Friday, July 27, 2012
Mama Knows Best: A parent's perspective on the industry: Heather Warner
With all the insights and interviews we've been posting from our Page Parkes agents and our amazing talent, we thought it was time to get a parent's perspective. The parents of our talent are equally important with helping us guide their rising careers.
Heather Warner's son MAX has been making major waves in LA, starring in Disney's A.N.T. Farm and booking commercials and more. We caught up with her briefly to get her side of the story.
How young was Max when you guys decided to go ahead with a showbiz career for him and how did he get started?
When Max was 4, his sister dressed him up like "The Fonz" for his yearly photo at Studio One To One at The Woodlands Mall. There was a box I could initially check off giving permission for Page Parkes Center of Modeling and Acting to scout him. They called and I took him down there. At the time he was a little shy and we were told to consider bringing him back when he was 5 or 6. I forgot all about it and then Max was cast as the lead in his Kindergarten play. I told him the story of when we had taken him down to PP. He then persistently asked me to take him back down. I emailed and set up an appointment. I told Max that he would need to go in by himself if he really wanted to do this. He came out and I was told he was adorable, had great skin, and natural acting talent. He then auditioned at age 7 and was signed by PP. During Hurricane Ike, September 2008, he and I flew out to LA for a GAP audition. While we were here, his agent at Page Parkes arranged an audition with The Osbrink Agency and he was signed that day. We have spent the last four years living in LA during the summers and have since added an LA manager. Max has enjoyed living in both Texas and California. He has frequent auditions, takes classes and has been booking jobs more and more each year!:)
How is his life different from other kids his age?
I would have to say that Max is very aware that being on set, although it is fun, it is job and other people depend on him to be professional and have good manners, be on time, be prepared and behave. He understands that "time is money" so he knows to behave professionally. He has no problem working with adults and is very self confident. I am proud of that because no matter what path he takes in life, he has already developed skills related to self-assurance and being mature around people of all ages. I have no doubt he will never have trouble speaking in front of large groups of people and has already developed a good work ethic.
What advice would you give to parents who are faced with navigating helping manage a showbiz career for their kids?
Several thoughts come to mind. First and foremost, check in on a regular basis with your child as to whether he/she is having FUN and maintaining a passion for show business. Also be sure to keep them well rounded; i.e. do not make acting the only priority in his/her life. Max enjoys school, friends, soccer and other activities as well as knowing that school grades, family, and his spiritual life come first. As a parent, never pressure your child as far as preparing for auditions and be sure he/she knows that this is a very competitive business, therefore, to never take it personally when a job is not booked.
How has Page Parkes Management helped him prepare for success?
In addition to the encourgement, preparation and training, the people who work for Page Parkes Management, especially Page herself, are very honest. That is crucial because it does not help anyone to tell the child or parent how great he/she is if they are not. On that same note, knowing from the beginning that this is a tough, competitive business helped Max and I from Day One to have a positive attitude; have fun, know that there will be many more "no's" than "yes's" because casting directors, producers, etc. can only only fill one spot and depending on the role, they have to go with the child that they feel fits perfectly, regardless of how wonderful Max's auditions go. Max also learned from PP to do his best then walk away from the audition and not dwell on it. Then if it is a "no" put it behind you and look forward to what is coming up next. Each audition is practice for the next, not to mention the contacts made each time he goes in. Casting Directors are like elephants - they never forget. So, if they like Max but he is not right for a particular part, they will remember him and call him another time for something else. Preparation plus Opportunity = Success is also another lesson learned at PP.
What are some exciting upcoming projects for Max?
This summer Max has audition for some pilots, films and guest roles at the producer level. We are grateful for that and are awaiting responses. Just to mention a few: NBC, Disney, Nickelodeon and a small independent film.
STAY TUNED EVERYONE!