Tales From A Hollywood Child Wrangler

Movies, TV shows, and advertisements wouldn't reflect real life if they didn't include children and even babies. But children aren't experienced actors- at least most of them aren't. And there are strict labor laws covering how they are used in Hollywood productions. That's where the profession of "child wrangler" comes in. Jody is a child wrangler. Her duties include making sure the rules are followed, ensuring children are properly supervised on set, and doing whatever she can to get a performance out of them within the limitations of their inexperience, their parents, and the laws. She has a few horror stories about stage parents, bad luck, and the vagaries of acting. And a couple of really nice stories.   

Jody worked on a TV pilot about a giant friendly monster, but since the monster was all CGI, its stand-in on set was an eyeless green mess of padding. The horrified parents of the young actress complained to the wardrobe department (wardrobe wasn't responsible and had no power to fix it, but the parents just really wanted to vent, apparently). Jody told the girl, "This is a nice man pretending to be a big kitty, but we haven't put the rest of him on yet ... He doesn't feel good about himself for not looking like the others. Can you make him feel better when you see him?" The girl ran to the homunculus, hugged him, and said, "You're pretty to me." The show never got picked up, but that take was gold.

Read about the work of a Hollywood child wrangler at Cracked.


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