Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Add This To The Reading List

With all of the wacky former child star craziness that hits the headlines, you would think that parents would seriously rethink the whole "get my child in the movies" mindset...or at least seriously question it as a push your child into the business fantasy, if that is what is happening in their particular family.

Recently, Mara Wilson -- yes, the cutie patootie girl in Mrs. Doubtfire -- wrote an incredibly honest and rather insightful article about child stardom, and how parents might or might not want to rethink things.

This part, in particular, really resonated:
When one of my preteen co-stars didn't seem that into acting, I asked him why he even bothered doing it. "For the money," he said. I hadn't considered that. My own money was an abstract concept: locked in a bank somewhere, to be used only after I turned 18. I was just acting because I liked it. But this kid was supporting his family.
When you are asking your child to be the adult and shoulder the responsibility of paying the freight for his or her entire family? You have crossed so many lines, and you have to expect that to reverberate enormously throughout your child's lifetime.

Every time I see some cracked out, wacky article about some former child star doing some naughty or attention-seeking or whatever ridiculous behavior thing in a tabloid or online gossip-mongering blahbity blah, it just makes me sad.  Because that was probably a person who never really got to BE a child.

We all deserve a childhood, don't we?  Sadly, a whole lot of us never get one.  And some of those folks have to deal with the back end of that in a very public way because they were thrust onto a stage and into a spotlight far, far too early.

Read Mara's entire article.  It is a think piece in the best possible sense of the term.  And worth thinking about.

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