Most kids are naturally adorable. But as parents, before you even think about how to start a child acting career, you have to think hard if you really want to subject your tots to the harsh realities that the showbiz industry may bring their way.
Why do you want your children to be stars? Some might say that it is because of the glitz and the glamour. But most people think that it is for the money. If fate would allow your child to be part of a good production, whether it is on film or TV, the financial aspect is going to be truly rewarding. But you must know the facts that surround a child’s career in acting.
Child actors should abide the labor union codes. They should also be regulated both by the state as well as federal laws. Before a kid can get to work, their parents must first make sure that they have the proper work permit. This will also be vital for them to obtain their salaries. Different states impose different rules. So one’s guardian must understand what they will be faced with before committing into anything solid and final.
Through the years, there have been many issues regarding such career that still resurface from time to time. Most of these revolve around money, the psychological effects of the work on children and how such career affects their childhood in general.
1. There have been many talks about the issues regarding money. Who will handle the child actor’s earnings? Their guardians are the rightful ones to keep and save them. But unfortunately, there have been many incidents wherein a child’s actor money had gone to waste because of mishandling. This may not be felt by the child on their younger years. But as they grow old and learn to reflect on everything, they will question what happened to the money that they have worked so hard for.
This was the inspiration for the original Coogan Law. Based on the facts that happened to a former child star who earned millions at a young age, Jackie Coogan, this law was enacted in California in 1939. It states that a portion of the child actor’s earnings must be preserved in a blocked trust or a savings account especially made for such purpose.
2.? Child actors are believed to lose a very big part of their childhood by working and earning at such a young age. Although productions nowadays allow them time to study and play while on the set, this cannot alter the experiences that a kid will get from having a normal life, away from the light, the cameras and the directors yelling, action.
They experience the pressure to perform, to deliver according to what’s expected from them. And they are being asked to play characters that may be sometimes hard to be understood by young minds.
3. These actors should be guided accordingly as they grow older. In most cases, no matter how successful they are as a child actor, a transition period will come wherein they would not fit right into any roles. As a result, they may lack the jobs that they need to augment income or to sustain their popularity.
Their guardians must prepare them for such occurrence. They must prepare these kids that there are a lot of possibilities that they may not be as popular or may not have the kind of a child acting career that they used to enjoy as they age.