Child star horror stories- Alcohol. Drug use. The bankruptcies. The suing of the parents. The typecasting. It seems that being a child star is a curse. Though, is this really true? For every Dana Plato or Lindsay Lohan, there is also a Jodie Foster or Ron Howard. Does being a child star in and of itself guarantee a lifetime of obscurity and heartache? Is it the nature of the hollywood business or the nature of the individual person?
Maybe the ones that crashed and burned didn't have a good home life or the proper guidance they needed. Maybe they got caught up and believed their own hype and didn't face the realities of an unstable business. Personally, I believe that just as in real life after high school, there are those who suceed and those that don't, it is the same equation in tinsel town. As a struggling artist, I found that college is not a guarantee to success, it is a foundation for success. It is what you do with it after you get it that determines whether you succeed or fail in life.
Child stars in tinsel town often don't take advantage of the perks of the game, such as the big, fat paychecks. They assume the jobs and money will always be there and don't plan for the lean years with such methods as saving or investing. They don't seek a backup career which is just as important in the real world. I see child stardom as much as a crap shoot as real life is. Bottom line, nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. The key is to learn from the mistakes and take advantages of whatever blessings or opportunities we have before us.
We shouldn't take anything for granted and plan for the bad times. When life hands you lemons make lemonade. If you have a degree, get a second degree. If you can't find a job, make your own. If you are an out-of-work actor, take other opportunities like voice-over work or even start up your own production company. Basically, explore all your options and you will find their are more choices than you think.
Those that regret being child stars should be grateful. Grateful that you were a star of any kind. You should also be grateful you made it in a business for however brief a time in a business where success is next to impossible. That at one point you were making more money than god and thatyou had total strangers caring about your existence.
So, my advice for all the Lindsay Lohan crack-heads and the other child star horror stories out there-- don't screw up! And if you do don't do it in front of the paparazzi who are constantly watching. You may never have the level of success you had before, but you can still be a success in life and know that you had a part in bring some joy and entertainment in people's lives.