If your child is lucky enough, and talented enough, to find what anyone would call success as an actor—steady work, a growing positive reputation, and increasing opportunities—this opens up a whole other host of issues. Many of them fall into the often cited “first world problems” category—but they can be problems nonetheless.
Some are easy to predict: jealousy from both friends and strangers, decreasing privacy, questioning whether people value you for you, or for your fame. It’s one thing for adults to have to grapple with these issues, but it is not easier for a child, who may already have the normal insecurities of adolescence to deal with. One mean comment on social media can erase a hundred nice ones.
People who have known your child for years and not been particularly nice—or even outright nasty—can suddenly want to be best friends, can be indignant when that sentiment is understandably not returned. Previously close friends and relatives can be suddenly weird—interested more in the fame than in the person. Or can subtly tear down your child in small but consistent ways that suggest they need to feel better about themselves. Success has a way of making many people very insecure.
Your child herself might start to buy into the hype, and believe that they are in fact better or more special than their siblings or friends. This can be easy to do if seemingly everyone, including other famous people and the media, are saying that they are a big deal. This can be incredibly dangerous for their long-term success as a human, as well as a performer.
Security and privacy can suddenly be an issue. They can be the victim of hacking, or even fake hacking in order to generate scandal. Stalkers can be a very real danger, as well as paparazzi. A simple trip to the mall can draw a crowd that can grow resentful if your child doesn’t stay to sign autographs and take photos—even though that will draw an even bigger crowd and possibly become uncontrollable. Young celebrities are coached to move along and not stop in these cases as a safety precaution, which most people will interpret as rude or worse.
If your kid becomes extremely successful, the pressures can become intense. Finding ways to create boundaries to protect them is important, as is good coaching for the unavoidable difficulties. Here is where it is more important than ever to have a strong team in place to keep your child’s career and life on track by guiding them toward good choices. This often means passing up the quick money in favor of a slower but longer career arc. Every time you see a young artist do something questionable in terms of a performance or endorsement choice, realize that an entire team of people thought it was a good idea. And frequently money was the deciding factor instead of the child’s long-term success. Don’t let that be your kid.
My book, The Hollywood Parents Guide, available on Amazon contains everything I wish I’d known when Dove and I started this journey, and will save you untold amounts of time, money, and stress. Full of information you MUST know, it also features stories from parents of other kids who’ve made it!
Or book an hour consulting with me to come up with an individualized plan that takes your own unique needs into account. For about the cost of an hour with a professional acting coach, you can get your questions answered and a road map to help you move forward toward your dream.
Invest a little in your kid’s future today.
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