We’re sure that you’ve heard all about how great child modelling and acting is. How it opens doors for a child and teaches them some wonderful life skills. And you know what? That’s absolutely true. But as with any job (and it is a job), there are certain challenges that both a child performer and their parents will inevitably come across. How you deal with these challenges is extremely important for a child’s success and most importantly, their happiness.
With this in mind, we thought it was about time we started a conversation about the not-so-great aspects of child performing that most people (parents and agents alike) don’t really want to talk about.
The way we see it, once you know and understand what these challenges are, preparing for and dealing with them will be a walk in the park.
So here goes.
Life can get a little hectic
Whether it’s taking your child out of school, skipping soccer practice, or missing a test, there will be times when auditioning, modelling, or performing will mess up your child’s schedule.
This is simply unavoidable, and while your child may not feel too bothered about it at first (missing school, yay!), there will be times when a hectic schedule can become very tiring. So it’s vital that parents understand that being a child performer requires a lot of effort. And it’s even more important that your child understands this too.
A photo shoot or an audition might come along with barely a moment’s notice, and when it does, you’ll need to drop everything and go. Strangely enough, it’s the parents who often feel the strain here, but a subtle shift in your mindset can work wonders.
Treat every call to attend an audition not as a disruption to your child’s schedule, but as an opportunity to move forward in their career as a child performer.
When it comes to school, there are steps you can take so that your child doesn’t miss out too much while teachers can be surprisingly helpful too.
So as you can see, while it certainly is a busy life, with the right outlook, it’s not as tough as it seems.
Rejection can be hard to take
Casting directors say no far more often than they say yes. This is just a fact of life and one that both you and your child will need to get used to very quickly.
Parents often struggle with this aspect of the industry particularly when it comes to child modelling. They can’t understand how a casting director or photographer doesn’t want their child for a shoot and may even go so far as to question the reasoning behind a rejection.
The thing is, as a parent you need to understand that this is not a beautiful child contest. A casting director or even the marketing manager for a brand may have a particular look or style they want for their campaign, and if your child doesn’t have it, then they won’t land the job. Older children and teens should be able to grasp this concept, but even so, it’s still hugely important that a parent remains positive when they don’t land any roles.
Of course, it’s easy to become disheartened at a seemingly endless series of rejections. However, you must remember (and remind your child) that professional models and actors might attend dozens of auditions before landing even the smallest role.
Remember too that children feed off their parents’ positivity, so we’ll say it once more; always stay positive.
A strain on your relationship
Nothing is stronger than the relationship between a parent and their child. But there will be times when that unbreakable bond will feel like it’s being stretched just a little too far.
As a parent of a child performer, you take on the role of coach, cheerleader, and manager. You’re both in this together, but it’s your job as the adult to make sure that your child stays on track and fulfills their responsibilities.
You’ll have to get them to auditions and shoots on time (even when they’re tired), you’ll need to help them practice their lines or actions, and you’ll have to remind them that they need to act professionally at all times.
And while they may want the life of a child performer, they probably won’t want you reminding them of the work they need to do to achieve that goal.
We’re not going to lie; it will be tough going at times, but with the right attitude you can both rock this.
There’s no point in sugarcoating it; being a child performer takes a lot of effort from both parent and child. And anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t really understand the business. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be an incredibly rewarding career for your child.
So don’t be scared of the challenges that lie ahead. Meet them head-on with a positive attitude, and you’ll be surprised at how easily your child deals with them. As we said, it’s the parents who often struggle the most!
Ready to take that first step in your child’s career on stage or in front of the camera? Then we’d like to talk because, at Bubblegum, we’re always on the lookout for new talent!
Apply now to join the Bubblegum family and we’ll be in touch to arrange a meeting. We love meeting parents and their kids so don’t be shy, fill out that form and let’s get your child’s career off to the best possible start.