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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brooklyn Alexander: The Great and Powerful!

Brooklyn Alexander graduated from our Southfield, Michigan location in February 2010 and you can currently see her on the big screen in 'OZ: The Great and Powerful!' We caught up with Brooklyn and her mom for the scoop on Brooklyn's start with Barbizon Midwest, her modeling/acting career, and what it was like to be on the set of OZ!

How did Barbizon Midwest impact your life?

Brooklyn: "Before Barbizon Midwest, I wanted to be a model, but I wasn't carrying myself like a model. Since I graduated I have learned that I need to carry myself as what I want to be."

Brooklyn's Mom: "Barbizon Midwest really gave Brooklyn the confidence that she could really be what she longed to be for a long time and kept to herself, an actress and a model. Prior to Barbizon, 'Brook' was very shy and reserved in public. 

Once she completed Barbizon's graduation, she was definitely more outgoing and vocal about what she wanted to do with her life. The instructors would share with me that as the class progressed, Brook would volunteer to take the runway first in many instances and this was shocking to me. I was surprised at the level of maturity that she showed upon completion once she was around professionals in the business.

She was one of the youngest members of her class and that was NEVER allowed to be an excuse. I think that increased her desire to learn and grasp all of the concepts that were being taught. She learned many techniques and knowledge about the industry and how to carry herself at auditions and while working. 

She learned a great deal about etiquette on and off a movie set and what to expect while on site at a modeling job. Right after the graduation ceremony/fashion show, her immediate response was, "Oh my goodness mom, that was really hard work, but I had so much fun, I want to do it all over again!" So finding out that she would be able to participate in refresher courses was a gift from heaven in her world. She was 12 years old at the time."

What has she done since Barbizon Midwest and what is she currently doing?

Brooklyn: "Since graduating from Barbizon Midwest, I have been working on my modeling and acting career and school. Currently I am looking forward to the next big chapter in my life and hopefully that comes in the form of a lead movie role and/or a modeling contract."

Brooklyn's Mom: "Since graduating from Barbizon Midwest, Brooklyn signed with Royal Models & Talent and then went on a mission of searching for opportunities to diversify her resume and get experience in as many areas of acting and modeling as possible. We thought it was important to keep the fire burning and not allow her to get discouraged and forget all that she had learned over the past 6 months.

While filming OZ, her time was extremely limited, but once filming for OZ wrapped, it took a year and three months for the movie to hit theatres, so Brooklyn also worked in a Broadway musical theatre group in our town that raised funds for families of fallen police officers and that was some additional valuable experience that will help her be more marketable as we come across future opportunities.

She also worked on some other projects in our community with Michigan State University and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. We have, as a family, been really big on community/volunteer service, so Brook has been able to get many volunteer hours under her belt as she prepares for the next opportunity in her career."

How did you land the role for 'OZ: The Great and Powerful' and what part did you play? Also, what was it like on set?

Brooklyn: "My mother came across a casting call for a movie in June 2011 and for a second, I didn't think I landed the job because we didn't hear anything back from the casting director until November 2011."

Brooklyn's Mom: We came across an open casting article looking for children for a Disney movie - we had no idea what movie it was initially. We had to send in her head shot, composite card and resume and we were called and offered the job three months later... Initially, we thought the call was a joke!

OZ: The Great and Powerful
Emerald City

She was cast as a featured extra - Emerald City Kid. It was very exciting on set! The cast and crew were very professional and organized. Upon arrival each day, they had to sign in and complete time sheets before going to hair and make-up. The kids were taken to the classrooms daily to get their required hours of classroom instruction. There was ample food and snacks made available throughout the day. 

The kids were able to see the stars (Director Sam Raimi, James Franco, Mila Kuniz, Rachael Weisz, and Michelle Williams, etc.) at work every day and see them coming in and out of their trailers. The stars were very friendly and nice to the children as well as to the parents waiting in the holding areas right off the set locations. 

OZ - James Franco
Eva Nore - Rachel Weisz
Theadora - Mila Kunis
Glinda the Good Witch - Michelle Williams

The filming location looked like something plucked straight out of Hollywood. It was an awesome experience. It was also exciting to see the different industry visitors to the set on any given day."

What advice would she, or yourself, give to current Barbizon Midwest students/graduates, and their parents, pursuing a career in the industry?

Brooklyn: "I would just say to the students that when you graduate and start looking for work, don't give up because in this career you can go months without finding work, but when you finally get a job, it's worth it!"

Brooklyn's Mom: "As a mom of an actress/model, I would tell Barbizon Midwest students that 'Attitude is Everything!' 

My advice would be to make sure that you show patience and appreciation towards you parents because before you actually get that 'BIG BREAK,' your parents will more than likely invest a great deal of time and effort into getting you prepared for auditions and interviews, transporting you back and forth, and helping you to rehearse lines and scripts and it may be a while before they see any return on their investment for your career. So out of their love for you and wishes for the best for your future, they will be giving a whole lot of themselves without getting anything in return, of value. Showing your appreciation goes a long way.

I appreciated so much that there was a mandatory class in the Barbizon curriculum for the parents and students to attend together that prepared us all phases of and steps in our kids' career.

I would also tell parents to encourage the children to learn how to manage their time effectively and require that they keep their grades up - there should always be a 'Plan B' to actively fall back on."

Wow! From modeling and acting, to school and volunteering we are beyond impressed by Brooklyn's dedication and selfless contributions to society, as well as the loving support from her mother.

To Brooklyn and her mom, we extend our gratitude for you taking the time to speak with us, especially with all you currently have going on. We want you to know we are behind you 100% and fully believe Brooklyn has found her true calling and so look forward to her continued success! 

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