How to Act Like a Kid: Backstage Secrets of a Young Performer

Overview


Henry Hodges has spent the last twelve years either on stage or in front of a camera. From playing Chip in Beauty and the Beast to Jeremy Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, Henry literally has lived on Broadway for most of his young life. His other credits include community and regional theaters, touring shows, opera, television commercials, and voice-overs for Snow Buddies and Space Buddies.

In How to Act Like a Kid, Henry will use his ...

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Overview


Henry Hodges has spent the last twelve years either on stage or in front of a camera. From playing Chip in Beauty and the Beast to Jeremy Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, Henry literally has lived on Broadway for most of his young life. His other credits include community and regional theaters, touring shows, opera, television commercials, and voice-overs for Snow Buddies and Space Buddies.

In How to Act Like a Kid, Henry will use his considerable experience--and wisdom beyond his years--to give young readers advice on open calls, auditions, rehearsals, dance and voice classes, child wranglers, studio teachers, and how to do homework in green rooms! Most of all, he will relate how to live a normal life while devoting your time to performing on stage and screen. The book will cover all the ups and downs of childhood acting, including disappointments: he didn't get the role of Tiny Tim when he first auditioned for The Christmas Carol because he was too small, but returned to win the role for two seasons!

For the first time, young aspiring performers will be able to read about and learn from a young actor--through his own words.

PRAISE FOR HOW TO ACT LIKE A KID

Henry Hodges blows me away. Not only is he the mosttalented young actor to have appeared on Broadway in decades, he's the smartest aswell-a star in every regard. This book is a must-read for any kid who loves theaterand dreams to be a part of it.

-Thomas Schumacher, President, Disney Theatrical Group

Whether you've dreamed of being onstage or are already onyour creative journey, reading How to Act Like a Kid is a must! Henry knows hisstuff and has written a book that's revealing, practical, inspired, and most of all, alittle bit magical-which is what we hope the theater can be. I only wish I'd had this bookwhen I was "acting like a kid."

-Andrea McArdle, Broadway's original Annie

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Hodges is a young actor with an old soul. As a Broadway child star, Hodges learned many tricks of the trade, which he openly shares with his readers. His struggles with dyslexia and a small stature led his parents to seek creative outlets outside of the classroom. This moving account follows Hodges' career, from auditioning for commercials to lead roles, such as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins. Heavily illustrated with photos, Hodges' story also features numerous inset boxes featuring interviews with a talent agent, director, voice coach, producer, casting agent, and other related professionals, all of which offer additional "how-to" inside scoops for those readers interested in pursuing the glittering lights all the way to the marquee. Throughout the engaging tales of his successes, struggles, and his generous activities focused on giving back to the community, Hodges demonstrates that he is a dedicated young person for whom clearly there is no business like show business. - Gail Bush—Booklist Online

Gr 6 Up Hodges began his acting career as an alternative to his negative academic start. He was so tiny that the doctors recommended growth hormones, he repeated kindergarten, he failed music because he couldn't read the lyrics under the bouncing ball, and he was diagnosed with dyslexia. With a supportive mom in his corner, he was whisked away from his multiple failures and propelled in a new direction. Enrolled in the best-known music school in Washington, DC, the boy began private singing classes, dance lessons, acrobatics, and more. Through homeschooling or a private tutor, he went on to slay his learning obstacles, become a young commercial actor, and soon evolved into a child star on Broadway. Hodges's story is largely told through a series of narratives displaying his youthful optimism, perseverance, and determination. The interesting side stories from his previous dance teachers, directors, acrobatics coach, vocal audition coach, to name some, balance out his narrative and underscore the demanding lifestyle and personal investment required to be a performer. They also shed another light on the boy, who, while successful, also seems effusively happy, good natured, and inspirational. Honestly, his good fortune feels almost too good to be true. His mother's investment is obvious but there's little mention of the personal and financial risks the family took. The book has an abundance of engaging photos of Hodges onstage and off and is chock-full of information, practical advice, and encouragement for aspiring performers. Alison Follos, formerly at North Country School, Lake Placid, NY—SLJ

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Henry Hodges started his career at age four as a model and went on to star in blockbuster Disney productions like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Now he is a young adult, making the transition to adult roles. How did he do it? Any child (or parent of) who has ambitions to perform will find Henry's story instructive. First of all, Henry had unusual focus, eagerness to learn, and ability to keep his equilibrium under pressure. Second, he had devoted, affluent parents to aid his career. True, Henry had a handicap: he is dyslexic, though with incredible luck, it turned out that the life of an actor with tutors and home schooling was just right for him. Henry's adventures on the stage and in the studio (enthusiastically told) will appeal to eager young actors or dancers, while giving them an idea of the time, energy, and discipline necessary to succeed. Henry loves to try anything new; his motto is "Always say yes!" Parents may find it daunting to consider the time a child actor spends away from home, the amazing cost of the many lessons needed (voice, ballet, jazz, gymnastics, to name a few), and the task of keeping their child healthy, safe, and, above all, natural on the stage. Note: professionals quoted stress that parents should keep hands off their child's career and focus on his or her well-being. Throughout, readers will learn about agents, managers, directors, auditioning, fitting in schoolwork, even choosing publicity photographs. One of the most interesting interviews is with Christina Huschle, "child wrangler" or guardian, who speaks of keeping kids safe backstage, handling disappointment, and the maturity of a child's attitude. Loaded with advice and photos of Henry, this biography/handbook will be a revelation to aspiring actors and parents alike. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Hodges began his acting career as an alternative to his negative academic start. He was so tiny that the doctors recommended growth hormones, he repeated kindergarten, he failed music because he couldn't read the lyrics under the bouncing ball, and he was diagnosed with dyslexia. With a supportive mom in his corner, he was whisked away from his multiple failures and propelled in a new direction. Enrolled in the best-known music school in Washington, DC, the boy began private singing classes, dance lessons, acrobatics, and more. Through homeschooling or a private tutor, he went on to slay his learning obstacles, become a young commercial actor, and soon evolved into a child star on Broadway. Hodges's story is largely told through a series of narratives displaying his youthful optimism, perseverance, and determination. The interesting side stories from his previous dance teachers, directors, acrobatics coach, vocal audition coach, to name some, balance out his narrative and underscore the demanding lifestyle and personal investment required to be a performer. They also shed another light on the boy, who, while successful, also seems effusively happy, good natured, and inspirational. Honestly, his good fortune feels almost too good to be true. His mother's investment is obvious but there's little mention of the personal and financial risks the family took. The book has an abundance of engaging photos of Hodges onstage and off and is chock-full of information, practical advice, and encouragement for aspiring performers.—Alison Follos, formerly at North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423163206
  • Publisher: Disney Editions
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 383,006
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Henry Hodges began acting at the age of four. He has appeared in productions ranging from Shakespeare to Disney and he was featured in How Does the Show Go On. Hodges has also been featured on Disney 365, the Today Show, the Early Show, Fox News Live, and 20/20. In between auditions, he plays in a rock band and enjoys sailing and fencing.

Margaret Engel, a playwright and journalist, has known Henry Hodges since birth and has seen him grown from Tiny Tim to Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird. She is a former Washington Post reporter and is director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation. her writing has been nominated four times for the Pulitzer Prize.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    The book is easy to read and has some sage advice from a boy who

    The book is easy to read and has some sage advice from a boy who started out without any experience - there are lots of photographs of Henry and its interesting to see how he has grown. The stories gave me a different view of how performers hone their skills and the glossary at the back has some useful links. Nice book for content wish some of the photos were in color. Nice read

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