By Sally R. Gaglini 

If the sentiment sounds familiar, you are not alone.  Working your way through state laws can be a real challenge. Aside from running the legal meter, what can you do?

Here’s a Top 10 List of Suggested Production Tips.

1.) REQUIRE parents to produce their child’s birth certificate.  If you are hiring a minor from another country, obtaining this record may take extra time so start early. Some states require certification.

2.) OBTAIN the full residential address of the minor

3.) LEARN the child's state of residency and its age of minority.

4.) DETERMINE if the child's resident state or country has a child performer law that requires Compliance.   The answer to this question may SURPRISE you.   If you work in the production world, surprises are generally not your friend.

Did you know that Canada passed a Child Performer Law in 2015?

5.) DO NOT PANIC if the answer to Question 4 is YES!  Understand what the law requires you to do.  In other words, what are your legal obligations as the producer?    [If you cannot obtain correct information that is verifiable, dust off your wallet and pay for it. Good legal advice is priceless.]

6.) UNDERSTAND a parent's obligations if the answer to Question 4 is YES. Parents may ask and if you do not know or at least know how to direct them, it may slow down production.

7.) ACT QUICKLY.   If you are unsure what is required, ASK A PROFESSIONAL.

Most kids won’t grow out of their minority before production begins.

8.) DECIDE IN ADVANCE if you seek the court’s protection of your production contract signed by the minor and you.  If and when the court “Judicially Approves” the contract, it is generally like the child signed the agreement as a grown-up.

9.) PROVIDE copies of contracts including Parent Agreements to those whose signatures you require; offer them fair and reasonable notice in advance of production.

10.) DETERMINE if you will be seeking the court’s protection of a contract signed by your production and the minor. And proceed calmly if the production has already occurred. Depending on the court, post-production contracts may be reviewable.


If you think that consulting with a legal professional will help you determine if and how you should proceed, please do not hesitate to reach me.

© 2017 Gaglini Law Group LLC

By Sally R. Gaglini 

Every parent makes mistakes; Few are insulated from at least some regret. Hearing about already-made blunders made by parents of talented kids can be very helpful, particularly for those facing the multi-faceted question of whether or not to put their child in front of a commercial camera.

Consider these Five (5) Blunders before you consent to your child’s participation:

1.) Pulling my child out of school for a half-baked dream.

2.) Paying big money to someone I barely know to “make my kid a star”.

3.) Not taking the time to research the entertainment industry for my education.

4.) Allowing my child to “call the shots”.

5.) Assuming that really hard work would come naturally to my child.

© 2017 Gaglini Law Group LLC

By Sally R. Gaglini

My experience underscores how crucial it is for a parent to consider the risks and costs—as well as the benefits—of allowing their child to pursue a performing arts career. 

Is Your Child’s Talent Truly Amazing?

Be honest with yourself about their potential. Seek out true expertise to help you make an assessment.

Does Your Child Seek Out and Enjoy Performing?

Your child’s comfort is crucial. He or she must want to be there.  

Does Your Child Have the Discipline?

Even if your child has the talent, do they have the discipline to work really hard? Are you able to support the time investment it will take for them to attain mastery? Over time, others do catch up to prodigies, but the time investment may not be reasonable for your child.

How Do I Help My Child Get Started?

Start locally. Pursue artistic endeavors that will offer your child growth, for example, stage and drama camp, after-school programs that foster the arts, and music education and associated performances beyond their school. Explore opportunities close to home, first, to see what they accomplish and if they enjoy it. 

Will Your Child Be Able To Handle Rejection?

If your child really wants a particular role and doesn’t get it, will he or she be ok? What happens if this occurs over and over again? How much "time in" will be enough for you to finally say, "let's go home".  Will you be willing to change course?

© 2017 Gaglini Law Group LLC