If you are toying with the idea of getting your kids into the acting business, you may want to ask yourself, “am I ready for this?” because make no mistake, it is a business and being the parent of a young performer is a very tough job. Stage Moms and Dads are dedicated people who are prepared to arrange for photo sessions, draft resumes, and pick up scripts. They have to run all over town for auditions, call backs, fittings and rehearsals (quite often, with very little notice). And most importantly, stage parents MUST be available to accompany their child on set for hours, days and sometimes weeks at a time.
Then ask yourself, “is my child ready for this?” It is vital you understand, although the film and TV industry is a wonderful and exciting world, it is an adult environment and can be extremely stressful for both kids and their parents. For an actor, it is a rollercoaster ride of attention and rejection.
Keeping a steady level of confidence in who you are and what you do is a tall order for a young person. To a degree, they must be able to separate their emotions and egos from their work. Combining the stress of an acting career with the regular concerns of school is a very heavy load indeed. It is not easy for a child to maintain his/her grades and be able to work at the same time.
As a stage parent, you must be confident you can help your child maintain a happy, healthy attitude towards themselves and the people around them. If your child is struggling emotionally or in school, this is definitely not the extra-curricular activity for them!
Parenting a child in the film and TV industry can be a remarkable experience. It will be an exciting, wondrous, fun-filled adventure for you and your child-if you are well informed and consider all the facts before you decide.
Are there any special rules for minors working under ACTRA?
Yes! Without going into any great detail, here are a few general points to be aware of:
Children under 12 can only work 8 hours in a day. They are not permitted to work overtime, even if you, the parent, feel it is okay.
Auditions for kids must be held outside of school hours – without exception!
ACTRA has instituted a mandatory trust fund on behalf of members who are minors.
There are also a number of rules concerning school absences and tutoring and plenty of other details, so be sure to contact the ACTRA office for more information as soon as your child is engaged to work under our jurisdiction!