When you think of successful child turned adult actors, the names Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, Emma Roberts, and even former 3rd Rock from the Sun star Joseph Gordon-Levitt come to mind. These four Hollywood stars have grown up gracefully under the limelight and their transition from child to adult actor until they have become award-winning performers has always been the subject of great attention.
Stories about a child transforming into a more skilled adult actor as they grow up under the spotlight of Tinseltown are often followed closely by the media. Ironically, there are many who end up as train wrecks. Take for example Miley Cyrus, the former Hannah Montana star did a drastic image remodeling back in 2013 to shed her Disney image. But the decision ended up being heavily criticized by fans and industry experts alike. Fortunately, Cyrus has bounced back and is completely clean and sober.
There is just no way to sugarcoat the experience of growing up under the spotlight. But as a parent, you can always be there to guide your child along the way.
A Young Performer’s Transition from Child to Adult Actor: How Parents Can Help
When puberty hits, physical and emotional changes start to happen at a rapid rate. There are acne, periods, gawky limbs, and that general feeling of awkwardness. Not everyone is gifted to look like Natalie Portman, who seemed like she didn’t need to go through the puberty phase. As an adult, you’ve been there before, so you know exactly how mentally and physically demanding this adjustment period is.
So what can you do to help your kid transition from child to adult actor? Well, it all lies in being a loving, caring, and consistent support system. You should be someone your child can turn to when the stress levels are high. The moment your child chooses to continue acting, be ready to help them learn new things to hone their craft. Encourage them to attend acting classes and help decide what grown-up roles they start going for. What you are trying to do is to encourage growth and maturity as an actor without ever having to put them on a spot where they won’t feel comfortable.
On the other hand, if they feel like they want to quit the business and return to the “normal world,” then you have to assure them that it’s all right. It is better to let them make the decision first and then offer your advice after. Everything you ultimately decide on together should always be reinforced with positive support, regardless how difficult it can be.
Do keep in mind that there are other ways to stay in the industry aside from becoming an actor. Many broke into the business by working behind the scenes. Like Jodie Foster or Ron Howard, both started as child actors but are now recognized and respected directors.
There is no precise formula when it comes to how a kid performer should transition from child to adult actor. Every child is born in different circumstances, after all. But with love and support coupled with a great team of agents and the right work-life balance, then anything is possible.