From offices to oil fields, workers everywhere have the right to expect conditions to be as safe as possible for their given workspaces; for child actors, expectations are even higher. Set life may sound glamorous, but despite the best efforts of production companies and entertainment industry professionals, unscrupulous and unsavory people sometimes manage to get past established safety checks and endanger young performers (not to mention the entire cast and crew). Early summer of 2015 saw a spate of incidents with studio teacher impostors, putting performers, production companies, and parents on high alert. The obvious question is: How does this happen?
While technological advances mean improved security measures, it also means the bad guys have better tools at their disposal. And it’s not just fake driver’s licenses or phony documentation at play; wholesale identity theft is all too common in the digital age. The good news is that there are simple, yet important, ways to help keep child actors and the production as a whole safe from on-set impostors.
California studio teachers must meet some of the toughest certification standards in the nation, but regardless of where your young performer is working, breakdowns in on-set security tend to happen as a result of poor communication. Always begin your child’s engagement by checking with the teacher and the production company to ensure everyone is who they say they are—never assume anything! To be absolutely certain, studio teachers' licenses can be verified at
It’s also important to keep your eyes and ears open. Movie sets and stage productions are often hives of activity, making it difficult to keep unwelcome visitors at bay. There’s no room for vigilantes, so share any concerns you may have with the production staff, security team, and crew.
You can’t keep your child actors in bubbles. Instead of trying to shelter them from safety concerns, it’s best to make them fully aware of issues they face and encourage them to keep the lines of communication open. Staying safe is often a matter of simply speaking up.