Newbies in the industry many times think this industry operates like other industries. They think 1+1 always equals 2. Oddly, in this industry it really doesn’t. It’s just not that linear. This industry has its own mind, body and soul; Or, sometimes, a lack thereof. Newer parents often come to me because they become frustrated that they cannot control the career progress in the time frame they would like. Things aren’t moving along quick enough. Their child isn’t getting an agent. Their child isn’t getting many auditions from an agent. Their child isn’t getting a return on monies spent for classes and headshots. On and on. My advice has stayed the same for 16 years. Stop it. Stop trying to control the industry. You’re the boss of your child, but not the industry. The lens of your glasses see something different than ours much of the time. Or, we see the same thing but production simply felt another was the better fit. Failure, rejection and patience are great life lessons. Life has given your child attention and accolades to this point and you’ve come to expect they’ll continue to get them. Well, wake up Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore. In my world, most everyone is attractive, outgoing and special. That makes special, not special. You’re in the audition room with 10 or more other talented kids, which makes you average. If you’re getting callbacks, that’s a great sign. You’re pounding on the door! So, how do you deal with a lack of bookings or industry interest?
Firstly, how about the right frame of mind. You need to refocus, take a longer term horizon. This analogy quickly comes to mind. Treat it like a stock. I’ll say Apple, because apples are healthy and we’re talking about kids. Apple has gone through so many swings, it could make an investor dump it or buy more. Any given week, the stock is up, down or has limited movement.
Your child’s career is much the same. Some weeks, days or years are better than others. Things not relevant to your child can determine movement and outcome. It’s never all negative or positive. Just hold the damn stock and stay focused. Judge your child’s career over a broader spectrum or period of time. As much as you want to kick your child to the curb when they are frustrating, you don’t because the good times are there too and well, you need to stay the course. I promise there will be mini successes along the way and hopefully, larger ones as well.
No, it’s not guaranteed. That’s life. But, it’s what you’re working towards. Even if you book something great, nothing says that will translate into continued bookings. Just stay the course.
So, what’s the proper mindset for a parent? Know that you’re going to spend money. Know that your talented and beautiful child is in for the long haul. Stop expecting. Work hard. Train hard. If you’re in it for years, you’ll have successes along the way. Your child didn’t get the role because your child didn’t get the role. Stop trying to figure it out or blame other people. One day your child will get the role because your child was the right one for it. Don’t overanalyze that either. Incidentally, apple is down today. It’s time to buy more.