Industry Voices

Part Two of an Interview with Angela Williams, Author of "My Child is Going to Be Rich and Famous"

In the first part one of our interview with Angela J. Williams, she recounted her sons’ early successes and the journey that led her to write My Child is Going to Be Rich and Famous. In part two, Angela looks at how show business stacks up to more traditional pursuits and offers suggestions for personal and professional support systems for young actors and their families.

OLE: How is show business different from, say, the pursuit of team sports, or other after-school activities that children engage in? 

AW: In many ways it is the same but the biggest differences are the potential to make much more money, have much more exposure and have many more opportunities to experience the positive and negative sides of show business.

OLE: How do you define a "stage parent"? Are there differences in "stage" fathers and mothers as to how they approach the business on behalf of their children? 

AW: There are positive stage parents and they are negative stage parents. I discuss the differences in detail between the two in my book. However, a positive stage parent understands the production and industry climate that their child is working in. They learn to adapt, then, respect it. A negative stage parent, for many reasons, does not. I haven't found a major difference between fathers and mothers. I have experienced all types.

OLE: As children work more and more in the industry, what three steps do you see as essential for their support systems? Suggested categories: Legal? Financial? Educational? Family values? 

AW: A functional parenting structure that cares more about the child than anything else.A solid family/friends/associates foundation should be the first line of support.An anchored Team that includes: educators, legal, talent, personal, business, and financial

OLE: What organizations, aside from a family's intra-support team, do you consider essential for the well-being of the children in the entertainment industry?

AW: Taking advantage of the membership support within the SAG/AFTRA union would be beneficial. That's why they exist. I sit on the Advisory Committee Board for the Actors Fund's Looking Ahead Program and they have many programs to help children in the industry. Getting involved with them would be a great idea.

OLE: If you could approach the industry differently because of what you know now, either as a writer or as a parent, how would you? 

AW: I wouldn't do anything differently as a writer or a parent however, I would have dealt with and addressed the pressures outside of the industry dealing with other people differently. I discuss this and give advice in this area in my book as well.

Angela J. Williams has helped parents, families, kids and adult actors safely and successfully find their way in the world of entertainment. Her book, My Child is Going to Be Rich and Famous, offers comical, sobering and insightful techniques for those in industry-related arenas like sports, art, theater, music, television, and films. To learn more about Angela, visit www.angelajwilliams.com