California Entertainment Work Permit

A work permit it required by minors aged 15 days to 18 years of age to work on motion pictures of any type (film, videotape) in any format (theatrical, television, documentary) by any medium (theater, television, videocassette, DVD, as well as circuses, rodeos, musical performances and any other avenue in which minors perform for the entertainment of an audience.

The standard entertainment work permit can be obtained by filling out Form DLSE-277, which you can see a thumbnail on to the right. You can also download a copy by clicking here or by visiting the Downloads section of this web site. DLSE stand for the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

The top half of the form is the child’s personal information, including permanent address and vital statistics (height, weight, etc.) The bottom half of the form is divided into two separate sections: One for the school and then a physicians statement.

The school section must be filled out if the child is at a grade equivalency of first grade and has not yet graduated or received a GED from high school. If the child is not yet in first grade, then the parent must provide one of the following:

1. Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate
2. The child’s baptismal certificate
3. A letter on hospital letterhead attesting where and when the child was born
4. The child’s passport

Children who are schooled in a setting other than a traditional school environment (home schooling, tutor, etc.) must obtain written verification of their education level from the school district or the county office of education where the child lives.

If I child has been emancipated from their parents and have not yet reached their 18th birthday, a work permit is still required. Emancipated minors may sign for themselves in the Parent/Guardian box.

The completed application must be mailed in to the nearest DLSE office. Faxed applications are no longer accepted.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

Work permits are only valid for six months at a time. They must be renewed.
There is no charge for applying for a work permit.
Any questions should be directed to your nearest DLSE office.
Out of state minors need their most recent report card or letter from school.
A PRE-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE MUST ACCOMPANY THE APPLICATION!

Click here for more information from the DLSE.

This article is meant as a guide, for the most current and up-to-date information regarding California Entertainment Work Permits, please contact your nearest DLSE office.

Registering Domain Names

In a recent article on this web site entitled “10 Tips To Protecting Your Child Actor,” I mentioned you should register your child’s name as a domain name (internet address) as soon as you can to help protect them against identity theft and domain squatters in the future. But when is the best time?

I recommend registering your child’s domain name as soon as your child a) works as a principal character in a TV show or film (has a credit on screen) or b) signs with an agent or manager. The reason for doing this as soon as possible is obvious: there are people out there who register domains of newcomers at the earliest opportunity. If you think to yourself “but my kid isn’t famous yet” you are kidding yourself. There is a segment of the population that will immediately notice a new girl or boy on a TV show and immediately start posting their name around the Internet for other people to see.

So what is a domain name and how do you register one?

A domain name is the “internet address” you use to find a particular web site. The domain name for the web site you are on now is “kidsinthebiz.com.” A popular domain name for a search engine is “google.com.” Most actors will register their domain name as “firstnamelastname.com.” There are also domain names that end in .us, .tv, .net, .org and hundreds more. Concentrate on the .com extension.

Can you register a domain name if you don’t even have a web site? YES! In fact, many parents will simply register their child’s domain name and “park” it – not use it, just so somebody else can’t take it. They may or may not ever make a web site, but they know that somebody else can’t pretend to be their child with the domain name either.

One of the best places to register a domain name is a place called Go Daddy. It’s a funny name but one of the best. GoDaddy.com is known as a domain name registrar, a place to register domain names. Once you are at their site, type your child’s name (wthout spaces) into the “Start Your Search Here” box and click on “Go.”

If the domain hasn’t been taken yet, click on Continue. You will be asked to buy a whole bunch of stuff you really don’t need so click on “No Thanks” to continue. You will then be asked to buy even more things, so just click on Continue again. You may have some things auto-selected for you like “Traffic Builder” – uncheck it and click on Continue again.

Eventually you will get to a checkout page that will have you double-check everything to make sure it is correct, as well as choose a payment method. If there is anything else in your cart besides the domain name, remove it! For 2 years it should only cost you about $18.40.

You can choose to pay by PayPal or by Credit Card. Select which one and then also put check marks into the boxes saying you have read the agreement and terms of service. (I suggest actually reading them too, although they are pretty standard) – then click on Checkout Now.

The next section will require you to put in personal information. IMPORTANT – this information will be public, and once it is out there, people CAN bring it uyp again even if you change it. For the telephone number I would suggest your agent or managers number, NOT your private home phone number. Cell phone is also fine if you don’t mind – but you will probably get calls on it. For address, again put your agent or manager’s address, or a post office box if you have one. If you put your real home address, remember this will be available for everybody to see.

Continue the checkout process. Once everything is done, that is it. Your domain is now officially “parked” and will be on the Internet in 4-24 hours. When people call up the domain name in their web browser, they will see godaddy’s “parked” page. If you ever build a web site for your child, or have someone build it for you, you will need to modify the settings in the GoDaddy control panel. Your web designer / web host should be able to help you with that.

Securing your child’s domain name early means it won’t be stolen later. Use your own judgment for when you feel it is the right time. Remember, if the .com is taken, you can try one of the other extensions, but even today, nothing is as good as a .com.

10 Tips To Protect Your Child Actor

If your child is involved in the entertainment industry, whether in small-town theatre productions or movies and television shows, protecting their welfare is a top priority for parents. Here are ten simple steps you can do today to help protect your child from rabid fans and predators.

1. Stop using your child’s social security number on their resume.

It use to be commonplace to use a social security number on a resume so producers, directors and casting directors could refer to you as a number when you go in for an audition. This is no longer the case. When your child signs in for an audition, there will be a spot for their SAG number. If they are not in the Screen Actors Guild, leave the box empty or ask the receptionist if they can use another number.

2. Change your phone number.

Once your phone number is listed, it will remain in online directories and even print directories for a long time. Simply changing it to be unlisted will not stop people from finding it out and calling you at home. Obtain a new number and keep it unlisted.

3. Check your child’s fan mail carefully.

Once your child has appeared on a TV show or in a movie, they will start to get fan letters. While this may seem neat at first, you must be careful when allowing your child to read the letters that come in. Look over the envelopes carefully and notice strange addresses. Letters from prisons oftentimes are marked “Inmate Mail” or have a strange address that looks like a PO box.

4. Take your own digital cards to your photographer.

When it is time to get your child’s photographs done for their portfolio or comp card, ask if you can bring your own digital card for their camera. If the photographer still shoots on film, make sure that their session fee includes giving the negatives to you. By protecting the raw images of your child, you will help prevent their likeness from showing up on online auction sites tomorrow or in years to come.

5. Audit an acting class.

Instead of shelling out the full fee for an acting class you have heard about, ask the instructor if your child can audit their class. Most will say yes. You should be skeptical about those who will not allow your child, and a parent, to sit in on a class or two.

6. Don’t looks for agents in the mall.

If you get a flyer asking you to bring your child to the mall to meet with a talent manager, run the other way. Many of these companies make their money by charging outrageous fees for photographers and showcases. They thrive on signing hundreds of kids, hoping one of them happens to make it big.

7. Do your homework.

Never stop learning about the entertainment business. Read books on child actors, auditioning, acting technique, and biographies of former and current child stars. Attend workshops and seminars in your area.

8. Provide a support structure for your child.

During the course of your child’s career, they will turned down many times for different reasons. It is important to have both internal and external support mechanisms for your child to turn to when they need to talk or vent their frustrations.

9. Avoid leaving comments on fan web sites.

While at first it may seem neat when you see the first web site dedicated to your child, but avoid contacting the maker of the site or leaving feedback in a guestbook or forum. Your computer information can be tracked fairly easily, allowing them to get even more personal information.

10. Register your child’s name as a web site domain name.

As soon as your child books that new commercial, TV show or movie, register your child’s name as a “dot com” immediately so somebody cannot steal it out from under you. Registration services are under $10/year at most places, so it will be a cheap investment in your child’s safety.

Most of these items involve common sense, but you will be surprised how easily they are forgotten when your child has a chance at stardom. Keep your wits about you and remember your number one priority is the welfare of your child, not booking the part.

This article is copyrighted by Troy Rutter, but is available to use on your own web site, ezine or publication for free. For more information, please visit EzineArticles.com.