Tales may be heard of the lucky discovery that leads to movie stardom for some fortunates, but the reality is that it takes diligence, hard work and making one’s own breaks to rise just to the level of regular work in the movie-making business - if it happens at all. But for three of the four Probus children, of Cabot, the process may be under way with each having landed parts in movies — and the 18-month-old youngest getting an offer.
Those who know Madison Probus, 17, and Zachary Probus, 14, may have seen them in the pilot of “Ravenswood” that aired recently on KATV-Channel 7. The show is a spinoff from “Pretty Little Liars.”
“We are in the parade scene and some of the scenes leading up to the parade,” Madison said.
The first thing is to be signed by an agent, Probus said. The children have accomplished that and are working through agencies in five cities. “The agent is the one who gets parts for them,” he said.
But the agent landing a try at a part is only the beginning, and there are many tries before a role is landed, Madison said.
“But it is not personal, not a rejection of you,” she said. “You just did not fit what was wanted. Maybe it is the way you say a word,” she said.
Madison was the first to find a part in acting. She said she had begun by pursuing a modeling career but instead got a part.
The children are homeschooled, allowing the freedom to travel while they audition and compete for roles in networks such as Disney and Nickleodeon.
Jennifer said they use a prepared curriculum, so there is no break from class.
Even parents Michael and Jennifer have found themselves employed on sets by virtue of being with their children. “They needed some background people. You know, the people you see just walking by, and we were there and available,” Micheal Probus said of their one time on the screen.
Besides the television work, each of them and younger brother, Joshua, have landed parts in movies. Although none have yet had speaking parts, gaining experience on movie sets is an important part of their resumes, Micheal Probus said in an interview. It is like any other career, it can be difficult to get that initial experience that so important on resumes, he said.
Both Madison and Zachary said they had parts in “Old Boy,” a movie by Spike Lee project set for release in November.
Madison also appears in “Starving Games.”
“It spoofs Hunger Games,” she said. “It is supposed to come out sometime in November.”
But, there is also much to be said about being in the right place at the right time, Probus said. Joshua circumvented the classes and competitions endured by Madison and Zachary simply by being with his siblings.
“[Joshua] was off by himself playing and something he was doing caught an agent’s eye,” Jennifer recalled.
With that came time on the set of “Star Crossed,” a movie set for release in January 2014 on the CW Network.
After his time on the set, Joshua is sold on pursuing an acting career. “This is what I want to do,” he said.
Micheal said his work in Information Technology lets him work in remote locations. “It works out for me that way. I can log in anywhere and do what is needed,” he said.
Jennifer is the full-time mom/teacher/everything-else to keep the family running.
“We are really proud of what they are doing, how they are working for what they want,” Jennifer said. “We will support them any way we can.”
“They are just starting out,” Michael said. “It is going to take a lot, but as long as we can we will support them.”