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Set Etiquette and Following Directions

March 22, 2017

"Your behavior can make or break you"

It is a well-known fact: the way your child behaves during an interview with an agent or manager, during an audition with a casting director and even while working with directors and producers can make or break his chances.  A slightly lesser known fact is that a parents behavior (good or bad) also plays a major role in the success of a child's career.  Remember, everyone makes an impression.  Be sure yours is a good one.

That said, as a parent you now have two behaviors to monitor - yours and your child's.  But that's parenting in general, right?

One of the most important things you and your child can do is follow directions.  When you are signed by an agent or manager, you will probably receive a packet of information.  Be sure to take the time to read through the packet and understand what is expected of you. The same rules apply whether at an audition or at a job.  Eventually you will notice certain "rules" are considered industry standard.  Follow them and you will be ahead of the game.  Break them, and unfortunately you will make a bad impression that may hurt your family's future chances.

One rule, for example, that has become an industry standard is the "no extra children" rule which asks that you don't bring additional children to auditions and interviews - even siblings.  In her book It's a Freeway Out There, Judy Belshe-Toernblom, like many industry pros, states this rule as fact. "Forget the extra kids," she explains. "Most [casting] offices are small and can accommodate only the people they have asked to come to the audition."

Toni Casala adds that "extra family members on set are a production liability."

Make sure you read everything you receive before an audition or job, in full, and read it to your child too.   Observing others is also important.  It can help you stay in tune with the process.  For example, if it is your first day on set and you notice all the other parents gathering around the Studio Teacher in the morning to provide that days educational materials, take note and do the same.  Don't wait until you are told to take initiative. 

Power Parents know that both parents and kids must work together as a team and practice good business etiquette at all times.

How you behave in the circles of this industry is the reputation you are going to develop.  Remember, Hollywood is a lot like a small town; once you arrive, you'll find everyone knows everyone.

Good business etiquette and good set etiquette go hand in hand and include monitoring your manners, thanking people when gratitude is due, coming prepared to auditions and with schooling materials while on set, avoiding snapping photos during shoots, and refusing to spread rumors and unhealthy gossip.