My daughter is the newest start of the CW show Jane The Virgin. For those that don’t watch, it’s a satirical comedy-drama telenovela that is currently in its 3rd season. While Gina Rodriguez is the lead, the show needed some serious star power, so the producers called baby Elianna in.
How Did She Get Involved?
We live in Los Angeles, so at the hospital, babies are assigned an agent as they exit the womb.
I kid, we signed up with an agent her cousin used a few years ago. We were hoping for a few print ads, maybe get her picture on a product box, and frame that. Lauren took a few months off from work, so it was sort of perfect for her situation. Every few weeks, we received an email for an audition, and Lauren and Elianna went in and posed for a few pictures. Those never turned into anything major, but then we received the email for this opportunity.
I guess they needed a white baby with blue eyes and she fit the bill. There was no audition, they must have seen her picture and known that she was born to play this role. In the show, there are a set of twins, and Elianna plays one of them. She’s already been in two episodes, and may appear in another one or two episodes later in the season.
How Much Does She Make?
Not enough! We went into contract negotiations with a very hard line stance and came out with exactly what they give as standard to all background baby actors: $250 for each taping, which can last up to 4 hours. Sometimes she would be filmed for 15 minutes, sometimes they’d have to do the same scene over and over because one of the babies was babbling, and sometimes they wouldn’t even use her and she’d take a nap in another room, counting her hard-earned cash in her dreams.
In all, she went in 9 times, earning herself a cool $2,250 (minus 10% to her agent).
Starting A Roth IRA
What are we doing with this money? First, we created a separate bank account for her, to keep it separate and easy to track. Then, it goes directly to a Roth IRA for her. You can contribute all income earned from work (up to $5,500) to a Roth IRA in 2016, so everything she earned will go straight to her account. We’re opening an account for her in Vanguard, and since we don’t plan on touching this until she’s at least 18, we’ll invest it aggressively and hope that the magic of compound interest works wonders for her.
What’s Next For Her?
For now, she’s going out on top. She gave it all she had, but with Lauren being back at work, Elianna has retired to the comforts of sipping milk in daycare, and we don’t have any plans for additional work. It was a fun ride while it lasted and I find it hilarious that she’s been on TV, but it’s time for some younger actors to have their chance.