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I Used To Be A Child Actress: Here's What I Learned

When I was younger, I used to dream of being in TV and movies. I would envy all of the Disney channel actors and actresses and thought their job looked amazing. I got involved in theater around the age of nine, but I still really wanted to be a film and TV actress. After years of begging my mom, when I was eleven, I enrolled in a film and TV class. Being a rather shy child, acting gave me a way to speak my mind and be anyone who I wanted to. Pretty soon, I already wanted to start going to auditions and that is where things really started to change in my life.

turned off gray CRT TV on table PJ Gal-Szabo

There were not many auditions where I lived in Las Vegas, so I actually had to travel back and forth to LA. Self-submitting for roles was not easy and, not surprisingly, there were so many other girls my age who wanted to get into acting, so the roles were scarce. Finding an agent was even more stressful. Every agent I went to disliked the fact that I lived in Las Vegas. When I finally did get an agent, I was still sent out for very few roles. People told me it was hard to find roles that fit my profile because I was not the typical “blonde, pretty Disney Channel” girl. I soon learned that I loved acting, but I hated the business. Casting directors treated kids just like they would an adult. They were harsh and expected you to come in prepared and professional. The best feeling ever was when you were actually cast for a role, which did not come that often. Being on set was an amazing experience and one which I will never forget.

Hollywood, California photo Ahmet Yalçınkaya

Eventually I ended up quitting acting in my first year of college because it was too much to handle going to auditions and going to school at the same time. I was also just not as passionate about it anymore. However, being a child actor, I learned so much that I still carry with me to this day. First of all, acting allowed me to break out of my shell. I also learned to handle myself in a very professional manner at a young age, and I definitely still use some of my acting skills for interviews. Another thing I learned from acting is that rejection is not failure. Rejection should be a motivator to keep working hard. The film and television industry is brutal and can really take a toll on you. So much emphasis is put on you and your appearance above your actual talent. But, one of the most important things being an actress taught me was to just be who I am and never be ashamed of my appearance. Although I did not choose to continue acting, I am glad I got all the experience I did when I was younger.