So I was on set for a few different projects this last month, one as an actor, one as an acting coach, and one as both! There were a few things that parents did/did not do that cost their child the job, or nearly cost the job.
In one scenario, the child's work permit was not up to date so the whole production had to be rescheduled for another day. In many cases, the production would have recast as soon as possible and have another child ready to go on standby, or use their second option from the auditions. In this scenario, the production decided to postpone the shoot... which still is relatively expensive for the production house since many of the cast and crew already booked out their schedules for that day or had travel arrangements that had to be re-arranged as well.
MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD'S PAPERWORK (WORK PERMITS, ETC.) IS UP TO DATE
On another set, a parent was didn't make their call time and didn't let the production know so the production was scrambing to find a replacement for the child. Thankfully, there were extras on set that were chosen from the inital auditions and one of the little kiddos already had the lines memorized (!!!) and was able to step in and save the day. I was so impressed by this one little munchkin because the cast had a few more changes throughout the day and she was able to change up the lines when asked and had a great attitude about it.
BE ON TIME TO YOUR SET CALL & IF THERE IS AN EMERGENY, LET THE PA (Production Assistant) or AD (Assistant Director) KNOW
On the same set, it was one of the little ones first times in front of a big crew and production and she was a little overwhelmed... and the parent did the right thing and told one of the assistants. The mom checked in with her little one and made sure that she really was not wanting to continue being a part of the speaking cast. The director understood and we had to re-cast that role on the spot.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR CHILD TO SEE IF HE/SHE IS OKAY & ACTUALLY LIKES BEING ON-SET
If your kid doesn't like being on set and it's overwhelming... listen to that. This industry is way too hard already, and you have to be the soft pillow for your child to land on whther its a long set day, or after countless rejections from auditions. One of the casting directors that I work with said that the best parents are the ones that are letting the kids lead and are reluctant to be a "stage parent," and are only there because the child loves acting so much. I would have to agree with her. When I interview parents for my acting school, I make sure that the desire to act is coming from the child, and not just because the parent thinks that his/her child is cute. Which leads me to my next story:
One of the other kids that was an extra was chosen by the director to try that part out because she had the same essence as the initial girl that was cast. I worked with her a little bit and she was fine at the first read-through, but her parent was so adamant when rehearsing with her and put a lot of pressure on her. The parent became so frustrated with her that he literally left her onset while he went to his car (parents are supposed to be within sight and sound of the child). This understandably left the little one upset and had to be recast again. Problem parents will most likely not be invited back even if their child is talented/fits the look perfectly.
REMEMBER THAT AS A PARENT YOU ARE JUST AS MUCH A PART OF THE PROCESS AND PACKAGE AS YOUR CHILD - A GOOD ATTITUDE ON YOUR END IS ESSENTIAL.
Even though on one of the sets we had several assistants assigned to keeing the children on set happy (playing games, setting up a special craft services table...), as a parent or guardian, you are the only one who knows what your child likes the best. There was another superstar parent that had a bag packed with the little one's favorite food items and books because she knew what a set day actually entailed. She also made sure that her little one was content and having fun.
HAVE A GOODIE BAG PACKED OF YOUR KIDS FAVORITE THINGS
The kid actors I've taught that have excelled always had supportive parents around them. The parents knew how to keep things light while shuttling to and from auditions and sets and knew how to emotionally shield them from the ups and downs of the industry. These parents are superstars as well and deserve and Best Supporting Parent Oscar if they had that category.