Why We’ll Be Watching Alex Winter’s Documentary “Showbiz Kids”

How many people really think of what goes into being a child star? As a lot of them could tell you, from Wil Wheaton to Milla Jovovich to many others, it’s not an easy life and there are reasons why some people end up stepping away from show business and others become extremely neurotic or even depressed. A lot of people would stress that they make their own choices when they hit a certain age and that’s very true, but at the same time those choices are bound to be influenced by a lot of what has happened in their lives to that point. Alex Winter of Bill & Ted Face the Music has put together a documentary detailing the lives of several child stars and will be going into what they’ve gone through, the abuse that can happen, and the competitive nature of the business that can make or break an actor in many ways. No doubt we’re going to hear about what makes a child actor and what qualities many of them were selected for, while at the same time hearing about how it might be in the beginning versus how it ended up when they grew up and either stuck with it or simply decided that enough was enough.

Thanks to revealing stories such as that pushed forth by Corey Feldman in recent months it’s become a little too obvious that kid aren’t fully exempt from the politics and the abuses that go on in Hollywood, no matter that they should have been all along and should still be today. While sitting around bemoaning this issue isn’t solving it in the least, the awareness that’s being spread about it should hopefully go a long way towards exposing those that have been doing it and protecting those that haven’t had to experience it yet. The unfortunate part of being a child actor is that it’s very likely that the competitive nature of the business will remain since quite a few kids do want to be actors and the costs of becoming one are usually quite high when it comes to dollar signs and time spent in the effort to make it big. Those that do are still in no better shape since the money is bound to be nice, but the scheduling and the intensity of a career is a lot for a young mind to deal with as they try to develop into functional people as well as actors that are ready to take their place in the spotlight. It’s been noticed throughout the years that many child actors have either suffered breakdowns or have become extremely rebellious of have leaned towards self harm as a way of coping, and the hope is that this documentary will show and make people understand why this is so.

Child actors have been a part of show business for quite a while now and while the practices of the olden days are thankfully not as evident, see Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland for some of the worst cases, there are still plenty of reports of abuse that happened when these showbiz kids were younger and couldn’t fight back. The fact that there are actual cynics that want to claim that these kids, now grown, are crying wolf for one reason or another shows a couple of things really, one, that there’s little to no pity in the business when it comes to those that have stayed quiet for so long due to fear of repercussions, and two, that belief is suspended until people can prove that what they’re saying is the absolute truth. Unfortunately for those that are telling the truth there have been a number of false claims made for one reason or another, and this tends to hamper the overall belief that kids have in fact been raped and molested during their time in show business. It’s a sad thing to say really and even worse for those that had to endure it, but the fact that false allegations have been discovered over the years has made admitting the truth that much harder for everyone as people don’t want to let such injustices go, but believing everyone when there’s a possibility that someone might be lying in order to get a paycheck or to get back at someone for an imagined slight definitely hampers the process. What’s unfortunate is that the perpetrators know this as well, and are likely feeling a lot better thinking that there’s a chance that they can deny everything.

A child actor’s life is not perfect no matter if they’re abused or not, as a great deal of personal time, money, and even sanity goes into the business upon being accepted. Hopefully this documentary will show people the truth behind some of their favorite stars and allow them to understand just what it’s really like to grow up in the business.

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