? This is casting for Campbell’s and we need to get Ellery’s sizes. She has booked the Tomato Soup commercial”.

I freeze, smile, show the family two thumbs up and thank casting a few times before getting off the phone. We laugh with excitement; I jump and give Ellery a high-five followed by a quick family celebration hug. We are ROCKING ON!!!

The funny thing was, before this audition I had never placed my cell number on a size sheet. I had never received a direct call from casting for a booking,... and never on a Sunday.

This is Campbell’s Soup; I would have expected a call on Monday from our management team. The moral is, anything is possible, so be prepared for anything at any given time. Always show a positive attitude and give your best performance. Oh, and celebration hugs are always Mmm, Mmm Good!

Show Biz vs. Shy Biz

The Lesson: Good Manners – essential

We love film and music, so it’s a real thrill when we greet and meet with music and film celebrities!

We respectfully focus on being polite and asking Dylan & Ellery to always display good manners without going over the top. Like many parents, it’s something we’ve been stressing since the children were very young, but we’ve come to find how beneficial it is outside of simply raising polite children: it’s a definite career skill.

We don’t approach each celebrity we see; it must be a “just right” situation. Along with politeness, we’d like our children to understand how to be tactful and courteous. Celebrities are often busy and have little time for themselves. We want to be respectful of that.

In our experience, good manners have allowed us the privilege to exchange positive energy with many inspiring and talented people.

We teach the kids to always display good manners because you never know who you are speaking with and who is watching you!!!

Case and point: last Sunday we were picking up balloons for Dana’s (my wife) surprise birthday party when I noticed a very famous comedy actor.

I calmly approached the actor, then immediately complimented him on a very recent success of his. As he expressed his thanks, Ellery & Dylan walked up.

“Hi, I’m Ellery it’s nice to meet you,” her hand extended and a cute smile, eye to eye, then Dylan did the same.

Our acquaintance introduced himself, extended his hand and smiled with sincerity; we spoke briefly, then moved on.

“Who was that Daddy,” Ellery inquired. She didn’t recognize the celebrity; when I told her who it was she giggled.

In our experience, practicing polite manners captures the respect and attention of any adult. We believe teaching and displaying good manners at a young age is a key ingredient for successful adulthood.

Dylan & Ellery embrace the importance of being polite and kind to everyone; our family motto is “sharing and caring.” It’s even stamped on the front of our wedding book.

We continue to work on personal skills and etiquette, which will come in handy with life in general, and while working on set with professionals.

Carl Sprayberry

CIF Note: For more tips on developing manners and improving etiquette visit - "Responsible Parenting"