Navigating the maze that awaits young performers can often be a challenge, but your union and its sister organizations are determined to assist in making the process less daunting for its members.
The SAG National Young Performers Committee regularly plans events and panel discussions in both Hollywood and New York to assist young performers and their families. A recent daylong event in New York featured a panel on auditions as well as online safety for child actors. In Hollywood, an indoor carnival at SAG headquarters this spring provided valuable information to young performers, along with games, prizes and socializing with peers.
The SAG Young Performers Handbook is a great resource for parents to have on set when questions arise, and SAG.org features updated online resources for parents regarding state statues and Coogan Laws. (From the Guild Info tab at the top of the site, click on “Young Performers”).
The Young Performers Committee recently unveiled SAG.org/YoungPerformers, a site especially designed for kids featuring an interactive set visit, quizzes, videos, photo galleries and a downloadable version of The SAG Young Performers Handbook.
The SAG Foundation provides workshops and panel discussions that are often invaluable for young performers and their parents. Many times, these presentations are streamed online or archived at SAGFoundation.org for viewing no matter where you’re located.
Recent events include the LifeRaft panel “Protecting Your Young Performer’s Emotional Health” and a cold reading workshop for young performers. And young performers as well as cast members of shows like Glee and Vampire Diaries participate in the Foundation’s Conversation series. To find out about upcoming Foundation events, be sure to subscribe to their e-mail list at SAGFoundation.org.
Additional resources for young performers and their families include The Actors Fund’s Looking Ahead, a Los Angeles-based program for young performers between 9 and 18. Funded by SAG/Producers Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund and the AFTRA Industry Cooperative Fund, Looking Ahead gives young performers a place to have fun, give back and get support in making a successful transition to adulthood. The program offers five kinds of services: education planning, counseling, community service activities, leadership development and social events.
“Looking Ahead gives young performers and their families a sense of balance and a support system that is an important component for their success as performers, and more importantly, as good, healthy human beings,” noted actor/producer/director Fred Savage, chair of the Looking Ahead Advisory Committee.
The program sponsors community service projects like serving the homeless at the Union Rescue Mission, a Western Country Line Dancing BBQ for seniors, leadership retreats, discussion groups for parents, financial aid workshops and peer social events.
To find out more, families of SAG young performers, can visit lookingaheadprogram.org or call The Actors Fund at (323) 933-9244, ext. 36.