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.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Casting "Look Factor"

A couple of weeks ago Dylan, Ellery and I were intentionally standing in the office of a casting director after an audition. Our purpose was to thank this casting director for choosing Dylan as the boy in a film that was shot in March 2010. After introductions, Dylan thanked the CD and they chatted about the shoot and how it went. (More on that shoot later).

The casting director made a point to share something very significant with Dylan. He made it very clear to Dylan that over 120 boys were auditioned for the role and that Dylan earned it not by looks, but by his acting chops.

This film is extreme drama; a lost mother flips her car over and lands 50 feet below after flying off a bridge in a boarder town somewhere in Texas. The mother eventually dies in the presence of her young son. We find a banged-up little boy all-alone in the hot and vast Mexican desert. The boy has recently lost his father too.

Dylan was chosen for his acting chops, not because of his look or matching (which is when a child is picked to match the look of the actors playing his parents). This dramatic film required Dylan to remain mostly in a fearful and emotional state throughout the shoot.

We have learned that many times it's a look that lands the role. One must possess talent, but the look often comes first. But not in this case, which was nice to learn.

I'm sure many of you have felt like your child did a fantastic job on an audition but received no callback or booking. How could that be??? Simple: it's often the "Look/Match Factor"

But when you have a CD articulate this to your child it only confirms how true and real the casting/look factor truly is. As we know, more often than not the kids are matching with adult actors.

We had a seasoned and tenured actress share something with us recently - in her experience the look/match and essence of what casting is looking for is number one and if you have that and can pull of 60% of the actual acting in the auditions you will have a shot at the role.

It's when you get the callback that you want to be able to deliver 100% of the audition. This makes great sense to me. Think about it; if you look or match the lead actors and you can act, you're more than half way there.

By the way, this person's entire family is in the entertainment business and has been for decades. When I talk with people like this who have walked the path we walk, I do listen up.

Have a great family summer CIF Friends!!!