Q: What is your name and current job title or role?
A: Rachel Batson, mother of Maggie, John and Bobby Batson.
Q: When did acting introduce itself to the Batson family?
A: Maggie Batson has a business called Twice Loved by Maggie B. Through her business, she was asked to be on TV shows such as Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out” and PBS’s “Biz Kids.” Agents from across the country saw her on these programs and contacted us to represent Maggie. Once we signed with an agent, they took a look at her little brothers, John and Bobby, and wanted to sign them as well. Bobby was too young at the time, so they had to wait until he turned 5. Bobby has been working ever since.
Q: How has the journey been since that time?
A: It is a wonderful journey! We go day to day with fun adventures. I am very flexible and love the spontaneity of the business. Bobby got a three-page audition from L.A. late last Friday night that he had to memorize and be ready for on Saturday afternoon. When he got up on Saturday, I told him about his audition. He was so excited to learn the script. We worked on it Saturday morning, then he had a basketball game at 11. He went to his game, played hard. He loves sports! He’s on about every rec sport. After his game, we study the script a little more, and he is ready to audition!
Q: What is the process like when Maggie, John or Bobby has an opportunity to play a role?
A: When Maggie books a role, it is a little harder on the family because I still have two little boys at home. She and I will travel, and great friends and neighbors will help John (my husband) with the boys. It’s the same when John Jr. books a role. It’s hard because Bobby is the youngest, and it’s harder to leave him with someone and he misses me. Bobby booking a role is easier for our family. Maggie and John Jr. are getting older and able to take care of themselves better, but we still couldn’t do it without friends and neighbors here in Bryan County.
Q: What are some of the greatest challenges of allowing your children to pursue acting?
A: You must be very flexible. I am blessed because I don’t work out of the home.
Q: What have been some of the greatest blessings that have come from the experiences up till now?
A: We have been able to give our children an amazing confidence and experience.
Q: What is the ultimate goal for the Batson family in regards to acting?
A: Maggie loves acting but is very limited now because she has braces. Her priorities have changed a little with age, too. She has a 96 overall grade average in gifted classes and plays on the middle school softball and soccer teams. She also helps run her business. All at the age of 12. She hopes to be able to act again once her braces are off. She plans on acting to help pay for college and grad school. She plans to attend Harvard Law School. John Jr. likes acting but wants to be an oral surgeon like his dad. He plays baseball and loves computers. He is very smart and a little more reserved like his dad. Bobby plans on being a “famous” actor! He loves everything about it! While we were in L.A. this past month, he talked about moving out there and being in movies all the time. It is such a tough business, so it makes me a little nervous. I like it when they look at it as a “fun thing to do”… like sports. With all three of our kids, we will do whatever we can to help them be successful in whatever they decide to do. We emphasize the importance of hard work! Giving everything 100 percent but having fun while doing it.
Q: Is there a special moment that stands out amongst all the opportunities thus far?
A: Maggie — being on set with her and watching her interact with Richard Dreyfuss. She had no idea who he was and just talked his head off about their roles in the movie. She plays his daughter. I love seeing her confidence.
John Jr. was in the movie “Turtle Tale.” We had so much fun going to Tampa and filming this together. Just the two of us. It’s hard having alone time with a middle child. The set was perfect for him because there was a lot of animals that he was able to pet and learn about while on set.
Bobby — There is so many. I think the first day on the set of “90 Minutes in Heaven.” He was 6 and we are on this big set with hundreds of people. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how Bobby would act, would he remember his lines, would he be scared, would he be silly? The scene is when Bobby sees Hayden Christensen for the first time in the hospital bed. Hayden looked scary! When the director, Michael Polish, says “action,” Bobby does awesome! He delivered his lines perfect and the acting was great! I cried with pride, relief and this amazing feeling of being blessed. Bobby’s confidence shines through in everything he does.