"A very wise piece of advice that I took away from the amazing Queenie Van De Zandt -
That if your child does not love this more than anything in the world - don't do it!!
It's really hard work for kids and they need a thick skin. As a parent, you become emotionally invested in auditions and the jobs that your child is working so hard to be successful in, because you are also part of their journey. So you also have to be there to pick up the pieces when things don't always go so well.."
Our parents are often our biggest fan. Most of the time, it's our mother who identifies our potential from the moment we want to be something. "I want to be Superman!", " I want to be a princess!", the list goes on. The response we might get is, "That's great hun, you will be one day."
And we start to discover what we love. Parents can help us to achieve what we want, to make our dreams come true..
I spoke to Jade the other week, and I applaud her for doing everything she can for her beautiful daughter Elwood. We had a few short but great small chats. They absolutely blew me away. Please read the interview below.
Tell us about yourself and Elwood. How did Elwood get her interest in modeling and as a mum, how did you talk to her?
Elwood has always been very happy in front of the camera. As a little girl, she loved seeing herself in photos and loved performing on stage for our family and friends. I have always encouraged Elwood and supported her in her love of being on stage and in the spotlight.
How important is modeling education: Has she attended modeling courses? What related courses or studies has she taken?
I think the best education in modeling/acting is the real life lessons that you learn whilst on the job. Elwood has learned a lot of important life lessons through modeling and acting. Modeling looks very glamorous and amazing to the outside world, but in reality, there are a lot of knock backs and castings that you have to go to be successful.
You need a thick skin and a strong character to survive in this industry and be successful.
This industry has already taught her that you need to work really hard and be very passionate about what you love to be successful.
In terms of actual education, Elwood has had mentoring sessions with several prominent photographers and actors to help her with the technicalities of modeling and acting.
What do you think makes someone “fit” to be a model?
To be a model - you need to love being in front of a camera more than anything, and be willing to work really hard to be a success.
What are her goals as a model and you as a mum? How do you see her progressing in this field?
As a model, Elwood wants to continue working and collaborating with brands and people that she loves and believes in.
Currently she is the face of Aeroplane jelly and will continue to work with them in the future on their campaigns. She has loved working with them, because it's a brand that she loves and relates to as an 11 year old.
What do you know about the advertisement industry, advertising psychology, and photography?
That it is very important to cast the right people to promote products. Consumers and customers can relate to people that are seen as "normal" and more like them.
How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?
I run my own business, and have learned to be very patient dealing with clients and with people in general.
Elwood is also extremely patient and very kind, and always friendly on set.
She has a very laid back nature, which helps her to be calm and able to learn lines and often perform under pressure and tight timeframes.
The feedback that I get from all clients is that Elwood is very professional for her age and able to take direction well. She loves to chat to people of all ages and relates to anyone and everyone on a personal level. It's a strength that she has learned from the industry.
Does Elwood eat nutritiously? How do you balance her studies and modeling career?
Elwood loves good food! She has travelled extensively, and has been exposed to many cultures. As a female tween, I am extremely conscious of promoting "healthy living" without restricting her from living food in any way. She plays a lot of sport, and being active is apart of her daily life.
She is incredibly balanced with school and work, and manages to excel at both.
This year, she is in grade 6, and she was elected school captain, a role which she is very proud of and takes very seriously. She has many extra responsibilities with this role, but manages to balance it with modeling and acting. We are very proud of the amazing person she is becoming.
What is her dream role as a model? What do you aspire for her?
She would love to represent more of the brands that she loves, and continue to follow her dreams wherever they may lead.
She also wants to go to Hollywood one day!
Does she have any limitations? How do you define her boundaries when choosing to accept a modeling request?
Elwood is very versatile. Her passion is singing and she also does a lot of acting and stage performing. So, sometimes she needs to make choices and knock back certain jobs, to make time for others.
With modeling, we look at each job as it presents itself and talk it through together to decide if it is the right job for her. Elwood is involved in every decision when it comes to deciding on which jobs to take. We try to choose age appropriate modeling jobs that still promote her as an 11 year old, not as an adult.
State her availability: Would you travel? Work full-time, part-time? Any hours?
We have and would travel for the right job. If the job does not interfere too much with her schooling and other activities, then we usually take it on. Elwood does a lot of "after school" work. At the moment, she is playing a lead role in an amateur play in which she is rehearsing 3 times a week outside of school hours. She is really enjoying it!
We have travelled interstate for work with Nickelodeon and Aeroplane and we would most definitely travel again for the right job.