Don't Be a Stage Mom
Keep the Drama Away Mama
Despite your doubt, your advice from others and many more, you the parent remain the CEO of your child’s career as an actor. You may call it what you want (I call it juju) trust your gut when it comes to the choices being asked by you and your minor in the big bad world of agents, production and more in La La Land.
Now that being said, being the proverbial stage mom is not recommended. What constitutes as a stage mom? Here are some tips:
1: Being too loud:
When on set, you are in a working environment. Often a stage mom can get labeled when they are confusing set with a PTA event. This isn’t the place to be loud. You are there because your child is there and no other reason. Caring for them is your sole purpose. Sure making small talk when appropriate is great. But when everyone else is working be sensitive and stay out of the way.
2: Are we done yet?
Production is on tight guidelines. As a child actor, your minor child has certain hours they can work. A studio teacher assigned to your child will ensure these guidelines are met. You don’t need, nor should you ask when you will be done. If you have to get other errands done, etc, well guess what… every other crew and cast member does too. Trust that you will be done when your child is wrapped.
3: You are not the director.
Trying to coach your child while they are on set is not the place for you. The director has already been hired. Sure, if you see your child in distress you are still the CEO, but giving ‘helpful’ hints is not usually a great spot to be in and can actually harm the relationship you are creating for your child in establishing their career. In fact, many productions and casting will let go of a minor actor if their parent is interfering too much with their set.
4: Pocket the Phone
This is not the time to take selfies, ask for autographs or go LIVE on social media. Many sets have strong adherences and non disclosure agreements. Snapping a photo quietly sure, but always ask (usually one of the AD’s) and make sure it’s cool for you to do so.
5: Stay close but not too close.
While your child is working you may be asked to wait. That is ok. Your child’s studio teacher should be with them at all times while on set and are their representative. Don’t be offended if you are asked to wait. Most production companies are cool with a parent on set if they are quiet and know “setiquette”. But know that time is money. Being demanding about it may set a bad tone.
Again, know the pace, your child and the big world your child has entered. And yes, protect and keep them close. But also know your child has entered a well oiled machine that has the motto ‘time is money’. Be aware of your rights, but don’t take on the stereotype of ‘stage mom’. Keep that reality show for the other mommies and daddies.