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reader email: How do you feel about child actors and models? My daughters are really interested in both and people are always telling me they should get into the business but I'm not so sure. My husband thinks it would be a nice extra income. Since you work in that industry, do you have an opinion?
click below for my thoughts...
Well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I've worked on many kids shoots and there's a real 50/50 split as to why the children are there. Either their parents are pushing them (which is a disaster waiting to happen) or the kids really really want it because it's just in them.
For the kids who are just plain cute, and their parents force them to do it, I'd say those parents need to reevaluate their parenting skills. For the kids who just love to be in front of the camera, I think it could be a good thing. It builds up character, confidence and will definitely teach them a thing or two about following directions and respecting adults. If a child is on set and doesn't want to be there, they won't get hired back, no matter how adorable they are. Typical stage parents are a nightmare. So make sure it's your child that wants it and not something you are pushing them to do.
I also think it's important that you make your child understand that it's a job - don't talk about looks. Make it about being a good person, working hard and having a really fun time. If they don't get booked on a job after a go-see, never discuss it in depth with them. We hire talent based on a hundred different things. Perhaps her hair was too dark, or his feet were too big to fit in the samples, or the dates of the shoot changed...you will never know any of this, so play it safe and assume your child was amazing, perfect even, but they needed someone less wonderful.
As far as child actors go, well, we all know what the outcome of working kids in America has been - Lindsay Lohan and her insane family is just one perfect example.
Being famous is a nightmare, so really consider your motives before jumping into things.
What are your thoughts?
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