The Pros and Cons to Being a Child Performer

Do you remember your childhood aspirations? Did you want to become a superhero? Did you dream of becoming an astronaut and going into outer space? Kids always aim high, and what is the ultimate summit? Constellation “Celebrity.” It is the most sought-after place in the minds of people. And we, as parents, wish nothing more than to see our children thrive, to see them become great.

The way to becoming an actor is a fascinating adventure, well worth experiencing if you get the opportunity. There's so much to learn from it: discipline and focus, fearlessness and reduction of inhibition, conscious awareness of your body and the sound of your voice, being attentive and at the moment. High school musicals, theater, improv comedy classes -- these are all good things in which to participate. Parents should always remember one thing, though: the path to stardom is not a gilded yellow brick road.

Before taking your children to an acting class, keep in mind these few things:

Your daughter's or son's comfort level is crucial. They must feel that they want to be there. Otherwise, they might throw tantrums if they're uncomfortable, and it will be a massive waste of time. Make sure the big dream has been dreamt by your child (and not just you).

Teach them about rejection -- kids who pursue professional performing careers normally get rejected more often than they get accepted. Can your child handle even a small dosage of it? It’s part of the process, and it is crucial to teach them that life consists not only of victories but also losses.

Teach your child about criticism, teach them to react to it without getting offended. The critique that comes from industry professionals will only make them better. But don’t criticize your child too harshly yourself -- they will get enough of that from their mentors and competitors. But don’t use flattery and fake encouragements either. Just be there for them, be the rock they can lean on.

Challenges in artist’s life

Child actors are often overprotected and over pampered, which can result in developing difficulties with everyday tasks such as scheduling, doing laundry, and cooking meals; skills that most of us acquire during our growing up years. A child might even feel awkward while socializing with their other kids. There's also rehearsals. A lot of them. And here comes the ultimate test for relationships: once rehearsals begin, you will have to sacrifice your personal life, your weekends and evenings. It’s going to take a lot of you and your kid. If your son or daughter is in for a photo shoot, expect them to get pushed around quite a bit. They will cry and make scenes because that’s just the way kids are. We know that seeing your child cry is heartbreaking, but if you want greatness, this is the only way to it.

The good part

Things are not all bad. Despite all the hardships and struggle, the kids are happy with what they’re doing. The first time they’re on stage, in a commercial, on a poster, in a movie, the look in their eyes is priceless. Getting positive experience at a young age is an excellent thing for children who want to grow up becoming a musician, actor, or model. Learning everything can be a tremendous advantage over others who have become involved in the entertainment industry later on in life unless they learned early themselves before becoming involved. Children can get a good feel for how things go behind the scenes, and this will help them to determine if they want to make this a full-blown career in years to come.

There can also be so much fun! Children should be able to get a good balance between working hard and having fun doing it. And if they’re well taken care of, they behave themselves and become great actors loved by the audience.

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