Child Actors Getting Paid

Child Actors Getting Paid

Gabrielle Schary (Casting Director) gives expert video advice on: How can parents protect a child actor's money? and more...

Do child actors receive their checks from the casting director or their agent?

They get paid from either their agent. If it's a print job or a non-Union job that the agent has invoiced in their behalf. But for most commercials, Union or non-Union, they will have a payroll company set-up that will handle all of the tax-based on all of the requirements that your state and local officials will need. So, you'll get a payroll check from a payroll company. If you have an agent or if you're set-up to have your checks sent to your agent, but every relationship is different. Some people prefer to receive their own checks and then give their agents a commission. Some people prefer to have their agents receive the checks, do the paperwork and just send them their net, what they're owed. That's up to you and your relationship with your agent or manager.

What do parents need to know about managing a child actor's money?

Aside from the Coogan Account, that's the biggest rule that I'm familiar with that holds money in trust for a child, the other law is that you'd want to educate yourself on local tax laws, any kind of investment opportunities. If your child starts making enough money, you might be able to put it in a special fund for them to avoid paying taxes, or depending on how much money your child makes, then you'd want to get yourself a tax professional.

How can parents protect a child actor's money?

Make sure that you are putting it into a safe place for them so that when they turn 18 they'll have something left. Also, depending if your child, in the best case scenario, starts making so much money that you need to talk to your tax professional about investments, accounts, things to minimize the tax hit - those sorts of things.

How can a child actor protect their own money if a parent shows poor judgment?

That becomes a legal issue. It's unfortunate when that becomes a situation, and a child at that point would hopefully have another adult in their life that they could confide in that could help them work through that.