Jennifer Lawrence and her mom

Indian spiritual leader, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, once said, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.” All the infinite varieties of children are as vast as the shades and hues of the mothers who brought them into this world. And as every actor has a unique personal journey that leads him or her to the entertainment industry, likewise, every actor’s mother responds to his or her dream in her own way.

First off, there are the incredibly supportive moms like Hilary Swank’s mother who was determined to do all she could to encourage her daughter’s acting dream. She even moved with Hilary to Los Angeles virtually penniless, where they lived out of a car until she saved enough money to rent an apartment. Now there’s a mother who believed in her daughter’s potential!

Then there was Jennifer Lawrence’s parents who initially felt conflicted when their daughter quit school at age 14 to move to New York. Jennifer’s older brothers, Ben and Blaine, had to persuade their mother and father to allow Jennifer to risk failure in her attempts at following her heart. Jennifer said, “My brothers called them and said: ‘You’ve traveled all over the country with us, for baseball, football and basketball. This is her baseball game. You have to support her.’ So they were forced to, at that point.” So, even though they were reticent, they pushed all their chips to the middle of the table.

Jessica Alba, who signed with her acting agent at the age of 11, plans to encourage her own children to avoid the business altogether during their formative years. She would like them to finish college, live their lives, and then, “…if they want to get into the arts, that’s fine…I wouldn’t encourage them to work in this type of environment as children.” Similarly, Britney Spears was a Disney Mouseketeer at the age of 11, and has stated that if her sons desired to participate in the entertainment industry, she would, “lock them up in their rooms until they turn 30.”

What about your mom? When you first shared your desire to pursue acting, how did she respond? Did she remind you of her aspiration for you to become a doctor or lawyer? Did she start reciting the drawbacks like ruthless competition, loss of privacy, and the financial pressure commonly associated with the field? Or was she elated because, after all, she’d already spent thousands of dollars in pushing you to become famous–something along the lines of the moms featured in Toddlers and Tiaras? Or maybe your mom was genuinely excited that you had found something you’re passionate about and set out to support you in any way she could.

Please share how your mom encouraged or discouraged you in your acting dream.

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