collage of 1980s

Top 10 clues your child might work in Hollywood someday

by Jill Effron

I feel it is my duty as a parent to warn you of the early signs that your child might want to pursue a career in Hollywood. After all, at the opening night of my play, my parents said to me, “We had no idea this is what you wanted to do with your life.” Clearly, majoring in Television and Radio didn’t tip them off. I have compiled a list of behaviors that could’ve helped them in my formative years, that I hope will help you avoid an eye roll opening night of your child’s film or play. You can go two ways with this knowledge: help them hone their craft and set them on the right path or… get a law or medical journal into their hands immediately and take a sledge hammer to your television set. Your call. I’m not here to tell you how to parent.

Here are some early signs:

10 Your child names her Barbie and Ken dolls Luke and Laura and strategically hangs flashlights in Barbie’s Townhouse to light the scene. Then she steals your camera and snap rolls and rolls of film. You discover this when you pick up the pictures from Fotomat.

9 Whenever you drive on the George Washington Bridge your child suddenly develops a Bronx accent, declares she wants to live in those “neat” tenements, and to now call her “Jo.”

8 You realize on your way to the post office, you’re not mailing letters to your child’s camp friends, but to the Ricky Schroder and Nancy McKeon fan clubs.

7 Your child starts photocopying his or her own scripts to give out to friends and family to perform. He or she even attaches a production schedule and spends his or her time at recess casting his or her classmates in plays instead of playing tag.

6 Your child is sent to the principal’s office during recess because he or she kicked another classmate in the nuts because they were fighting over who was going to be Crocket and who was going to be Tubbs. In a fit of revenge, your child dresses up as Sonny Crocket for her antagonist’s Halloween party.

5 Your child makes a mix tape of sitcom theme songs instead of songs by Madonna and Duran Duran.

4 Your child steals your video camera when you’re not home, dresses in her finest party dress with extra large shoulder pads and tapes an Oprah-like talk show with Jerry Springer-like topics. (The vacuous kind of topics, not the salacious kind.)

3 Your child is terrified to speak in public, so his big social studies report on the ‘60s decade is done as a short film, with you as the camera operator, and no editing whatsoever. Surprisingly, it goes over like gangbusters.

2 Your child wants Charles in Charge of her. No really, she wants you to hire Scott Baio to live with you guys, as well as have you install a swinging door to the kitchen so you can add some physical comedy to the family’s average life. (See every sitcom kitchen for this type of door.)

1 Your son cries while eating his Rice-a-Roni because you won’t take him on your business trip to Los Angeles where he could possibly be discovered while walking through beautiful downtown Burbank.

I hope these tips were helpful. Please feel free to update them to today, not 1987. Things have changed a bit, but the sentiment still applies.

Jill Effron

About Jill Effron

Jill Effron is a writer and mom of two darling kiddies. Prior to the mom gig, she spent ten plus years working in every genre of television. Outside of the TV world, Effron wrote, directed and produced plays and award-winning short films. 

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