Thursday, July 9, 2009

The One Where I Seek Your Advice And Offer Nothing In Return

Today I am breaking a longstanding tradition of giving and giving to you and ask for something in return. Advice.

Mama and papa are friends with a woman whose daughter is a modeling casting director which I guess is different from a modeling agent. The daughter is friends with papa and she told him that if he wanted my kids to model she'd have them placed in what I can only assume is a finger snap gesture.

I found out about this when mama was telling me how papa blamed all of Michael Jackson's problems on his parents forcing him into show business and then he relayed this modeling story and said "never in a million years".

So I started thinking about it and although before I always thought that people who pushed their kids into modeling and/or "acting" were sort of horrific, I wa$ $ort of recon$idering.

I mean, I haven't updated my wardrobe in months. No new purses, no new shoes, nothing.

I discussed it with Husbandrinka and he agrees with me, although he doesn't see the "no new purses, no new shoes" things in the same Greek Tragedy light that I do. Because he has no heart. Or soul. But that's another post.

So I broached the subject with papa and he was horrified. "It'll ruin their childhood," he said.

Apparently, ruining childhood is frowned upon.

"But they could do it part time," I cried. As in tears.

"You can also prostitute part time, still makes you a prostitute."

Yeah, but just a part-time prostitute. You could still do totally good works during the other times.

So, he's opposed.

I could approach this woman myself, but that seems wrong. She's papa's friend! (Although papa doesn't follow the fashion and entertainment press. As was evidenced last weekend when he asked me if I'd been a fan of "Sarah Fawcett".)

I would never do it just blind, going to those cattle calls. Because I get drained easily and that chardonnay isn't going to drink itself, you know.

Disclosures: I haven't asked my kids if they're interested in that, because what kind of a person is "interested" in modeling?

"It's great! You'll...stand there."

"Yay! Stand there!"

Also, because I know that everyone's thinking it, papa's friend's daughter did not suggest that I model as well, but I think she's just taking a hard bargaining stance.

What would you do?

What would Kathy Ireland do?


Anonymous Jane said...

A girl can never have too many purses or shoes!!!

Hey if you can't exploit your own kids who can!!
It will fun seeing your face all over the National Enquirer!!

July 9, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

Oops I mean children not kids!!!
Lesson learned from Papa!

July 9, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

On a (rare) serious note...Have you asked your kids thier opinion on it yet? If they want to try it then I say go for it. If they are opposed there is no way that I would make them. It's really a slippery slope that you need to be careful about when you decide to enroll your kids into anything not just modeling. My daughter is a gymnast, she is 6 now and she has been doing it since she was 1. I have always said I would NEVER be a stage mother, I would never push her, and if she got burned out then that would be the end of it. I have held true to my word. This is something that you need to talk to them about and see how they feel about it and go from there. Follow your instincts, you're a good mom and you'll do right by your kids. Don't expect to make millions,just try to have fun if you do decide to do this.

July 9, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 9, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Auds at Barking Mad said...

I'm not sure what Kathy Ireland would do, but we are reconsidering when it comes to the Little Imp.

For the longest time I have said NO to her modeling or acting, because having been in the radio and music industry for as long as I was, I've seen some pretty craptastic growing up and watching all of my favourite childhood stars have their mugshots replace their headshots...well, you can see where I'm going.

Anyhow, we're reconsidering letting the Little Imp do some occasional modeling as a means to supplement what we're saving for her, for college. The other thing that makes this easier for us is the fact that Imp will be using the same agent who represents me for voice work and I trust her implicitly and she knows my fears and concerns.

July 9, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

One last thing ( I think!)...Modeling is fun for a lot of people, including kids and maybe even moreso for them. Most children that I know love the camera, they love to goof off in front of it, etc. There are plenty of people who are interested in modeling and enjoy it. It's not just standing there! That being said, ask your babies what they want to do!

July 9, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Wendi said...

Should I just state the obvious? That after your daughter becomes a model, she's no longer free to quote Anne Frank without being mocked by people on Twitter?

July 9, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Madge said...

OK, can not get out of my head the idea of what Sarah Palin and Farah Fawcett (of Charlie's Angels days) would look like morphed together......

July 9, 2009 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

My daughter has done some. See here:

I am conflicted. She thinks it's fun. I agree with this, but I also get uncomfortable with the emphasis on her looks, the materialism of that whole subculture and what they place value on, and the ease with which she could encounter squicky, ill-intentioned people. (So far everyone has been very professional with her. Were she to move to Cali to pursue this I would be FREAKING THE FUCK OUT.)

Also, ask Ohmommy @ Her kids have all modeled.

July 9, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Tooj said...

If you can be present and witness the children enjoying it....then I say try it. If you don't end up doing it, tell Papa that a gal in Missouri has a coupla cute kids who doesn't mind letting them cheese it up for some new shoes.

July 9, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger TeacherMommy said...

I see no problem with whoring your children out for shoes and purses. I mean, what woman wouldn't? :P

Seriously? I think you would need to talk it over, thoroughly and thoughtfully, with your children first. I think MJ's childhood was ruined more by being forced into the limelight and abused and pressured and all that. It might have been a different story if it had really been HIS choice and if his parents had been looking out for his best interests--and not just the banking kind.

I know a few former child models, and they're relatively unscarred.

July 9, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Jan Ross said...

Sure, why not? There are plenty of kids who model and act and then turn out to be perfectly fine, normal adults. But that's not newsworthy! As others have suggested, check with them, then go for it. The worst that can happen is that they are not interested and the best? Well, they could pay for college. And new shoes for mom. A win/win situation.

July 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Get your kid's opinion on it since they are old enough to understand. Not getting their opinion at their ages and making them is what's not so nice. If they were infants, that'd be one thing, but your kiddies are older and very bright so they can easily tell you how they feel about trying modeling out. Maybe only one kid will be interested.

If they get into it and want to quit at some point, let them quit.

By law, you have to open accounts under their names for their paychecks and a certain percentage has to go in it.

It's a great way to save for college beside for the 529 College Savings Plans!

Try it out, if you don't like it, quit. It can be fun!

July 9, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think you have a lot of good advice in your comment thread so far already.

Here's my ad ons...

On the one hand. My dad was a film editor. For most of my childhood he worked for a production company that did mostly TV commericals. He used to talk all the time about how he could get us in (snap of fingers) like that, but he would never, IN A MILLION YEARS, do that as he had seen those kids and how it had ruined their childhoods. I really wasn't that interested and didn't give it much thought. However, my dad also did not beleive in parents paying for college and as I worked and borrowed my way through I was pissed he hadn't put me in the effing commercials so I would have had a college fund.

And, I know you are most likely kidding, but if I had modeled and my mom had spent the money on shoes and purses I'd have been pretty pissed.

On the other hand. It creates a weird world and value set. If it's part time, and they want to do it, they take it with a grain of salt.. Probably OK.

July 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

I don't know....I mean the snarky side of me says, don't join the dark side. Those people are scawy.

But eh? It might be really cool. I had a woman ask me about my oldest when she was a toddler. But having grown up in LA around those kids and parents, I just kinda laughed at her and walked away.

But purses? Hmmm, something to think about. Lol.

And kathy ireland would so pimp her kids out. I'm convinced.

July 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

You should TOTALLY ask Kathy Ireland for advice. I mean, she DID ask if she could help you.

Discuss with Papa that if your children don't become part time models, you'll have to become a part time prostitute to pay the bills. He'll understand.

July 9, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I've been struggling with whether or not to exploit Oscar, because everywhere I go people lose their minds over him. I thought it was just me, lol. Anyway, I don't want to become one those stage moms. Sigh.

July 9, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

Should I be worried that no one has ever suggested that my children model? People suggest that I model all the time though. Of course, they're in my TV and technically asking me if I "want to be a model or just look like one..." But I always appreciate choices. And in truth this hasn't happened since the 80s so I may have missed my window of opportunity. (Do you think Barbizon is still around?)

July 9, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

Perhaps Niki could model instead???? I think she's quite photogenic. . .

July 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

I think Kathy is behind this whole thing.

Say cheese Kidrinkas!

July 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I think if your kids are old enough to make serious decisions themselves and want to then you could go for it.
However, it will eat up their and your time a lot if you plan to chaperone them (and I think you should). There'll be hours of waiting for things to get fixed up, heavy makeup put on and then being asked to hold a pose till your muscles freeze and you would like to keel over (how do I know all this??!!!)

I like the fact that you don't want to go behind your parents' back to do this! Good for you!! If they are really adamant, then why not just let it go!?

July 9, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Halala Mama said...

I would go for it, once. See how they do, if they like it, and use the money (which probably isn't as much as everyone thinks) for something good like paying down debt or saving for their college. That's what I would do anyway, and if they hated it, then just quit.

July 9, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Go talk to Mrs. K (on my sidebar). Her child wanted to model so Mrs. K, although a little hmmmm about the whole thing, gave in and the little girl ended up at a big modeling agency. Now go ask her the rest.

July 9, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

Have you SEEN Toddlers & Tiaras? Not the same thing, I know, but still close enough to send shivers down my spine. Those stage moms are NUTS.

July 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

We have a friend whose partner is a modeling casting agent who keeps telling me to get headshots done of our daughter. (I'm too lazy/busy/bad a mother to have done it yet, but I do think about it sometimes.) Her take is this: don't bother with the small-time print ads if you can get commercials. Different casting agents deal with different media segments, so if Papa's friend works in TV commercial casting or in print ads for national campaigns, then you have an in for gigs that could net substantial money. According to our connection, national TV spot where your daughter is something simple like the kid in the carseat playing with the ball can net $10K by the time she gets paid for all the airings of the ad. Ditto with major national print media campaigns. Pay for these things is commensurate with exposure, so major national campaigns can mean big money. Of course, as with all get-rich-quick promises, the number of kids who get spots in those ads is minuscule compared to the number of child models out there. Still, if your contact really does casting for big-time campaigns, I think it is worth broaching it with your kids to see if they are interested, if for no other reason than that even ONE such gig would put an awful lot of money into a college fund to earn interest (*hah! if anything ever earns interest again in this economy*) for the next ten years until college starts.

July 9, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger angie said...

If you have an instant "in" and your kids don't have to audition, they might actually enjoy it. My boys love being on set. They actually think working is "school". They love having their own teacher......the food is plentiful and everyone really goes out of their way to make your children feel pampered. However.....auditions can SUCK. The last 4 commericals my boys have auditioned for, they've also gotten callbacks. And then didn't get the job. So that is TEN wasted trips (and probably 15 hours) with NO compensation. Will it only be modelling, or commercials too?

July 9, 2009 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger angie said...

Oops....that would be 8 wasted trips. Not ten.

July 9, 2009 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found you from Frogs in My formula....after MJ died I realized that I never want to be famous and I never want my kids to be famous. Being famous sucks ass.

July 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

Ha! Kathy Ireland would let them do it but then donate all their proceeds to the Anne Frank Museum.

July 9, 2009 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

During the Depression, children had to work for $hoes and $tuff. How is this any different?

July 9, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Stimey said...

I have a friend who did that as a kid and it paid for a lot of his college. I think if they have fun doing it and you don't expect them to become Miley Cyrus, it's not a bad thing.

If you do expect them become Miley Cyrus, then you're going to have to learn the words to Achy Breaky Heart.

July 9, 2009 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger EatPlayLove said...

very slippery slope here. My daughter was in a Crocs shoot, it was local, we don't have head shots, it was small peanuts in the modeling world, but thought it would be fun for her. She was picked for a 1/2 day shoot.

I had a very odd experience, I think you aren't going to know if you don't try it. I was very turned off by some children that were at the shoot and forced into it by their parents. Ugly stuff. Conclusion, I wouldn't let her model again.

But purses are nice!

July 9, 2009 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Pop and Ice said...

My kids were serious attention whores already so I didn't need to give them further encouragement by considering modeling. Someone at some point thought my daughter could model, but I'm glad I declined. I don't know if it would have harmed her, but it might have adversely affected our family life.

July 9, 2009 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger ♥ Braja said...


Wait. Was there an important question?

July 10, 2009 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

No idea what to tell you.

My daughter would have given her teeth to model (although, of course, that would have limited the takers to Appalachian and Ozark magazines).

July 10, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

I don't know what Kathy Ireland would do, but I might check it out. I wouldn't do it on a regular basis, but if the kids are ok with the occasional photoshoot, there are no weird demands (and my weird-o-meter is sensitive when it comes to stuff like this - no, my 8 year old will NOT have her eyebrows waxed!!), then why not. But it's not a carreer path I'd ever want my daughter to take, so to me "part-time" would already be too many assignments. One every few months, however, might be ok, with the above caveats. JMO!

July 10, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's worth a conversation, and at that point... see how you feel. And I'd totally contact the daughter, whether your father feels opposed or not. Your kids, your decision :) (easier said than done, of course....)

July 10, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday —

July 10, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger geelizzie said...

I would so go for it! Besides the shoe and purse thing, think of future college expenses, better to make the kids work their way through in advance, yes? Seriously, I don't see anything wrong with it if the kids want to try it. Who knows, they might become famous and then they can pay for the best nursing home ever for you when you're old!

July 10, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gibson said...

I think you should discuss it with your kids. Tell them about all the purses and shoes Mommy could have! I'm sure they want their Mom to look good, right?

No, seriously, it should be a family decision. Maybe your husband will come around if he sees the kids really want to try it (if they decide they do). Also remind him how much really super cool shoes and purses cost. And tell him you're planning a shopping spree - with or without the modeling money. That might help him come around.

BTW - found your blog through "Pacing the Panic Room" and I'm so glad I did! I'm totally jealous that you live in NYC. I live in Idaho. With all the potatoes. It's pretty much no fun at all. Unless you really like potatoes.

July 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous elizabeth said...

My husband is a big-time network executive. People ask us all of the time when our children will be put into his shows, etc. His answer is always the same...

The pressure to perform (whether they like it or not), the time away from typical children's activities that enrich a childhood so much, the exposure to some really messed up people and situations all put this question decidedly in the NO column for us.

There is also something a bit weird to us about having the children foot the bill in a family, even if it is just for part of it. A child's life is for playing, learning, hiking, climbing, etc. Not for paying their college tuition or bills around the house. Their responsibilities can come later in life.

There is also SO much emphasis on looks and the exterior presentation. Is that something you really want to highlight in your child's life? There's no way around auditions and rejections. Are you prepared to explain that to your child and can your child handle the rejection?

Very practically, I want to point out that it is possible for one of your childrens "careers" to take off and one to flounder. We had this happen to friends of ours and it was very hard for their son to understand why he had been hired for a time and was not being hired anymore. Since its based so much on looks, it can be hurtful.

Anyway, wish you luck. I think its great that you're thinking through the situation. We have many friends who have decided to do this. We just see if another way.

July 10, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

ask the kids. This whole thing could be moot after that. If they agree, call me.

July 10, 2009 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

I would do it. As long as there was no pressure on the kids, that they could quit anytime. And you have a solid 10% manager fee. I mean, you're not doing this just for giggles.

July 10, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Lucia's Mom said...

There's no such thing as a free lunch .. I wouldn't do it. But that's just me. I do post my kids photos on the internet tho, so you might think I'm already exploiting them. Although since I don't make any money off my blog, I guess I'm not very good at it :)

July 11, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

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