Want to be the worst stage parent ever? Sometimes I think people do! I’ve seen some pretty bad behavior by adults who have children in the entertainment business. Wouldn’t you think that modeling behavior is something that the adults should be doing? Apparently not, as I’ve been surprised by the behavior of certain parents I’ve run across. Do I think I’m immune? Probably not, I’m sure I’ve done something stupid at least twice, but I do try to remain aware of my behavior!
There are numerous behaviors that can classify one as a bad stage parent, however, here are a few winners that I’ve run into time and time again, so I call them my pet peeves. So, if you find yourself doing these things, think about it, take a deep breath and ask yourself; “why?” Here are my favorites:
Be sure to tell everyone how special and talented your child is! Come on, you know it’s true, in fact, everyone sees it! Be sure and tell them just who is interested in working with your chid and how many opportunities lie ahead for them. Well I say… Okay, okay, so what?! Honestly, this is the kind of comment to make to your family or perhaps your very closest friends but no, not anyone else on set and certainly not the parents of other kids in showbiz! Most of the time these things aren’t even true, and turn out to be wishful thinking on the part of the parent and that just makes you, and your child, look bad.
Make sure you tell all your friends, especially the parents of other talented children, that your child’s career is taking off! “My daughter’s career is really taking off right now.” When I hear this one I smile politely and think “well, isn’t that nice?” I guess karma be what it may, I would never make such a statement because in this business it’s up one day and down the next. What looks like the job of a lifetime is easily gone in a week or two in this business. Saying that your child’s career is taking off in front of other parents who have children in the business, amounts to really bad manners and is asking the karma bug to bite you in the butt! Besides, we are all just trying to work here, geez!
Dress your child in outrageous outfits with big hairdos so that they will be remembered! I’ve been in Disney casting offices and seen the parents come in with the kids who are pretty new at the whole audition scene. It’s always obvious because of the way they are dressed. Big plastic flowers in their hair, loud printed patterns and the parents are usually chatty and super excited. Yikes, your child should look normal at their audition, not like they are going out for a pageant! Casting directors want to see real kids, not little adults in costumes!
Parents beware, your behavior can hurt the chances of your child getting hired for a job. Word travels quickly in an industry where time is money and people simply want to see a job done well by people who get along with one another and don’t cause drama. Relax, use good manners, use good sense, and be a role model. After all, that’s what parenting is really about, isn’t it?