You are walking on the street but your superhero vision is scanning the area. Stand up tall. There’s a camera. Look at it and smile! Your best side is the left one, turn around a little bit, and laugh. Be clever, be quick, be gone! What’s it really like to be in the shoes of a young rising star?
Gifted and talented children are absolutely nothing new. In ballet, children begin their training as early as at the age of 3, and in music, the earlier you begin playing your instruments, the better. The amount of information accessible to us through the technologies of this century, allows young people to be more ambitious, to be more prepared, to be more aggressive than we could have ever been, and this is why the phenomenon keeps multiplying. It’s true that 30’s is the new 20’s, but for the child stars, success begins as early as the age of 10.
You can recognize a child star when you see one, and no, you do not need an IQ test machine to tell from a regular child. Most of the time, circumstances allow a child to be surrounded by knowledge, both in a positive or in a negative way. The motivation can be either role models, or the need to get out of a traumatic reality and take the world by surprise. But, is it bad to want to be famous? Is it bad to want to be a superstar? In one way or another, we all did. We all do. We all will. All the stories that are read to us when we are growing up, as well as the commentaries we see on the news, lead to the rags to riches story or the straight line that divides the bad guy from the good one. Recognition, acceptance, and achievement, are all part of the motivation, Mark Zuckerberg, anyone?. However, in some cases, there’s also the pressure of families, agents or managers, and as the process begins to evolve, more and more people will have something to say.
Because of the easy access to wide audiences through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, communication is faster and fame imminent if you play your cards right. Maybe its true that gods have to smile to you, or that you have a lucky star above you, in order to make in this modern world. But truth is, the formula remains the same as it has always been: People want to be shocked. They want to be marveled. They want to be astonished, a bit confused, and absolutely surprised. And age is a beneficial factor. The younger the child, the more fantastic the story.
The sad reality is, that unless there are good ideologies, mentors and a support system, after the rise, the need to please, to be loved, and to be accepted, can lead to falling with the wrong crowds, finding addictions, saying the wrong thing, or even worse, becoming disappointed with yourself. Are you willing to take those risks? Who is? No one really tells a child star the gigantic responsibilities that come with the position. Not only are they monetary, but also humanitarian. Why? Because people are willing to listen, they are willing to follow, they are needing to be moved, or awoken somehow. The access a celebrity has to big audiences, can mean a positive change in the world, as well as in your life, today and forever.
As a society, is it OK to continue promoting these child-prodigy stories? Yes! Of course! Even if we don’t, they’ll continue to show up on our screen. Our mistake is thinking that they are different. That since they’re a celebrity they’re not children anymore. Our mistake is not protecting them, not giving them the space, the support and the motivation they deserve as everybody else did when growing up, and having their careers explode in front of the cameras, with us as judges, watching carelessly. Providing the right environment can help your child, your teen, your young adult, develop into a talented leader, or role model for the community.
You put on your favorite outfit, the curtains open, and there you are. Alone. Thousands of people are calling out your name, singing your songs, chanting for you, waiting for you to do whatever it is that you do so well. The lights are so bright you can’t tell from one face to the other. Their voices so loud, all that is left is silence. Whatever it is you’re wearing, wherever it is you are… the question really is, what do you have to say? How will you be remembered?