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Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Son self conscious about his body for acting role?


Dear Kitty,

My 8 year old son was just casting feature independent comedy called "The Dozens" he plays the youngest of 4 kids from age 16 to 8 years old, who end up driving their parents crazy at times. My son is self conscious because in one scene after turning the living room upside down they all stand in a row as the mom walks up, and down military style. My son has his shirt off, and the actress who plays his mom says "Suck up that gut Jeremy, and your belly button sticks out too much" Right as he inhales she pokes his belly button, and the other kids laugh just before she calls silence.

The big problem is my son has an outie, and is very self conscious because he doesn't want other kids to see it, but this is part of the reason he got the role. What should I do to help my son?

Sometimes young actors are not able to clearly tell the difference between a role, and reality.  If this self-consciousness carries over into other areas of his life, it may indicate a more serious problem that you can address with a professional; his pediatrician or a mental health professional.  Being ashamed of one's body simply because it is 'different' than what one's peers think is 'normal' can erode self-confidence and lead to self-esteem issues that can last a lifetime and become limiting if not addressed.  

If however this seems to be just a reaction to the role, a simple discussion about how the feelings that come up are the character's, and the actor can use that understanding to gauge the appropriate response to the situation and lines given to them, might do the trick.  Of course there are also actors who become so immersed in a character, that they lose themselves.  You know your son best, and because he is so young, whether this is a temporary problem or a more complex one, addressing it this early is good.  

I hope your son is able to find a balance between playing a character and regular life, and can find the self-confidence to develop a healthy body image that does not get lost in a role.

Good luck to you,

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Kitty Kavey


I can answer questions from those looking to get into the fashion or commercial modeling industry. Specifically, the requirements, what is needed, how to find an agent, what they look for, how to avoid scams, the difference between what a commercial model does, and a fashion model, would travel/relocation be required, what is on a comp card and in your portfolio.


Both my acting and modeling resume/portfolio is available online on my website. I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and also have available my actor's demo reel and voice-over demo online. I founded both the and websites, which provide free modeling and acting info to the public. I have moved into directing, producing and screenwriting - and have won awards for my writing. I have worked in the industry as both a model and actress in Florida, New York City and Los Angeles until October 2007. I now reside in Europe.

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