Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

The Psychological Impact of Pursuing Childhood Stardom


The Psychological Impact of Pursuing Childhood Stardom
By Megan Rees

When people learn that my children have worked in the film and television industry for most of their lives, I am asked all the questions you would expect … How did they get into it? Aren’t you worried about them missing school? Do people recognize them in the street? And as understandable as all those questions are, the one that really matters is, do they enjoy it?  

If you are thinking of signing your child up with a talent agency you may want to consider all that is involved should they be successful, or perhaps more problematically, if they are not?

Being an extra on a film or tv series can be really fun but the industry is hierarchical and extras are at the bottom of the pecking order. This may not be a problem for your child as she or he may think just being on a set is exciting, even if there are other kids who are the so called ‘stars’ of the show.

The greater problem may be why, after registering with an agency, do some children get work and others do not? This can be really hard to take, and understandably, the child can go straight to feeling vulnerable about how they look or who they are.

Maybe you can help your child comprehend it is a bit like a lottery and if the Director is looking for a 10 year old boy with dark curly hair, that is the criteria – nothing personal.  It can be one thing to grasp this intellectually, but not to feel rejected when weeks go by without a call, can be a whole other story.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is if you do win a role or get cast as an extra, you can’t complain or go home when you’ve had enough. You must arrive on time, but then you will wait around for ages before you actually do anything! Once committed you have to see it through no matter what. And then you will have to do the same thing over and over many times! Some kids are cut out for it and some kids just aren’t! 

So if you’re considering signing your child up with a talent agent you might want to consider all the aspects that go into appearing in that 30 second television commercial, especially if you think it might boost their confidence. Helping your child to find where they shine, in their own right, might just be a more positive course of action.

About the Author: Megan Rees

Styles of work – play therapy, art therapy, counselling, group therapy facilitation

Megan Rees is a qualified Holistic Counsellor, Child-centred Play Therapist and Art Therapist. For a decade Megan has worked extensively with Women, Children and Adolescents experiencing depression & anxiety, relationship issues, and grief and loss in community settings. Her combination of qualifications affords a rare and creative approach to her professional practice that is highly sought after.

While Megan is dedicated to the foundational philosophy of Child-centered Play Therapy as a way of gently and effectively supporting children through challenges, her extensive experience working with family in general adds considerable expertise. While Megan’s experience in Play Therapy is appropriate for children aged between 3-11, her experience as a qualified Art Therapist and Holistic Counsellor also enables her to engage with adolescents in a creative, progressive and assuring way.

Megan divides her time between client engagement and continuing professional development to ensure best practice. In 2014 she was accepted into an Intensive Play Therapy Program for practicing therapists at the internationally acclaimed Centre for Play Therapy at The University of North Texas. In addition to this, Megan is currently undertaking further study in Group Psychotherapy Leadership and currently co-facilitates Support Groups.

As a mother of teenage children and with an extensive former career in the Performing Arts, Megan’s approach is creative, intuitive and empathic. Megan’ s personal interest in the creative and expressive arts also informs her professional philosophy. The combination of Megan’s vast life experiences and considerable skill set has positively shaped her approach to working with clients promoting confidence, empathy, healing and personal growth. Megan spends her leisure time painting and reading and enjoys hiking, camping and travel.

Qualifications –  Bachelor of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy, Diploma of Community Welfare and Counselling, Clinical Certificates in Child-centered Play Therapy 

You can find Megan at The Grove Counselling and Therapy and on Facebook.

See the The Grove’s ‘Training and Events’ page for more information about training and events offered by the Grove, including Group Therapy for Performing Artists. This program is open to anyone interested in conscious living and connecting directly to their own body wisdom, and will be of particular interest to therapists and body/movement focused practitioners.

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