I’m beside myself – an absolute nervous wreck from early morning to late night.
I’ve been married 12 years and we have 3 wonderful children – two boys, ages 5 and 7, and a girl who’s 8. When our firstborn, our daughter, came along, my husband Todd was very helpful. He ran part of his business from home and went out on sales calls, and I stayed home to answer the business phones for him. When he came home from work, he’d cook, do dishes, or whatever he could to help me with the house so that I could take care of our child or rest a bit after running the house, answering phones for his business and taking care of her all day long.
But with each child, he’s come to help less. Instead, he now belongs to a golfing club and plays a lot on weekends. I know he deserves to rest after working hard all week but I work hard at home too, with no rest!
He idolizes his best friend George, who seems to get away with such behavior. Now they want to join a motorcycle club, which is dangerous and would involve more weekends out of town. George and his wife have four children, and his wife takes them all over town to auditions for commercials and film roles. She seems to love this, and so do the kids. It’s also brought in a lot of extra money for the family.
So now Todd wants me to do the same thing, AND he wants us to have another child, too. I love my children more than life itself but none of them are what I’d call typically good-looking. I have to admit George’s children are just beautiful, so I can see why they’re in show business. Also, I don’t think our kids are interested in acting – they’ve never mentioned it at all. It’s all Todd’s idea.
This would mean even more work for me because I’d have to get photos taken of them, find them an agent and take them on auditions. I know the money might be good but I don’t know if I could take it or if they’d be happy doing it. When I’ve mentioned it to them, they don’t seem interested at all.
I feel like I should be committed to an insane asylum! Our children are all very good but Todd has encouraged them to have hobbies that take them away from the simple household chores that I originally had assigned to them. So now I’m busier than ever because they don’t clean their rooms, help me clear the table or anything because Daddy says it’s ok.
I love our two-story home, love my children and husband but don’t love all the work that comes with it, including scheduling the repairs that need to be done.
I can’t spiritually, physically or mentally take on the burden of a fourth child, even though I love children. I can’t see myself going up and down our flight of stairs any more times a day than I already do, and with a new baby, I’d be doing this constantly. And regarding show business, I don’t want this to sound mean, either, but like I said, even though our children are adorable to me, I don’t think our children look like miniature Brad Pitts or Angelina Jolies, so they probably wouldn’t do well as actors.
Please, Kenny – you’re very understanding, I can tell. What can you advise me about this?
Dear Sweet Spirit Irene:
From the vibrations on your letter I must say that there are two very important words in the English language. One is “no” and one is “yes.” Regarding having another child, look directly into your husband’s eyes and say, “I love you very much but the answer to having another child is no.” If he asks why, explain to him how tired you feel and how overworked you are. Remind him of how helpful he used to be and how much you appreciated that.
Regarding show business for your children: if you feel that they are not good-looking enough and will probably not succeed, imagine what a casting director would think if you went with the children for an audition. The casting director would sense your lack of confidence in your children and that would reflect on his or her decision.
And as you mentioned, your children must really want to act, or it’s actually cruel to them to force them into that profession. If they don’t have fun doing it, no amount of money is worth it. And speaking of money, there’s an investment involved in getting colored photos taken of each child and having resumes printed. Granted, it can all be worth it. I have a client whose three children are all actors. One of his daughters made $230,000 last year alone from doing commercials. That money will be used for a college fund and a nice start on the young girl’s life. But she and her siblings love show business, and their mother loves bringing them to auditions – that’s a big difference.
I’d like to share a story with you about show business and some of your concerns. While I was living in San Francisco, the legendary actress Joan Crawford came to the city to do a film called “Sudden Fear.” It was shot close to my home in the hilly Pacific Heights area. In fact, they used a home that was once owned by the Arthur Murray family (of the famed dance team).
Miss Crawford came to see me for a private reading. After I came out of the trance portion of the reading, she explained to me that one of her concerns was that she was co-producing the film and wanted to insist on having Jack Palance as her leading man. The other producer said Palance and Crawford were not a good pair. “You’re glamorous and he’s… well, I’ll leave my feelings of his looks to myself,” the producer said.
“Now, Kenny,” she told me, “first of all, I’m not glamorous. I’m very handsome.” She was not at all impressed by her looks. And she said, “Jack Palance may not be a gorgeous man but he’s a very good actor, and that’s sufficient for me.” In short, Palance did become her leading man.
He also had a fine career and you’ll recall, was an Oscar winner, as was Miss Crawford. But Crawford thought of show business in very serious terms. It was her life. “Stardom is no mistake,” she once told me, “it’s a damn well-planned campaign.”
In other words, Irene, it would take the effort of you, your husband and your children to make the show business plans for your children work out. Unless it’s a joint venture, do not relent and undertake it.
You and your husband have some serious issues to work on in the marriage, since you disagree on some vital points. Please concentrate on these issues before adding any other elements into an already strained home life.
I wish you all the best, Sweet Spirit.
Personally handwrite a letter to Kenny, seal and mail it yourself, then look for his answer in a future issue. Send your question to Kenny Kingston, PO Box 1857, Studio City, CA 91614. For more information on Kenny Kingston, visit www.kennykingston.org.