We’re at it again. Another opportunity to meet wonderful people and sign our book. Taran and I will be at the Barnes and Noble in Burbank this coming Saturday, June 27th, from 1:00 to 3:00pm. (We’ll stay longer if there is a need.) The store is in the Burbank Media Center at 731 N. San Fernando Blvd, Burbank CA 91502. I hope all our LA friends will come see us. Let’s make it a party.
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A Dream Fulfilled
We had our second book signing this weekend at the local Barnes and Noble in Marin county where I live. I spent many days in the cafe there working on Stardom Happens. I usually write late at night but when I do write in the day I enjoy going to a cafe. The background din makes it easy for me to concentrate. Often, as I would get up to leave, I would pass the Local Authors Shelf and imagine what it would feel like to have my book sitting there someday. Well today is the day. It’s hard to believe it really happened. Giving birth to a book is a magical experience I never realized would feel so good. I hope it helps lots of families.
Our First Book Signing
Last Saturday was our first book signing at the Blossom Hill Barnes and Noble in San Jose. We had a fun time and met some great people. Taran came with me and enjoyed answering people’s questions and my daughter, Aria, joined us part way through. Taran put his comments in the book and Aria edited it, so Stardom Happens really is a family affair. So happy to have my kids with me for this event. I am a very lucky mom.
Come see us this Saturday, May 2, at the Marin County Barnes and Noble in Corte Madera. We’ll be there from 1 to 3 pm. Thanks.
Then and Now
It’s so hard to believe it’s been twenty-four years since our family stepped on the set of “Home Improvement” ready to begin the adventure of our lives. We had so many incredible experiences during those beautiful eight years. I hope Stardom Happens can help many families have a positive experience as well.
What an Incredible Week!
We just had an amazing week preparing for and launching the book. So much work and so much fun. Our publicist, Kathy Johnson, really did a stupendous job getting the word out to people. We launched the book on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning it was #5 in family activities, #7 in acting and auditioning on kindle and #15 in books. Technically this puts us in the “best selling author” category. What an amazing feeling. I want to thank all our friends for supporting us and for sending in those wonderful reviews. You helped us have a very successful launch and we are forever grateful. And for those who just got the book, please send in a review on Amazon. It will help us keep the momentum going.
Now we get to move on to the super fun stuff. Two Barnes and Noble meet and greet book signings coming up. The first one is April 25th in the Blossom Hill Barnes and Noble in San Jose. Taran and I will be there from 1 to 4 and possibly longer. The second one is in our home town at the Marin County Barnes and Noble in Corte Madera on May 2nd. This one goes from 1 to 3 or longer. We are really excited to do these signings because this is why we wrote the book. We wanted the opportunity to talk directly to parents about the business. Looks like it’s finally becoming a reality.
Thanks again to everyone.
Reflections and Renewal
This has been a difficult time for me. The launch date for our book Stardom Happens is April 14th, just a few days away, and I’m so excited it’s finally happening. But just two weeks ago my mother passed away and I’m still in a state of grief. She was ninety-five and it was expected, yet even though I knew it was coming, it has left a huge hole in my heart. I am trying to keep doing what I need to do, knowing she is cheering me on as she always did.
I was very lucky to have a mother who encouraged me to be and do whatever I wanted. She was a person I could go to with all my joys and sorrows and she would listen. Sometimes that’s all we need, a soul who will listen. Even when she disagreed with my life choices she accepted me and loved me. I always knew I was loved, no matter what I did. Hard to ask for anymore than that.
I want to help people with this book, give families an opportunity to have a positive performing experience, and I know my mother will be helping me do that. She is there for me and for the families and on this day I will continue with renewed energy thanks to her.
Wow! They’re Here!
The first box of author copies arrived this week! What a joy to see the final product! All the months of writing, editing, collecting photographs, getting permissions, finding an amazing publisher, dealing with contracts, working with managing editors, collaborating with cover and interior designers and brainstorming with marketers has culminated in this little bundle of paper called a book. Unbelievable! Now I only hope it can aid me in helping parents keep their performing children happy and safe.
A Beautiful Journey
When I started writing Stardom Happens I had no idea where this journey would take me. Now that the book is about to be launched I am amazed at the experiences I’ve had. I’ve met the kindest people with incredible knowledge of the book publishing world who have gone overboard to help me learn. I’ve made wonderful fellow author friends willing to share their information and input. Old faithful friends have given me moral support when it all seemed too much at times. And most important, I have bonded with my son and my daughter in a way never dreamed of when this journey started. Taran so willingly gave his comments and offered to help with publicity and my wonderful Aria became my professional editor. Even my husband, David, threw in some creative ideas. I am so thankful for it all.
Stardom Happens can be pre-ordered in several stores now and will be available on April 14th. And they tell me I will get my author copies in a few weeks. A long and beautiful, much appreciated journey.
Looking forward to the continuation ahead.
Are You Ready For Media Madness?
If your child is successful in the entertainment business you will need to be prepared for the attention of the media. In some ways this can be exciting. Your child will have interviews on radio and television and often be the subject of video and photo shoots. There may even be opportunities for your whole family to travel to fun and exotic places.
There is, however, a downside to this attention. As you may have noticed, the media thrives on the negative aspects of the lives of celebrities. Very rarely do we see a positive act done by a celebrity featured in the news. This is especially true for children in the business. It’s like the media expects child stars to fail and delights when negative things happen.
And once your child has the attention of the media it never stops. Taran chose to leave the world of acting when his show ended in 1999. Yet even now, sixteen years later, anything negative that happens to him immediately shows up on TMZ. Oddly enough, the positive things are never noticed. As an example, Taran just spent six months in the Philippines helping the people of Tacloban recover from the world record typhoon that devastated their city in November of 2013. Who knew?
There are ways to deal with this and make your media experiences go well. You will need to prepare your child, and your whole family to be aware of the media scrutiny and be comfortable living in a fish bowl. Research each request to be sure it is legitimate. Focus on the major media and avoid the tabloid types. Ask to review the questions ahead of time and make every effort to keep the focus on the positive accomplishments of your child. And, most important, approach the whole experience with joy. The media attention can be fun if you are prepared.
Could My Child Be a Star?
Many parents have told me they have a child who wants to perform but don’t know if putting their child in the business is the right thing to do. They ask me, “How do I know if my child has what it takes?” It’s one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself if you are considering entering the entertainment industry. Your child needs both talent and the right personality.
It’s hard to be objective about your own child. Most parents, myself included, think their little darling is the best at everything. But to really asses your child’s abilities, enroll him in a reputable performing school in your area and listen to the opinions of the teachers. They will tell you if she has the talent to make it in the business or if a career in computers might be a better choice.
As far as personality, that is a very different matter. Many children want to act or sing or be a sports star but few have the drive and toughness it takes to make it. I have witnessed all kinds of children’s experiences in the business, both wonderful and horrific, and these are the questions I ask the parents. Is your child out-going and personable? You don’t want to see a child hiding under the table when it’s time to audition. Does your child have a healthy, positive opinion of himself? Healthy is the key word here. No one wants an egocentric problem child. Is she confident in unusual situations? You never know what might happen in an audition. She could be asked to dance a jig or hold a snake. Will the screams be heard in the waiting room? Can he take criticism without falling apart? Depending on the director, there can be a lot of that. Will he crumble in tears or absorb it and do better? What about rejection? Can she handle not being picked for a performance and seeing the experience go to someone else? You don’t want to find her in her room plotting another child’s demise. And does he have the persistence to keep working at his craft? Like the Energizer bunny, you have to keep going and going and going. All these qualities are necessary for a child to be able to cope in this very competitive world.
In addition to being extremely secure with who he is, your child needs to have the temperament to handle the day to day workings of performing. The ability to keep herself occupied while waiting is a big plus. So much of the time is spent waiting. Waiting for a turn at auditions, waiting for phone calls saying you have a job, waiting on the set for performances to start. It all takes extreme patience for your child and for you. Be sure your child has the serenity for this. Bouncing off the walls is not an option. The other quality you need to consider is intelligence. It takes a bright child to be able to keep up with the demands of the business. Can he memorize lines? Can she read music? Does he know and follow the rules of the game? Is she able to change directions and go with the flow? Things change so quickly in the entertainment world and you need to be sure your child has the focus to keep up. No coach or director wants to continually hear, “Wait, what?”
I have an adorable grandson who many agents have requested. Although he is bright and talented, both his mom and I know he is not ready for the demands of performing. He is super sensitive and melts with any kind of criticism. He would be in tears within minutes of being on a set. We have had to say no to the people who want him because we know who he is. Be sure you know your child is able to handle the world of entertaining before you put him there.
But, if you do believe you have a child with the makings of a star, by all means GO FOR IT!