Since I posted last week about Avery and I taking off to L.A. I've had mixed responses from people. Some are excited, some confused, and some skeptical. I am cautious about being defensive because I truly appreciate truthful reactions from my friends and loved ones.
The most concerned questions from people is that they are worried that we have put a lot of money into this process. The answer is NO. When Avery first started this journey, I read and researched everything I could find. What I discovered is that there are a lot of companies who are willing to "sign" as a manager if you pay them thousands of dollars upfront (Then pay for everything else they suggest). We didn't pay anything for our management company, agents, or reps. They only get paid after Avery does- and the percent is the industry standard of 15%. After Avery took the classes in Idaho Falls (that we did pay for), she had some support and contacts to get interviews and auditions with the management company we are signed up.
The only thing we are paying for while we are in L.A is: optional acting classes, optional updated head shots, and hair/makeup treatments she may need: and we get to choose what to do or not do. Avery is enrolled in acting class currently with Cynthia Bain- she is one of the best coaches in the industry and we love her (she's a casting director for Nickelodeon). We pay for these classes: but let me stress that the amount we pay is the same amount we pay for Wyatt to do a basketball camp, or Avery to do a cheerleading team. She is learning a skill that will help her in the future as she interviews for jobs, works in any field, and applies for college, and raises a family.
Thanks for all the continued support, love, and caution! It is accepted and appreciate :)
Sunday, January 20, 2013
As we arrived at the audition, everybody is filed into a large conference center. The talent agent proceeds to give direction about what they are looking for: that they want natural, energetic, smart, focused, family oriented children to work with who posses high levels of confidence. While some families and children were intimidated by this, Avery was anxious for her chance to audition. When her turn came, she did awesome. Her commercial and monologue where spot on, and she was pulled out of the group to meet with other agents. Out of nearly 400 children, she was one of 12 who continued to work throughout the summer with a union actor refining her skills, working on her resume, and getting head shots ready. Near the end of the six week course a different agent from L.A came back to Idaho. I again thought I had done my job as a parent and the plan of Avery pursuing an acting career was coming to an end.
The casting agent and those we were working with suggested we take Avery to La to meet with others in the industry. We really were quite busy in our lives, but I had a few days off during Harvest break and my mom was able to get away as well. We had an incredible few days enjoying time in upland with family, going to the beach, and visiting the area and homes my mother grew up in. On our last day of vacation, we had an interview with the owner of a management company. It was lovely to meet them, and was good practice for Avery to have an interview with people who know what working in the industry is about. The management company only works with about 35 child actors at a time and has lots of knowledge and experience. Most people we talked with explained to us that we would have several interviews before we found a management company.
We arrived back in Idaho, and within a few days I received phone calls and contracts that the management company wanted to represent Avery and asked if we could come to Los Angeles for pilot season in January. After several weeks (months) of being in denial and assuming that it wasn't really going to happen- Avery and I are actually leaving the cold snow in Idaho and heading to sunny California. We have a six week commitment there with some classes and auditions, with a week off in the middle to come home. Part of me thinks this adventure is crazy and we should cancel everything now, while part of me welcomes the adventure and looks forward to the next few months.
Kirk and I have been prayerful in this decision and the entire family has been involved in the process. Wyatt and Mitchell are so very supportive of Avery and are excited for her. Kirk has traveled a lot for work, and so we know how quickly three weeks can go by. We will Skype FaceTime chat, and talk everyday and will "joint parent" as much as possible. Avery and I will be staying with family in California and will be involved in the ward there. It can also be a great boost to my HM business as I build a team in that area.
There are certainly things that I am apprehensive about- including leaving Angela to run the clothing outlet by herself for six weeks, and the driving in l.a., but every time I start to get nervous and want to change my mind something else falls into place. Maybe I just have to go into this adventure with faith, knowing that gods hand is in all things and through listening to the spirit we will be blessed and protected.
Posted by Stoddard Stories at 1:34 PM
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I love being a Heritage Makers consultant. It is a problem solving company. When I first began as a consultant (nearly 8 years ago) I hadn't realized that it was an answer to prayers that I hadn't even spoken. In the beginning it was about the social aspect- I loved the women who were passionate about helping others preserve and share their family stories, and I knew that it was a needed solution. I would attend events and my friendships with others would be strengthened. I didn't want to miss anything because I knew that I would leave feeling uplifted and motivated.
After two years of being a "part-time" consultant, my family started to rely on the income that my business was producing. I knew that I had an opportunity to give myself a raise. I worked my business smarter and started to build a team of consultants that also wanted to make a difference. My income would grow every month which encouraged me to continue to work hard. As a consultant I knew that the, the principles of direct sales compensation plans don't change- if you want to make more money, you have to do the income producing activities that increase personal volume and group volume. In Heritage Makers, the income producing activities are simple: workshops, sales, sponsoring, and training.
I have consultants in my organization who sign up strictly for their own discount, others that do it because they have a photo problem, some that do it for the fun and social aspect of the business, and others that want to take advantage of the entire opportunity that is provided: income, social, career, relationships, and paychecks of the heart. Over the years I have evaluated "Why" I am consultant. It seems to be evolving constantly and it's hard to describe. My heart tells me that being a Heritage Makers consultant serves a purpose for my life: it allows me the freedom to be home with my children and work around their schedules, it gives me the blessing of being able to help provide financially for my family, it fulfills a need that I have to be recognized and appreciated, but the biggest reason is that I feel like I am serving a mission for God. I believe that stories are the essence of who we are and that our lives are fulfilled as we share stories and serve others. I feel compelled to be doing what I do.
Several years ago I was serving in the Primary organization in my church and working with the small children. During one particularly difficult Heritage Makers week of failed workshops, missed calls, and forgotten appointments- I began to question my continued involvement with HM. That Sunday during church the children began learning a song that I know I needed to hear. The sweet words to the song are: "Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear. Things I would ask Him to tell me, if he were here. Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea- stories of Jesus, Tell Them To Me. Oh, let me hear how the children stood round his knee. I shall imagine his blessings resting on me; Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace, All in the love-light of Jesus' face." I was struck by the words of this song and I understood the reason for sharing stories of Jesus, reading scriptures with our children, and talking to them of God's grace is all so that we can connect and learn to love God. It is the same crusade I feel with Heritage Makers- I am passionate about helping other share stories and memories of loved family member- it helps us connect to our Heritage and helps us live better more fulfilled lives. I recently completed a Military storybook about my Papa Bill Henderson: when I was done I realized the impact it could have on generations to come. It helps my children be better citizens, serve more diligently, and love their ancestors. I have had similar experiences with other grandparent and family books. As a consultant I have been able to be an instrument to help others have the same experiences. Not only is Heritage Makers the best publisher in the industry, but the mission of vision of strengthening homes and families through the Heritage enriching power of story is a mission that I fully support.
This year I was honored with the company Legacy Award- it is an award given to a consultant for making a difference in Heritage Makers and spreading the mission and vision. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I received my award at our annual conference and was at a lose of what to say. I am blessed to be a consultant, honored to be recognized, and most importantly: humbled to make a difference.
|I had my photo on the front cover of the opportunity magazine- August 2012|
|"WHY" I'm a Heritage Maker|
|The screen shown at HM Annual Convention that literally took my break away|
|Some of the amazing women in my organization who I have the honor to work with.|
For more information about Heritage Makers, please visit my website: www.storybookforlife.com or contact me.
Posted by Stoddard Stories at 9:26 AM