Kids in Acting is a fun and character building activity that can lead to big success for your child, but there is lots to know before beginning. Below are a few starter articles to get you started. Click the blue links to read the stories.
You receive a call for your four-year-old son to be at an audition in two hours. You haven’t showered, haven’t fed your son yet and there’s no time to find a sitter for your three-month-old baby. You accept the audition because you know if you pass, you may receive fewer calls in the future. You’re a hot mess!
There’s so much to keep track of that it’s easy to forget things. It’s also important to make sure you have full details about the audition.
Joan Lynn, a NYC powerhouse casting director, has been casting television commercials for almost 30 years for major National Advertisers and Award Winning Directors. Her clients include Disney, McDonald’s, Home Depot and many more.
When your agent or manager calls, advises Joan, ask the following questions:
1. What should my child wear?
2. Is there copy? (script)
3. When is the callback?
4. When does the commercial shoot?
If there is copy, arrive a half-hour early and do NOT sign in, says Joan. Take the copy and then come back five minutes before the audition time and sign in. You will probably have to fill out a ‘size’ card. Always know your children’s sizes and every time the sizes change, let your agent or manager know.
There will be times when your child is not available for auditions. Examples are sports practice, doctor’s appointment, vacation dates and important celebrations and religious holidays. Agents and managers work hard to market your child and the last thing they want to hear is that your child is not available.
Joan advises that you should always tell your agent or manager in advance when your child is booked out.
“Your child should be a model! Your kid should be on television!” your neighbors, family, friends and babysitters shout to you. It all sounds so fun and so easy!
Then you realize it’s not so easy. But it could be fun and a great learning experience if you learn a few simple things.
1. You are responsible for your child on set.
Some productions have baby wranglers, but wranglers, as well as other production crew, are not babysitters. It’s your responsibility to make sure you’re available in a snap’s time in case needed. (For more information on baby wranglers, who and what they do, click HERE )
2. Do not raid the food table.
Never assume the craft services table is for you and your child. Craft services, aka crafty, could be just for the crew, just for the principal players or for everyone. Always ask before you take. To be on the safe side, always bring your own food, snacks and drinks. Feeding your children sugar while on set may make them bouncy and hard to work with. It’s best to teach your child about healthy eating as early as possible so they have no problem eating healthy snacks while on set. If your child has a sweet tooth and you’re okay with your child eating things like chocolate, etc., pack these items and let your child know that after the shoot / on the way home, they can have some.
3. If you make a promise, you’re bound to it.
If you promise your child something, be sure to deliver. Everyone has a bad day now and again. If your child is in a cranky mood, it’s human nature to offer them something to get them to be happy — even if it’s for your own sanity. Is this called a bribe? Yes. Some parents/guardians do this so if you’re one of those who do, make sure you do what you say you’re going to do. If your child starts crying on set that they want to take home the toy they’re playing with and you tell them you’ll go to the store and get them the toy, be sure to do it. If you make false promises, eventually your child will not be able to trust your word.
5 Self-Esteem BOOSTERS For Kids In Acting
Pharrell Williams has everyone singing about being HAPPY – yet that’s not always the case when you take an honest look at the heart of young actors. It’s tough out there! And you face a ton of rejection! That’s why Kate Mueth made it her mission to help young people learn how to deal with the emotional rollercoaster ride known as the entertainment business.
Kate Mueth is an actor, director, casting director, choreographer, and founder of The Neo-Political Cowgirls. The inspiration for Neo-Political Cowgirls began with Kate’s desire to branch out and create work for women. She wanted to reach young girls and give them workshops based on a formula that is so mind-blowingly transformative that girls come in one way and leave another.
There is something transformative that happens when we are given permission to tell our story – to be seen, and to be heard. shares Kate. That is where the power of these workshops came from.
Having a sense of power at auditions can make a huge difference, whether you are a young female actor, young male, or in the middle of your career!
To help give NYCastings members a power boost in the area of self-esteem, Kate Mueth shared 5 of her workshop secrets with us…
1. Think of auditions as PLAY time!
I don’t want people to come through the door and lose all organic connection to who they are. They try to be what they think someone else wants them to be. So I transform auditions into let’s meet. Let’s play. Then I give them text to toss around and get the actor on their feet to see what they can do physically. The idea of how we feel about ourselves when we walk through that door is why we see so many unhappy people in this industry, even at the highest level, because there is this continual expectation to be something that we are not. We need to express ourselves more connectedly. Many times it is expected for us to be everything but who we are, and that is at the core of unhappiness.
Kids in Acting – It starts with a spark… a single acting gig that packs enough heat to ignite an entire career. In one instant, a child actor can go from unknown to exploding on the scene in commercials, films and print.
Indeed, it’s a thrill to witness such success. It can also be quite unpredictable and challenging. To help, NYCastings sought advice on what it takes to grow like wildfire.
If you are wondering how to keep your cool as your career heats up – or how to get that spark started in the first place – check out this illuminating insight from industry guru Angela Mickey of Liz Lewis Casting, as well two, young NYCastings members who have amazing success stories.
Angela Mickey – Casting Director at Liz Lewis Casting Partners
Q: What can young actors do to get ahead in this biz?
With young actors, it’s all about training, training, training. A lot of young actors initially get into the business because they have a good accessible look, and they start working before they really begin to understand the techniques of acting. Being able to come in and break down scripts, learn how to dissect what really is happening in a scene, how to perform it, and how to improv and bring something of themselves to a role is a crucial part of the skill set as they move forward. Developing those skills early on can really be helpful in setting you apart.
When your young performer gets an audition for a TV show with lots of buzz, it’s time to close your eyes, take a deep gulp and maybe even meditate. You want them to go on the audition, but at the same time, you know if they get the job, life will change. Maybe forever.
For young actors David Mazouz of FOX’s Gotham and Zoé de Grand’Maison of the BBC’s Orphan Black, there was no doubt in their minds about auditioning for their prospective roles. Both have very supportive families which helped make their decision easier.
David and Zoé take us on an in-depth look at their audition processes, contractual obligations, school and how things have changed (or not changed) in their lives. Read what these Celebrity kids in Acting have to say.
…And The Winner Of Majors and Minors Season One Is…
These words catapulted NYCastings member Michael Woodward from a 14-year old church singer to an internationally known talent with an RCA Records deal. His “spark” won the hearts of fans on the popular reality singing show Majors & Minors. But first, Michael won the heart of Lindsay Spaulding – Casting Director.
“As soon as I saw his submission and watched his videos, I knew that this kid was a star,” Lindsay Spaulding shares with NYCastings. “It was so exciting when he won, taking home the top prize of a music publishing deal and a record deal with RCA Records.”
Here is how NYCastings member Michael Woodward got his voice heard cross country…