10.0Robert N Pafundi

Foreword by Dora the Explorer’s Caitlin Sanchez

When Robert Pafundi told me that he was going to write a book that focused on educating parents and protecting child performers in the entertainment industry, it immediately struck a chord with me. You see, I am one of those child performers. I began working in the industry at the tender age of eight, auditioning for commercials as well as scripted television roles. I’ve even appeared on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. But my real big break came in animated television at the ripe old age of eleven. I was the voice actress for the title character on Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer. Since then, millions of people around the world have heard my voice daily, and as I approach eighteen, they continue to hear my voice on television, the Internet, video games, and toys.

The entertainment industry offers so much potential for the talented, but it is also filled with potential pitfalls for the ill-informed. Hollywood is teeming with complexities and challenges for any aspiring child performer, from dealing with guilds, Talent Agents, and Talent Managers to the production companies themselves, and you, as a parent, owe it to yourself and your child to learn the dynamic interrelationships that are so clearly explained in this book.

My parents and I did not have a blueprint or an in-depth understanding of the entertainment industry when I began. A book just like this would have been invaluable, as I was navigating my way through the labyrinth that is Hollywood.

Fortunately, with this book in hand, you can take advice and guidance from Robert Pafundi, an experienced former Talent Agent, Talent Manager, and successful entertainment attorney and litigator who is dedicated to fighting for the rights of children in the entertainment industry. What makes this book unique and vital to all parents of child performers entering into the industry is that it finally puts the spotlight on the rights and laws that exist to protect child performers; these rights and laws, while not exactly “hidden;’ have never surfaced al any “Hollywood 101” class that I’ve attended. This book goes beyond the acting class seminars, the talent showcase meet-and-greets, and the smiling faces you encounter; it teaches you all you need to know about the nuances and intricacies of the business and how to protect your child in the process.

What Robert has depicted in Safe Stardom is of the utmost importance to families embarking on a performing career. Why? Because when you enter the entertainment industry, you and your child arc inherently at a disadvantage. You can’t take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities that Hollywood offers until you know the roles of the people whom you arc dealing with, and exactly how to interact and work with them. Your greatest asset in the entertainment industry is not how talented your child is, but rather how well informed you are as a parent. This book provides details and knowledge about all entertainment industry players who will impact your child’s career path in a readily understandable manner that both newcomers and experienced talent will appreciate.

In between taking your child to auditions and hoping for callbacks, you should be reading this book and assimilating its information. Take it from me, an experienced child performer: never underestimate the business side of show business. Everybody loves a star; so dare to dream as I have done, but recognize the reality of the entertainment world and educate yourself so that you can safely navigate the mazes of Hollywood. You can do that by reading Safe Stardom.

-Caitlin Sanchez
Former Voice Actress of Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer™