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Growing Up Geek: How OLIVER Led to Breakfast with Jason Bateman

In my last Growing Up Geek article, "The Beginning of a Child Actor," I started to talk about my adventures of being a child actor. As I mentioned before, I got my start doing a lot of stage plays and musicals at a local theater in the city where I grew up called The Glendale Center Theater. It was there that I made some of the best friends I ever had, and I engulfed myself in the world of entertainment. Acting was something that I truly enjoyed doing, and it gave me such a strong adrenaline rush every time I got up on stage. I really wanted to give this acting thing a try.

It was during this time that I was spotted by a couple talent agents while I was doing the musical Oliver. I played Charlie Bates, who was kind of a side kick to Artful Dodger, and part of the rest of Faign's young team of hooligan pick-pockets. I nailed down my English accent, and it made me want to start learning how to talk in more different accents. There was also a girl in the play that I made out with all the time. I was full on making out with girls at eleven-years-old thanks to theater, which is so hard to fathom now. I would go ballistic if one of my daughters was making out with boys at that age. If my mom is reading this right now, it might be the first time she's hearing of this. Oliver was definitely one of most fun stage productions I was ever a part of. 

One night after the play ended, I was out in the lobby doing a meet and greet with the audience, and that is when I was approached by two agents. One worked for a big youth talent agency called 20th Century Artists, the other was an independent agent by the name of Alfie.  

In the coming weeks I met with both of them and in the end I decided to go with Alfie. This was a guy that seemed like he would give me his undivided attention. He had a much smaller clientele than the other agency who was loaded with young actors. It was comforting to know someone would be there to put a lot of their time and attention on getting me work, and that they wouldn't be spread thin like the other agency. 

One of my most vivid memories of spending time with Alfie was when we went out to get some head shots done for me. We met up at a house in the Hollywood Hills, and it was there I met a young actor by the name of Jason Bateman, who made me pancakes. At the time I had just known him from Silver Spoons and Teen Wolf 2. Since then the guy has become a huge actor in Hollywood, and one of his next films coming out will be Horrible Bosses 2. I remember I was watching Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story where Bateman played one of the announcers in the story during the tournament. It was the first movie that I recognized him in since the time he made me breakfast. It's really surreal to think about that now. He was the absolutely nicest guy, but I seriously doubt he remembers this as it was so long ago. It's a fun experience for me to look back on, though. I'm not really sure what Alfie's relationship was with him, but we took the headshot photos right across the street from the house where I ate pancakes with the actor. 

The head shots turned out great, and Alfie went to work trying to find me acting gigs, the first of which was a video game commercial for Super Nintendo. That will be the next Growing Up Geek experience that I share.

(Note: That's not me in the photo above. I couldn't find any pictures from that production, which really bums me out.)

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