Blessings and Happy 2014! I hope this is a year of personal growth, faith, laughter, love, benevolence, and purpose for you and your family!
Personal Growth is a necessary reality that is oftentimes overlooked with parents who have children in the entertainment industry. It seems that every decision made in the household is somehow connected to the child’s career or the pursuit of it. That is understandable, but it is not always a good thing. Personal growth, for the parent, is important if he or she wants to have a life outside of what the child does in this business. It is also important if the parent doesn’t want to have resentment issues after the child grows up and moves on. Everything should not always be about the child. Yes, it is easier said than done, but we can all find time in our schedules to accomplish moments of personal growth. Here is one way:
- Create a “My Thing” goal. Think about something that you have always wanted to do that is not “industry” or “child” related. For some people that would be going back to school; for others it would be taking a salsa class; for some it may be running a marathon; and, for others it may be learning how to swim. Whatever “your thing” is, spend the year researching it and discovering ways to accomplish it.
Faith gives many people something to believe in, hope for and focus on. As a Christian minister, my faith is very important to me. It is the glue that keeps my family and me focused and able to balance our busy schedules in this business. I would encourage you to exercise your faith muscles this year and tap into the power that is greater than yourself. Here is one way to accomplish this.
- Assess or reassess what you have faith in this year.
Laughter is indeed medicine! It doesn’t cost us anything and it is available to everyone. Laughter is so distracting that is causes us, just for a few moments, to forget about what’s not right in our world and what it is we have to do in the future. Laughter is selfish in that if forces us to pay attention to it. Can you think of the last time you belted out a laugh that was so intense that you had to hold onto to something to brace yourself? This question may be easy to answer for some but not so easy for others. Think about what makes you laugh harder than anything else, and then hold on tightly! Find a reason to laugh today: No matter how busy your schedule is. No matter how many auditions there are. No matter how frustrating traffic is. No matter how stressed you get. No matter what happens with the booking. Here is a suggestion.
- Share with your child something that really makes you laugh while you are driving to an audition or waiting in the casting room. If there is enough time, invite your child to return the favor and share what makes him or her laugh. It could be as simple as telling them about an old family joke, a memory of a family member, your favorite comedy, animals or babies on YouTube, America’s Funniest Home Videos, silly Vines or Instagram Videos.
Love is a universal language that we can all understand. This little four-letter word is so powerful that it is impossible to contain or restrain. It spreads faster than germs in a nursery school. However, love, just like hate, is a choice. It happens on purpose. So, in the midst of your busy Hollywood schedules, make sure your child and others around you know that you simply love them for who they are and not for what they do or have the potential to do. It is very easy to love people closest to us or love our favorite foods, music and television shows. So, this next suggestion should not be that hard to do.
- Leave someone you care about, a love note once a week. It can be left in a child’s backpack, written on a script, on a spouse’s nightstand, or a hand written note to a relative that you haven’t spoken to in a while. It can be on a post it, a journal pad, or construction paper left on the refrigerator door.
Benevolence is the act of showing kindness to others. Benevolence is something that we can all find time to do every day. Kindness can be anything from opening the door for someone at an audition, to helping someone less fortunate accomplish a goal. There are unlimited ways that we can show kindness to others.
- Be kindness for someone everyday. Don’t show kindness, be kindness. Use your imagination. You will be so glad that you did.
Purpose can be defined as a reason for existence or an intention. Both of these definitions are importance because we can all live out our reason (s) for existence and be intentional about it, at the same time. With children in the industry, the parent and the child hopefully express a little of that each time they show up for an audition or on set. However, it is not so much the end result of the audition or what happened on set that matters. Hopefully, at the end of the day, it is more about living out a little of our purpose, on purpose. Here is a way to check.
- Talk To Yourself: Sounds weird right? You can teach your child to do it too. Ask yourself, “Did I live on purpose today?”
Angela J. Williams is an ordained minister, producer, author, life coach, spiritual counselor, mentor, philanthropist, entertainment consultant, and public speaker. She and her husband of 26 years mentor couples together and are the parents of three sons, Tyler James Williams (CW’s “Everybody Hates Chris” & Disney’s “Let It Shine”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (Disney’s “Lab Rats”), and Tylen Jacob Williams (Nickelodeon’s “Instant Mom”). Angela (who is a former professional singer, songwriter, and performer) is the executive overseer of her sons’ careers and businesses. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Masters degree in Psychology. Follow her on twitter at: @my3TJWsons and her sons at @TylerJamesWill @TyreljWill @TylenjWill.