From Little House to Fresh Off the Boat: My Favorite Performances by Child Actors
by Lygia Day Peñaflor
In Unscripted Joss Byrd, Joss’s manager tells her to watch the 1973 movie Paper Moon to study Tatum O’Neal’s Oscar-winning performance. This serves as the gold standard of acting for Joss, and the film provides her with comfort and courage during tough times. In addition to Paper Moon, here are my other favorite performances by child actors (in no particular order):
Mae Whitman as “Bernice Pruitt” in Hope FloatsFred Savage and Danica McKellar as “Kevin &Winnie” in The Wonder YearsHudson Yang as “Eddie Huang” in Fresh Off the BoatMelissa Gilbert as “Laura Ingalls” in Little House on the PrairieSara Gilbert as “Darlene Conner” in RosanneQuvenzhané Wallis as “Hushpuppy” in Beasts of the Southern WildAbigail Breslin as “Olive Hoover” in Little Miss SunshineRicky Schroder as “T.J.” in The ChampRiver Phoenix as “Chris Chambers” in Stand by MeTodd Bridges as “Solomon” in Little House on the PrairieKe Huy Quan as “Short Round” in Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomCorey Haim as “Lucas Bly” in LucasOona Laurence as “Leila Hope” in SouthpawJacob Tremblay as “Jack” in Room
UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD by Lygia Day Peñaflor
On sale August 23, 2016
Roaring Brook Press
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this affecting debut novel, a child actor struggles to find herself on a film set where only one thing matters: getting the money shot.
Joss Byrd is America's most celebrated young actress, and her next project is a hot new Indie film helmed by a renowned, charismatic director. But on the set of The Locals, Joss's life is far from glamorous. Her mother is domineering and relentless, her dyslexia makes it difficult to keep up with the constantly changing script, the boy playing her older brother doesn't seem to reciprocate Joss's crush, and the film's gritty subject matter terrifies her. Yet none of these things appear to matter to Joss's agent, director, or even her mother. Joss is just a cash cow, and no one cares what she has to do for the perfect shot-as long as she gets it somehow.
Author Lygia Day Peñaflor's draws on her firsthand experience as a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars in this affecting debut novel that explores the many demands made on young actors.
Lygia Day Peñaflor attended the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Seminar and received a scholarship to Southampton Writers Conference based on this manuscript. A graduate of Boston University and Columbia Teachers College, she is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire as well as Jay-Z's reboot of Annie. She lives on Long Island.