Every day for weeks, Joshua Black would ask his mother to sign him up for the “Celebrity Experience.”
Finally, Jackie Black, who lives in Byron, called the radio station while she was in the car to get her two sons signed up. Both auditioned on a Saturday.
She was preparing her young sons to expect the worst and that they probably wouldn’t make the cut.
“I didn’t realize his gift,” she said.
The single mother of four boys ranging in ages from 6 to 11 years old works at Robins Air Force Base.
Though Jackie Black didn’t understand her 9-year-old child had talent, her young son was confident that he was getting to the next stage.
“He’s like, ‘it’s OK. They’ll call me back,’’’ Jackie Black said Joshua told her.
By the next day, he was right.
Joshua has been in the Readers Theater program at Eagles Springs Elementary School. He has been in two plays for his school, but he has much bigger aspirations.
He was selected to go to Los Angeles to meet with directors and other young actors.
The experience did not come cheap. It was $5,000 just for the seminars, which didn’t include the flight or the hotel. Jackie Black set up a GoFundMe site and raised $4,200. The rest she took from her Thrift Savings Plan retirement account.
“It was worth it,” she said.
The program not only gave her son valuable lessons for the film industry but also a chance to shoot a scene at the Universal set. He also met with casting director Joey Paul Jenson, who has cast live action and animated series such as “Even Stephens,” “That’s So Raven,” “The Three Ninjas” and many more.
Joshua keeps his notes about acting in a red transparent envelope. He even coaches his brothers on the things he has learned not only in Los Angeles but also from Brandon Thaxton of Acting Up LLC in Atlanta.
His mother is continually amazed by her son. Her youngest, Caleb, who is 6, also shows interest in acting. Jaylen, 10, and Brandon, age 11, are both artistic with Brandon playing the saxophone at Thomson Middle School and Jaylen in the Art Squad at Eagle Springs.
“We’re excited,” she said of the opportunities Joshua has already been given.
When she saw the YouTube video of her son’s demo reel, she got a bit teary-eyed.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s my son,’’’ Jackie Black said.
Joshua has a manager now and is trying to land his first official job in March. His eyes, however, are more focused on the future.
“I really think, if I keep trying and trying and trying, that I’ll be the best actor in the whole wide Earth,” he said.