I made a great mistake this week: I had an excellent, hour-long interview with Ryan McCartan for an upcoming podcast—and after he left, discovered that my reliable recording device had somehow missed recording the whole thing.
I could actually feel the stress travel up my whole body as I realized we lost such a great conversation. And that I’d have to let him know I’d screwed up. And then ask him to find time to come back another day. Ouch!
Of course Ryan was gracious and we scheduled a new session. Still, that was a painful little text to send-!
I’m sharing this because even though it’s an embarrassing story, I noticed something interesting. Even though I was quite upset, I was able to calm myself almost immediately with a couple of deep breaths, and noticing that the lesson I’d learned (ALWAYS double-check and test before proceeding!) was a great one.
Why is this interesting? Because this would not have been my response before I became a parent, and needed to role-model a better response to upsetting events than freaking out. Freaking out was my default before I had kids.
Parenting is transformative—my kids are grown, but I am still the person they called me to be—a better, calmer, more clear-eyed person. The moment you realize that someone is imprinting your every response to the world, you begin to consider who you WANT to be in the moment, especially when challenges hit.
Parents of young actors are called on to model positive responses to stress and disappointment constantly. This can be an exciting journey, but it’s often a difficult one. You want to be modeling positive responses to the challenges that come your kids’ way, so that they can develop those same habits: a couple of deep breaths, a way to own your part in it, and finding a solution if there is one. And then finding a way to frame the experience that can make sense of it, hopefully with some kind of positive takeaway.
When an audition doesn’t go the way your child wants, can you help them take a few deep breaths, and look for what they learned out of the experience?
I like to think this particular mistake happened so that it would not happen another time, with someone who would be less able to re-record an interview.
Ryan came back today, and we did another fantastic interview—possibly even better than the first one. It will drop in October just before Rocky Horror premieres on Fox, where he stars as Brad.
I’m actually grateful for this mistake and the way it happened—and not just because it won’t happen again now—but because it reminded me of the way my kids have transformed me as a person. Good work, kids! 🙂
My book, The Hollywood Parents Guide, available on Amazon contains everything I wish I’d known when Dove and I started this journey, and will save you untold amounts of time, money, and stress. Full of information you MUST know, it also features stories from parents of other kids who’ve made it!
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