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modeling & talent ● breaking into showbiz By Adam Hill A Message for the Parents When a child dreams of becoming a big star in the entertainment industry, focusing on that goal can actually open more options than expected M any parents of aspiring young talents read these articles hoping to be better informed about the professions their offspring are interested in pursuing. I also understand many of you have severe trepidations when your offspring tells you they wish to take acting classes. After all, it has been believed for years that acting, especially as a profession, was a frivolous waste of time and money. It was thought of as a hobby or, even worse, a place where lazy people went to have a good time that entailed little work or effort. It was also believed that if your child pursued a career in acting that the child was all but guaran- teed to be let down or even crushed by the experience. As good parents, we try with all our might to protect our children from the pain that comes from disillusionment and heartbreak, the results of harsh disappointments. Your fears aren’t without merit. The realities of any profession open the doors to these distressing experiences. However, maybe it is okay to consider some of the ben- efits derived from studying acting. The study of acting is a doorway to a wide range of professions within the show business industry. While teaching at the university, a parent approached me. Her daughter had enrolled in the theatre program without her knowledge. She refused to waste her good money on an education that the percentages told her would not offer her daughter a career once she graduated. I expressed my sorrow in her decision and asked what major she thought would be a better one for her daughter. She said her child had always shown a love and aptitude for 22 PAGEANTRY MOTHER KNOWS BEST: Justin Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, has supported her talented son since he was singing on YouTube, so it's only fitting that the pop star has brought his mother to more than a few high-profile red carpet events. history, so she was transferring her daughter’s major from acting to history. It was at that point I listed more than 25 job possibilities open to a graduate from a fine theatre pro- gram and asked this mother how many job opportunities were open to someone with a history degree. She could only list three. I added two more to her count. It isn’t my intention to minimize a degree in history. In- deed, I am personally fascinated by history and believe a degree in history would be great to have. The point is that I was trying to illustrate that the world of theatre is one that encompasses many different job descriptions. I have many students who have a variety of careers in the business. Everything from PR on Broadway, to lighting, set and cos- tume designers, playwrights and screenwriters, agents and casting directors, to a teacher of handicapped children. One of my former students, Michael Schreiber, is cur- rently producing a documentary on the business of acting, and he is the dynamic force behind the blog StageSuc- cess.com, as well as being a spokesperson for Ford, Inc. He is a perfect example, as he also specializes in training young people ages 8 to 18 in the craft of acting. Michael eloquently informs parents whose children show an interest in acting with the following message: