Parental Guidance: Required Reading for Young Performers and Their Families

Are you ready to break into acting? A new year is a good time to start, but it takes more than a date and a dream to achieve your goals. For a child actor just starting out in the business, the challenges can seem overwhelming; but luckily, there are a number of resources available for performers and parents to help guide you on your journey. And just as there is more than one way to tackle a role, there is no single path to success either. 2015 brought us these great books by industry advocates for child actors that can help guide you through 2016 and beyond!

The Hollywood Parents Guide by Bonnie Wallace


Bonnie Wallace is the mother of Dove Cameron, best known for her dual role as Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie. But when Bonnie and daughter moved from Washington State to LA to pursue dreams of stardom, what they didn’t know about the business “would fill a large book,” according to the author herself. In fact, that’s part of the inspiration for The Hollywood Parents Guide.

The road to success in Hollywood is littered with tragic tales, and a performer’s talent alone isn’t enough to avoid common pitfalls. Though a self-described “believer in leaps of faith” when it comes to professional decisions, Ms. Wallace’s approach to the industry is built on authenticity. The Hollywood Parents Guide is chock full of her and Dove’s personal experiences, all of which helped Dove become the grounded, successful young woman she is today. Ms. Wallace backs up her daughter’s story with insider advice from real parents and kids in the industry, along with agents, casting directors and other show biz pros, all aimed at making your journey to success safer and maybe even a little more direct.

For a more detailed look at Bonnie Wallace's views on the industry, please read our interview with Bonnie here

Young Performers at Work by Sally Gaglini


Sally Gaglini’s Young Performers at Work offers a legal perspective, and Ms. Gaglini certainly knows whereof she speaks, having spent more than twenty-five years as a legal advisor for young performers and the companies for whom they work. In addition, she’s the founder of the Gaglini Law Group and an entertainment law teacher at Suffolk University, where she is an adjunct faculty member. Her commitment to young performers runs deep, as evidenced by her work with lawmakers in creating the inaugural child performer law in Massachusetts. 

Young Performers at Work draws on this wealth of experience, offering practical guidance for launching a successful career through interviews with parents, performers, and other entertainment professionals. In plain language, Ms. Gaglini breaks down the often confusing state laws regarding child actors and equips them and their families with the knowledge to make informed decisions concerning contracts, education, and financial matters. 

My Child Is Going To Be Rich and Famous by Angela Williams

As a singer/songwriter, producer, and author (to name a few of her roles), Angela Williams is well acquainted with the entertainment industry; but her greatest part is that of devoted mother to three talented sons (Tyler James, Tyrel Jackson, and Tylen Jacob, all of whom have successful careers in show business). Spanning nearly twenty years, their success is due (in no small part) to their mother’s work in the wings managing their business and education needs. As something of an industry insider, Angela’s My Child is Going to Be Rich and Famous offers a helpful perspective to young actors and families just getting started.

In her own words, Ms. Williams wrote the book that she wishes “was available 18 years ago” when she and her sons set off on their journey. My Child is Going to Be Rich and Famous helps performers and parents manage the professional and personal demands of the industry while maintaining a strong family foundation. From managing money matters to understanding the price of fame, Angela’s balanced approach offers child actors and their families solid footing on which to build a successful career. 

Although the highlighted books offer different perspectives, they share a common goal: to help upcoming young performers safely and successfully navigate the highways and byways of show business. If you’ve read any of them (or know of similar resources), please share your thoughts with us. Here’s hoping this is your breakout year!

Tags: Parents, Child Actors, Success, Books, Resources