C’est pas moi, je le jure! (It’s Not Me, I Swear!)

“It’s bad to lie, but it’s worse to lie badly.”

C’est pas moi, je le jure! is a charming Coming-of-Age film from Canada which will bring a lot of smiles and memories to anyone who devotes a little less than two hours to see it.

Everyone wants to be extraordinary, and the protagonist of the film, Léon, is no exception. What’s more, he would frown at anyone who would dare to call him an ordinary, normal boy. By the end of the film, one gets the chance to discover just how special he is.  Like most boys out there, he is mischievous at times, but he is also an intelligent and emotional lad trying hard to make sense of the world surrounding him. This is not an easy task for anyone, let alone a 10-year-old boy.

Léon lives with his parents and older brother Jerome (Gabriel Maille) in a suburban Quebec house. His parents are always fighting; A typical dysfunctional family until the mother decides she wants a divorce one day. So his mother leaves for Greece to find peace there, where “the sky is always blue.” The film is mainly focused on the consequences of her decision to leave and its effect on her children and her husband.

There are numerous layers to this intriguing drama that incorporates many complex relationships, and there are many perspectives to consider. Léon’s Coming-of-Age, as shown in the film, is transformed into a tale of the difficult adolescence of a young boy who is attempting to bring his family back together.

It's Not Me, I Swear! (16)

The casting of It’s Not Me I Swear is quite good. All adult actors deliver excellent, believable performances, but the movie’s young stars steal the hearts of the viewer. You will be pleasantly impressed by the performance of a novice in the film industry once again. Antoine L’Écuyer, in the role of Leon, fits well in this complicated role of a child who creates his misfortune.  Léon’s disobedient actions are unable to conceal his deep sorrow, rage, and sense of loss of innocence. In the press release of the film, its director, Philippe Falardeau, states:

“We  auditioned  80  boys,  then  we  called  back  15,  but  as soon  as  I  saw  Antoine L’Écuyer (grandson of famous Quebec actor Guy L’Écuyer), I knew he had what I was looking for: gravity in his expression and a physical flippancy.”

It's Not Me, I Swear! (2)

The visual effects of the film leave a lasting impression on the viewer. Great colorful overhead shots and unique photography (by André Turpin) make  It’s Not Me, I Swear!  a real treat for the senses. The cinematography is exceptional, and the set design and clothing are faithful to the era. Overall, the picture exudes an extraordinary warmth, often associated with a quality “rites of passage” narrative. The only other film with such astonishing visuals that I could recall is “Toto the Hero“.

As is usually the case with films like these, there are many life lessons to be learned. One of the most extraordinary things about Coming-of-Age films is that they always leave you feeling wiser after you’ve seen them.


C’est pas moi, je le jure! (It’s Not Me, I Swear!)
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Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden
Among the Hidden

I’m always looking for a good Coming-of-Age novel to read, and I recently discovered Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson.

The story is set in a dystopian future. The government has enforced strict laws to limit the population by allowing families only to have two children – a third child can’t exist – at least not legally. Yet when the story opens, we meet Luke, a twelve-year-old boy with two older brothers. Yes, Luke is a third child, and, as such, he has spent his entire life in hiding:

“…He had never disobeyed the order to hide …Luke didn’t know if there was anyone else like him. He wasn’t supposed to exist.”

Breaking the population law comes with some serious consequences, which is why Luke’s family makes sure their third son is not discovered, especially by the population police, who are always on the lookout for third children. This has forced the little boy to live a secluded life, never to leave his house, unlike his older brothers Mark and Matthew, who are free to live in the full sight of the whole world.

One day, disobeying the strict instructions of his father, Luke sneaks a peek into a neighbouring house and, to his surprise, sees a face in one window — a child’s face, a face that’s not supposed to be there. Risking a lot and possibly his life, he decides to sneak into the neighbouring house and, once there, he meets Jen Talbot – a young girl just like him…or not.

Jen is a member of the elite class, yet still a third child just like Luke. She reveals her secret plans to rally to overturn the Population Law that makes third children illegal. But doing so will expose her and her newfound friend to huge danger…which really scares Luke: “Just my luck, Luke thought. I finally meet another third child, and she’s absolutely crazy.”

Among The Hidden Book Trailer

The novel’s chapters are concise and almost always end in a manner that makes one anxious to start the next one and find out what will happen – much like the endings in a television serial. This, and the fact that Among the Hidden is undoubtedly a Coming-of-Age novel with a 12-year-old protagonist, makes it suitable for kids and teens who will associate with the character.

The novel’s story as allegory perfectly fits the sentiments of a wide variety of modern-day minorities, societies and even individuals (such as myself as at the time of reading I can identify with Luke based on common experiences and observations), all of which makes it an intriguing read for older readers as well.

Despite the short chapters, the pace at which the narrative develops is not a rapid one. Yet, as it reflects on the existence that Luke is forced into, it is accurate and allows the reader to really get to know him and his world (both inner and outer).

Although we perceive the world through a young boy’s eyes, one is guaranteed to compare the state of and beliefs of the society he lives in with several we know from history. As making those parallels between the story world and the one in which we live is a big part of the enjoyment that one derives from the novel, I won’t describe my own findings. Still, I will mention that the manner used to describe the world is similar to George Orwell’s in his dystopian novel 1984.

Among the Hidden is the first of seven novels in the Shadow Children series, and it is so good that it has me impatient to start the next book. For those looking for an exciting Coming-of-Age novel to read, I highly recommend Among the Hidden.

Shadrach (1998)


Death ain’t nothing to be afraid about. It’s life that’s fearsome.

Susanna Styron’s 1998 film, Shadrach, is a slow-moving drama that enables spectators to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of 1935 Virginia while also making social commentary on socioeconomic classes, segregation, and human dignity.

The main character, a ninety-nine-year-old Black man who was once a slave, returns to his former plantation grounds to be buried there.

The story is recounted from the perspective of ten-year-old Paul Whitehurst (a masterfully portrayed by Scott Terra), who spends time with the hick family that owns the land and ostensibly recalls the summer he learned not to fear death, and that it is living that will kill you.

Scott Terra
Scott Terra

Except for the fact that the narrative seems to be underdeveloped at times, the tale feels vignette-like and personal, and it has several Coming-of-Age themes that lovers of the genre will no doubt appreciate.

The film includes an intriguing voice-over narration by a grown-up narrator who remembers his childhood days, and he does it with a strong southern accent to boot. Even though it is not everyone’s favorite approach to storytelling, the voice-over narration in a memoir-style allows one to experience some of the same sensations as reading an intriguing novel.

Shadrach (1998) Trailer

One of the film’s major themes is the search for one’s long-lost innocence and, as with all journeys, destinies intersect. Paths diverge, leading to a variety of endings — both literally and metaphorically. While another theme is life lessons we all are destined to learn in time, such as the nature of death and its unavoidability, but also about life itself and the nature of human and God-made rules, as well as the distinction between the two.

A scene from Shadrach (1998)
A scene from Shadrach (1998)

One of the most impressive aspects of the film is its outstanding product design, which instantly takes the viewer into the world of the story via the use of both costumes and props. Even though the camera doesn’t draw much attention, I could not identify any faults worthy of inclusion in my evaluation.

While the narrative has some real chortle and some tear-jerking moments, there is nothing in the way of excitement, which is why most young viewers and those who watch films only for escapist pleasures may find the film to be a little dull.

Shadrach (1998)
88 min|Drama|23 Sep 1998
6.4Rating: 6.4 / 10 from 1,216 usersMetascore: N/A
In 1935, ninety-nine-year-old former slave Shadrach asks to be buried on the soil where he was born to slavery, and that land is owned by the large Dabney family, consisting of Vernon, Trixie, and their seven children, and to bury a
A scene from Shadrach (1998)
Shadrach (1998)
In short
A ninety-nine year old man, who was once a slave, returns to his former plantation to be buried there.
Reader Rating0 Votes
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Boys (2021)


Two boys let their imaginations run wild in Luke Benward‘s 2021 short film Boys, but soon the fun and games come to an abrupt end.

The story juxtaposes innocence and guilt, which further accentuates the moral quandary that the film’s protagonists (and, by extension, the audience) find themselves in. Other short films have explored similar themes, such as Good Machine Gun Sound (2014) and Thomas (2013) – and it is the contemporary nature of the settings and characters that sets apart Luke Benward’s short. The musical score fits well, raising tension in the appropriate scenes. 

Boys (2021) Trailer 

Cameron Crovetti and August Maturo, who play the two boys in the short film, have previous experience in front of the camera and bring their roles to life realistically and powerfully. Excellent cinematography is another noteworthy aspect of the film since both camera positions and framing are performed flawlessly over the course of the narrative.

Scene from Boys starring Cameron Crovetti and August Maturo

Even the simplest of acts may result in devastating consequences. That is one of the motifs in films that ties in nicely with the overall depiction of one’s loss of innocence.

The film premiered at the L.A. Shorts International Film Festival and is available for streaming at the festival`s own platform.

Differences Between Boys’ and Girls’ Horror Films


Horror films have traditionally been seen as a genre made for girls but, more and more, we’re seeing that boys can enjoy them too. Boys will watch these films for the same reasons girls do; for the adrenaline rush and to be scared out of their wits. Boys are often seen as the heroes in horror movies, but they don’t always get to do the things girls do. They aren’t often given a chance to be vulnerable and scared, so this could be why some people say that boys don’t enjoy Coming-of-Age horror movies.

Differences Between Boys’ and Girls’ Horror Films
Differences Between Boys’ and Girls’ Horror Films


The Unique Flavor of Coming-of-Age Films with Male Leads

Coming-of-Age horror movies with boys as protagonists have a unique flavor that those with female protagonists do not. First, the Coming-of-Age horror movies with boys as protagonists are atypical. Most of them are about family and involve familial themes like secrets, violence and death. Those with girls as protagonists, on the other hand, typically have more domestic themes.

Second, these movies usually involve a protagonist who is bullied or tormented by their peers. This is not often seen in films about girls or films with female leads.

Third, they tend to center around the fear of being “alone in the world” and often take place in secluded places. The contrast between this feeling and the reality of their lives is what makes these movies so intriguing.

What sets these movies apart from other films is that they are more brutal than normal Coming-of-Age movies. They also have themes of masculinity and violence highlighted through scenes of bullying, physical abuse, and death.

Top 10 Kids of Horror
Top 10 Kids of Horror

Where do the Differences Lie?  

Boys’ Coming-of-Age horror movies are different from those with girls because male protagonists are usually not allowed to show fear or vulnerability. In many cases, they have to save everyone else and fight back against the monster. And, while this can often make for a very entertaining movie, it also means that male viewers end up underrepresented in these films.

Men are more likely to show a physiological response to horror films than women. This is because when men are under stress, they produce more testosterone which makes them more prone to feelings of fear. Women, on the other hand, produce less testosterone and often take comfort in social bonds which make them feel safe.

Additionally, Coming-of-Age horror flicks with males as the main protagonist are often more violent, with intense emotional scenes. The characters in these films are often trying to deal with their own inner demons and be independent. They are usually more mature than their female counterparts, who have less depth to them.

Horror movies with boys as protagonists have a different Coming-of-Age storyline. They are more likely to involve violence and gore, and the story usually revolves around saving the girl. Boys in movies are often seen as “slobs” that need to be cleaned up by the woman. This is not true for girls in these movies, who are often depicted as being more grown-up than their male counterparts.

Why Boy-Theme Horror Films Work So Well

The first and most obvious reason why boy-theme horror films work is because of the target audience. Boys in particular are attracted to these types of genre films, so it is more than likely that they will also be attracted to the toys, clothing, comics, etc. that go along with them.

The second reason these films work is because they follow a formula that has been successful for decades now: the monster wants to kill a group of people and then return back into a deep pit or hole in the ground. These types of films are always popular at Halloween and it’s easy to see why considering that this is when children (young boys) want to dress up and pretend they’re fighting off scary creatures themselves.

The Ultimate Suggestion for Girl-Friendly Horror Films

The Descent (2006)
The Witch (2015)
It Follows (2014)
Let the Right One In (2008)
The Babadook (2014)
An American Haunting (2005)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

The Ultimate Suggestion for Boy-Friendly Horror Films

A Quiet Place (2018)
Black Hollow Cage (2017)
Bloody Birthday (1981)
Boarding School (2018)
Child Eater (2016)
Child’s Play 1 and 2
Clownhouse (1989)
Cooties (2014)
Cub (2014)
Dark Skies (2013)
Deadly Intent (2016)
Devil Times Five (1974)
Dolly Dearest (1991)
Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972
Emelie (2015)
Evolution (2015)
Found (2012)
Frailty (2001)
Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Here Comes the Devil (2012)
Home Movie (2008)
Ice Cream Man (1995)
In a Glass Cage (1986)
Joshua (2007)
Mikey (1992)
Mom and Dad (2017)
Parents (1989)
Robert (2015)
Summer of 84 (2018)
The Atoning (2017)
The Boogey Man (1980)
The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
The Good Son (1993)
The Omen 1 and 2
The Other (1972)
The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)
The Babadook (2014)
The Babysitter (2017)
The Believers (1987)
The Boy (2015)
The Children (2008)
The Girl Next Door (2007)
The Orphan (1979)
The Pit (1991)
The Reflecting Skin (1990)
The Shinning (1980)
The Witch (2015)
The Witch in the Window (2018)
What the Peeper Saw (1972)
Whisper (2007)
Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

The Black Stallion (1979)


Editor’s Note: This review, originally published on site in August of 2008, was written by Guest Reviewer Ikarus. Thirteen years later we felt the quality of the review merited that it be republished to bring it to the attention of the many new readers of our site. We also felt that, for our long time readers who may have read it when it was originally published, it was worth another read. Enjoy!

Hello, dear visitors of!

Today I would like to present you with a personal review of the famous film, The Black Stallion, by Carroll Ballard. I guess this film has to be a real classic to some of you guys already. Personally, I first stumbled on this film a few days ago, while I was in the city to do some Christmas shopping. Beware! There could still be some mistakes (I’m German), but I double-checked for spelling mistakes, et cetera!

So, how to start? I think it would be best to summarize the storyline briefly so that those of you who do not know this flick will have a better overview. And, the corresponding storyline is introduced rather quickly here: we can see how a young boy named Alec (Kelly Reno) is on a boat trip with his father.

One day, he notices a big black horse held in captivity by some men on the ship. He brings him some pieces of sugar; however – there is not much time left for an animal friendship to develop since it seems like the boat hit a reef and is rapidly sinking. Unfortunately, the boy gets separated from his father and is about to drown, when the black horse comes into play. Together they finally strand on a lonely island, somewhere in the middle of nowhere… and this is where the story actually begins.

theblackstallion01Kelly Reno plays the young boy who strands on an island

And to state it: this film really IS an unusual overall experience – in a very positive way. The first and most important aspect that is so remarkable about it is the stunning cinematography and manner of filming.

We have beautiful nature shots and landscapes in which the boy and the horse are moving around, slowly becoming friends with each other. We have many scenes where no words are spoken, and not even simple sounds are to be heard – just a calm musical tone in the background. This leads to the effect that the film totally absorbs the audience and from the optics in general – one can get a really good feeling for the (generally desperate) situation that this boy is in.

Of course, I do not know much about the production background here. Unfortunately, there has not been any “making of” on the German DVD that I bought. I’d like to ask [the creative people] HOW they shot the whole thing in general. Because the horse obviously is a real one, which seems to be kind of wild and full of temperament – and has a lot of contact with the actor Kelly Reno, even when there is a lot of movement in the scenes. It’s just remarkable. However, I am sure that they took a lot of safety precautions here.

But one thing that most viewers would overlook: the whole thing seems to be as real as it can get. Such as for the camera handling – there are a lot of great shots. And, special for this period of time, a rather fast edit process as well. But it is not too hectic at all. However, Kelly Reno just did an outstanding job here. It is his performance that makes this film work like it does.

The Black Stallion ( 1979) Trailer

A deep friendship between a boy and a horse is developing…

The film is separated into two parts… the first is set on the island, and the second focuses on the times when Alec comes home again, of course WITH the horse, which leads to further situations – whether they are funny, melancholic or difficult ones. The only thing I have to mention negatively is that I would have wished for a slightly longer part on the island – by showing where they got water, food, how Alec may have discovered the island, et cetera.

Kelly Reno
Kelly Reno

So I found that the first half of the film really IS extraordinary, while the second kind of comes across as rather common. Still, not as common as in all those new films (from the ’90s and after 2000) involving children’s friendships with animals (mostly dogs) – of course! No, much to the contrary – it is just fascinating to see how the horse gets tamed more and more, being prepared for a great running contest. Maybe this feeling that the first part was much more intensive, subliminal, stunning (and totally timeless!) can be attributed to personal taste.

However, be prepared for a not so surprising but very moving ending…

All in all, I am giving this piece an 8.9 out of 10 point rating. Highly recommended for both an adult and a young audience! Or even better: something for a nice evening with the whole family. A beautiful portrait of a boy’s friendship with a horse, with lots of universal meanings and great music.

It’s a Coming-of-Age story about a boy and his horse. The Black Stallion is a movie about the power of friendship, loyalty, and trust.

Yours’s truly, Ikarus.

The Black Stallion (1979)
In short
It's a coming of age story about a boy and his horse. The Black Stallion is a movie about the power of friendship, loyalty, and trust.
Reader Rating3 Votes
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Run Wild, Run Free (1969)


Run Wild, Run Free (1969)As a child actor, Mark Lester looked the part. He so looked the part of Oliver Twist that he was cast in the lead role of the 1968 musical film despite having no singing voice to speak of.

In 2004 the UK’s Mail On Sunday, with Lester’s consent, broke one of the film industry’s hitherto best-kept secrets: his singing parts in Oliver! had been skilfully dubbed by an uncredited Kathe Green, the then 20-year-old daughter of the film’s musical director. Many fans who for years had admired “his” moving soprano renditions of Where is Love? and Who Will Buy? felt cheated by this revelation – but, hey, it was brilliantly done and, after all, what is cinema about if not illusion and suspension of disbelief?

Mark Lester
Mark Lester

So he couldn’t sing, but Mark Lester was still a talented boy. He moved well on screen and had a face that could tell a thousand stories. In the wake of the commercial and critical success of Oliver! he was a hot property. Within two years, he had starred in no fewer than seven full-length features: Run Wild, Run Free (1969), The Boy Who Stole the Elephant and Eyewitness (1970), Melody, Black Beauty, Whoever Slew Aunty Roo and Night Hair Child (all in 1971).

Only Run Wild, Run Free earned him critical acclaim, which feels cruel with hindsight. It’s hardly surprising that his later performances were lacklustre; one can only cringe at the thought of the pressure the poor kid was under.

Scene from Run Wild, Run Free (1969)
Scene from Run Wild, Run Free (1969)

By 1973, the adolescent Mark, now yesterday’s adorable moppet, was finding it hard to get any more good roles. The following few years offered only a series of commercial flops and unkind comments from the critics. He quit acting at 17 and went back to school, which may have been a blessing in disguise. He went on to train as an osteopath and now runs a successful practice in England; a happier outcome than that of his original co-star and close friend Jack Wild, who struggled to cope with the pressure of fame’s limelight and whose career, personal life and health were tragically wrecked by alcoholism.

Mark Lester, Photograph Taken in London , 1976 by Allan Warren
Mark Lester, Photograph Taken in London, 1976 by Allan Warren

Although Mark Lester’s debut in Oliver! was the pinnacle of his short acting career, his performance in Run Wild, Run Free was by far his best. Based on his novel The White Colt, David Rook’s screenplay tells the tale of ten-year-old Philip. He’s a troubled young soul, both terrified and fascinated by the world around him, who can’t relate to his peers or (least of all) his parents. Indeed, he’s been inexplicably mute (or perhaps just refused to talk) since infancy. No explanation is offered as to why he should be this way, though he would probably have been labelled autistic had the film been made today.

Mark Lester as Philip in Run Wild, Run Free
Mark Lester as Philip in Run Wild, Run Free

This role could have been made for Lester, whose haunting expression captured the range of a disturbed boy’s confusion, fear, rage and wonderment to perfection.

Philip’s predicament is made worse by his being an only child, with parents (Sylvia Syms and Gordon Jackson) who seem clueless about his needs. They live in an isolated house on a beautiful but sometimes bleak Dartmoor in the south of England. Since he was first able to toddle, the boy has habitually wandered off into the moors and his own inner world, where he seems to take solace in nature.

Mark Lester and John Mills in Run Wild, Run Free (1969)
Mark Lester and John Mills in Run Wild, Run Free (1969)

The nearest neighbour befriends him: a kindly retired colonel played admirably by John Mills.

This older man shares Philip’s love of nature and wildlife and takes the boy under his wing. For the first time, it seems, Philip begins to engage with another person.

Then one day, he sees a wild pony out on the moors. Colt and boy take an immediate shine to each other, and eventually, the pony follows Philip home. Philip names the colt after himself, seeing the shy, solitary, independent animal as a kindred spirit. His condition starts to improve as he tries (in vain) to explain the joy he derives from the pony to his parents.

Run Wild, Run Free
Run Wild, Run Free

Tragedy strikes one night during a storm when the pony becomes startled and runs off, not to be found, leaving Philip distraught. Comfort is at hand, though, through another of the colonel’s young friends (this was a more innocent age: there are no sinister overtones to the tale!). Diana is a girl around Philip’s age and the proud owner of “Lady,” a pet falcon. Seeing the boy’s distress, she offers to gift the magnificent bird to him. With the colonel’s help, they train Lady together (no one really owns a falcon!), and a genuinely moving bond develops between the two children.

There are obvious parallels here to a better-known film about another troubled boy whose eyes are opened through falconry, which may be hard to put down to coincidence. Barry Hines’s timeless classic Kes (unquestionably a better film than this one) was released in the same year. But anyone accusing Run Wild, Run Free of being a rip-off should note that David Rook’s novel The White Colt was published in 1967: the year before Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave.

Fiona Fullerton
Fiona Fullerton

Diana is played by Fiona Fullerton, who went on to a successful adult acting career. She made a strong debut here. Although her role was less demanding than that of Philip, her portrayal of the girl’s loyalty to and affection for the strange boy is one of the film’s highlights and guaranteed to melt the most cynical of hearts, especially in the climactic scene.

Run Wild, Run Free can’t fail to make an impression with themes and performances like these. It is a memorable film. It’s not, however, a great one. It’s unforgivably formalistic, even for its era. As I’ve mentioned, it’s of the same vintage as the similarly-themed Kes: a gritty, realistic, wholly unsentimental opus. This one uses children and animals to go straight for the viewer’s emotional jugular. It’s brimming with stereotypes: the neurotic, overprotective mother and the emotionally distant, overbearing father (who, naturally, come to learn lessons about themselves as well as their child by the end); the flawed, avuncular adult friend; the young girl whose strength lies in her emerging maternal instinct. And, of course, the disturbed child with hidden depths and abilities. Mark Lester showed such insight into Philip’s condition that I find it a shame he wasn’t given the material to develop the character further.

Sylvia Sims and Mark Lester
Sylvia Sims and Mark Lester

No spoilers here, but it must be said too that the film’s climax, which uses the heart-wrenching cheat of placing children in mortal danger, is overblown and overplayed. For me, the most powerful thing about it was how young Fiona Fullerton’s performance was left to save the day, though I’m sure that wasn’t the director’s intention.

Not having read the book, I can’t say whether these issues are specific to the film or inherent in the original narrative. Either way, they left the story’s undeniable impact feeling rather hollow for me.

Nonetheless, this is an unforgettable family film that is still apt to capture the hearts of viewers of all ages. Like most of Mark Lester’s post-Oliver movies, it fell into obscurity and for many years was commercially unavailable. Re-released on DVD, it’s now up for a spare change from the major online retailers. I’m glad about that. For all its faults, it’s well worth watching, particularly for the two young stars’ outstanding performances.

Run Wild, Run Free (1969)
An unforgettable family film that is still apt to capture the hearts of viewers of all ages. Though far from perfect, it is memorable and well-worth watching.Despite a strong adult cast, the kids stole the show in this vintage family film.
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Acting Advice for Child Actors


 Child ActorChildren and adolescents often have to go on auditions for commercials, films, music videos, television programs, and other types of productions. There are several tips that young actors might want to keep in mind when they are performing in front of the camera for the first time.

They must show their best self on screen. It is also important that they dress appropriately for the occasion if they know what to wear ahead of time and, if not, it should be something comfortable. Camera angles can make your appearance more flattering, so it might be wise to take a picture of yourself ahead of time from all angles, so you know what you will look like in the audition.

Acting Tips for Teen Actors

Every child actor has to learn how to act in front of a camera and handle different situations that come up on set. For instance, reacting to someone’s sudden appearance or doing a dramatic reading when the camera cuts out. Unlike theatre or film acting, there is a definite difference, and an actor needs to know which skills are required for on-camera work.

Acting tips

Another reason child actors need to know how to act in front of a camera is they do not have a live audience as in theatrical performances. There are many tips that child actors need to know to be successful on camera. For example, they should ensure that they are not too close or too far from the lens. They also need to understand that their body language can ruin the scene and be subtle.

One of the most common complaints about young actors is that they can’t seem to keep themselves from fidgeting when they’re on stage, and the goal is to stay within the frame of the camera while remaining calm and in control. That said, it’s not a good idea to look robotic, so be sure to convey enthusiasm and conviction.

An essential thing is gaining experience. Through community theatre, courses, improv training, or auditions, people may explore their creative talents. People often think that it’s about how much talent they have, but that’s not true. A creative career consists of hard work and dedication, as well as time to experiment and explore.

The key thing that they need to remember is that their performance needs to be believable and not over the top. Remember: having fun is essential. Don’t force yourself to book gigs if you don’t enjoy your work. Do it because you enjoy it. If you do not love working on scripts and coming up with entertaining characters, your audition will reflect this.

Introducing Robert Levey II

Robert Levey II
Robert Levey II

Robert Levey II is a 12-year-old boy who loves to sing. He started playing the piano at age five and has been taking vocal lessons since the age of three. His YouTube channel features cover songs that he does remarkably well.

“Oh Darling” cover by Robert Levey II.

In the age of YouTube and streaming services, many young people discover their talent and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Robert Levey II is one of these people. At the age of 11, he began creating music videos on YouTube by performing popular songs from artists like John Legend, Ed Sheeran, and Michael Jackson.

The way he sings is one of a kind. He really shows passion and manages to switch his tone often, which adds an extra dimension of skill. He has picked excellent songs to cover, and his notes linger gently as he performs. When one watches his videos, it is impossible not to notice how much he enjoys performing, which makes them fun to watch.

“Ben” cover by Robert Levey

The music he plays is chilled, making it easy to relax. When watching his videos, you can tell that he is truly enjoying what he is doing, which comes from the heart. This adds a different depth as his music moves beyond words and directly touches people’s emotions.

He has always loved being in front of the camera and has already had the opportunity to participate in several film projects, with his ambition being to land a larger role in the future.

You can find more songs by Robert Levy II on his YouTube Chanel and on Instagram.


Classic Coming of Age Movies That Every Black Kid Should Watch


The Coming-of-Age film genre has grown exponentially in recent years, with the increase of more representation and validation of people of color. It was not until recently that films like Moonlight and Get Out were recognized by the academy as Best Picture nominees. These films are important for their ability to show the struggles, triumphs, and uncertainties that come with being a black child in America.

Moonlight: Directed by Barry Jenkins
Moonlight: Directed by Barry Jenkins

As a black kid, I think these movies really shaped my view of the world and how I interacted with it. We can’t be perfect all the time, and these movies helped me understand that. I watched a lot of Coming-of-Age movies in my teens to help me get through some tough times. These movies helped me deal with family issues, mental health issues, and everything in between. Here are some classics that I think every black kid should watch:

Roll Bounce (2005)

X (Bow Wow) just wants to hang out with his friends and skate in this Coming-of-Age comedy based in the 70s. When his manhood and skating skills are challenged, he doesn’t fail to step up to the plate.

The film follows Bow Wow as he navigates the confusing and sometimes devastating world of being a teenager. He is faced with difficult choices that will ultimately shape his future.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)

This film is a Coming-of-Age story that follows two young boys living on their own in one of New York’s toughest neighborhoods. The film, which was screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and debuted on HBO in September 2013, has been praised for its gritty portrayal of street life and powerful performances from its young leads.

George Washington (2000)

George Washington (2000)
George Washington (2000)

Summer isn’t what it used to be. Nowadays, any kids who still live in the rural South have a whole season’s worth of responsibilities and hard questions to deal with. An ambitiously constructed, elegantly photographed meditation on adolescence, the first full-length film by director David Gordon Green, George Washington features remarkable performances from an award-winning ensemble cast.

LUV (2013)


LUV (2013)
LUV (2013)

An 11-year-old boy took a crash course to learn what it means to be a man, while spending a day with the former criminal uncle he admired. He will be given a crash course in masculinity, with such things like how to drive a vehicle, how to fire a weapon, and how to conceal a reserve. But where will it all end?

Hardball (2001)



Hardball is an American sports comedy-drama film that follows a troubled youth (Damon Wayans) who is given the opportunity to turn his life around by playing on a Little League team coached by former major league player Jimmy Dugan.

Black movies have always been a huge part of film culture, but they are not usually associated with the Coming-of-Age genre. In fact, they are usually given a different category for recognition, such as “urban.” These Coming-of-Age films show that it’s okay to be different and that you should never stop trying to find yourself. The films tell the stories of Black children and their struggles growing up in America. They show the importance of family, friends, and finding your own identity.