Feedback from the Parent of an Actor

The Actors Voice
by Bonnie Gillespie
week of August 29, 2011

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001389.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive and new columns are available each Monday at Showfax.

Your Turn

Hello Bonnie,

Just read something you wrote back in 2009 called “Dichotomy Required” sent to me by my son Bryan McClure who is an aspiring actor living in LA.

It really struck me as a very accurate portrayal of people in the actors’ world. It is easy to dismiss actors that aren’t in the higher echelon as somewhat lofty in their hopes when you see what they go through to succeed. Don’t believe there are a lot of people who can juggle all the demands and make it work. But it was good to read your report because it helps shed some light on the subject and get a better understanding of just how talented actors are.

So just wanted to acknowledge your work well done and thank you for the information. My son really fits the description exactly. I know he appreciated your article since he took the time to send it to me.

Thanks again,
Dan McClure

I always love it when I get mail from family members of actors who are out here, living their dreams.

As my buddy Ben Whitehair wrote a couple of months ago, and as I’ve covered in The Other Costs of Acting, here, family support is sometimes a tough thing to navigate, when your loved one is pursuing a career in acting. (And it’s not just those pursuing acting who deal with it — I shared my “stop this foolishness and come home” story in a Reel Star Makers vid clip here.)

That Bryan has the type of relationship with you that allows him to share articles that have meant something to him — and that you are the type of dad who “gets it” and truly supports your son’s choices — makes me so happy.

Really, parents who know they’ve done a good job parenting needn’t worry too much about their kids and the choices they make out here, in pursuit of the dream. I’ve met Bryan a few times and even worked with him a bit earlier this year on a project I produced. He’s definitely got his head on straight, and that’s a huge asset for a young actor, here.

One favor I’m going to ask of you, though, is to banish the word “aspiring” from your vocabulary, when you speak of Bryan’s career as an actor. I remember being called an “aspiring actor” in 1999 (before I left acting behind, the following year) and correcting the well-meaning friend who said it. “The only thing I aspire to be is happy. I am an actor,” I said. It’s a little thing, but the kind of support I know you hope to show your son comes from helping him celebrate that he IS living his dreams, not just hoping to do so someday.

Thank you for your support of your son’s dreams. I am grateful to you on behalf of all of us here in Los Angeles who enjoy encountering actors who are grounded, smart, good-hearted, and of course talented. They make Hollywood a better place for all of us. So, thank you for your contribution to that!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Follow Bonnie on Twitter, circle up at Google+, subscribe at YouTube, download THE WORK podcast at iTunes, or hit “like” at the Facebook. For cool weekly emails from Bon and a free MP3, opt on in. Looking for Self-Management for Actors coaching? START HERE! Yay!

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