My child wants to be an actor (singer or dancer)! As a parent, how do you justify the expenses of your child’s showbiz hobby? Yes, it’s a ‘showbiz hobby’ because more money might go out than come in by the time you pay taxes, an agent, the manager, training expenses, headshots, travel, unions, wardrobe, etc. A lot of money is spent upfront before your child even books that first job. So when do you draw the line that your child’s acting (singing or dancing) might not be affordable? These financial questions are always brought up by parents during our private Skype sessions.
Parents, you have to look at this venture overall. If kids are put in the situation to be the main breadwinner of the family, mom and dad…check again. You are doing this all wrong. Kids bringing home the bacon are protected by regulations that prevent your children supporting you. In California, we have the Coogan Law that requires a portion of the child’s earnings to be placed in court-administered trust funds.
It’s complicated. So why bother? Why extend yourself financially, wreck havoc in your day with all the ‘schlepping’ around town (or country!) and expenses? The result might not necessarily be a money-maker, BUT it can be extremely beneficial to your child. If handled correctly and I emphasize the word ‘correctly,’ having your child enter show business can be a very positive journey. If this is their dream, their passion and you are willing to give it a shot, the positive results should exceed what financial gains and expectations your child brings in.
Any extracurricular activity your child is passionate about is going to be expensive. Having kids on a sports team or in a marching band comes with financial obligations. There are the uniforms, the food, the instruments, the training, the travel costs and your time. Having your child join an outside school activity they are passionate about is done, not to satisfy a financial reward, but done for the reason of your child feeling good about coming up to bat or playing and performing in the band. What they learn in extracurricular activities outweighs any of the costs. You can look at this the same way as having your child join the “showbiz” team. Enter for the experience and all that it provides and you might end up with a MVP or an Oscar.
Acting on TV or in films, swinging a bat, playing the piano, kicking a football, being in a band… it can be fabulous for kids!