A partner with Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, PC, for the past five years, Steven C. Beer has established a strong reputation in the media and entertainment sphere. The author of Your Child’s Career in Music and Entertainment: The Prudent Parent’s Guide, Steven C. Beer draws on his own experience as a stage parent.
In a 2015 article in the Huffington Post, Mr. Beer recounts having one of his sons earn a lead part in a traveling production of the Equity Playhouse Theater. At once, a host of new issues came to the fore, including questions as to how he and his wife would handle the supervision, housing, education, and compensation aspects of their 13 year old’s life.
A particular realization was that was that the rigors associated with a professional career at a young age bring numerous challenges. This is doubly true for those in the performing arts. While youth who pursue athletic careers follow a well-trod path, children in the performing arts do not have the school support network, camaraderie, and fan base that enable them to easily succeed and maintain balance.
Unlike sports parents, stage parents support their children in endeavors in which the competition is subtle but very real, as the children auditioning for roles are competing with each other, rather than banding together to contend a rival team. This has created the well-publicized archetype of the “bad stage parent.” This stereotype ignores the reality of the vast majority of stage parents wanting what is best for their son or daughter and needing the proper resources to enable this.