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Laurieby Karen Michel Pavlick

My child is stuck in the body of an actor!

My name is Karen and I am here to answer the tons of questions parents have regarding their child who may be stuck in the body of an actor! And to give young actors a safe place where they can reach out with any question knowing they will get a straightforward answer!

I have heard one too many stories of a child being approached at a shopping center only to be led down a path of deceit and broken dreams. One too many stories of young actors, often from other countries, being asked to pay “cash” for a photo shoot only to show up, after they paid, to an empty studio and one too many stories of girls being asked to wear inappropriate clothing to a “taped” audition.

These situations need to STOP! At the least, be avoided.

And that’s why I am here; to help you avoid unnecessary situations by encouraging you to ask QUESTIONS! Not out of fear, but in awareness. When you learn what questions work best in certain situations no question is too silly and there is no wrong question. One question can give you the answer to whether this person that just handed you a card is coming from their truth or dangling a carrot in front of you.

Questions bring answers and answers grow awareness.

Questioning is the beginning of Awareness

Just last week, in one of my classes, a mom shared that familiar story that takes place in shopping malls. Daughter gets approached, is told how cute she is, hopes get heightened, mom takes daughter to  “talent agency” only to see that it is a ‘cattle call!” (The “wrangler” did a great job at the mall!) Daughter “reads” for “talent agency” before the sales pitch, $600.00 or so for photos and a referral to a school in Century City.

The days of being discovered at a soda fountain are pretty much obsolete. I am not saying that it’s impossible, because all things are possible, but at least be prepared with what questions to ask this “stranger” that just approached you while sipping on that chocolate shake!

You will know if they are legit by how they answer

Let me tell you briefly why I wear this so close to my heart.

At nineteen, I became an NFL Raiderette Cheerleader for the Raiders Football team. I was one of the youngest girls on the squad. Not only was I young, but very naïve and eager. As a Raiderette I participated in a number of charity events, celebrity golf tournaments, skiing competitions and…. a movie!  I was cast in Molly Ringwald’s film, P.K. and the Kid, to play none other than a cheerleader! Well, it was on this set when one of the producers asked me if I wanted to be a dancer in his next film, Cotton Club. If you could only imagine, I was starry-eyed and nineteen with dreams of now becoming a dancing actor! But there was a catch; I had to travel with him to Europe. This didn’t make sense since the film was being shot in New York. I may have been naïve, but my instincts kicked in and I listened and said “no thank you.”

Our instincts are always guiding us, we just have to listen to them.

Unfortunately, there was yet another situation that took place when I didn’t listen to my instincts and I feel blessed to this day that I was able to escape, literally. This incident haunted me for years until I decided to take action and that’s when Questions & Actors was born; a documentary that brings awareness to parents and actors with plans to take it to schools and non-profit organizations across the country.

I thought….if I could help just one actor avoid unnecessary situations I’d be happy.

Well, as I was filming a mother/daughter team for Q&A, I asked this very bright eleven year old, “If you met this man once or twice and he asked you to audition at his home, would you go?” Without hesitation she answered, “yes.” If you could have seen the look on her mother’s face, well you will in the documentary! Her look aligned with a very direct response, “I didn’t teach you that.”

Just a few days after the interview, I received this letter from the mother.

Just wanted to let you know that all your information was recently helpful to Krista. She was at the mall with friends the other night and was in line in the food court and singing. The guy behind her asked if she was a singer. She was taken back but did talk for a minute to him. He said she had the perfect look for his upcoming Musical blah blah blah – she immediately thought of you and said wow – he is going to ask me some things and I am ready- She said “give me your contact information and I will have my agent and parents get back with you.” He did and we are following up and will see where it goes but she definitely learned a lot from you.

I did help one actor, now I want to help many.

Go to my facebook page, Questions & Actors, click LIKE and start communicating with fellow actors and parents!