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Photo courtesy of Sylvia Lawrence.

Success Story: The Lawrence Family on Booking Royal Caribbean

We Zoomed in with Sylvia Lawrence, the mom of the Lawrence Family. The whole gang has appeared on camera, in print and TV ads, including a huge spot for Royal Caribbean, which they booked on Casting Networks.

She took the time out of her busy day to chat about the business, advise real families signing up on Casting Networks and share her tips on auditioning with your own family for commercials.

Nice to meet you, Sylvia! So, tell me about your experience with Royal Caribbean and Casting Networks!

I just read the notice, and I was obsessed with it. I was like that is so our family. Because it was travel, I put it on the calendar, along with the shoot dates, travel dates, callback dates and when the audition was due, and I knew our agent would submit us for it. The audition deadline was approaching, and it was in person, so I knew when it was.

That’s so great!

I called her and said I was hoping we would audition for this, and we haven’t gotten it, and she reached out to them.

So obviously, you got called in.

Yup. So, we went up to LA twice (once for the audition and once for the callback). We live in San Diego. I knew we would get it when we walked out of the room.

How long have you been acting as a family?

My son started when he was five, and he’s 13 now, and I’d say within the first or second year, our agents started submitting us as a family. I remember my husband was like, “Did I ask to do this?”

It’s been so much fun. I mean, we love it, of course, even my husband.

How did you find out about Casting Networks?

Oh! I learned about Casting Networks from my agent, and now we have six different accounts! So, there are five family members, plus we have a family account.

Wow! Are there any tips you can give people who want to act with their family?

I love when they use real families in casting. I think that it’s if it’s something you like doing, there’s a lot of stuff for families. I think that keeping the pictures current is important. We try to update our family photos often, and I think having a family account and other pictures is super important, too.

What types of photos should acting families use?

We have pictures with James and I and Grayson, or just James and I, or just the kids. There are just different aspects of the real family that they’re looking for sometimes. When you’re not actors, I think the best thing for commercial and print work is to be yourself and to do what you do.

Tell me about your experience with the Royal Caribbean job you booked through Casting Networks.

It was perfect for our family. We love to travel. We all have our passports, and I remember before they booked us, they kept sending photos of these extreme water slides to our agent, and then she would say, they want to make sure you’re OK with this, and we’re like, yes, that looks so fun! They asked if we got motion sickness because we were flown from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale to Miami for a couple of days for the fitting, and then from there, out of Fort Lauderdale, we did take a tiny plane to a tiny island in the Bahamas, so for someone who doesn’t like that kind of stuff it would be scary.

It sounds like it was pretty fun.

I couldn’t have planned a vacation that fun. Every single day someone [was] doing my hair, my makeup, feeding my children, riding water slides. I’m just thankful that we got to experience something like that.

So, what are you up to now?

We just did a family one, including my mom, for Coca-Cola!

How fun! Is there anything else that can help the families out there who are looking to join Casting Networks or are thinking about it?

It is important to sign up for notifications even if you have an agent because we would have never gotten that job. You know, she submitted us, and for whatever reason, they didn’t pick us, but I was looking at it and knowing that our family would be a good fit for that. I think self-submissions are important, too, because maybe your agent didn’t submit you, or maybe there’s something that they don’t know about you, so I think it is important to take charge and partner with your agent and just read the stuff out there.

Also, don’t be afraid to dance and have fun in an audition. We have booked several family projects that involved dancing as part of the audition, and we are not good dancers.

If the client wanted everyone to be an actor, they would not cast real families. The real family roles are about your connection to each other, your personality and your ability to have fun. And when you can truly have fun in your audition, there are amazing places you will explore and wonderful people you will connect with in this industry.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Casting directors use Casting Networks every day to discover a family like yours. Sign up or log in today to get one step closer to your next role.

Did you book a role through Casting Networks? Tell us about it for a chance to be featured in an upcoming article.

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