Thursday, August 10, 2006

“I Don’t Ever Want My Kid To Be On T.V. Or In Movies”

Only in L.A. can you say this, get dragged into the street, and then stoned like you’re some leper. At work, some meeting got off-track (as they usually do) and the natives started talking about how ‘wouldn’t it be cool’ if their kids were “actors” or “actresses” on T.V. and in the movies. There are a few parents here who have agents for their kids who do little odd jobs like “kid #8 on skateboard”, nothing famous by any means. When my turn came I said how I would never let my kid get into any of that. I got scowls and looks with lasers shooting out of them.

Well, while in college my roommate and I use to work as pages on T.V. shows (long story on how that happened) we worked on a huge variety of T.V. shows for over a year and let me tell you, those actor kids aren’t normal and their pimpin’ parents are freaks who will do anything to get their “talented kid” famous. Which leads to a lot of screwed-up kids who grow up into screwed-up adults. I don’t care what kind of impression you might have of these famous kids; in front of the camera they may act happy, easygoing, and “normal” but behind them are lots of publicists and at least one harsh stage parent. That’s the reality for about 95% of the kids I came across (the adults are even worse!). They’re crazy, spoiled, usually experimenting with something, and are catered to like divas and kings. The stage parents I came across overlooked all this (because their kid is going to be famous!!) and the producers want the parents to bend over backwards for them.
I read recently how that Dakota Fanning is doing some movie were she get molested in it (and they show it!) How freakin’ sick is that? I bet behind the scenes there’s some pushy agent and willing parent who want her to go for the Oscar no matter how low they have to go.

So yeah, I don’t want my kid in that world. And parents that do don’t realize what kind of world is on the other side. I won’t say which shows I worked on (this isn’t that Parez Hilton blog).

(Silence filled the conference room)

Look at what happened to all the Diff’Rent Strokes kids! The only one who wasn't on crack was Edna Garrett

“Ahhh” nods of agreement.


MetroDad said...

Amen, brother! I've seen the same things here on the right coast too. Lots of NYC stage moms doing some serious psychosis on their kids. Scary stuff.

And you sure about Edna Garrett? I thought I heard that she had turned into a professional glue sniffer.

Diana said...

I wouldn't want my kid doing any Hollywood stuff either. That story on Dakota is pretty sick, as a parent I would have told her "Hell Fucking NO."
How long before she is doping up? A year? two?

Waya said...

I'm so with you there! It's sick seeing these parents on tv pushing their kids to the limit! I read about Dakota at Blogging Baby and it just makes me sick to my mommy core.

Ryan said...

I would never let my kid be in a scene like that. Pretty sick, man. And I wouldn't want to be the adult actor in that scene either. Just too intense and too much.

I can see why parents would want their kids to do that sort of thing though because of the money. I'm sure it works out for some kids, but first and foremost, we must look out for their best interest.

dennis said...

Wow! One would think there would be some oversite or control...who am I kidding! We're talking about the entertainment industry!

Obviously I am going to keep the imps at home here in the mid-west until they are 35.

junebee said...

I'm the same way about baby/beauty pageants.

However, I do think it would be fun for my kids to get involved with community theater, there are a couple small local groups around here. I enjoyed theater for a brief time in junior high.

Agent Orange said...

I think it was Liz Montegomery's dad, the famous director, who tried to discouage her from showbiz, by telling her that he'd never met a happy actress.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

That's true!

Most of the extra's on the shows were very friendly. They did the whole community theater curcuit for the love of just acting (and they had other talents too, like singing)

Izzy said...

Dude...that Dakota Fanning thing is fucking sick. Her parents should be sent to prison for child exploitation and once there, THEY should be molested.

Carrien said...

I once had an agent stop me on the train platform and beg me to take my kids in to see her because they are just so cute. I had visions of extra easy money dancing in my head. I had my brother, a stunt/actor check out the agency, it was a reputable one. Then I found out about the cattle calls, and the on call all of the time, and taking them to a different room without me for the audition part. And I said no.

What clinched it was remembering my MIL who also has beuatiful children, and the way she has never agreed to let her daughters go to the auditions they are invited to, and how the oldest, when she was 11 had such confidence that when my DH asked her why she thought everyone always said she was pretty, she responded, "Because I am." and not in a stuck up sort of valley girl way way either. I thought there might be a connection.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

Carrien - I think that's how it starts. They get the parents really excited about the money.