Coach BJ here with a transparent moment. I hosted a conference call at the top of the school year with a few parent managers and we chatted about their back to school plans for juggling auditions and bookings. I shared with the group that I was considering “booking out” for the first month of school and maybe longer. This may come as a shock to some of you but I hold great anxiety when it comes to juggling my kids’ schedules, keeping them active, making sure they have normal childhood experiences and adding auditions and such into the mix.
I started my son in the modeling industry as young as a few months old and was exhausted before he was 6 months old. Can you imagine commuting from...
DC to NYC regularly with an infant? I carried a small umbrella stroller and eventually ditched that and just used the baby carrier strapped to me. This meant I had him strapped to me when using public restrooms around the city and more crazy stuff. Thank God he was breastfed so I didn’t need to carry much in a bag besides a few diapers and wipes. I learned quickly that my plans to transition him into my career as an actress/model would be short lived. It was completely deflating to the ego of my previous success. Before I moved to NYC, I’d commute 3 times a week if needed with no sweat whatsoever. Had my routine down packed, slept on the bus, did work on the bus and had my go to spots to eat. It was sooooo much different as a new mom.
Fast forward years later with two kids and I’m still carrying some anxiety around my kids in the industry. I’ve dabbled in and out of putting them in front of the camera and even got them representation with one of my agents. I’ve traveled with each of them to auditions and let me tell you... I’m still not ready!!! And that’s okay.
Ya see, this parent manager biz ain’t cut out for everyone and I’m the one. Now that may seem weird considering that I’m Coach BJ and I coach y’all on managing your kids all day everyday right? Nope, not weird at all. One of the first things I’ll tell new parent managers is you must have a strong support system, a flexible work schedule and definitely disposable income in order for your child to be successful. Welp, Coach has none of the above which made traveling for auditions that much more stressful. If I decided to sacrifice a day of work (had a full time job at that point) or spend money traveling I needed a guarantee on my return and that’s not how this industry works. So I made the realistic decision several times over the past 6 years to pause my kids’ career.
And that’s what YOU have to think about as well. Ask yourself the tough questions like:
🤔 Are my finances setup to allow for these expenses if my child never books a gig?
🤔 Do I have a support system to help get kids to auditions and bookings instead of me?
🤔 If I’m not a savvy traveler can I afford to drive, park, get a hotel and cover other expenses in a major city? The day trip struggle is real for those living outside of their preferred market.
🤔 Am I equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to support their career? Ex. Self-taping, reading/understanding scripts, hair/wardrobe, etc.
🤔 Can I handle the rejections that will certainly come and still encourage my kid to keep going as opposed to acting like a “donkey” each time my kid wasn’t chosen.
🤔 Do I have the patience to pursue this industry with my kid? Especially when they have an “off” day and totally flop at an audition. Can I be patient and forgiving?
So much to think about. But I had to be honest with myself and realize that COACHING CLIENTS to do what I do is much different from PARENT MANAGING my kids to do what I do. This is part of the reason why I go the extra step to make sure that y’all are equipped and prepared as parent managers because if we’re not ready then they can’t be successful.
Okay gang. That’s all. Thanks for always being encouraging mommas over the years when I’ve shared my mommy frustrations with some of you. 😘 Remember, you can reply and share your answers with me or think about it privately and whatever your answer... it’s okay!
- Coach BJ
Why choose tyf?
Talented Young Folks, LLC provides a safe space for young performers and parent managers to learn and grow. We move at your pace, whether it's simply learning about the industry or moving forward with gaining agency representation and the tools required. We believe that behind every successful child performer, there's an industry educated parent manager. Therefore, we provide various services to assist your household from both angles. You won't find a better place that feels like home and gives you the practical steps needed to sustain a long-term career in the performing arts industry.