A Note To Parents



© Missjelena | Dreamstime.com

© Missjelena | Dreamstime.com

I feel compelled today to say a word to parents. Parents who have talented children who are out in the world rehearsing, dancing, filming, performing, as these things don’t take place in a vacuum.  Most of the parents I have known do not need this reminder, however, I have seen some that do.

I recall an event from years ago. My daughter, who began acting at the age of eight, had booked a commercial, her very first booking. We left very early in the morning to reach the location where we would be filming for the day, which was a local elementary school.  After meeting two other moms and their children who were also filming the commercial, someone in production asked us to stay put in the room and wait for further instructions.  I chatted with the other parents while we waited, and realized that they were fairly new at this too.

About ten minutes into our “wait,” we heard a loud nearby explosion and the school fire alarm began to ring. I was a little unsettled by this, and began to look around. None of us could see anything wrong, but we could see the children from the school filing out in lines, quickly making their way away from the building, and, clearly there had been some sort of explosion.

As the seconds ticked by I was becoming very uncomfortable with the situation and I decided that we too should evacuate, as the fire alarm was still sounding. To my surprise, the other parents decided they should not leave the room, because they were told to stay there and it appeared that they feared doing something “wrong.”

I  took my daughter and made my way outside of the building and across the street, and,  as it turned out, everyone including the entire filming crew had already evacuated the building.  The other parents never came from the building with their children.  At least no harm was done, it was an old fashion boiler that had overheated and the fire department had it quickly under control. However, it did cause me to wonder why parents would not trust their own parental instincts.  Was it because they were afraid of jeopardizing their child’s first job in the industry? Who knows.

Parents,  use common sense when it comes to your child’s safety and be aware of age appropriate supervision. Whether your child is taking lessons from a dance instructor or is on set filming for a job, your child should not be in harm’s way or in any situation you do not feel is in your child’s best interest. In any situation at a school, camp or in the industry, there should be safeguards in place, however, safeguards are not fail-proof. Ultimately your child’s well-being is your responsibility.






A Note To Parents — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Davonne, As a studio teacher/welfare worker for minors filming in t.v. and movies for 22 yrs, I have seen the most unbelievable behaviors from parents, whose job it is to be their children’s advocates on set. For example: bringing their sick children to set to work, not feeding their children, not schooling their children, having their children work constantly day after day to support the family and not attend school, allowing their children to perform unsafe stunts, work very long hours and work all night long and attend school the next morning, work with horses when they aren’t trained and cannot ride, push their very young children to keep performing when they are clearly tired and crying for a rest by feeding them candy and sugary soft drinks, convincing their children to work in scenes involving adult nudity when they are embarassed by it and don’t want to do it, I could go on and on here!), These parents are fearful that their agency/management company will drop them if they don’t comply with the directors’ requests, overshadowed and star struck by the film industry and the people in it, and seduced by the paychecks. As a board member of my union local, we are constantly addressing these issues and find it difficult when the parents don’t support our perspective and fight against us for enforcing the child labor laws. Thank you for being the intelligent, observant, loving mother that you are and using your own best judgement in being the advocate for your beautiful daughter.

    • Yes, Josie thank you for weighing in on this. I am sure you have seen your share of bad behaviors from parents. I am glad to hear that you are a union advocate for these issues! Thank you for caring so much about the children in the business!

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