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Natalie Portman's passion was acting. She loved her friends and family. She was single-mindedly devoted to getting into an Ivy League college. And she did -- Harvard! She found the way to balance her dual lifestyle of being a young star and a student - through dedication, hard work, and counting on those who she knew best.

That's really the key about being a successful young performer. You must acknowledge that you are doing two distinct jobs, that of a student and that of an actor, or an athlete. If you can accept that, and balance them both, then you are preparing yourself for the future - even if the show business or athletic career does not work out to your best advantage.

OLE was working on "The Cosby Show" when Bill Cosby told his co-star kids:

"I don't care if you are the Grand Marshall of the Rose Bowl Parade. I don't care if you have an appearance to make in a shopping mall in the Midwest.

"Your responsibility," Mr. Cosby said to Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Pulliam, and young Raven Symone, "is to maintain a B average or better in all your subjects."

"But, Mr. Cosby," the kids protested, "most kids in show business only have to maintain a C average or better." Mr. Cosby, however, expected more, especially from four children who he believed were potential role models for other kids their age.

The "Cosby Kids," as they were known, exceeded their boss' demands of them. Those kids each had their own on-set teacher provided by the show, and, honestly, they were close to being straight-A students.

I always respected how Malcolm scheduled his time. It's standard for kids in the business to receive fifteen teaching hours per week, three hours each day, five days each week. During the two-week hiatus or break periods from taping "The Cosby Show," Malcolm would go out of town on work-related assignments.

But like Natalie, he would schedule as many as thirty hours of study in a given week if he had no school during the hiatus. He always knew his assignments. He would call me and say, "I'm okay with English, but I need more sessions with the math teacher."

Again, like Natalie, Malcolm was one of those kids who you could talk to without having to go through his mother. She trusted him and therefore gave him his freedom to schedule his own life.

When Sarah Michelle Gellar was featured on "All My Children," she knew she was not going to be tutored. The union, AFTRA, has what's known as a "daytime contract," which covers the needs of actors working on soap operas. This contract does not require producers of soaps to provide on-set teachers for young actors.

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