Important! – Support from Families & Friends

Hello everyone!

This is Mari, a mom and manager for 2 working kids as child models and actors in NYC area.

So far, I have talked about:

what type of works are available for child model & actors

what kind of qualities are required for children

Today I’d like to talk about the importance of support from your families, friends and third parties in order to continue working in this industry.

Once you get started, it will require considerable time and effort for both parents and children.
As a result, you will often run into the situations that requires some help from families, friends, and third party.

Below are the list of the actual realities that shocked me whene our kids started working:

1. Auditions and casting (can) happens everyday

First I was surprised the amount of auditions and castings that you have to go.
When it’s busy, you & your kid will go to audition/ casting every day, even multiples of them a day.
Also, you don’t know how long the each auditions will take, so it can be dark at night when everything is over. (Sometimes you need to wait few hours…..)

2. It’s hard to plan your schedule

Usually you won’t know the audition or booking schedule until the day before in late afternoon.
Everything is very short notice in this industry….
It can be pretty difficult to plan your daily schedule.
Being flexible with your schedule can be a key component to continue working.

3. Cannot take the sibling to the shooting location

Normally one parent accompany one child at the location.
Many production does not allow to bring the sibling on set.
It’s also not fun or fair to the sibling who might have to wait for long time in very limited space.
So, you will need to find another child care for the siblings while you will be on set with your child.

4. If you child book a job, he/she will need to miss the school (for school age children)

The shoots are usually happen during the day on weekdays, so if your child book a job, he/ she will need to miss the school.
If your child’s school is strict about attending or if your family member are not understanding for the absence, it can be hard for your child to continue working.

5. The audition prep can be a big task

When my kids started to work on acting job, I quickly realized that audition prep can be a big task.
Usually you’ll receive few pages of script called “side” that your child will play/ read at the audition a few prior to the audition date.
Then you’ll need to work with your child to memorize, analyze and practice.
Also “self-Tape audition” seems to be a recent trend for the initial audition.
“Self-tape” is an audition that YOU will record the audition material in video and send it to agent/ casting by the due date.
In this case, you have to have the equipment and the technical knowledge to video tape, edit and send it by yourself.

6. The parents have to accompany with your child all the time on set

Parents or alternative adults must accompany the child on set during the shooting. (Usually until 18 years old.)
You won’t know when shooting will end, so it requires an adult with flexible schedule.

7. There are many things for parents to do

Apart from taking your child to auditions and shooting, the parents have to manage your child’s schedule, checking all the paper works and contracts, management your child payment/ income, arranging necessary lessons, following up with school etc…
This can easily become a full time work for you..

Based on these facts, I think it will be helpful to check with your family whether the following environment & resources are set in place before starting to work.

Preparation checklist before starting to work

• You have people who can help in sudden situation (family, sitter, friends, etc.)

• If your child have siblings, you have someone who can take care of them while you are accompanying your working child on set

• Families and schools are understanding to the absence

• Self-taping environment is ready

• You can respond to sudden schedule changes

• Children’s schedule are free & flexible (It’ll be difficult if your child’s schedule are packed with lessons)

• Parents can spare their time and effort (It can be quite difficult if both parents are working full time)

All these above resources does not need to be ready before your child start to work, but it’ll be less stressful for you
if you have those resources set in place and will avoid you feeling like this is not something that you expected.

For those of you who has all of these resource & environment ready, I will talk about the actual process of how to get started and what you need to get ready in the next post.

See you next time!

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