Big Dilemma

I have a dilemma that has raised it’s head and won’t seem to resolve itself. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason and sometimes when I have a dilemma it almost sorts itself out by something happening that makes you go in a certain direction.

This one is proving to be a stubborn son of a b**ch!

My youngest whose 12 yrs old now has been acting in some form or another for around maybe 3-4 years. He has been extremely lucky so far and has some great opportunities through it. He has appeared in an Argos advert, a serious play, Shadowlands, where he played an American boy and he won ‘Best Young Player’ in the Kent Festivals for his role. He has appeared in panto with Vanilla Ice and Katy Ashworth, and has worked with the London Film School on a short film, again playing an American boy! He is also under contract until next April with a German company who are creating books for schools to teach English in our schools from 2016 where again he is the main character.

All his jobs have been varied and yet people at each one will comment on how professional he is for his age and how natural he is in front of the camera! As a mum I look for his behaviour on set rather than his acting skills LOL so I don’t tend to see what they do.

Anyway, up until just after Christmas if you had asked him he wanted to be an actor. He has no interest in university and although he is extremely bright he sees school as a social rather than something he needs to put effort into.

Now for the dilemma- he says he is giving it all up!!! He doesn’t want to renew his Spotlight national CV and wants to finish drama after the German contract has ended!!

I’m not sure where this has come from. He has always been happy to trudge up London for last minute castings and auditions, and although he has been knocked back this year on most of them he has hit an awkward age where he no longer qualifies as cute and is not old looking enough for the teenage roles (which I have explained to him).

He desperately needs his portfolio photo updated which was to happen a few weeks ago when he decided to give it all up.

I am sure he would benefit from the updated photo and to continue on Spotlight when it is due to be renewed in September- however, he seems adamant.

Now don’t get me wrong- I AM NOT A PUSHY MUM where this is concerned! We actually have a giggle at those who are when at auditions- honestly you can so tell them from a mile off LOL. But drama and his involvement in acting has always given him a focus and this is where my issue comes in.

Do I just allow him to give it all up and have nothing to focus on? He has already given up Scouts and therefore would have NO outside clubs to attend at all. I personally don’t think this is a great idea. He would need to have an interest in something surely? I do not want him to come from school each day and take himself off to his room and fester there using all his gadgets and not getting out. I think an outside interest is healthy whatever it is, musical instrument/ sports/ clubs etc.

When he was very young at this drama club before they even had an agency they asked him to attend a voice over for Telletubbies as he was a very clear speaker from an early age. He then didn’t want to return and left drama altogether!! A few years later he regretted it and rejoined and did the local jobs as well as joining the national Spotlight site.

So what would you all suggest? I don’t want to force him to do something he doesn’t but I don’t want him to give it up on a whim and regret it again later on. He seems very influenced by his friends at the moment and I am wondering if they have said anything to him that would have made him come to this decision ( he would never admit to that anyway!) .For a 12yr old he has earned quite a tidy sum of money along the way and yesterday went and bought himself an IPAD mini from his earnings, something that I have tried to make him see how lucky he is at this age to be able to get money from an interest!!

Again please let me know what you would do if it were your child? I need all the advice I can get?

Top tips to get your child into Theatre

As some of you will know my youngest is a bit of a luvvy. He has done a bit of acting, TV ads, plays, panto’s, short films and photo shoots etc, and is naturally high maintenance which I think comes with the career!

He is 12 and has been doing this for about 3 years via an after school drama club he goes to. He has attended auditions for all sorts of things from musical theatre to feature films. He has learned very quickly to take the knock backs in his stride and realises that sometimes you are just not right for a part.

How long he will keep this going I cannot say, he could give it up at any time or continue into his teens and beyond. He will only do it for as long as he enjoys it and that is the main thing. From an early age he has always been, loud, centre of attention and wanting to be part of this.

But how does a child get ‘into’ this sort of business?

Take a look below for some top tips


Get your children into theatre with these top tips

Whether it is Grease, Les Miserables, Oliver Twist or Hamlet, we all have a favourite theatre show that springs to mind. But have you ever spotted the signs of a star in the making? Actress and choreographer Jayne Draper from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts has compiled some top tips on how to get your little ones in to theatre:

1.     Attend ballet, dancing, singing or acting classes on a weekly basis at School/College/local Dance/Acting schools and visit the theatre to see productions.

2.     Audition and participate in School/College Productions or join the Choir.

3.     Ask your parents to send for a variety of prospectuses and visit different Stage Schools/Colleges to ensure that the course will match your needs, before you audition.

4.     You could attend a Summer School/Workshop at a Stage School where you will gain exposure to a variety of disciplines, be taught by professionals within the industry and have the chance to perform at the end.

5.     Always make a good first impression at an audition or in class – by being well prepared, enthusiastic and motivated. Ensure that you are well groomed and appropriately dressed.

6.     Demonstrate a good professional work ethic, show mutual respect for teachers and fellow students and always work to fulfil your potential.

7.     Work hard. Be focused, self-disciplined, driven, passionate, polite, committed and aspire to be the best you can be.

8.     Show your versatility; explore your self-expression and creativity. Be adaptable and accept constructive criticism.

9.     Practice in your own time to develop and perfect your technique to enhance your overall performance.

10.  Look after yourself – Healthy eating, drinking water and plenty of rest are all essential to sustain the necessary levels of energy and stamina required. Ensure that your mind and body are “warmed up” to prevent Injury.

Despite our love for theatre productions, research has found that that on average the last time we went to the theatre was seven years ago, due to the cost of the tickets and inconvenience of getting to the theatre.

Luckily for us, TalkTalk is launching it’s new on-demand Theatre Channel on YouView to make theatre accessible to families throughout the UK. To get some further inspiration on what to view first with your kids and to inspire your children into the world of dance, music and drama, watch our video montage:


In this video, actors from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts have teamed up with TalkTalk to celebrate some famous and much-loved scenes from the world of theatre, asking audiences across London what they wanted to see them perform.




It’s Panto Season…………….Oh yes it is!!

Panto’s are like marmite…………you either love it or hate it. I LOVE it and always have. I have been taking my boys since they were little and this year they are 11 and 13 and are still very happy to go.

This year we have Panto overload. Not only are we going to see our usual one ( this time it has Craig Revel Hall and Ann Widdecombe so should be a giggle) but my youngest is now in one!! Yes, he is a lost boy in Peter Pan down in Chatham with Mr ‘Ice Ice Baby’ himself.

Rehearsals started at the beginning of the week and are in full swing, but thankfully we have a day off tomorrow…….YAY!

It opens next Thursday and at the moment it’s hard to see how they are going to get the show together in time. It’s interesting to see it from the other side and therefore appreciate how much work goes into it.

So we as a family have booked to go see him in it over the Christmas holidays and my Mum is up over Christmas so I have booked more tickets to go on Boxing Day too!!

So by the end of it’s run I think I will be shouting ‘BOO ‘and ‘Behind you’ in my sleep. The jokes will no longer be funny and I will probably be able to act all the parts myself ( OK maybe not the singing as I am rubbish).

So wish me luck to survive the experience, and ‘break a leg’  to my son as I’m sure he will be a fab Lost Boy……………………………………..OH YES HE WILL!