What’s it like to book a series regular role on a hit TV show at the age of 8… on your first audition ever? The show is This is Us, and that’s exactly what happened to my guest Mackenzie Hancsicsak! Mackenzie plays Young Kate on the Emmy-award-winning show, and her fabulous mom, Melinda joins us on this Hometown to Hollywood podcast episode.

Melinda and Mackenzie share their story, and we cover all kinds of territory, including the importance of Improv skills, the reality of parenting a kid on a TV show as well as the reality of being a kid on one (hint: you have to wake up early a LOT), how to stay grounded, how being a working actor can sharpen memorization and other academic skills… and there is even a little impromptu duet of Descendants 2’s Ways to Be Wicked-! Join us for a fun and intimate conversation. Confession: I watched four episodes of This is Us for research, and now I’m hooked!

Some of my favorite quotes from this episode:

  • “I don’t think you can really work a full-time job. Your job is to be the advocate for your kid.”
  • “I have to believe that learning her lines is helping her in school.”
  • “Someday she won’t be in the show, and I want her to learn life skills that she can take with her in life, and not just on a set.”
  • “Kids are taught to hate, and they’re taught to love.”
  • “You have no idea what they’re looking for… so you can’t lose if you’re just being yourself.”

We mention the Girl Uplifters Team (GUT) whose motto is “Girls uplifting girls. Everywhere. Every one. Every single day.” This is a wonderful group that I support as well. You can find them at https://www.girlupliftersteam.com/

Follow Mackenzie at:

Twitter: @MHancsicsak

Instagram: @mackenziehancsicsak

(Both accounts are verified, and operated by Melinda).

And fan mail can be sent to: P.O. Box 801705, Santa Clarita, California, 91380

Breaking into the world of professional acting can be confusing and challenging, and it’s especially important to make good choices when what’s at stake is your kid.

I offer both Skype and in-person consultations for parents of young actors to help cut through the confusion, and increase your odds of success. A single session with me can save you thousands of dollars, and months—or possibly years—of wasted time. Go to my Consultations webpage and book a session today—before another season goes by. You’ll be glad you did!