Wednesday, 28 August 2013

To Model or not to Model?

My daughter has wanted to get into modelling since she was about eight years old, but I was never comfortable with the idea so I did what I could to keep her busy. She danced. She competed in dance.  She socialized with dance friends. And she went to school and slept. But now that she is in an arts high school she is surrounded by talented people...many of whom act, sing or model professionally. It appeared that it was inevitable. The time that we would have to give in was nigh. 

My husband and I believe that there comes a point in children's lives when they have to start making major life decisions...with our guidance, of course.  If children don't start learning how to make decisions when they are small, and develop those skills as they grow, then how can we expect them to make the hard decisions as adults?  It is easier to learn about decision making when the consequences are less life altering and damaging. We started by giving them small decisions when they were young and then as they grew, so did their decision making skills, and we started to give them bigger decisions to make.  

In Kindergarten they got to choose the clothes they wore to school...even if the choice was a tiara or the occasional Snow White costume.  Let me tell you, there were a few of those days with our youngest daughter.  In middle school they got to decide on the future of their extra curricular activities.  Until this point we gave them access to as many extra-curricular activities as possible (drama, fencing, ballet, musical theatre, tap, Aikido, ballroom dancing, etc.)  so that they might choose their own path.  We guided them, but let them take the lead in the decision making process.  By grade eight they got to choose the type of high school they wanted to attend...mainstream, arts based curriculum or gifted curriculum.  So far they have all chosen an arts based curriculum (drama, dance and strings).  In each of the cases we addressed the pros and cons of each of the decisions, and then discussed how to weigh each of the pros and cons.  You remember the saying, "if you love something set it free"!! I couldn't believe how difficult it was to do.

We knew that it was inevitable that our daughter was going to get serious about modelling and bring up the topic at some time or other. But we thought we had more time. Truly we did!

Last week Katie pulled me aside and said she needed to talk to me. A feeling of dread washed over me. What could she want?  A dozen horrible thoughts rapidly rushed through my mind.  As I walked into her room she shut the door behind me. When she smiled I realized that everything was going to be ok. She wasn't getting a tattoo and she wasn't quitting school! She told me that she had done a lot of research about modelling and she had found an excellent modelling agency that had a great reputation.  She had filled out an application and they had called her back a few hours later. She missed the call because she had left her phone behind (quite a rare occurrence). She wanted to know what we should do.  I took a deep breath, looked at her hopeful expression and I quickly thought through the options.  I told her that she should try to call them back.  She had to leave a message because they were closed for the evening.  The next day one of the agents called us back and we made an appointment.  Was this the beginning of the end?  Was I going to lose my sweet darling daughter and gain a pretentious diva?  She has already ventured into dark depths of puberty and we, as parents, have been relatively unscathed at this point. Would modelling change her?  I believe my daughter has enough common sense to stay true to her sweet self.  Would this ruin her, or expand her horizons? Time will tell.  I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Let Me Introduce Ourselves...

Hi my name is Lisa and I am a mother to four often wonderful children.  I am especially lucky because not only do I have terrific children...I am married to the man of my dreams.  I know this all sounds hokey but don't worry, we still have our ups and downs.  I would like to share some of our experiences with you.  We are quite a lively bunch and I am sure we can keep you entertained.  

Let me introduce ourselves...

I am a stay-at-home mom and a Mompreneur.  I like to keep busy and with our oldest heading off to University this year, we needed a bit of a boost to our income, so I started my own Face Painting and Henna party business.  I have a B.A. in Fine Art History from the University of Toronto.  I have worked as an art instructor, teaching assistant and tutor.  For years I have been doing face painting and henna at our parties and at our friend’s parties.  I started my business soon after a friend of a friend was looking for a face painter for their daughter’s birthday party and my name came up.  I have been having so much fun doing it, I was just sorry that I hadn’t thought of it earlier.  I love working with children and seeing their faces light up when they look into the mirror with their “new face.  It is so very rewarding.  

When I have a bit of spare time, I like to crochet, paint, write children's short stories, and try new crafts.  My happiest time of day is when we all get to sit down to dinner together and we talk about what happened in our days. I love spending time with my family and dinnertime seems to be the time when we are all able to talk openly and share our lives and there are no distractions.

My oldest son is 17 and is heading off to University of Toronto next year and he will be following in his father's footsteps and will be studying Philosophy.  He went to Etobicoke School of the Arts for Drama.  He has been studying drama since he was 6 and has been in several plays and was even in a short film.  When he was in grade 7 he was determined to be gifted.  One might think that being gifted means that his life will be forever easy, but in actuality it means that things get tougher.  Being gifted is a double-edged sword...yes, he learns quickly, but it also means he gets bored quickly.  We were very lucky because many gifted children aren’t very socially adept, but he is extremely charming and is so very funny. 

My oldest daughter is 15 and is an accomplished dancer and is currently at ESA. She started dancing when she was 4 and she competed for 7 years in ballet, jazz, tap, and musical theatre.  She has even competed in Cheerleading and Ballroom.  She has danced with Ballet Jorgen, Blake McGrath, and Tre Armstrong (A New DAEI).  She has danced in two promotional events for Ralph Lauren perfumes.  She wants to get into modelling but I am unsure about the safety of the industry.  She is a bright and lively young lady who has a wicked sense of humour.

My youngest son is 13 years old and he is going to ESA next year for violin. He used to dance with his sisters and he competed for 5 years in ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre.  He was an amazing dancer, but peer pressure made it difficult for him to continue past grade 7.  Luckily he discovered his love of the violin as his love of dance waned.  He, like his older brother, was determined to be gifted and attended a gifted school.  It was here that they cultivated his talent for violin and he played in Massey Hall with the TDSB Strings Orchestra.  He has a gregarious personality and an off-beat sense of humour.

My youngest daughter is 11 years old and she started dancing when she was 3 years old and was in her first dance competition when she was 4.  She competed for 5 years.  While she was dancing she took acting classes and was in a few plays.  She appeared on “Artzooka,” a craft show for kids, and she was interviewed about the future of Toronto for a Discovery Channel special.  She has excelled at everything that she has tried, but hasn’t decided yet what art form she will focus on.  She is extremely charming and sweet and loves animals.

So that's us.  We are artsy.  We are crafty.  We are funny.  And we hope that you come back to read all about us.