Thursday, Educating an Actor


Change of the guard # 2: Greg gets Bex off to school and leaves for Philadelphia. Our new friend, Sarah, enters the scene. Unfortunately, Sarah is really busy these next couple of days, but Bex has her routine, and her friends, and she’s pretty cool with it.

After school Bex and I talked and Bex told me that she thinks the tutor has no clue how to handle ADHD. A math tutor came in today who was fine, thankfully, but Bex was pretty upset about the way she felt the primary tutor is treating her. So I started figuring out what our options might be, while Bex took the afternoon to prepare for the next audition — this time as a really edgy punk teenager for a show called “Save Me.” Thomas had told me that he and Susan both had worked really hard to get this audition since Bex has no credits, yet — clearly, Thomas is putting his reputation on the line. Sarah came home in time to go with Bex to the audition, and while she was there she ran into Phil Lewis, who was the actor she auditioned in front of in Atlanta a year and a half ago. He is a partner with Adrian R’Mante in the camp, and the one who selected Bex as one of 40 out of about 1400 in downtown Atlanta in October, 2010. After the audition Bex headed off to camp.

First, I had a conversation with Adrian R’Mante — who has been consistently available and helpful since the beginning of this process, and not just for Bex. He really wants these kids to be successful and he consistently goes the extra mile — so impressive for a *celebrity, truly. Anyway, I wanted his input about how to manage things when the agent and manager give conflicting advice. I can’t say he gave me any new ideas, but it was validating to know that this is not unusual. It’s an industry of strong-minded people, for sure.

Bex with Chester  C & Adrian R’Mante

Then I got a call from “The Tutor.” It was one of the most stunning conversations I’ve ever had with an educator in the 15+ years I’ve been a parent trying to educate a child. I’ve NEVER heard an educator say anything to me like this. She said, more than once, and I’m paraphrasing:

After 38 years as an educator, she’s NEVER had a child with ADHD who wasn’t on medication, and so she’s never had a problem, and she’s never had to deal with it. When I asked if she has any experience with ADHD, she responded that you can’t be a teacher for all those years and not know about it, but “it’s never been a problem for me.”

For her? It’s never been a problem for her? OMG. I am NOT MAKING THIS UP!

I spent about 10 minutes on the phone with this woman and realized that we were speaking different languages – it felt like we were on different planets. I know I come from a land where tutors are educated in special needs because that’s usually when they’re hired. In LA, tutors are hired routinely for general education, so they do not necessarily have a special education focus. THAT’s new information, and good to know! But really, this was beyond the pale. This is going to be interesting.

* P.S. Don’t know if I ever shared this, but it’s pretty fun info, what I’ll call the Strata of Fame:

  • A Working Actor is someone who makes a living in the Industry as an actor, but is not widely known and does not have a following.
  • A Celebrity is someone who is known and famous in smaller circles, like Adrian. Not a kid who’s ever seen Suite-Life doesn’t know him, but most of us adults would not know him because he’s primarily been a Disney actor.
  • A Star is more broadly known, like Ted Danson or someone like that. Someone who is widely recognized in public and has a ‘following.’
  • A Super-Star is known by nearly everyone, like Angelina & Brad, or Ellen DeGeneres.

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