A few weeks ago I spoke to you guys regarding the reasons you might want to join Backstage if you have a child you want to get into acting/modeling. It’s a great post about why I joined and how I went about getting Ziana cast for a modeling shoot. Today’s post is going to be on safety tips when you get your child started in all this fun, yet dangerous profession. Like anything in life you can never be too careful and just because someone looks legit and the opportunity seems to be a once in a life-time, doesn’t mean it actually is. When I went to Ziana’s first ‘shoot everyone was super friendly, I was with her the whole time and no one had an issue. Therefore, today I’m going to be discussing safety tips you need to take when entering this world.
Also, don’t forget to take a look at Backstage yourself!
1. Set up a Google Alert for your child’s name and the names of those with whom they work. This will allow you see what has been written about someone or even your child.
2. Check your child’s phone often—let your child know you are doing this. You always want to make sure they are doing things that are age-appropriate and not being scammed by people in the “industry.” Growing up in my era there were scams, but not as bad as today with the easy accessibility to our children.
3. Take control. Research everyone with whom you work or are considering working wih, even if you think you know them. Check the sex offender registry, ask agents, managers, and other parents on message boards. Check the databases available for the licenses that they should have. For instance, most of your service providers should have a CPS permit. Check the updated Talent Service Bond list. Talent agents must have a license. In California, that is a searchable database.
4. Be a powerful, professional “stage parent.” Never, ever leave your kid alone. Do not drop them off with others on set or allow them to travel without you. Do not let them socialize alone with adults, even the ones you know. Acting classes, coaching, and auditions must be done independently, but you should make sure to be right outside the door, very visible and very tiger-mom-like. Predators will view your child as too much of a risk. Elite-level professionals recognize the risks and will view you as a savvy parent.
5. Biggest tip: Learn to listen to and follow your instincts. If you or your child feels apprehensive, do not involve yourself. Do not abandon your normal parenting rules because you are involved in entertainment. Do not attribute odd behavior to “Hollyweird” or make exceptions because someone is powerful or famous.
Are there any tips you can add to this list?