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, March 10, 2009

An Interview with Dylan Sprayberry

In light of the fact that the Children In Film Speaker Series will soon be hosting Carl Sprayberry and his two children, Dylan and Ellery, CIF and Carl sat down with the kids for a brief "update interview." We wanted to give readers the opportunity to find out what is going on with the kids.

The following is Dylan's Interview:

Q: How and why did you get started in acting?

DS: When I got started at [age] five, I was too young to really know what acting was. Now I understand and acting is one of my favorite things to do!

Q: What current child actor/actress inspires you?

DS: Not really kid actors so much; I like Hugh Jackman and Bruce Willis because they get so much into their characters.

Q: So do you hope to maybe have a similar career path as one of these adult actors?

DS: Hugh Jackman, maybe, because he plays characters in Superhero and action movies. How cool is it that he booked Wolverine that lead to 3 Xmen Films and the latest "Origin of Wolverine" That would be so much fun to do all of those films!

Q: And he just did the Oscars! That is cool!! So do you see acting as a hobby or a career?

DS: I see acting as a career because it is what I want to do; it's the best! ... and a great way to make friends.

Q:What about school? Do you think it helps with your acting or makes it more difficult?

DS: It helps. In school you learn things about history that can help me when I'm thinking about or getting into a character.

Q: That's a good point; how else do you work on your craft?

DS: When I'm reading a script I vision in my mind who my character is, what he looks like, where I am and what the setting looks like. I also take classes and get coached; this helps me connect with the character.

Q: So you take classes with a professional?

DS: Yes, most Saturdays. And I have for three years now.

Q: Is there something neat you've learned from your parents, in a class, or on the set that you use as a trick or tool while you work? For example, a special way to memorize lines?

DS: Subtexting.

Q: Wow, that sounds complicated. What is that?

DS: I think of one word that best describes the character, like if I were playing a football kid I would think of being a jock and work on building the character from that word.

Q: How do you think your parents help you as an actor?

DS: My parents help me with the script breakdowns and understanding the character. My parents take me to auditions and coaching sessions. They buy me drawing materials and different things that help me as an actor.

Q: Is there something you think they could do better or that you wish they would do?

DS: No; my parents do everything they should be doing.

Q: What would you tell all the kids out there that want to be working regularly as an actor like you?

DS: Be prepared and have fun, you don't have to book to be good, just do your best work.

Q: What would you tell their parents?

DS: I would tell the parents to watch for the other kids telling their kids that they can't act or they're not good, because some kids aren't nice.

Q: Like bullying you mean? One actor tries to tell another one that they aren't good?

DS: Yes

Q: How's life now? Any new news or something you want to share with us? It can be anything.

DS: Life is amazing because my parents make my life great and they steer me the right way with a great home and I have great friends and I love drawing superheros and faces. Ellery and I just completed a film as brother and sister; it was awesome and awesome to work with my sister!

An Interview with Ellery Sprayberry

The following is an interview conducted with Ellery Sprayberry:

Q: Why and how did you get started in acting?

ES: I got starting in acting because my parents made it happen. Today I really love acting; it's my life, I love acting!

Q: What current child actors or actresses inspire you?

ES: I like Macaulay Culkin. He makes his movies seem so real.

Q: Macaulay is all grown up now. Do you admire any adult actors?

ES: Lesley Ann Warren. She makes me feel inspired and she makes it fun. That's what I really look up to.

Q: Is acting your hobby or your career?

ES: I think it's a career for me because I really, really love acting. I know it will be in my life forever.

Q: What about school? Do you think it helps with your acting or makes it more difficult?

ES: I think it helps. School is what makes you smart. If you want to be an actor or actress you always have to be smart and think because thats part of acting.

Q: How do you work on your craft?

ES: I focus on my scripts and take them seriously. Every time I go to my coach he teaches me and this is how you learn to be better. Little things that help me are learning the beats. I go to a weekly class along with the auditions and filming and that helps me get better.

Q: Do you take classes?

ES: Yes with Janet Alhanti

Q: Is there something neat you've learned from your parents, in a class, or on the set that you use as a trick or tool while you something that makes you memorize lines?

ES: If I am playing a sad character or a scene I think of something really really sad and I don't talk when I'm getting into character. I taught myself how to cry; a scene that is sad will help me get into character and make it easier to cry.

Congrats on teaching yourself to cry! That's tough!
ES: Thanks

Q: How do you think your parents help you as an actor?

ES: Well they always inspire me and tell me things like "you can do it" and "You're the best" and that really helps me get into character.

Q: Is there something you think they could do better or that you wish they would do?

ES: They are the best parents ever. They could buy me an iPhone. (smiles) Just kidding!

Q: What would you tell other kids that want to be actors?

ES: To always do your best on auditions and you'll start making fans. Trust me. After you make fans you get more auditions and even if you book a small part its special to book anything so always think that way.

Q: Would you tell their parents anything?

ES: I would probably say that [they should] always inspire [their] kids and never let them down. I mean, always tell them they are the best.

Q: How is life right now? Anything you want to share with us? It can be about anything.

ES: Well I think life is fantastic, but part of it, on the other side is that my grandfather is in the hospital which makes me feel sad.

We're sorry to hear that, El

ES: My family is worried about my Grandma and it makes me sad when my mom is sad. We try to make the best out of it. I like LA because its so outgoing and fun! I have a new "Movie of the Week" coming out March 7th staring Lesley Ann Warren and Meredith Baxter called "Bound By A Secret"

Congrats Ellery! Keep us posted!!