The talk of the week on the internet sure seems to be the performance by Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. There is a fine line between pushing buttons artistically and intelligently and then just becoming irreverent to your audience. I think most people agree that Miley’s performance tipped into the latter. As a parent with a daughter in the entertainment business, this sort of thing is just what I dread to see. Why? Because it becomes the benchmark for all those outside of the business. Why would anyone put their child in an industry, which produces success stories that seemingly end up going off the deep end? Good question.
In answering that question I have to default to a discussion I have had with my own mother, but it has nothing to do with the entertainment business. I have been a proponent of exercise for as long as I can remember, but my mother has always loathed exercise of any kind. I have talked to her time and time again about the benefits of working out, even just walking a little bit each day, but to no avail. There was a time when I tried to talk her into doing a little light weight training each day, but obviously that didn’t go anywhere either. Her response to me was “I don’t want to end up looking like a body builder!” Obviously we all know how hard those body builder work to get like that, and what an incredibly small percentage of people who work out even start to resemble someone who works out to that degree, but honestly that was her fear!
What does all that have to do with Miley’s VMA performance? To me…plenty. It is similar logic. When a child or young person pursues a career in the entertainment industry, the chances of meteoric success in the business like Miley’s are so slim, that it’s really not worth worrying about. Yes, I agree that huge success at a young age sort of warps the sense of reality, however, again, the chances of that type of success is similar to the chance that my mother will ever look like a body builder!
There are many kids in the industry that are doing just fine, they are talented kids who are working steadily, they are incredibly intelligent and caring. Unfortunately, these kids don’t get much press because good behavior really isn’t that newsworthy–shocking, I know. So when I see a performance like Miley’s that paints industry young people with a wide brush, it’s just really sad to me, and my heart goes out to her. I don’t know what issues Miley has right now, but I do know there are plenty of young adults and teenagers out there who aren’t in the biz who are having major meltdowns in their lives, but fortunately for them there is no world-wide stage!
As a parent, I really think you have to be there for your child, no matter what, offering guidance and support, setting limits, etc. This is true whether your child is in the entertainment industry or pursuing their goals elsewhere. Do I need to even say that? Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter where it occurs, if in the home, the casting office or on the stage. Yes, the entertainment industry is a very difficult industry, but I wouldn’t let that keep my child from looking at a career in the business if that was truly their passion. I would, however, keep the lines of communication open, continue to offer advice and love, and I would keep them close. But then, as a parent, why wouldn’t you?
Care to weigh in? Leave a comment below…I’d love to hear from you!