Miley Cyrus


Does Miley Cyrus go to school? Or did she drop out to pursue her career? Isn't she, like, 15?
Raymond, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Haven't you read the PR boilerplate? Miley Cyrus is an...

• all-American, freedom-fries-loving teen who
• goes to church with her strict pappy and
• has gotten her book learnin' via Friday in-school exams and on-set tutors.

So intoneth the mighty People magazine and other enthralled media. Private tutors are highly common among feverishly packaged tween performers. They let stage parents squeeze maximum earnings out of their scrubbed-up sprites while remaining within the boundaries of child labor law. There are legal requirements for educating minors, see, even minors who require the blood of five virgins for a single concert ticket.

Cyrus may qualify as a living saint in training-bra circles, but she's also 15, and that makes her a kid.

Here in California, all entertainment-related projects involving children—movie sets, TV commercial shoots, even still photography sessions—require child-welfare minders and instructors on premises. For every 10 professional—and so adorable—ragamuffins, a production studio must hire one minder, often called a studio teacher.

Of course, Cyrus is worth at least 30 garden-variety child actors of any other stripe, so she commands her own tutor. That often happens with very influential or powerful child moguls. They hire their own or require their studio to dedicate a tutor just for them. (The Jonas Brothers use home-schooling and traveling tutors. So did the Olsen twins, back when they, you know, worked.)

One more tidbit about tween teaching. Jamie Lynn Spears? She's used on-set tutors and she recently got her GED. Guess she's figured out how to learn for two.

Got a question about how Hollywood works? ASK ME already!

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