So You Seriously Want Your Kid to Be a Star? (cont'd)
is some helpful advice for those parents who are serious
about their children pursuing careers in the arts and/or
the entertainment industry:
First, be honest about whether they have talent. Are they
really talented or is it wishful thinking on your behalf?
If they sing and dance, is it "cute" or do you
really see and hear that "something?" Clearly
define what their talent is. If they can dance wonderfully
well but can’t sing—be honest and focus on the
Secondly, ascertain how they feel
about their talent and what they want to do with it. If
her heart is not in wanting to start the rigorously long
journey of preparation, then should you force them?
If they decide they want to or if
they have the slightest bit of interest in the possibility,
send them to classes. Find competent, well-trained and experienced
instructors. Go to the library and expose them to information
about what they will be embarking on. For instance, if they
want to sing, start letting listen to a wide array of musical
artists, genres and styles. Take them to performances.
Not to be biased, but I would lean
towards those instructors who have had experience in major
markets such as New York, Los Angeles or even Chicago. An
actor or acting teacher with 15 years experience or training
in a major market might be better qualified than either
an English teacher teaching drama, a PHD college Professor
teaching at a university with no real world experience or
a locally revered and seasoned acting teacher or director
whose experiences are limited to one area.
Who would you rather take a class
with: John who has a PHD in Film Theory, 10 years teaching
at a university and no work experience in the film industry?
Or Susan a college dropout who worked for, let’s say,
AOL Time Warner in New York and Los Angeles for 12 years
in a meaningful position let’s say as Producer, Casting
Director or Program Acquisition?
Your child should definitely take
as many classes in the various disciplines—as many
as you can afford or as many as time permits. If they want
to act then they should also take dance classes and voice
lessons. If she wants to sing then she should take acting
as well as fencing. If he wants to dance, then he should
take ballet, modern, ethnic, primitive, etc. Their arts
training should be well rounded.
One question to ask any potential
acting teacher is this; what do you think about the Method
for my child? Now, even if they do not teach "Method
Acting," they should be able to competently comment
on the subject. If they cannot, then I’d count that
as strike against them. By the way, that’s kind of
a trick question. For more information, e-mail me and I
will fill you in.
Another thing to consider, just because
a person has worked on two films or five videos or has three
CD’s on the market doesn’t necessarily mean
that they are the most qualified or competent to teach.
It might very well be that the person behind the person
is the person you want to learn from. Don’t fall for
the hype—the image, the marketing—when looking
for someone to teach your child!
Thirdly, become knowledgeable about the business. Take the
time to appreciate the business aspects of the industry
and by all means, grasp the legal aspects as well. And whatever
you learn, impart that information to your child along the
journey in a way that they can understand.
Trust me, even if they are young and
you explain now—when they get older they will be prepared.
Remember, they have very fertile and impressionable minds.
As a matter of fact, (LOL) at night, when you are putting
them to bed, you might want to read to them from This Business
of Music or some other publication considered to be the
"bible" of the industry.
Going into it, you should know what
a release is and the myriad releases there are. Along that
same line, if your child writes poetry, lyrics, raps, rhymes,
scripts, etc., have their material properly copyrighted
before showing them to anyone—no matter who that person
is. You should know the basics of Copyright Law. By the
way, if anyone says they have something "copywritten,"
tell them the proper word is "copyrighted." Such
a misuse of the word serves as an indicator of what they
know or don’t know.
And please find out what a Confidential Disclosure (also
referred to as a Non-Disclosure Agreement) is—when
and why you use a CD as it relates to sharing your intellectual
property with another person. You don’t know what
Intellectual Property is? Well you should if you or your
child creates your own work such as previously mentioned.
That’s a wrap on