Enlighten: Making the choice to help make your child's dreams come true. A moms story.
The best time to encourage your kids to start is when they are young. Females can be Trend’N at any age and young talented actress, Kruiz Mauga is on her way to making her dreams come true, all with the help of her mom. Talented, Photographer, wife and mom, KrisD Mauga, shares with #TTF steps in helping make her daughters dream come true, how she got started and how she keeps it all together.
The acting bug...
It was early 2013 when my husband had done some research on acting workshops. What people may or may not know is that Kruiz is, or should I say was, very shy. He wanted to help develop her confidence and speaking ability in class and within a group setting. Kruiz attended "Take the Stage" with Bethenny Price.
She loved the experience and was immediately hooked! From that first workshop, she participated in more theater workshops and then it was suggested she audition for A Christmas Carol. She landed the role as Tiny Tim for 10 performances at the Long Beach Playhouse December of 2013. During the production, she was asked to audition for a movie; they found her profile on Backstage, an online profile for actors that I had just signed her up for a week before. She landed the part as daughter of the lead for the film "The Evil Gene," directed by Katie Turner, starring Cameron Richardson and Richard Speight Jr.
Backstage was an amazing resource to get her started in the film industry. It provided amazing opportunities and roles to build her resume and for her to gain experience on sets. Since then she has booked 3 other roles in ensemble and cast as lead and or supporting roles and two music videos.
During this journey I have always checked in to see if this is something she wants to continue to pursue. Kruiz is the catalyst of this adventure; she chose to act, to be in theater and film. After her role as the "the Healer" in the short film-style music video, "Xanax a Love Song" performed by Krysta Youngs and directed by David H Donihue, she was connected with Jennifer Patredis of Innovative Artist. She had already been scouted by another agency and met with a few other agencies to see what would be the best representation.
After speaking with Kruiz about the commitment, we signed with Jennifer and IA; it felt like the most organic fit and best decision. Immediately after, Kruiz was auditioning for amazing roles in films like Planet Of the Apes, Mother's Day, Gifted. While she may have not landed those roles, the opportunity, experience and exposure to big film auditions was incredibly educating. Kruiz continues to gain experience and education with each and every audition. She currently has amazing roles in two indie films set to film end of 2016/2017, "The Initiation of Duncan Baker" by Tash Ann and "War Baby" by Steve Pisa. ·
Making things happen...
For parents wanting to get their children involved, I recommend testing the waters on their own before jumping into getting an agent and manager. It takes a lot of personal work, time and money. We took our time before signing with an agent. I researched appropriate roles on Backstage and Actors Access. My goal was for her to gain experience, build her resume and see if she was truly up for this journey. There is so much that goes into getting them started.
Kruiz started with workshops, then theater, some work, more workshops, more films, more training with private coaching for the ongoing developing of her skill and of course audition after audition. We researched parts, submitted her profile on line for "by appointment only" parts, rather than go-see open call auditions; it really helps with time management. Directors are looking for talent of course but also children that are focused, professional and personable. Your child needs to be able to endure the time put on set with much of the time waiting. Depending on their age, kids can be on set from 6-10 hours and when not in a scene we are quietly waiting, running lines, reading, blocking scenes, doing schoolwork, or doing nothing at all, again all quietly.
Each child and each agent are different creating different experiences. Some kids are auditioning daily, some agencies require you attend everything offered whether it be commercial, modeling, small background role, television, film, etc. Some agencies are more specialized and focused only on theater, only film and television, or only commercial work. We chose Kruiz's agency because it was specialized and it truly allows for her to live her life as an actress, but more importantly, as a kid. We feel Kruiz has a pretty balanced life as an actress/kid. When not working or auditioning, she has time to spend with her family, golfing, singing, playing piano and guitar, writing, traveling, biking, doing yoga, boating, and volunteering. Looking at her list of likes, we can see how much of an old soul she is and family is first in our lives.
While Kruiz is busy, it clearly affects our lives as well. I had to learn how to budget my time and balance my life as a photographer, designer and momager. I redirected my work to focus on the entertainment industry as well to keep our lives flowing inter same direction. It made sense as a photographer and momager. It's still a challenge and there are days, moments, jobs that need to be sacrificed in order to keep it all from failing. The industry is much of the time very last minute, auditions can be sent a day before with lines needed to be memorized and an hour to 1.5 hour trip on way and I may have something booked on my end. Those days can be incredibly stressful because I'm juggling schedules but somehow we do it. People may think I am incredibly focused and organized, I'm not (not at all) but I am a person who can manage and get things done on the fly. I know how to work in an emergent setting and create immediate solutions. It's bazaar how life works, once I specialized my business to focus on the entertainment industry, it created more opportunities.
I now am a producer focusing on the creative development of branding indie films with my skills as a photographer, designer, problem solver. I now have three films I am working alongside my daughter. It's great to be able to work with her on set. My only real challenge is the films I shoot, work and produce without her because the hours are long on set and then it's a week or month of not being very present. The work in the end is always rewarding and testament of how some sacrifices and comprises are necessary to achieve goals. That to me shows my daughter that hard work is worth it when you end up with something you can be truly proud to place your name on.
I believe we should embrace and follow our passions in life. My passion is to create art, embrace authenticity, promote and lift the people I admire and the work I love.
If I were to give my one direction of advice, it would be to accept our imperfections. We can NOT do it all and we can't always get it right. Just do the best at what you can and be willing to fail at the risks we take and then let them go. We can't always get it right perfectly the first time and when we juggle life, some of those balls need to remain on the floor when we drop them until you get the chance to pick them back up again.