I love kids. Honestly. They’re the best. They don’t come truer. You always know where you stand with them. If they love you, they love you. If they don’t…well…you feel it. Big time. Can’t always tell from their facial expressions because mom or dad may have told them to lie…to keep up appearances…so as not to hurt feelings…reflect badly…but dammit! Respect the kid’s feelings!!!! If the kid doesn’t want to kiss aunt or uncle so and so, grandma or grandpa, friend of the family…don’t force them. If they don’t want a career in acting…PLEASE…DON’T FORCE THEM!
I remember one casting session in particular…little girl…probably 8 or 9 years old…I think it was for “Cradle Will Rock”…and the poor, frightened, child could hardly speak let alone deliver her lines. Every time she flubbed she’d apologize profusely and I’d tell her she was doing fine, just to relax and not worry so much. After about 9 attempts she said, smiling but in a quivering voice, “Please don’t tell my mommy.”
Recently I asked a friend who works in a hospital nursery if there are times when she fears allowing a newborn to be taken home by its parents and she said, “All the time.” Boy, could I relate.
I just wrote and directed a short film starring kids. All of whom are wonderful. All of whom clearly have the desire. It began when my two sons expressed an interest in acting. Thankfully I’m in the position that I can, if not help them professionally, at least help them become more knowledgeable of the job. So I called Anne Greene of Talent One in Raleigh, NC, and asked her if she’d organize a kids acting workshop for me, which she did. I’ve very happily been conducting weekend intensive acting workshops out of her offices for years now. Suffice to say that the kids workshop was a success and my sons learned AND had a great time with all the other kids! In fact they ended up with two best friends because of it. When we got home after wrapping up they grabbed an ipod and asked the magic 8 ball app if they were going to make a film with the kids from the workshop and the stupid thing said, “Yes.” They then ecstatically relayed the answer to me and I, not wanting to rain on anyone’s parade, said, “Well.” As luck would have it when I returned to Raleigh the following weekend to conduct an adult workshop Anne asked what I thought about making a short film with all the kids. You can easily imagine my surprise. And relief. And excitement. Then…it hit me…a family friendly film! Something with kids. For kids. Not for adults with kids. But kids. Which translates into…not adult. And I’m not saying dumb it down…but…I mean…I’m an adult. Capital A D U L T! And this is for K I D S!!!!! No bad language, no overt sexuality, no double or triple or quadruple entendres meant to fly over their little heads and amuse the ADULTS.
Could I do it? Make a film that doesn’t go straight to the gutter and still interest me? Well…only one way to find out. And you know what? I think I did. May not be everyone’s cup of cocoa but I’m proud of it. You can watch it on Vimeo at – http://www.vimeo.com/28120251
Whether I was entirely successful or not doesn’t matter, what does is that the kids were fantastic. Each and every one a genuine pleasure to work with.
Kids. They inspire the **** out of me.