May 2020

Child Acting, Holly Hajbok’s Experience of the Industry in the UK

Holly playing the lead of Alice alongside Haylie Jones , in “Alice” (2020)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11349582/
photo taken by Natalie Kennedy

Written by: Natalie Hajbok

 

My name is Holly Hajbok

Holly is a 7-year-old child actress who has appeared in various roles within short films, feature films, television commercial and more, from North Wales, UK. Holly loves to act, since the age of 5 she has always enjoyed entertaining people, be it through dancing, modelling or acting.

Acting, however, is by far what comes most naturally to her. Holly had been appearing on stage in dance school productions since the age of 3, however, her first taste of acting came at the age of 5 years old appearing as a supporting actress in the TV promo series (still in production currently) “Day One”, directed by David Christopher Turner and Alex De Luca.

This was a very minor role, running from zombies in the background, but it was pivotal to Holly for both the experience and lighting her fire and passion for acting.

I remember coming home from filming and Holly begging and begging me to do more. This was further instilled when some of the stills were released and showed a little 5-year-old Holly, tiny in the background, acting her heart out and portraying the fear of zombie attack.

This was quite a feat for a 5-year-old child with no acting experience, her only performance experience to this point being dance and modelling. This is also where we met actress turned writer/director Laura Wilson, who has since acted almost in a mentor role for Holly.

During this experience, I managed to speak to other industry professionals and the parents of other child actors who were a wealth of knowledge. They directed me to legitimate child acting agencies to apply for, they also warned us of some of the pitfalls, such as bogus agencies, or some charging big fees etc.

We researched online, including joining some child actor groups on Facebook which were amazing in researching which agencies to apply for. After applying to a few we were elated when Holly was offered representation by several and after a bit of research, she accepted an offer and became an agency represented child actress.

Through the agency Holly learnt about castings and attended several in London and Manchester, she was not always successful but she enjoyed every single experience and understood that she was fortunate to be chosen to cast for jobs out of thousands of children.

This meant she remained positive even when not cast in roles she longed for. To keep up her interest and develop her acting further we accepted more supporting and minor roles, including Aidey Pugh’s “Flower Boy” and Iain Ross-McNamee’ “I saw Black Clouds”.

Holly loved every minute, travelling the country and gaining that limited experience in front of the camera, but she loved it.

Finally, after lots of perseverance Holly now 6 years old started to get more paid roles, including BBC’s “Hidden” and also a featured supporting role in a Haven television commercial.

Holly was getting excellent feedback and we were being urged more and more by directors and her mentor to seek bigger roles where Holly’s talents could flourish. So, we attended some acting workshops to bolster Holly’s script work and knowledge and started to apply for featured and lead roles for Holly.

 

— To be continued in our May 2020 Issue of Cut Frame Magazine. —

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Cut Frame Magazine is an online magazine Highlighting the Entertainment Industry from the Perspective of Filmmakers, Actors, Musicians, and Industry Professionals

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