Making it in Hollywood is no easy task. A life filled with constant auditions, rejections and letdowns can be daunting to anyone.
But Carly Prevatte, 16, is not letting the pressure and negativity weigh down her acting career. Armed with a positive attitude and a smile, she faces each audition with a brave face.
She also depends on her faith to see her through the difficult times.
"Every time I didn't get a call back, I knew it wasn't meant to be," said Carly. "If God wanted me to have the job, I would have gotten it. And if for some reason he didn't, well, I just have to trust that it was for a reason."
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Carly, a junior at Ardrey Kell High School, said she began acting when she was 11 years old. She began doing plays at Calvary Church when she was bitten by the acting bug.
"I just loved becoming another person," said Carly. "I loved figuring out who they were and doing the character analysis."
In 2006, Carly decided to take her acting seriously and asked her parents to help her find an agent. She auditioned and signed with Evolution Talent Agency and, in 2007, went to her first meet and greet.
The agency "had an expo where agents and managers from all over came to meet the talent," said Carly. "I actually got a call back from a manager in L.A. and my mom and I flew out to meet them."
Carly and her mom, Carol-Jean Prevatte, flew to Los Angeles for a two-week stay, where she met with different managers. Carol-Jean and her husband, Daniel Prevatte, decided to allow their daughter to stay in Los Angeles for 10 months to try to make a "big break." Carly and Carol-Jean flew back to Charlotte to pack and pick up her two younger brothers, Graham and Andrew, now 15 and 11, who went with them to California. Daniel went to California every six weeks to visit with his family.
While in Los Angeles, Carly said, she stayed busy. Carol-Jean would home-school the children in the morning, then Carly spent the rest of the day in acting class and going to auditions. She said she sometimes had four auditions a day.
"It was a lot of work but I loved it," said Carly. "The auditions were exciting but kind of intimidating. I was surrounded by all these beautiful girls and it made me nervous."
During the 10 months in California, Carly never got the break she was looking for. The biggest role she had was on the final two episodes of the FX television show "The Riches."
"It was so surreal," said Carly. "I had my own trailer and got to put purple streaks in my hair. It was so much fun."
Carly came back to Charlotte determined to keep her career moving.
She signed with J Pervis, a talent agency in Atlanta. Although she maintained a relationship with Evolution, she only used them to get print and commercial work.
In December 2010, Carly got an e-mail from J Pervis about an audition for the CW television show "One Tree Hill." But with her heavy course load at school and her parents' work schedules, Carly wasn't sure she wanted to audition.
"We would have to drive to Atlanta so J Pervis could film my audition and send it in," said Carly. "I wasn't going to do it, but when they said they also had a commercial for me to audition for, (my parents and I) decided to go ahead and do it."
J Pervis immediately e-mailed Carly her audition script and Daniel helped her rehearse the lines. The part was for a teenage bully named Nikki, and Carly needed help being mean.
"I told her she was too nice," said Daniel. "I helped her get that edge in her voice."
Carly and Daniel drove to Atlanta for the audition, and a couple days later received the news she had gotten the job.
"We were all jumping up and down and screaming," said Carly.
One Thursday in mid-December, Carly and Carol-Jean drove to Wilmington after school for a 7 p.m. wardrobe fitting. Filming began Friday at 8 a.m.
The entire experience really hit home for Carly when she had her makeup done while sitting next to one of the show's stars, Sophia Bush.
"She was so nice," said Carly. "I couldn't believe she was talking to me."
When the show aired on Feb. 8, Carly, her two best friends and her parents sat down to watch. She said that although she was critical of her performance, it was great seeing herself on TV.
"When I went to school the next day, everyone was so nice," said Carly. "It was cool to see how many people had watched, even the boys. It's kind of a girly show."
Carly plans to attend college in California to keep working on her career. She wants to minor in acting or film studies but plans to major in biochemistry.
"I want to go to college to have a fallback," said Carly. "But as long as I keep on acting, who knows what could happen?"