Platte City girl has chance to be a star
Lights, camera, action.
For eight-year-old Lacey Backues of Platte City, these
words she heard two years ago as a fun weekend on the
Plaza in Kansas City turned into a possible chance of
lifetime many eight-year-olds could only imagine.
Two years ago, Lacey went on a modeling shoot offered
by a Kansas City modeling agency, which turned out to
be a dead end. The experience, which came as a suggestion
from a friend of Lacey's parents, was only meant to be
a one time fun activity for their daughter. Instead, the
experience spurred Backues into a natural in front of
According to Karen Backues, Lacey's mom, the eight-year-old
couldn't stop talking about her experience at the Plaza
that day which prompted the family to check into a referral
of an accredited modeling and talent agency in the Kansas
In July of 2001, Lacey went to an audition offered by
the John Robert Powers Agency in Mission, Kan. with approximately
200 kids present. After auditioning, Lacey was chosen
as one of two children to be signed by the agency.
After five months of classes working on monologues and
becoming accustomed to being in front of the camera, Lacey
and her family traveled to Los Angeles, Ca. for 12 auditions.
Jan. 7-12, Lacey was one of 3,000 kids ranging from the
ages of 4-20, who had traveled from across the world to
audition at the IMTA (International Modeling and Talent
Agency)-Hooray for Hollywood 2002.
"Originally we took her for modeling because she's
such a beautiful little girl and is so unique in that
way," said Karen. "But once she got to the auditions,
she placed very well in the acting categories.
"We didn't go in anticipation of winning and we
prepped her for not receiving callbacks and placing in
But despite the family's preparation for what may have
been the inevitable, Lacey walked away from the auditions
with seven trophies and five excellence ribbons.
"The auditions were definitely an experience she'll
never forget and it gave her a sense of herself,"
After receiving a great response at the auditions, the
family decided to sign with a manager, Debra Lynn Findon
from Studio City, Ca, as well as a theatrical/movie agent
with Metropolitan Agent and KSA Models, a print agent.
Once the family returned to Platte City, Lacey received
over 20 call- backs from talent and modeling agencies
in Los Angeles and New York.
Karen said the family was never expecting that kind of
response once the auditions were over, instead, their
intention was to go out to LA and let Lacey enjoy the
The callbacks prompted the family to make a difficult
decision on where they should go next. They were faced
with uprooting their family and surroundings to let Lacey
pursue her love for the modeling and acting business,
which expanded since day one at the Plaza, or placing
the opportunity off to the side for awhile.
"It's a lot of sacrifices from all of us and her
brother for her to go to LA. She's been fearless in wanting
to do this and she's been pushing us wanting to do this,"
"After a lot of thought we decided it's a unique
opportunity and we would have to live with ourselves if
we didn't let her go do this because this is something
she really wants to do."
In February, Lacey will temporarily relocate to Los Angeles
for pilot season through April. Karen and Lacey's stepfather,
Bryan Keil, will take turns traveling to LA to spend with
Lacey during her tenure in Los Angeles.
While Lacey has received an opportunity that many eight-year-old
kids only dream and wish about, she is the typical American
She idolizes Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen as well as Britney
Spears and loves to play the goalie position on her soccer
team, play Barbies with her friends, and enjoys playing
the piano, fingerpainting and drawing.
Backues stated that while she likes both modeling and
acting, she would prefer to be on television.
"I want to be on TV because I want to be famous
and I think it would be fun," stated Lacey. "I
would like to be on a show like Mary Kate and Ashley."
In case the acting or modeling opportunities don't work
out, Backues commented she would like to be a kindergarten
teacher or a director of a modeling agency.
According to Karen, no matter what comes of pilot week
her family will be proud of her.
"I don't need anyone telling me she's special, I
know she is," Karen said.