Because of my TV and Vlogs my kids are comfortable in front of the camera. When they shoot the cool mom vlogs with me it takes minutes and if they don’t want to, fine, go play in the mud. Occasionally producers have asked for my kids to be in a branded shoot. I always make sure they are compensated and all of it goes into their 529 or IRA. According to the Coogan law parents of child performers only have to set 5% aside of the kids earnings, which I think is far too little. I put 100% in.
Now, the most recent shoot we were on was longer and more involved than others. It was also done during a heatwave. While I love being with my children and love having them get some money for their future I am glad that being involved in a production makes them never want to be actors.
“This is boring mommy”. That’s right production is a lot of sitting around and waiting.
“Why are we doing this again? We did this shot already?” I know, we have to do it again for different angles, there was a lighting problem, etc.
It was like a scared straight treatment for budding thespians.
Having been bitten by the performance bug as a tyke, I get it. Yet, seen through the lense of irregular employment, no pension and crows feet I feel acting is the low hanging fruit of ambition. As I helped her out to the set on the HOT day I said, “lawyers work in air conditioned offices all day. Finance people get up early, but people go and get them lunch while they make obscene amounts of money.” I learned last year that I wouldn’t be taking them on auditions. Since the people running them are assholes. But, was open for stuff like this that fell in our collective lap.
I don’t want my kids to be going on auditions for the next 50 years.
I don’t want them to have insecure employment.
I don’t want them to need to diet or alter their face in order to get a job.
I don’t want them to worry about eating cat food when they are 70.
I don’t want them to go “wow, I use to work with Ryan Seacrest and now he is 12,000 times more succesful than I.”
Basically, I want them to choose a different path than my own.
I have had some FANTASTIC times working in broadcasting and entertainment. I’ve met some famous people. I’ve also had gigs where I did very little and got paid well.
When I hosted “The X- show” on FX. One of our favorite guests was Sammy Hagar. Circa 2000- 2001. I forgot that Gary Coleman was also there that day. Sure, I could show the picture of me with Hillary Clinton or at the White House, but this seemed more fun.
But, having lived most of my life in LA I also see the desperate, agitated middle aged lady with puffy lips snapping at a clerk while she orders her wheatgrass shot ( no, it wasn’t Lisa Rinna, but in that vein).
So, this shoot done on the hottest day of the year was hopefully unpleasant enough that the bloom is off the rose. Show biz is 2 parts perks and red carpet and 98 parts sitting around, multiple takes, long hours, insecure employment.
Maybe the next step is to give my kids some more “sampler” careers so they can focus early. I’m going to call a Wall Street firm about a little kid internship. Clearly understanding that stuff is not a requirement.