by Waverly W.
8 years old

The Mom here. As some of you know, Waverly is not only The Kiditor in Chief here at KN NYC, but she is also an actress.  After a few months on break, she informed me that she was ready to go back to it and asked me to find her some roles.  Honestly, I was a little nervous…I would do anything for her but some things are beyond my control!  But then there was Rachel.  With over 9 million “Levinators” watching her RCL Beauty 101 You Tube videos, Rachel Levin has been named “The Top Social Media Influencer Under the Age of 21” by LA based social marketing company Zerf.  I spotted an ad for an audition to play her younger self, clicked on the picture to see if Waverly looked like her, and gave it a shot.  Within a few hours, we were on our way to Philadelphia to shoot “I AM UGLY.”  I’ll let Wave tell you the rest…

It was my first day back to school and I was excited to be in 3rd grade.  It was late afternooon so I was hanging around with my friend Jasmine and her mom when my mom texted her mom saying that she needed to talk to me and it was IMPORTANT.  I thought she was mad at me for something but when I called to talk to her she explained that I had just gotten a really good role and she needed to know if I really wanted my acting break to be over.  She said that if I took the role, I’d have to go on a long drive and get back late even if it was a school night.  She also told me that there would be a lot of people seeing me in the video if I decided to take it.  “YES,” I told her.

Next thing I knew I was at the hair salon getting my hair untangled and blown out straight.  That part was not fun.  First I had it in rollers and I loved how it looked when they got taken out but then my mom called the hair place and said it had to be straight.  Oh well.

A few hours later we were off.  I fell asleep almost immediately after eating potato chips from the bottom of the bag that my mom handed me – we were not exactly prepared since we didn’t know this was going to happen when we woke up that day! It was already almost dinnertime when we left but we didn’t have time to get dinner.

A couple hours later I woke up and my mom said we were almost there.  We were actually early, so we stopped at a store to get some food.  After that we found the place but there wasn’t anyone around just yet.  My mom was a little worried that maybe we were in the wrong place or maybe this was some kind of trick but then a car pulled up and there was Rachel!  She was super nice right from the beginning and we had fun hanging out in front of the studio, eating grapes, cheese and pieces of baguette while waiting for the camera guys to show up.  Then we had to wait some more so my mom gave me her phone and I sat in the car playing Subway Surfer since I was getting bitten by mosquitos – they love me!!

A little while later, the camera guys showed up so we went in.  They showed me a giant mirror and explained that the mirror was the reason they chose to shoot the video there.  I have never seen a bigger mirror!  The only problem was that they had to drag the giant mirror into another room that had better lighting.  And that room had furniture and stuff that had to be moved around.  Basically what that meant for me was that I had to sit there and wait.  And wait. And wait some more after they got the room set up and then had to get the lighting right.  For those of you who saw the video, I can tell you that a lot of time was spent making sure that you guys could actually see us!  I think they did a great job on that!  While they did that, Rachel did my hair so it had the little waves at the end like hers did.  That part was really fun.  She taught my mom how to do it but I’m pretty sure Rachel is better at it! (The Mom here – yep. I’m pretty sure of that, too).

After a few hours of setting up the fun part came when Rachel called me over to do my makeup!  I never had eyeliner on and made sure my mom got a picture of me with it before it got all smudged for the video.  After that, Rachel put on the same lipstick she had on and I got dressed in the matching outfit she bought me (She let me keep it! That doesn’t always happen in acting).  If you’re wondering what she is like in person, I can tell you that she is really friendly and I felt comfortable with her right away.

We were finally ready to shoot the video and it was already past my bedtime (and my mom’s, lol).  My mom kept giving me sugar wafers and saying that it was only because it was a special occasion and not to expect that every night, blah blah blah.  I guess she felt bad for me because I didn’t have much to do since I came right from school and didn’t have any books or toys with me like I usually would on other shoots, or at least have other kids there to goof around with!  For those of you who want to know what it’s like to shoot a film, video, tv show, etc….all I can say is there’s a lot of waiting and a lot of REPEATING! And that’s not just for this video, it’s for everything I’ve ever done.  So if you don’t like repeating yourself, acting is definitely not for you!

behindthescenes2Anyway, Rachel let me do my stuff first because it was pretty late and we still had to drive all the way back to Manhattan.  Here’s something that may surprise you – we shot each of our parts completely separately.  I did all of my lines, one by one, in order, and I didn’t even see any of Rachel’s stuff getting shot.  She did all of that after I left.  As for my lines, I didn’t see them at all before the camera was rolling. Rachel would tell me what to say, then she would say, “Action!” And then I would say the line.  It took like four or five times for each, saying them differently, before we could move onto the next one.  I was pretty tired by the time I had to say the long ones, and I kept saying “stress marks” instead of “stretch marks!” So we had to do that one a lot.  Here’s another thing that may surprise you – when you see me looking up at Rachel like I’m talking to her, guess what I’m really looking at?  Nope, it’s NOT Rachel! It’s … a smudge mark on the mirror! They had to make a mark that was the same height as her so it looked like I was talking to her.  So every time I had to say a line, they would say, “OK, Waverly…chin up, look at the smudge, and…ACTION!”  And if I didn’t do it right I’d have to do it again and they’d say, “That was great but look at the smudge this time, ok?”  I can tell you that Rachel is MUCH prettier than the smudge, of course, even with her makeup all smudged like it was!

So that’s how it was to play “mini Rachel.”  That night I fell asleep in the car and woke up the next morning for my second day of third grade.  Two days after that the video was released on You Tube pretty much right after I got home from a weekend in Michigan with my dad (Go Blue!) and my mom was freaking out over how many people saw it just in the first ten minutes.  I loved how it all came together and I really love what the video is trying to tell everyone. I hope that with this video, Rachel and I helped some people feel good about themselves. That’s what she was trying to do and I am super proud and thankful to her for letting me be a part of it.  Not only is she NOT ugly, but she is beautiful inside and out!