Acting careers take off for Scottsdale brother-sister duo

Mason, on left, and Hunter Parker (submitted photo)

Mason, on left, and Hunter Parker (photo’s by Heather Buttelmann)

Most kids Hunter and Mason Parker’s age don’t have to worry about balancing the demands of school with a career. After all, they are only 12 and 11 years old, respectively.

But these extraordinary students from Scottsdale have burgeoning careers in show business.

Hunter and Mason star in the upcoming film Anomaly, directed by Phoenix-based Webster Batista, about a haunted house and the terrifying impacts on the family that lives there. And in November they finished filming the first of a four-film series called Rejects in Atlanta.

Hunter and Mason started out as competitive dancers, and the opportunities bloomed from there. First the brother-sister team were cast in several commercials, and then each got their “big break.” For Mason it was a short film called Fathers. For Hunter, it was a cameo in a famous Mexican pop star’s music video. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since.

Keeping up with Hunter and Mason’s whirlwind shoot schedule can feel like a full-time job for their mom, Jennifer Parker, but she makes it work.

Hunter, on left, and Mason Parker with scripts on set. (submitted photo)

Hunter, on left, and Mason Parker with scripts on set. (submitted photo)

Ms. Parker credits online schooling for helping to make the kids’ acting careers possible. Arizona Virtual Academy, is a tuition-free online public school, where Mason is in the fifth grade and Hunter is in the seventh grade.

“Learning online has been a blessing for our family,” Ms. Parker says. “Without the individualized scheduling and strong curriculum, I wouldn’t feel comfortable allowing Mason and Hunter to travel so much for their acting.”

“Their days are packed, but it’s important to me that they have plenty of time for their schoolwork, as well as time to just be kids and have a normal childhood,” she says.

Mason and Hunter are up by 8 a.m. each day to tackle their school work. They work until the early afternoon when they head off to dance and acting training for several hours.

“I try to make sure there is time in the evenings for them to relax and for us to be together as a family,” Ms. Parker says.

Later this spring, Hunter and Mason will head to Kentucky to film a TV series called S.I.N.S. Their mom will pack up and go with them, making sure their lives are balanced with school and at least a little free time – even as they pursue their acting dreams.

Editor’s Note: Ms. Brenton is a public relations professional at Denver-based SE2.

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