modeling & talent ● breaking into showbiz
By Adam Hill
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
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: