Updated: Nov 21, 2019
So it only took me about 8 months... well maybe 7... but now I’m finally starting to understand why everyone says this is such a CRAZY Industry to get into!
The Good You can’t really put a price on all of the great people you meet and all of the friendships you form from being in this business. And I’m not just talking about those relationships that pertain to Ava and Leah. My girls are easy and love everyone! In fact they meet a new “friend” for 10 minutes at an audition or a shoot and are already asking me if this new friend can be their cousin, because a simple friendship just doesn't quite express the love they have for their new friend! For me, however, I never would have expected that I’d meet some of the coolest moms around from being a part of this new world! Having people you can relate to and talk with makes the hours pass way more quickly when waiting for your kids to wrap at a shoot. And even aside from the moms, there are so many amazingly fun makeup artists, stylists and photographers that I have been lucky enough to get to know! It’s really like a huge community where we are all somewhat in the same boat... most of us can relate to this crazy lifestyle! Its really such a blessing to having your own built in support system wherever you go and mostly everyone is more then willing to offer advice or help with any questions you might have about the industry!
The Bad Aside from the constant criticism that my kids or I get on a daily basis (mentioned in our last blog post), there are other disadvantages to this business as well.
One of the biggest adjustments for me has been making the 5-6 hour roundtrip drive to LA in rush hour a few times a week! Luckily the kids don’t mind it as much because they are either doing their homework or watching a movie, but for me it’s been completely exhausting at times. I’ve learned to try my best and use the time to clear my head, blast some good songs, or take the time to talk to my kids about LIFE! They can’t escape in a moving vehicle so it works to my advantage!
Another not so amazing thing about this new life are all of the expenses associated with it! A lot of people assume parents are making money just because they see their kids working a lot. FALSE! I know in our case and probably in most cases the parents are putting out more money in order to support their kids. Just filling up the gas tank ends up costing at least a car payment if not more every month. That combined with having to constantly grab a bite out here and there really adds up! And then there is the expense of professional headshots that are necessary if you want your kids to keep booking jobs. But I guess if you really put it all into perspective, the money we as parents put out now to support our kids in something they love doing, will allow them to make their own money they can use towards College or a car or a house in the future. So if you think about it, it’s really not so bad after all!
The Ugly When I first got into the business like most parents coming into it for the first time, I knew absolutely nothing about it. I hadn’t done any research prior to signing my kids with an agent so I put my trust into those who I felt had a lot more experience in industry and who I thought could guide me and my girls in the right direction. For the most part, I was lucky enough to find some amazing people that offered us lots of great advice!! And for those who were there for us, I cannot thank them enough!! Unfortunately, I later had to find out the hard way that not everyone was so genuine and honest with us. The good thing is, it was a HUGE learning experience for me. One of the most important things I took from this whole experience is before trusting someone to guide you, make sure you know who you are getting involved with.
Some questions to consider before deciding who has your best interest in mind...Do they have a criminal past? And I’m not just talking about here in the US. I’m talking about in other countries as well?Have they changed the spelling of their last name to avoid being recognized?Have they manipulated people out of money and friendships?Have they bad mouthed makeup artists, parents, and even photographers in this industry in order to make themselves look better?Have they ever forged fake medical or real estate documents in an attempt to con money from people?Are they obsessed with being powerful? Will they do or say whatever it takes to sabotage their competition by making up bogus stories and telling blatant lies about them?Do they claim that they attract the “craziest” people in life and can't understand why these people are drawn to them? Yet most of their friends just dissapear into thin air... some even changing their phone numbers to ensure no more contact with them? Guess who never asked themselves the questions above before trusting certian people to guide me as my girls in the right direction!? ME!
This by far has been one of the most stressful, upsetting, mind boggling, and biggest lessons I’ve learned in this industry so far. So make sure you don’t make the same mistake as me! Do your research! If something seems a little off with someone you think you should trust, go with your gut instinct. You might be surprised at how many people feel the same way you do! Odds are you probably aren’t alone in your thinking. Finding out you aren’t alone is almost like a Happy Birthday to you ;)