Where it all started for the boys.
When the twins were 5, there was an open casting looking for identical twin boys aged 5-9. A few people forwarded me the information from Boston Casting. I had never submitted the boys for anything. I also never imagined they would act. Without additional information, I thought it might be a print shoot of some sort. I submitted a few of my own photos of the boys and figured that would be it.
That same morning I was contacted by Boston Casting who urged us to come in that same day so they could see the boys. They did let us know it was for a movie and I remember telling them that the boys had never acted before. I don’t know how they did it, but they actually convinced me to drive to Boston with the boys that day (and skip Kindergarten). If you know me, you know that at that time, I would Not be the girl driving into the city by herself. My husband and I talked it over and decided it would be fun to do just once. We were sure nothing would come of it but we could always say they got to audition that one time for that movie.
On the drive in, one of the twins said he didn’t want to be in a movie. The other asked him to do this just once for fun and they didn’t have to actually do it. This won’t go well, I thought. At Boston Casting, they took the boys and I (and the stuffed animals they were clutching) into a room with a few people in it and just talked with them. The twin that said in the car he didn’t want to be there? Practically put on his own show. I couldn’t believe I was watching my boys. My 5 year olds. Before we left, they asked us not to cut their hair.
I didn’t think too much of it. We drove home and the boys talked about how much fun they had. I thought that would be it.
But it wasn’t.
The boys got a call back. In fact, they got several.
Each time we would show up to find all these people with resumes and professional photos, and I still laugh at how I would fill out a sheet with almost no information and staple their current school photos to it. I told myself if it was going to happen, it would happen. We took the attitude the entire way that this would just be something fun to say they did one day – while never taking it seriously they would make the final cut.
There was one call back we spent almost an entire day waiting in the lobby of a Boston hotel with so many other people. I thought the boys would all lose it. We packed things to do, but there are only so many coloring book pages you can color and 3 boys don’t seem to have much patience sharing one iPad. The other twins auditioning were all taller and looked older. Al and I stood outside the closed door when our little ones went in to audition and held our breath. They were laughing and talkative and we couldn’t help but wonder how they weren’t clamming up.
We got the call one night after all the boys had been put to bed. After I decided they must have already picked another set of twins for the role. I was wrong. It was our guys! (And that was totally crazy!) All three of them were going to be able to be in the movie. The twins would be sharing the role of Danny (what a coincidence) – the son of the characters played by Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence – and my oldest was going to be able to be an extra in a scene.
We woke up the boys and what happened when we told them is a blur. They were so excited.
So here is my first tip if you are new to the business. Do not go crazy spending money. Yes, you will eventually need professional photos. It doesn’t mean you have to have them before you even get started. School photos, a candid photo you have taken of just your child that is in focus … these work just fine. And you do not need to start with an agent. You shouldn’t even be paying any money.
Sign up with a casting house – Boston Casting is our favorite for obvious reasons – but there are a few others as well. Do not pay to set up an account in the beginning. Register your child for the free account. Add some clear photos, plug in all the information you can, and don’t worry about not being able to fill in the resume. It will all come with time. As castings come up that fit your child’s information, you will be contacted by email and sometimes even by text for an audition.
Take your child on a few auditions before deciding whether or not to start looking for agents, getting professional photos and more. Thinking you want to act and actually auditioning for roles are two different things. Make sure it’s what your child is having fun doing before you start spending money on it.
We actually waited almost an entire year from the beginning auditions with the boys before we started looking for agents. We didn’t even have them audition anywhere else after they filmed the movie. My husband and I truly thought it would be a one time thing for the boys. The boys had other ideas. They asked for so long to do more. We started with that free profile with Boston Casting and eventually sought out representation for them right before the movie was coming out.
Come back tomorrow, and we’ll talk about the agencies in the New England market.