Quiet On The Set :: My Family’s Experience

Quiet On The Set :: My Family’s Experience

My daughter is one of those beautiful souls that marches to the beat of her own drum. She is fearless, lights up every room, and loves herself. Ever since she was a small child, she would ask me to “put her in the television.” She wanted to be one off those sassy kids on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel. She asked many times by the age of 7 and I let it go until last year when a Casting Agency came to town.

She’s Got “It”

I saw a post on Facebook asking if I could see my child in a Disney or Nickelodeon show, and immediately it piqued my interest. Mike and I brought Nina to an audition to be a part of this agency. We practiced a couple of scenes and she nailed each and every one of them without our help. I told myself that if she wants this and if she’s got the talent, someone will see it.

Sure enough, we were first in line to audition and Nina nailed memorizing and acting out her commercials, with her impeccable memory and personality. We were invited to audition again the following day and as an extra kicker, she didn’t get her ADHD medication so they would see her in all of her glory. Sure enough, they loved her, cartwheeling down the hall and all. We were off to L.A.

Every person that we encountered in this experience said, “she’s got it.” We flew to Los Angeles last summer and sure enough, four casting agencies loved her but we lived too far away for them to sign her.

On the way home from L.A. we sat next to a gentleman that made small talk asking what we were in town for, and when he heard that we were leaving a casting agency audition, he asked if I had seen the movie, “Sound of Freedom.”  He told me enough about the movie that I knew that I didn’t need to see it but I took it as a God wink. What are the odds that this movie came out around the time we were in L.A.? This got me thinking that there were many times that Nina wasn’t in my eyesight, and it began to make me very uncomfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable letting her around people that I don’t know even if other kids are around. We’re a no sleepover house and I just let her go off with a stranger, WHAT WAS I THINKING? I was so tired that even when we went to the pool, just her and I, after 3 days non-stop and I kid you not, God sent me another wink. Some stranger next to me said, “You’re going to let her go off with that dad and his daughter?” They were going to the sauna and I was totally off of my game, but I thanked her for being God to my family in that moment.

Quiet on The Set

While we were in L.A., there were casting directors from Nickelodeon and Disney and we were in their presence. Nina met Cherry from “The Thundermans” and Dakota from “Cobra Kai.” It is possible to become an actor/actress if you have “it,” but is the fame worth all of risk of the bad things?

This weekend I binged the docuseries Quiet on the Set and couldn’t get enough. Early Nickelodeon was my childhood; I can sing every word of “Pinwheel” which was one of the first kid programs that I can remember that wasn’t on PBS. I loved “Double Dare” and all of the messiness that came along with it. The shows that I watched seemed positive, so why wouldn’t I let my kids watch them and maybe one day act in them?

How did these parents get duped into essentially giving up custody of their children? There’s no way I would let my daughter or son hangout with a man three times his age no matter how much someone pays us. Just like the parents of the some of the victims on the docu-series, you have to trust your gut.

The Fame is Not Worth it at This Time

I see how it happens, you want your kids to chase their dreams and you get caught up in wanting it, too! Parents leave their kids with someone they’ve never met before to rehearse their lines and listen to others. I know because I would stick my nose in the room every 30 minutes or more. It’s so easy to trust because everyone seems like they have your children’s best interest at heart, but do they?

We took a break from pursuing the acting roles; something in my gut told me that it wouldn’t be a good move for my family at this time and is too risky to put Nina in places that are not familiar to me.

If you know me in real life, you know that I’m always reassessing and adjusting. I decided that if we run into someone locally, New Orleans’ Film industry is so slow these days, I may revisit it but my gut is saying now is not the time. She has a local agent with no movement but we’ll just let that trickle off.

Nina’s acting would supersede the dynamics of our family. We would either have to move our family or split up our family, and I did not nor do I want anything to come in between us.

At the end of the day, our little family is important and I’m not willing to chance it.


Kathy Magri
Kathy is a Metairie native who lives in River Ridge with her husband, Mike, her children, Finn and Nina, and her 3 pups and a cat, Rex, Beau, Hans & Toula. She enjoys double dating with friends on Friday or Saturday nights and brunching with her girlfriends. A lover of all people (particularly babies and children), she is usually volunteering in various organizations and supporting her children in their extracurricular activities. You may catch her reading about World War II or listening to an assortment of music. An avid traveler, she can be found in her parents’ homeland, San Pedro, Belize, enjoying time with family, snorkeling, riding golf carts around town and eating the best food in the world.


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