We are often asked to explain or define the boundaries of a parents role in the success of their child in the modeling and acting industries; very simply put, a parent should be a parent. Successful people carry similar traits or common threads across all industries, be it modeling & acting, or professional sports, concert musicians, etc. In working with modeling and acting managers and agents, throughout the entire world in local, we have found that there are several traits they look for in their talent; independence, confidence, and personality. The questions we should be asking is, “How can a parent affect these traits in a positive way that would lead to their child’s success in the industry?”
The modeling and acting industry requires models and actors, beginning with children as young as four-years-old, to speak for themselves. Children of parents who speak for their child, will not fare well in this regard. Teach your child to speak to adults, in safe circumstances and in your presence; to order their own food in a restaurant; and to communicate with your adult friends and other adult family members is a great place to start. Models and actors can begin traveling nationally and internationally at younger ages than most kids go away to college. Teach your children how to prepare food for themselves, and to shop for food while making healthy choices, how to do their own laundry, and to live with respect to other people's property in a household. Every child excels at different levels, "I am shy" is not an acceptable excuse for not learning to communicate with adults, but rather, just another hurdle to overcome in the process of raising an independent child.
A child that works in the modeling and acting industry must have a feeling of self-assurance arising from their appreciation of their own ability or simply put, they must be confident. Raising a confident child is a task in itself. This is the trait that we parents yearn for, for our children. Confidence grows with independence, these two traits tend to walk hand in hand. Do not confuse shyness with diffidence, a shy person can have a quiet confidence. Many successful actors are reserved or shy people. When it comes time for the character to speak lines, that actor does just that, they act. The actor has the confidence in her ability to deliver her lines. The model has a self-assured approach to moving in front of the camera or on a runway. Quite often practice breeds confidence, however there are a variety of ways to build confidence including helping others, sharing your knowledge and experience with others, sticking to your principles, being realistic and positive, and recognizing your own insecurities in an effort to overcome them. Every agent and manager wants talent that exemplifies these qualities.
It is human nature to desire to surround oneself with happy and full of personality people. Happy people are physically healthier, live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life. Practice optimism and have your children focus on their own life and making it everything they want it to be by not comparing themselves to others. Teach them how to manage their stress, live in the present, and strive to be a part of something bigger than themselves. While developing personality strive to let go of things over which a person has no control. If they can accept that there are things in life that aren't always ideal, but that life can be great anyway, they've taken a giant step closer to a bigger happier personality.
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