This week’s guest on our Talent in the Spotlight series* is Lani Brooke Lum, a model, actress,
singer, dancer, contortionist and one of our Featured Talents**. We are happy to share this interview with Lani’s mom Crystal who has some amazing insights into raising a gifted child and balancing work and play.
Lani is just 10 years old but already has quite an industry experience. When did she first show interest in acting and modeling?
Lani first showed interest in modeling at a young age, I would say she was about 3 years old. She has also had such a big presence in front of the camera, and over the years her personality grew. She was probably 5 when she started to really want to act.
Many parents see artistic potential in their kids but are not sure where to start developing the child’s talent. What were your first steps in starting her career?
The first thing I did was ask her if it was something she was interested in. Next, I researched a lot, and I do mean a lot for local agencies as well as online casting sites which is when I found KidsCasting. We started small with boutique modeling, she had also done pageants since 9 months old.
This week Lani was #1 KidsCasting Featured girl, congrats! How long have you been using KidsCasting, and how did you find out about us?
Thank you, we’re excited! I think we’ve been using KidsCasting for about 4 years now. I first found out about KidsCasting through looking on Google.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of KidsCasting?
I love the fact that everything posted has usually been confirmed and is legit. Another great benefit is the great advice available.
Which has been the most exciting project that Lani has worked on so far?
So far the most exciting project for Lani has probably been her first music video — she was a lead in it. It was a fun project with amazing people.
The auditioning process can be an emotional rollercoaster. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned during the process?
Don’t get discouraged by not getting callbacks, keep trying and researching. And I always look at it like this: the more they audition, the better your child gets and the more experience they gain from it.
Lani has so many interests and hobbies. What do you think is the key to finding the balance between work and play?
Lani does have a lot of interests that keep us busy, but we always make sure that the things she’s involved in makes her heart happy and she truly enjoys doing them. We typically take at least one day off a week just for the family, no auditions, no hobbies, just calm time.
The other days she spreads things out in specific times and is very good at keeping up with them.
I periodically ask her if she wants to slow down and the answer is always: I love this, why slow down?
Who are Lani’s idols in the acting and modeling industry?
Lani absolutely loves Dolly Parton and Emma Watson.
How do the performing arts help Lani succeed in other areas in life?
Lani has gained more confidence through the years by being in front of so many people from an early age. She can carry on a conversation with anyone.
Lani never gets stage fright and she feels comfortable being in front of any camera; she also gives directions very well too. We hear this a lot from people she works with that she will end up directing in the future. I could see that happening because she has visions and will definitely share them with those around her.
What advice would you give moms and dads of young talents?
#1 My biggest advice would be not to jump into anything too fast, do your research first.
#2 Do not push your child into anything. Usually, you can tell if it’s something they love. Maybe start with theatre first as well as try to get them in front of the camera even if it’s yours.
#3 Keep trying hard and encourage your child to do the same.
#4 From my experience, casting directors like all types of talent, not just the talkative ones, so always remind your child to be themselves in any audition.
What’s next for Lani?
Lani has some exciting things coming up soon: the lead role in a feature film being filmed in the next few months, she has booked a role in a fun Netflix show, and the lead /starring role in another horror film set to be pitched for a feature film (this she actually didn’t audition for, she was chosen based on recommendations and her resume alone!)
Those are just a few of the projects and, of course, we can’t disclose details until we’re allowed. But we’re super proud and excited about sharing this with everyone. Forever thankful to have the help and resources of KidsCasting on our side!
* Talent in the Spotlight is a series of interviews with KidsCasting Featured talents.
** Featured Talents are KidsCasting members who have the highest Talent Rating score. You can see your Talent Rating score in the little yellow star next to your kid’s profile photo. This score puts your child in a priority position in the talent search. The higher the score, the better. The best way to get this number growing is by being active on KidsCasting — update your child’s profile info regularly, add photos, browse casting calls daily, post your success story.