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Episode #11

Protecting Our Children

In this episode we focus on how to protect our children in the entertainment industry. Our guests are Bonnie Katz, studio teacher to the stars, and Abigail Calva, senior deputy labor commissioner from the Los Angeles office of the Department of Industrial Standards, a division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Bonnie Katz is called the studio teacher to the stars. She has a diverse background in teaching minors in commercials, televisions and live performances. Her credits include feature films such as Sister Act, Basic Instinct, George of the Jungle and Flubber, live performances of The King and I, Miss Saigon, Tommy, Cirque de Soleil and the Ringling Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Bonnie Katz
Cynthia with Bonnie Katz

Abigael Calva is on training committee for writing the curriculum for studio teachers. She discusses the laws in effect for working conditions as well as the health and welfare of children in the entertainment industry.

Cynthia with Abigael Calva
Cynthia with Abigael Calva

All children under the age of 18 are required to have valid entertainment work permit. The reason for this is to protect the children, to make sure they are healthy, attending and doing well in school and keeping a high level of morals.

Anytime there is someone under the age of 18 working on a set, a studio teacher is required to be in attendance. Kids can only work a certain number of hours each day depending upon their age. They must also attend three hours of schooling on any school day. Parents need to learn their rights and know the laws governing the employment of their children. The best interests of our children depend upon knowledge and enforcement.

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Last Updated March 15, 1999