orange haired actor

The acting life for parents – how much time should I set aside?

By now you may already be involved with the acting life and you may know that your child will need a lot of your time, and it needs to be flexible time, in order for them to be a successful actor.

Parents of young actors, this is not really only about your child, because as the parent, you will be a CEO of your child’s acting career. That means, there will be a lot of behind the scenes work for you to do and a lot of organizing, preparing, and driving.

You should consider your current free time as your child starts out and/or becomes more passionate about acting. You may need to find creative ways to free up a little bit more time to help them succeed, as there are a lot of things you have to do along the acting journey, that are on the parent to do.

Although there are things you will do to help your child actor, there is also work you SHOULD NOT do:

Despite what some parents think in their hearts, where they think they are just trying to be kind and good by helping their child learn…..You should not teach your child how to be an actor. You are not their acting teacher. You are not their acting trainer. You are not their acting coach. Unless you are a trained actor for TV, Film and Commercials yourself, you should “not” coach them. It will actually hurt them in their acting careers if you try to coach them without proper acting training and acting experience, yourself.

If you were in musical theater in high school, and your background is specifically in Broadway style or plays, you are not qualified to acting coach your child for television. This is because those are 2 different kinds of training. So, do not make this at all part of your work or jobs you do for your child. Your acting academy will do this. Your acting coaches for your child will do this. Let the professionals do what they are trained to do, and you and your actor will be much happier, as your child will learn from the best.

If your child is not yet in a professional acting school, that’s a step you need to take.

Once they are in regular classes, you can remind your child of something their acting coach said or there are things you can say to them to help redirect them back to their practice, but again it’s best not to coach them flat out. You can also run lines with them (be their reading partner), this is helpful for them, but do not direct them.

Just some of the work you will be doing as the parent of an actor are below:

  • Setting up your child’s initial resume (they need one even if starting out)
  • Updating your child’s resume as they progress, on a regular basis
  • Keeping audition clothes ready to go with the right sizes, ironed and looking good at all times.
  • Making sure the shoes your child wears to auditions, fit and are ready to go.
  • Getting photographs done by a professional that knows the look/trends in NY and LA.
  • Paying for photos, resumes, training, gas, hotels, workshops and training.
  • Attending parent meetings with groups
  • Attending workshops with casting directors and agents
  • As mentioned above, driving to auditions, workshops, classes and getting their at least 15 minutes early every time.
  • Preparing healthier meals for snacks during classes and auditions
  • Prepping suitcase to travel quickly for last minute auditions
  • Researching hotels online to see best deals/prices (if you are to travel)
  • Making arrangements to be out of town on quick notice
  • Staying plugged into what is going on at your child’s acting academy, school, and classes.
  • Asking questions when something does not make sense or you have a concern. Doing this in a very professional and non-annoying manner. So writing an email and taking the time to read it so it all makes sense.
  • If your management does not submit your child for roles, you will eventually want to set up an IMDb page for your child actor. But…..only do this after your child has booked a couple of roles. Otherwise their IMDb page will look quite blank and make them look inexperienced.

Do not worry or fret. Believe it or not, after easing into the new things you will be doing to help your child actor, it will get easier and things will become quicker for you. You will find ways to be flexible and bend your schedule with family or friends helping out when you need to take your child on an audition. If your child loves acting, you will find ways to rearrange your time, and it will all work out.