Bob Blume welcomed his guests to the video column and mentioned that his special guest would be West Coast associate, Jacque Pedersen-Schrimscher.
Today’s discussion focuses on what is legally required for child actors to work in the United States.
Jacque has been a long-time agent representing child actors in both Los Angeles and Atlanta.
As is standard on this column, before getting into the topic at hand, Bob brought up the fact that the column is a benefit for The Actors Fund Covid 19 Relief Effort and encouraged viewers to donate if they are able.
Jacque responded to the question from Maribel from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who has a child that wants to be an actor and is curious about what is needed to start the process.
In responding a work permit is priority #1 and almost every state has some form of regulation with respect to work permits for a minor in the entertainment industry.
The strictest regulations are in Los Angeles and New York, followed closely by Florida and Texas. A parent should go on line for a work permit for minors in the entertainment industry in the state where they live or plan on working.
Make sure you put in “entertainment industry” or they will wind up with a permit for a 15 year old looking to work at McDonalds. LOL
In the 4 restricted states mentioned before, the child must maintain a B average to obtain a work permit. In California, you will be denied the permit with even one C or below on the report card. Attendance is also critical or schools won’t sign off on the permits.
Bob asked if these permits can be acquired online during this time of Covid. Jacque responded no, especially in California, but it is a Catch-22 as no one is working in the offices. She used a current client situation as an example.
Jacque advised parents to start the process at least 30 days before. As of right now, if you do not have a permit in California, you will not get one until the state opens.
Next Jacque and Bob discussed the need for a Trust Account for the minor in NY and other states. A Coogan Account (named after a child actor from the 1930’s whose parents stole all his money) is required in LA.
Wells Fargo is a good bank for those accounts and Jacque countered it might make sense for parents to go to banks where they have other accounts and/or relationships.
Most banks will not set up a Coogan account unless the child has a job offer. These accounts usually take at least 15% or 25% from the gross earnings of the child actor and they get it back at 18 years old.
Without both a minors work permit and trust or coogan account, the child actor cannot work or be submitted for work.
Bob and Jacque discussed the need for a passport for both the child and the parent who would travel with the child actor, as many jobs are now in Canada or other countries. Jacque mentioned she would not work with a child that does have a passport.
Bob concluded by thanking Jacque and gave the email address to ask any questions you might have about the industry.
Bob Blume and Jacque Pedersen-Schrimscher’s company site is www.StepForwardEntertainment.com
To Donate to The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org/stepforward
To Send in a question: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see ALL of the prior columns: ASK BOB BLUME columns