Hollywood parent, agent share ways to keep child actors safe

Hollywood parent, agent share ways to keep child actors safe

LOS ANGELES — Natasha Bass beams with pride as she watches videos of her 9-year-old daughter Joylin’s acting endeavors.

“She’s been acting for about a year,” Bass said. “She wanted to have her own YouTube channel because she wanted to be famous, but I suggest we do a more traditional introduction into the industry.”

Joylin harbors aspirations of starring in her own show on a major network, a dream that her mother wholeheartedly supports. However, as a newer parent to the industry, Bass admits to having safety concerns, especially in light of the thought-provoking docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” which shed light on allegations of abuse and misconduct on sets of prominent kids’ TV shows.  

“Am I doing the right thing? Because I want to support her dreams. But is this the right environment for her? How do I keep her safe?” Bass said, vocalizing some thoughts she has had.

Haydn Jones, the head of youth and young adult talent at Luxe Talent Agency, emphasizes the importance of informed decision-making for parents such as Bass.

“Know who you’re choosing as a team,” Jones advises. “When you are seeking representation on the management side or the talent agent side, you’re interviewing us just as much as we’re interviewing you. So, your comfort level matters, your family’s comfort level matters.”

Jones highlights that reputable agencies often have relationships and work to vet productions before facilitating their talent for auditions. Additionally on set, California mandates the presence of a studio teacher on set when children are working, with parents required to be in the eyeline or eyesight of their young talent.

Jones suggests parents should be mindful of the projects their children are involved in starting from the audition process.

“What type of projects is your young talent going to audition for?” Jones said. “And if it’s content related, mature, more mature than otherwise, then that’s always the conversation of if we’re comfortable auditioning for this project.”

Bass thinks this generation of young actors has an advantage.

“The thing that I love about this generation is that they are so much more empowered than I was,” Bass said.  

She also notes the importance of intuition and communication for industry parents.

“Listening to your intuition as a parent is so important,” she said. “Being present so that people know that you’re there for your kid and then having an open line of communication and asking questions because you don’t know what you don’t know until you’re in a situation.”

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