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7 Tips For Parents of Young Performers

September 13, 2013

WANTED: Parent of working child actor. Must be on call 24/7, be willing to commute four hours a day or rent an apartment costing $2500-$5000 per month, parent other children from a distance and teach spouse how to do laundry and cook while you are away.

Did you mean to apply for this job? Despite all the ways a parent supports a young actor’s dream, few parents are actually prepared for the enormous commitment of a tour, Broadway show, film, or television series. The experience often comes with many delightful and difficult moments. It can be a wonderful investment of time, but financially draining. It is exhilarating to see a child blossom, but isolating to be apart from family and friends. It may create a lifetime of precious memories, but leave a parent physically exhausted.    

The key to success for both the parent and young actor is to prepare for the challenges, remain flexible and creative when solving problems, and stay organized. Here are some tips to make your experience as the parent of a working child actor a happy and successful one.  

1. Do your research. Know what you are getting into by speaking to the parents of other child actors in the show. Every production has its unique challenges. For example, some production companies provide tutoring while others don’t. Make of list of all the organizational, financial, and emotional challenges you are likely to encounter. This includes issues around marriage, raising other children, finances, housing, and employment to name a few. For example, one parent I know copes with the close quarters of hotel rooms by booking suites. Another parent negotiated tutoring for her other child whom she also takes on the road. Read More