The hard road to Hollywood

Carole Tarlington's newest book delves into the difficult world of child acting

No one knows more about what it takes to succeed as a child actor than Carole Tarlington.

Over the course of her three decades in show biz, she’s been an agent, a casting director, and an educator, and has launched the careers of some of Canada’s biggest names, including Ryan Reynolds.

“I’ve worked with thousands of kids and thousands of parents and I’m always shocked at how little they know about the industry,” said Tarlington.

Hence her recent book, I Wanna Be an Actor, into which she’s poured a plethora of practical wisdom for child and teen actors and their parents.

In her book, Tarlington doesn’t mince words as she breaks down the ins and outs of a sometimes cutthroat industry.

“I’ve had adult actors who’ve said, ‘I know you wrote it for kids, but I learned something from it,’” she said. “This book is about how the business actually works.”

One thing that young actors need to know going into the business: it’ll be next to impossible to succeed without their parents’ support, especially when it comes to legal contracts and getting to auditions, said Tarlington. “They need a parent who’ll drive them everywhere.”