The Fast-Dealing Child Talent Trading Game
Keeping up with the *Momagers
In today’s world of Honey-Boo-Boo childs and Kylie Jenner lips the last thing any responsible parent wants is for their child to develop a complex. Years ahead will the air of resentment between parent and child have the candied whif of too much involvement, or the creeping stench of too little? If you’re willing to roll the dice on the momnopoly board, future success will supersede future dissent as sure as go-go-juice is sugar water. Join your fellow gilded parents at Free Parking in 5 simple steps…
Originally published in the denizen magazine
Step 1 – Talent. Harper took a liking to the ribbon on her blankey and couldn’t stay still. Now she trains three times weekly for artistic gymnastics and one day weekly in the pool. Her mother believes if gymnastics doesn’t work out synchronized swimming or cirque du soliel are viable fall backs.
Has your child shown mild interest and achievement in a certain sport or art? From a Seurat-esque finger painting to an early graduation from training wheels your child’s passion is ready to manipulate. If an immediate talent isn’t presented simply choose a strength from your own failed childhood that lies dormant in their genes! Were you a great dancer who couldn’t quite make the grade after a string of knee injuries stemming from an unlucky skiing incident? Science says your offspring will also be a dancing great (with the right instructor/school/practice hours)!
Alternatively your childs’ talent may simply lie in being, there could be a natural model/actor right under your nose and in that diaper, behind that fresh soiling. Statistically it’s also a good idea to consider the road less momaged, if choosing a sport on behalf of your future champion go for one with Olympic prestige but low public popularity like speed skating or archery. This will maximize your opportunity of global domination.
“My parents signed me up with Ford at the age of two. No two year old wants to be working, but I had no choice. My whole life, I was in and out of school…I didn’t have friends. I was working constantly and I didn’t have a life.” – Successfully Momaged, model/actress/singer Taylor Momsen
Step 2: Networking. Harper doesn’t have many friends but her two classmates and a local ballet protégée meet up most weeks so their parents can talk. They use the time to show off to each other without any real meaningful connection. A key component to the momager job description is a wide circle of industy friends, agents and other momagers. Find these figures by following competition from the child up. Befriend the parents of your child’s closest rivalry and sniff out industry contacts to likewise befriend. Keep your enemies close but your momagers closer. To give yourself a serious edge you can even create a Linkedin account with the job title “Freelance Talent Manager”. Next, look up all fellow momagers facebook friends in this database and link to any with influence. There are also linkedin collectives and other social networking groups to help land roles, find sponsorship and share advice. Avoid scams by checking facts and asking others if some opportunities or services sound too good to be true. Cheap yet incredibly stylised graphic design on marketing material is an obvious tell that the advertised service or casting call is compensating for something, and that something is failure.
Step 3: Marketing. Harper doesn’t know how instagram works but loves having her picture taken. Sometimes mum buys her new leotards and make-up just for a photograph. Marketing is a vital component of all business. It involves the planning and executing of the process an organisation undertakes to achieve exposure and ultimately success. Part of that process is creating your child fan pages across all social media platforms and ensuring posts are regular and popular by using apps such as Hootsuite and purchasing likes and followers if necessary. Hilary Clinton did it and she might be America’s first female president! A good following of more than 1,000 on any social media platform is a great representation of your child’s talent to interested sponsors/directors/coaches. Worried about over sexualizing your child model online? Russia’s famous nine year old super model Kristina Pimenova has more than 2 million fans on Facebook and 400,000 on Instagram thanks to her momager former-model mothers hard work and relentless exploitation! Next you can use these platforms to further develop an identity for your child, choose a catchy nickname/stage name and develop catchphrases that truly catch.
Advance to “Go”
Step 4: Income. Harper thought free lunch and a trip to Dream World was payment enough but mum said only minimum talent was worth minimum wage for the theme park appearance. You’ve no doubt been coughing up the coffers for your dearest darling, therefore even a sneeze of your childs time should be fairly compensated. Everyone (especially Momagers) know that talent doesn’t come for free. Once you have developed successful networks and marketing your world will broaden with an entourage focused on the meticulous grooming, presentation, promotion and ultimate profitability of your child. It is important to stay cognizant that investors, producers, directors, stars of your chosen industry and any others who come into your path are strangers, no matter how much their fame and authority makes you feel like you already know them. Remember that you are still the parent and it is important for your child to see you in a role undiminished by the presence of any other authority figure in their life. Remind your child that you hold the space where they can come and reveal anything. Some agents/coaches may try to cut you (and your cut) out of the picture but an open relationship means you stay the party with the snipping privileges. When it comes to paperwork never sign anything right off the bat, and document everything regarding the roles and payments received. It’s a good idea to keep your child in the dark about the exact commitments and compensation and fill this void with praise and rewards.
“Fortunately, Brooke was at an age where she couldn’t talk back.” Original Monager Teri Brookes on contractual agreements for 10year old Brook Shields in Pretty Baby (a disturbing film about a child prostitute)
Step 5: Ongoing guidance. Harper is focused and determined and knows nothing else. Where would she be without mum? Be a source of relentless motivation and dependence. Picture your children as an extension of yourself and project your own unfulfilled ambitions onto them! Did your parents care enough to destroy your childhood? Don’t let the cycle of “what if’s” continue. Care them to the top. Care them till they flop. Care them within the legal guidelines of care. Welcome to the mom’gerhood.
“I’m glad I was tough, because look I came out with. I came out with…kids that everybody loved, all over the world.” Joe Jackson, Dadager
*the term Momager is used without official licence and the minimum due respect to trademarker and Kardashian family momtriarch Kris Jenner.
PICK A CARD
Sometimes a big success comes with unforeseen personal costs. These are also known as bribes.
When your child is old enough to access the trust you set up for them ask for a gratuity fee for your years of service (despite taking an undisclosed salary annually). This is also known as double dipping.
If your child is a sports star no expense should be spared in aiding their development and healing. From physiotherapy to hypnotherapy there is no fee too high on maintaining success. Likewise if your child’s chosen field requires enhancing their naturally good looks the most expensive possible action is usually the best possible action. Don’t pay for the common coconut oil facial massage, invest in the 24Kt gold leaf absorbtion facial.
Don’t forget that despite all their extra curricular achievements If your child’s academia falls behind so too will your mutual respect. Consider paying your child a wage to attend and excel, naturally at a private institution supportive of their existing schedule (which you will also have to pay for, naturally).
This is a home video or photo album that is manicured to feature innocent childhood fun derived from momagement. Date all material in case lawyers are one day involved.