Some child actors do and some child actors don’t. My kid does. Have a dedicated website, that is. While the debate rages on amongst parents with the “Should we or shouldn’t we?” conversation, many of us have forged forward into the internet abyss, securing our child’s *namesake URL and creating web sites that range from the very basic to the extremely elaborate.
In researching the phenom of the “child actor website,” I’ve stumbled upon other Hollywood momagers and popagers with the same idea. If you’ve passed the hurdle of whether or not to do this, and have decided to create junior’s web site, then the next immediate choices to make are:
- What is the site’s purpose?
- How do you want the site to function?
- How will the site benefit your child actor?
- How much time can you dedicate to maintaining and updating your child’s web site?
- How much money do you want to invest in the construction and maintenance of the site?
Purpose & Function
My daughter’s web site www.JordanBobbitt.com is an upbeat, age and career-level appropriate site. The primary purpose of Jordan’s site is to function as an elaborate calling card (all her professional contact info is posted) and also to function as a marketing tool. The site is set up with a shopping cart but we do not envision utilizing that feature in the foreseeable future. *I would recommend a shopping cart add-on for a child actor who has branded or relevant merchandise to sell.
Specifically our child actor web site encompasses 1) Resume, 2) Head shots, 3) Publicity Shots 4) Bio and 5) Recent Noteworthy Entertainment Projects. I plan to add a Charity page and in the near future we’re reformatting the site into a blog structure which I will update and maintain with the assistance of our wonderful family web designer Shanna Cote of SiteSquared.com. Don’t think of a blog as a “diary” of your child’s acting life. That won’t be happening here I assure you! However, the new blog format will allow me personally to upload video clips of Jordan’s film, television and theater work. You don’t need to use a designer to create your child’s website, but I knew that Shanna would take Jordan’s site to a level that I couldn’t achieve on my own and would continue to assist me in making it better as her career progresses; for instance, converting the site to a blog structure was her suggestion.
A benefit of a personal web site is that it can showcase more head shots than LA Casting and OS Casting accounts hold – not because they couldn’t in fact hold more, but because it’s simply not an economically sound choice. Each time you upload an individual photo to the casting services it costs about $25.00, whereas with my daughters site, I can in theory upload or remove as many pictures as often as I like or as often as she changes, which at 10 is fairly often. I can also post pictures of her at movie premieres, industry events and behind the scenes – photos that would not make sense to post on the casting sites.
Having a dedicated web site also accommodates a full length bio, recent projects list and personal tidbits like favorite shops, CD’s and books. This section on Jordan’s site is still incomplete and could use some love but I’ll get there eventually. Bigger than all of this, the web site is a “marketable entity” for the present or for the future, which I’ll expound upon in a future post.
Time and Energy
I hardly spend any time updating my daughter’s site, primarily because I’m busy with other ventures, but also because it’s as complete as I need it to be for now. She could use some current head shots and press pictures but that’s “a whole ‘nother Oprah!” as they say.
I was willing to make a financial investment in Jordan’s site because I wanted it to draw people in and relying on a professional is much more effective than my attempt would have been. I also wanted the site to be something Jordan could be proud of, a site she would feel comfortable sharing with her friends and a site that reflects her personality and age.
Sometimes we can best decide what we want by viewing the options. To give you some ideas of what will and won’t work best for your child actor, I’ve gathered samples of different child performer sites found across the web. Enjoy reading them, and feel free to forward more for the list: