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Bonnie Gillespie's Advice on Taking your Kids to Auditions

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 11, 2007

Comments (6)

Asian child listening to musicIs taking your kids to agency auditions a faux pas?

Find out more from casting director Bonnie Gillespie as we share an excerpt from her column on Showfax.com!

To continue our Family Week, let's take a look at kids and your career.

Not too long ago, Bonnie Gillespie wrote an article in response to a question received on her column at Showfax.com for the Actors Voice, Q&A style.

Essentially, an expectant mother who was moving to LA was wondering if it was proper etiquette to take young children to auditions, and if so, was it a good idea to leave them in the waiting room while the audition took place with a caregiver.

If you're a mom (or dad - bless you!) and have pondered this very question, you'll want to read Bonnie's answer to the question about kids and auditions.

Here's part of Bonnie's response:

As for auditions I'm holding, I might not even know that babies are along for the ride much of the time, since many actors--like those you've observed in Chicago--choose to leave their young ones in the waiting room with friends or other family members they have brought along. I would imagine that session runners might have a less-tolerant stance on this sort of thing, simply because of the overcrowding involved, when you show up with an entourage. But the handful of actors who have brought babies into my audition rooms with them have either done just fine or had their focus so completely split that their auditions were blown from the beginning. Of course, I'm just one CD in a city of 600 of us. And I cast SAG Indie feature films. So, what about the other CDs who are casting studio features, TV shows, commercials, theatre, industrials, voiceovers, and so on? Well, for a sense of what the general vibe might be about kids joining their parents at auditions, I decided to check in with a few working actor parents (some whose kids are also actors, others whose are not) and Anne Henry of BizParentz.com for their advice on this issue. Huge thanks to Robert Clendenin, Eitan Loewenstein, James Runcorn, Anna Vocino, and the amazing BizParentz.com for giving us a sense of what's going on in casting offices all over Los Angeles.

To continue reading the article in its full context, visit this link at Showfax.com.

I was excited to read that Anna Vocino was mentioned in this article too! I am always amazed by the sacrifices and indomitable spirit that parents have in this industry when it comes to balancing work with home.

If you've had an experience similar to the one described above or found this article helpful, please leave a comment.

Cheers,

Stephanie

©©©iStockphoto.com/Kativ

Related Topics: Chicago, child, industry, Los Angeles, TV


Comments


    Family week. What a cool idea. Being in Raleigh, I don't have auditions to go to but I do have my 6 month old in my studio with me almost every day. It can be quite the challenge at times.

    Posted by:

      It's funny, but for many of the first film/tv roles I had, I was either newly pregnant or nursing! I have 3 sons who are about 2 to 2 1/2 years apart. One of the roles, in Challenger, was particularly dicey because I was in two back to back scenes, but one was shot about 2 weeks before the other and I was right at about 3 months when things sometimes begin to pop out!

      I posted the rest of this to Stephanie's blog on voice acting while pregnant, too:

      First off, Congratulations,Stephanie! I'm assuming this is your first. Being a Mom is the most rewarding experience you'll ever have!

      I am the mother of 3 boys - teenagers and a college student, now. I recorded voice overs in other studios - that was before the days of my own studio - up until the day before delivery and the soonest after giving birth was 3 days! I literally got the booking from my agent in the hospital. Ok, that was with my 3rd, and I was a pro at it all by then!

      The hardest thing is getting a sitter at the drop of a hat unless you have family close enough or someone who can help. Being freelance at the time, there was no way I was going to drop them off at day care every day! Of course, with our own in home studios nowadays, that helps a lot. However, I'm not sure I would have been able to shut myself into the studio to record live sessions during those days either. In fact, it wouldn't have been possible unless someone else was there to watch all of them.

      It is a challenge, but we moms usually can figure it out. Multitasking is our middle name! I have been known to take a tiny one into the studio with me attached to my body with a baby carrier. Bless him, he slept through the whole thing! I've also placed them in a seat in the control room when desperate for a sitter. And, I did the entourage thing a few times.

      Bottom line, my voice was not negatively affected. In fact, I was told by some that my voice had a richer quality after having given birth.

      Most of all, enjoy and absorb every moment you can with your little ones. The time does pass so quickly. I do remember questioning my mother and mother-in-law as to whether I should try to work at all once the baby arrived and they both said "Yes!". While being immersed in motherhood is wonderful for you and your child, and you will most likely have tunnel vision for the first few months, at least, it is a good thing for everyone, too, that you keep in touch with your profession at some level.

      Enjoy!

      Posted by:

        Hello Stephanie & Bonnie,

        The only problem I had in doing VO while pregnant was having to constantly leave the room to vomit... over and over... and fortunately, I did take my baby to auditions and sessions with me... the clients actually loved it. The ladies at the studio would fight over who got to hold the baby while I was in the booth!

        Julie Williams

        Posted by:

          I only brought my kids twice to auditions. Once was an audition that had to be done in 2 hours and I had no one to watch the infant. The receptionist reluctantly watched him while I ran into the booth. The other was when my daughter wanted to watch me do my regular character in person. She thought it was cool and I asked if she could say some stuff in the microphone. It was really cute.

          But BOTH of those times, and I do not think it was a coincidence, I got fired right after. My agent dropped me and I lost my regular character. I never did that again!

          Posted by:
          • Ginny
          • July 13, 2007 3:52 PM

            I have brought both of my sons, now 25 and 15, to recording and video gigs and they were rarely trouble. Both of them got work as a result. The key for me was to acknowledge that it was rare for me to ask it of the studio, to be prepared with food, drinks and distractions and to have someone who would sit with him while I was in the booth or on the set. The only consequence is that they both love the biz! The other comments are similar to mine--MOST folks love babies and little kids and will accommodate the occasional inconvenience. Good luck!

            Posted by:

              How do I get my 16 month old daughter into commercials and stuff?

              Posted by:
              • MISTY DURSMA
              • February 12, 2008 10:50 PM

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