BizKids Talent Blog

How to stay sane and alive while drivng your kids Showbiz Career

Tips and links to help parents make the best decisions for there family as there child enters into the business of acting. This is an addition to my website at

Should You manage Your Child Actor?

Should You manage Your Child Actor
I get emails all the time from parents asking about  Showbiz for kids. I have worked with parents for years  sharing information. I do this so they can make informed decisions regarding  there own child and acting. Hopefully I will have prevented them from throwing away money and also not wasting a lot of time in moving forward. Today I received a letter from a mom asking about managing her own child.

This letter has been edited to protect the identity of the author.

Dear Shawn

I'm from the board and was reading a discussion you had with a mom regarding managing your childs career.  I went to your site and have found it a great resource. 
First I would like to say thanks for taking the time to do that for those of us that are just getting started, it's greatly appreciated.
Secondly, I would like to know if you might be able to give me a little more information as far as the steps to take, business wise, on setting myself up legally as manager of my Childs career.
My child recently finished her first class at ____________ and already the staff is talking about my child so I think there is a good possibility opportunities might start opening up and I would like to be prepared. 
I have done tons of research, etc. (some of it conflicting) and thought what better way to get the correct info than to ask directly a successful manager.  I know your very busy, but I would appreciate any help you could give me. 
First I would like to know if you set up your business as a corporation.  I was thinking along the lines of an LLC.  Did you go through a lawyer to do so or did you use a service such as Bizfilings?  After the formation of your business what was the next step you took?
Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

Dear Mom
Thanks for the thoughts of my Mom. I've been away from my blog for a while as I really don't know what to say as we are in waiting game right now.

First off I need to know where you live because if you are in LA I am not the person to talk to. I did not represent my son in LA. I do not recommend it unless you have a law degree or an agency license. (something to think about are you talking about working as a Talent manager or a proactive parent?) Casting directors and agents do not look kindly on mother managers. In addition the market in LA is totally different from any other market and you must have worked in the business for a very long time before you become a manager.

A good manager already has relationships with casting directors and agents. In addition to knowing the producers in the area. I already had worked  in business as a teen and my kids started int he biz at a young age. I didn't manage my child without help until he was well known by local casting directors and producers and that was only in the SF market until he got an agent in LA.

It is much too costly to become a corporation and it isn't recommended unless your child is earning a three figure income. It also is costly to keep it up since a acting career is not consistent.

You only need file a DBA and have it published as a fictitious name statement in your local newspaper
.For me we were first doing workshops for parents so that's how the DBA as Bizkids Talent Group came about..

I would  really think about how your child will benefit from you being there manager. What can you offer that  a  established manager  can't and vice versa.  Do you have the  confidence to Network and  Smooze with  Agents?
If you call will they listen? LA is a tough tough world out there. That's why I went to a well known established manager when my son became a teenager in the LA market. I knew I could not open every door for my son. I did not have the long term established relationships with casting directors in LA.

I do wish you the best of luck and recommend you pick up some  management books at Samuel French if you want to  go forward. Look at what actors want in a manager. The Personal Managers guide by Acting world books is good and also read Bonnies' columns on Showfax. Or better yet get her book . You could use her guide that give adult actors the info to manager there career and apply it as a parent.

Just remember as your child gets older it can be difficult to have a mother relationship and a manager relationship. Its easier  for the child to argue  with  Mom that it is with  there manager. When it comes to Teens I belive having a manager is much easier on the mother child relationship.

On another note it is very important to be a Proactive Parent who manages there child's finances and deals with contracts, agents, studio teachers and Production Team. You also work as your child's publicity manager sending postcards and updates to casting directors. This means you are very involved in your child's career. However, you leave the majority of the submission process to your representation.  (Note I didn't say all as agents don't submit on everything) It also means that you leave the main decision of what headshots to use with your representation. You can always have your own you submit on other projects the agent doesn't submit to. You also ask for help when things are slow like do you need new headshots, new classes, a new look?

So hopefully I have explained the difference between becoming a full fledged Talent Manager  or being a Proactive Parent  that is managing your childs life.

Do you deserve that 15%? Can a parent really become as child's manager without hurting the relationship with the child and the agent? Can a parent get the child in on every audition in town, go to producers and get generals. That's the difference too. 

As always there are exceptions to the rules and this above is just my opinion.


Happy 4th hope everyone stays safe

So here it is the 4th of July. not an exciting day for us. I spent the day making our backyard into a somewhat nice refuge.
Put up a new gazebo over the spa. That was a pain but it is really nice. We lost our last one to a wind storm. It just bent the steel frame and collapsed. This one is much stronger and has mosquito netting. Also set up our wonderful waterfall fountain which proceeded to leak. We now have a waterless waterfall. Oh well it looks good.

My big concern for today is hoping my kids are safe. What sucks about having adult kids is that you still worry about them  even though they aren't at home. I know  K )my son) will be heading to San Francisco for a major concert party in some warehouse. Do I know that they will be drinking? Probably as he IS in College and that's what they do. Its so annoying to know and worry but not be able to really do anything. I will hope and pray that he gets back to school safely.

That's the main reason I don't care for this holiday. I don't dare drive anywhere as all the out of towners come to my town to watch the parade, drink and watch the fireworks and drink. I only go places if I can walk. For those that can have a safe and sane holiday.I hope you have a great one. I will go to bed early and hope I don't get  phone calls in the middle of the night or hear sirens all night long.

If we want we can see the sky high fireworks the fire department puts on every year by walking to the end of our street. That was fun when the kids were young but now  car loads of people come to the end of our street (a deadend) and we have lost our special spot.

I also have a problem celebrating a holiday when young adults the ages of my children are being killed daily in Iraq. I feel for those parents who have to live through the celebration of today.

They currently are postponing surgery. They want her to have radiation and take a drug for 6 weeks first. They will monitor her and see how it goes. It will take 2 weeks to set it up. Amazing how long it takes to get started on treatment. In the meantime its hard to talk to my mom. If I ask how she is I get; "Well I have Breast cancer" . So I am
stepping back a bit and focusing on Summer Camp. I start camp on Friday so need to get into the Nature Mom frame of mind.

The bride is settlinginto the heat of the central valley reluctantly. The heat is awful and the air conditioner is expensive. (Funny Now that she pays for the air conditioner its not on as it was at OUR house). She id come visit for a weekend and we spent the entire time shopping for a dress for another wedding. She is attending  a formal wedding at the Four Seasons in San Diego with her Grandma. So off to find a formal gown for the occasion. We found one but it had a broken zipper so we got it 50% off. However there are no celery green zippers on the market to replace it. I had to settle for mint green or natural. We will let the seamstress make the decision.

Well thats if for now.........

Wedding is over, now Its Breast Cancer


"Breast cancer is the most common cancer to affect women. In 2004, it is estimated that about 216,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, along with 59,390 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer."

One day its a wedding and we are joyous and happy. Full of love and hope to the future. The next day Bamm! It slips out of my Aunts mouth. "So terrible about your Mom's upcoming surgery". My heart dropped my face grew pale.  My aunt said  "I thought you knew".
It had to be the best kept secret in my families history. Everyone knew except  my  immediate family  and I.  I vaguely remember months ago that Mom had to go in for a biopsy and then I  put it in the back of my mind. I had wedding plans to deal with, a daughter graduating and getting married all within a months time. Planning, shopping, getting beautiful all happy things.

So they kept it to themselves until after the wedding. My Mom has breast cancer and she is going to have a double mastectomy. This is scary because she isn't young, she isn't healthy. She  75, a paraplegic and on major medications to deal with pain and all the other things. I really thought she would escape this but now I am feeling like our entire family has this to look forward to.

Both my grandmothers had Breast cancer. One died of it when she was in her sixties the other died of complications from gall bladder surgery. But she too had a mastectomy. My Husbands grandmother had a double mastectomy. My aunt at age 65 had the same.

So what's the deal? Why is this so rampant in our family and is our society. My mother has been a health nut all her life. She discovered Trader Joes when I was 12 . I lived on healthy food in my parents home growing up.

My daughter called me today to let me know her brother in laws Mother has breast cancer and will have a double mastectomy. Why is this
happening all at the same time?

I get mammogram every year like every one else is there no other preventative?

Well here I am thinking about Mortality. I don't know if my Mom will survive the operation as she often has major complications from surgery because of her other health issues.  But then I suppose I should be the one thinking positive thoughts. Now I sit and wait for the call that tells me when and where the surgery. 

So in a weeks time I went from Mother of the Bride to daughter of  a Woman with  Breast Cancer, Such is Life, Always a roller coaster ride.


Comments (3)

About the Author

Born in Oregon, Shawn moved alot as a child. It seemed everytime her Dad got a promotion it meant leaving town, starting over with new friends and new schools. Shawn lived in Portland twice, Boise and Caldwell Idaho, South Pasadena, Santa Clara, Los Gatos and LA County. Most of her growing up was in LA  from age 11 on..

She has a Bachelor's Degree, is married and has two grown Children. A son who is in college and a daughter who just graduated from graduate school. She has two Welsh Corgis and two cats as well.

Shawn has a varied background. She prides herself that she adapted her job titles so that they met her family's needs at the time. Her numerous jobs have been all over the board.

Universal Studios Amplitheatre Usher, Background Actor,
Camp Counselor,
Retail Sales at Outdoor Store,
Pre-school Teacher
Boys & Girls Club Education Director, Camp Director, Outdoor Program Director, Talent Manager, Domestic Engineer, Super Mom 
Parent of an Actor, Musician, Teacher, Political Activist and a Vegetarian.





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