Tag Archives: Paideia

Vancouver, April, 2013 — Milestone Achieved

Standard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Teen Leaves High School to Make a Killing

Bex TK completes requirements for High School Graduation

On Friday, April 19, Bex TK fulfilled all the requirements for graduation from Bridges Academy, when the supposed “rough-draft” of her final paper on The Actor’s Studio received a solid A!

After 8 educational institutions over 16 years (9 if you include the tutoring program on set at The Killing), Bex completed her course-work AHEAD of schedule!

If we had only known that it would take a full-time job for Bex to finish High School, we might have tried that sooner!” said her mother, who is relieved to be out of a job as educational advocate for a while.

Special appreciation goes out to the producers at The Killing, who arranged for the superior tutoring services of Natalie Smith; to Natalie Smith, who faithfully shepherded Bex to completion, and to Carl Sabatino and Chris Wiebe at Bridges Academy, whose wisdom in differentiating the curriculum to engage Bex in her final semester made all the difference.

Of course, Bex gets full credit for completing the work, and persevering through years of structured learning that never really met her learning style. As Bex so aptly stated in January, “I love learning, but schooling is killing me.” Well it turns out The Killing enabled Bex to put an end to the murderous drudgery of High School studies.

On May 18, when her Paideia peers are celebrating across the stage, Bex will be calling it a wrap on The Killing — excited to return to LA with two major milestones under her belt:

  1. a completed role as a series regular in The Killing, and
  2. an accomplished high school graduate!

Thursday, Short Window, Lots to do

Standard

I don’t have a lot of time out here this visit, so there’re no wasted minutes, and people to meet.

We started off going to see Miss Alicia, the new tutor. Bex likes her, and yet there was clearly something that was holding her back from wanting to go. I needed to assess the situation and see whether I felt like it could really work. David had been over there and wasn’t clear whether the piles and piles of stuff all over the place was an episode of “Hoarders” waiting to happen, or the honest result of a publicist moving in to a new house in the middle of Pilot Season.

At the kitchen table Alicia’s assistant was trying to convert Alicia — who prefers people to technology — to a new computer. Another mother and daughter came in — I think they actually live there. We seized a lull in the activity to sit down to talk.

First, my quick assessment was that the necessary living areas — Kitchen Table, Living Room Couches, and Bathroom — were all put together and clear. No hoarders episode, just an understandably slow un-packing. Cool — we can handle that. Thanks to the dry climate, no worries of mold.  😉

It was clear that it could be a good place for Bex. Alicia gets learning style differences, and life-work balance,  the need to take breaks and run around, that some people actually need noise to concentrate, etc. Bex just needed to communicate what she needs without worrying that she was hurting Alicia’s feelings.

So I pulled out my coaching tool-box and designed an alliance between Bex and Alicia, which worked well! We left with a clear understanding of what each of them needs from the other, and what they were willing to commit to. Bex has regular hours, communication with Paideia got Alicia the information she needs, and Bex left with clear homework assignments. Confidence is high.

Lunch at Hugo’s — I’m like a homing pigeon, I can’t visit LA without at least one trip to Hugo’s. We get home at 4:45 and Bex is off to make arrangements to pay for the broken window with the people from earlier in the week (remember the pine cone?). I get a rather frantic text — yes, frantic reads in texts — to come over now, there is someone you want to meet. I have no clue what she’s talking about — this is Hollywood, so I’m thinking it might be some celebrity or something — and I find myself in a rather dark 2 bedroom apartment that is clearly a “permanent” residence. Apparently, G-d threw the pine cone through the window so that we could meet.

Candy kicks a teenager off the couch so we can sit down, and offers me a piece of cheesecake. WHY am I here, exactly? The joys of a non-communicative teenager. I listen and start piecing it together. She wants Bex to stay here and rent the second bedroom so that she can continue to stay here with her two adopted, teenage daughters. She’s not trying to convince me, or anything, but

Okay, Candy is a big woman, a former US Post Office Police Officer who has lived here with her 2 teen-age daughters for 3 1/2 years. Her husband is still a postal worker back in (I think) Wisconsin. She’s been constantly relying on “G-d to provide room-mates” so she can make it work. She doesn’t have a job any more — she was in a car accident that left her in a coma for six months and so she can’t carry a gun anymore. When they don’t have a room-mate, the husband works lots of over-time, which is hard because he has seizures. They only see each other twice a year. She would be like a second mom to Bex. I get a glimpse of her parenting style as she praises the older teen who is focused with her work, and then criticizes the younger one for not being committed. She even demonstrates for me as she yells at the kid to get off the computer, and then looks back at me with satisfaction, as if to say, “see what an attentive mom I am?” OMG!

Back to find David and figure out what we’re doing for the evening. Bex realizes its Karaoke night. We negotiate the math that needs to get done before tomorrow, and she’s outta here. There is, clearly, a lot to talk about.

And remember… I’m not a fiction writer. Who needs fiction when the characters are so creative?

<posted by Elaine>

We Meet an Acting Coach to the Stars

Standard

The new semester began, with emails to Paideia and Bex starting to get her stuff in order. Still no word about the pending audition.

MichaelWoolson.com

After school we drove over to the state office to get Bex’s work permit – only to find out the one we have is still valid. Afterwards, we drove to the west side, this time for a coaching session with Michael Woolson, a high-end acting coach, teacher and author. Our manager, Susan, had suggested him, and we’d had this appointment for probably 2 months! In order to take his classes, you have to start with a private session with him to place her ‘properly.’

We arrive at his lovely West Hollywood home, enter the courtyard and are shown around the back to a large outdoor patio area, where we are asked to wait on the over-stuffed upholstered couches and chairs in front of the outdoor fireplace (which, sadly, was not lit). Michael came out and took Bex into his studio, and I sat outside, under the pergola – just me and my computer. It was actually getting a bit chilly as dusk settled in, when Michael retrieved me to come inside and talk to him.

She’s interesting, has a different perspective, is smart and unusual.” Clearly, he likes her, though effusive is not his thing. We talk for a while about class options. Despite her talent and ability to handle the more mature classes, he wants to put her in the teen class because the material will be more consistent with the roles she’ll be auditioning for.  But he wants to give her access to other classes, as well.

More details and special offers – apparently, Susan had called and given him a ‘pep talk’ – and we left with his book in hand and a possible plan. His coaching is a serious investment  – but he assures us that, with a few sessions, he can get her booking jobs. Much to discuss, but good to know we have the option. In any event, she got some great coaching on the sides (script) she received on Friday, and felt like she’d learned a lot.

We returned home for Bex to meet some friends to play Basketball on one end of the property, followed by a Hip Hop class on the other end. Yes, I said Hip Hop class. She loves it, though she claims to be pretty lame. Hard to say – I’m just happy she’s getting back into being an active person!

<etk>

Hollywood 2012: The Sequel

Standard

Background:

When we last saw our s/hero, in August 2011, she was reluctantly leaving LA and returning to her beloved family and school in Atlanta.

With a top-notch manager and quality agent on her team, she kept busy throughout the Fall, skype-coaching, taping and uploading her auditions. Boundaries between Atlanta and LA agents were clarified. Bex was in business — miserable, but in business.

Pining for LA, Forensics class was the only reason she could see to be in Atlanta. Paideia fully supported her and worked with her as best they could (amazing, honestly!), and we began to prepare for “Pilot Season” and pilot camp, planning for Bex to be in LA with a parade of guardians for 10 weeks. Her trusted tutor, Caroline, carried the brunt of the final weeks of stress, though her siblings definitely ran a close second. Bex checked off a cardboard chart with the dates scribbled on it, and counted down to January 23.

day after day after day after day ....

Counting down days like a prisoner awaiting release!

There was drama throughout, of course: a call in December requesting Bex for a part on a Disney show if she could be there Jan. 5 (probably); a call on Jan. 3 saying, “oh, by the way, they changed the age on that part to 10-12 and she’s now too old for it.”  The planning, the preparations, the threats of cancellation (I confess).

But here we are, now, in LA, and Hollywood 2012 has begun…

<etk>