1. NEVER, EVER, EVER pay an agent or manager to represent your child. Agents and managers get paid when your child books a job and they receive commission. If someone asks you to pay money up front for representation, THIS IS A SCAM...DON'T DO IT!
2. Make sure your child wants to be a part of the acting industry more than you do! The entertainment industry is filled with disappointment, rejection, comparison and competition. It's all worth it if your child has the right mind set, passion and drive to play the game. But if they do not, have them do something else...ANYTHING else.
3. Enroll your child in some low-cost acting classes, or online classes (YouTube even has some free ones!) to make sure they really like ACTING and not just the idea of acting. If you love the art of acting, it's a lot of fun, but it also requires a lot of preparation and work that many children can find exhausting.
4. Headshots do not need to be expensive, especially when dealing with children who are consistently changing from month to month. You should be updating your child's headshot about every 6 months to show differences in teeth, face shape, hair, developmental growth. etc. Theatrical headshots normally don't have a smile, while commercial headshots do. And with technology advancing, many parents are now using their iPhones to take their kids headshots!
5. No, you do NOT need to live in LA or NY to become a working actor. Self tape auditions are now the norm, especially after COVID, and can be submitted from anywhere in the world. The only caveat is that you need learn how to sufficiently self tape your child, or find a taping service in your area.
6. Many industry websites like Actors Access, 800 Casting, and Backstage have opportunities for actors to self submit without representation from an agent. Parents can create a profile for their child and submit for projects they would like. There is a nominal cost associated with each website.
7. VET EACH AND EVERY PROJECT, AND EACH AND EVERY PERSON INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT that your child may be a part of! Whether your child is represented, or you are self submitting your child for work, it is YOUR responsibility to vet the project and those involved in the production. If you find anything unsavory about anyone attached to the project, DECLINE to be a part of it.
8. NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED WITH ANYONE IN THIS INDUSTRY! That's not to say that everyone in the entertainment industry is bad, quite the contrary. There are AMAZING creatives that want to create incredible projects with your child, and they expect for you to be a professional and have your child with you at all times. It is SAG-AFTRA policy for you to always be within sight and sound of your child.
9. The minute your child is not having fun, take a break! The incredible thing about the acting industry is that you can act until the day you die because actors are needed for every stage of life. Just because your child doesn't want to act anymore in this moment, doesn't mean they can't pick back up later in their life if they want to.
10. Don't compare your child to any other child! If you have taken our UCAN Thrive Course, you should be a pro in this area already! If not, enroll right now!! Each and every actor is on their own journey, with their own road paved just for them. Comparison is the thief of joy. Teach your child to celebrate their own accomplishments and stay their own course. You and your acting child will be much happier for it!
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