400 WORDS // WRITTEN BY BRI CURTIS
Dear Parents of Child Actors,
It’s time to be said: We’re interviewing you, too.
It’s common to assume that your child’s meeting with an agency is all about, well, your child! But, in fact, youth agents design their meetings purposefully in a way to figure out you, too. After we establish that a child has talent, we move on to understanding the parents. After all, it’s you who we’ll be communicating and coordinating with. So what are some things we look out for?
1. Does your child want to be an actor?
Believe it or not, most children won’t lie when we directly ask them, “Do you want to be an actor?” They simply answer yes or no. We cannot and will not work with your child if they are being pushed into the business. It’s not fair to any of us.
2. How is your attitude?
It’s possible that your child has had representation in the past but it’s never appropriate to vent to us about that relationship. During these times, we often pick up on red flags about you and our impression is dampened. We rather this be the start of a strong new relationship that doesn’t carry the weight of the past.
3. Are you actually ready?
This one’s tough. We can never truly tell if you are ready for the incredible task of being a parent to your child actor. I mean, do you really understand the sacrifices, time, money, traffic, last-minute-plan-rearranging, and constant rejection you’re about to endure? The simplest way we determine how you’ll persevere through this industry is just by watching the behavior in the room. How do you parent your child? I’ve seen temper tantrums go ignored and mothers bribing their daughters right in front of my eyes with promises of ice cream or toys or trips to the park. In my first few months of agent-ing, it didn’t feel right to judge any parent on how they chose to discipline their children. But after distinguishing patterns between behavior during our meeting to how our working relationship actually pans out, I’m confident in saying that how you and your child interact day-to-day, is going to be how you interact on set. Unfortunately, if your child can’t follow simple directions or act appropriately in professional environments, the director on set won’t be able to bribe them with ice cream and rainbow sprinkles.
Youth Commercial Talent Agent
DDO Artists Agency