My son will be a rich and famous actor someday.
I know it. I just know it.
OK, I’m kidding. But Connor, who is almost 13, is taking private acting lessons. So that’s a start, right?
Actually, I’m stunned – but very supportive – that Connor wants to study acting. When I was his age, I would have died of stage fright if I’d stood in front of an audience.
But Connor acts like he doesn’t have an ounce of self-consciousness. Good for him! He’s been in a few school plays and done well, earning the praise of a demanding teacher.
So, at Connor’s urging, I recently enrolled him in a renowned acting school here in Dallas that boasts of producing numerous kid and adult stars.
“What are you waiting for?” the school’s website says. “Take the first steps towards following your dreams of a successful career in the entertainment industry by getting started now in the program that’s right for you.”
Many kids want to be famous — or do their parents want that?
Connor is far from alone in dreaming of life on stage. On the first day of classes, we could hardly get in the front door for all the parents and kids waiting to register.
Many of the kids were much younger than Connor. I saw some who seemed to be no more than 5 or 6. Really, parents? Have your kids really expressed an interest in acting at such a young age – or are you leading the parade?
I’m disgusted at parents who push their kids into activities – whether it be acting or athletics – to fulfill their own needs. I have many shortcomings as a parent, but being pushy isn’t one of them. Actually, I asked Connor several times if he really wanted to take acting lessons. They aren’t cheap, by the way.
“Yes, Dad, I do,” Connor replied.
“The lessons are every Saturday for eight weeks,” I reminded him. “You’re sure you’ll go each week?”
“Yes,” Connor answered. “Yes.”
Getting an agent?
He even talked about getting an agent after last week’s lessons.
“If you get an agent,” Connor said, “you can find out about auditions. If you get picked for a role, you can make money!”
“Whoa!” I said. “Hold on. Let’s finish the class first – then we’ll see about getting an agent.”
One of the joys of being a parent: Seeing what interests your child develops. It’s cool to encourage your child, build up his or her confidence – then let the kid discover an interest. Maybe the interest will develop into a passion. Or maybe not.
Trying new pursuits without hesitation is a wonderful part of childhood.
Do I really think Connor will be the next Brad Pitt? No. But he could be.
More importantly, Connor could fall in love with acting. And that’s more than enough reward.