Aside from your child’s talent and tenacity, a headshot is one of the most important components in any actor’s career. Agents and casting directors see them by the hundreds on a daily basis, so you naturally want one that stands out. Competition is fierce, and you only have a few seconds to make an impression. The trick is getting a photo that captures your personality (or type) and presents you in a natural and professional manner. This is all easier said than done, but there are strategies for getting the headshot that tells your story perfectly.
Summer is winding down, and while child actors enjoy “no more pencils, no more books” as much as the next child, they’re just as vulnerable to what educators call the dreaded “summer slide.” Education, like acting, is a work in progress that is best improved by practice, practice, practice! We may be too far into the season to stop the slide, but there are things that young performers, parents, and family members can do to brush up on their education chops and get ready for the new year.
It’s been long accepted as fact that left-brained people are better equipped for more logical and analytical pursuits, like science and math, while their right-brained counterparts are more intuitive and creative, perfect for work in the arts. Regardless of where your perceived brain strengths lie, the truth of the matter is that successful actors should work to be mentally ambidextrous. Which of the following approaches to performing best describes you?
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ~Albert Einstein
Conventional wisdom tells us that all teachers have the potential to change the lives of students for the better, not only by dispensing information, but perhaps more importantly by being positive role models and helping to shape the adult that the student will one day become. And in spite of non-traditional settings, hectic schedules, and often high-profile students, studio teachers and on-set tutors possess that same potential to have a lasting influence on their charges.
For parents of young performers, there’s often so much focus on the child landing or perfecting the big part that they find themselves struggling to find their own place in the process. A strong family support system is an important part of every young actor’s path to success, so you need to begin with an honest assessment of what is behind the pursuit of a career in show business. Assuming you’re in it for your child’s sake and not driven by a misguided personal need, there are two basic schools of thought concerning a parent’s role in show business.
In the first part of our interview with Steven, he discussed the personal challenges he faced when becoming a stage parent, the importance of understanding child labor laws, and why child actors should be the ones who define their success. In part two, Steven debunks the stereotype of the overbearing stage parent and highlights the essential role parents should play as partners in their young performer’s career.
Sally Gaglini has spent more than twenty-five years as a legal advisor for young performers and the companies for whom they work. Her commitment to child actors runs deep, as founder of the Gaglini Law Group, as an entertainment law teacher at Suffolk University, and in her work with lawmakers in creating the inaugural child performer law in Massachusetts.
We’re excited to continue our series of interviews with Hollywood parents and industry insiders who share their secrets of success for their children, clients, and families.
In part one of our conversation with Bonnie Wallace (BW), she discussed what inspired her to write her book, A Hollywood Parents Guide, its unique point of view, and how child actors and parents should define success. In the conclusion of our interview, Bonnie defines stage parents and discusses the importance of support systems and professional organizations to the child actor’s successful career.
Since we began in 1982, On Location Education (OLE) has been dedicated to helping young actors balance the demands of their careers and education. You could say balance in all things is something of a guiding principle for us, and it is with this in mind that we approached authors of several recent books targeted at young performers and their families who want to make a career out of show business.