Child appearing beneath the curtain.

How To Teach a Child About Acting

The first step in teaching a child about acting is to help them understand the basics of the craft. This includes explaining what acting is, what it means to be an actor, and what skills are necessary for the profession. It’s also important to help children understand the different types of acting, such as stage, screen, and commercial. Next, you can start teaching basic techniques such as improvisation, characterization and scene study.

So, how do you explain acting in a way a child can understand? Like this: Acting is the process of portraying a character or type of character in a theatrical production. It involves using your imagination and emotions to create a believable performance. There are many different techniques that can be used but the most important thing is to make it fun and interesting.

The above might be too complicated for younger children to understand, so let’s break down the different types of acting and different types of techniques. Then you can put it into your own words based on your child’s age and ability to understand.

Video camera filming a movie scene with a young girl in the backgroundDIFFERENT TYPES OF ACTING

Stage Acting

Stage acting is the most pure form of the craft. It takes place in a theater, where the actor is surrounded by a live audience. The interaction between the actor and the audience is one of the things that makes stage acting unique.

Screen Acting

Screen acting is done in front of a camera. The actor has to worry about what he or she looks like on film, which can be a challenge. Screen acting can be done in front of a live audience or in a studio setting.

Commercial Acting

Commercial acting is done in front of a live or taped audience. The goal is to sell a product or idea. Commercial actors often have to memorize long scripts and deliver them quickly.


Improvisation (aka Improv)

In theatre and performance, improvisation is the process of creating a scene or dialogue on the spot, with no prior preparation. This might include building on an idea suggested by someone else in the group, making something up entirely on your own or reacting spontaneously to events as they occur onstage. Improvisation is often used in comedy sketches and theatre games, but it can also be employed in more serious contexts, such as drama or dance.

Some people think of improvisation as simply winging it, making things up as you go along. But good improvisers are actually very well-prepared. They have a deep understanding of their craft and the ability to create believable characters and situations on the fly. The best improvisers are also quick thinkers, able to think on their feet and come up with funny or compelling responses to whatever their fellow players throw at them.


In literature, characterization is the process of describing the individual features of a character. This includes their appearance, mannerisms, thoughts, and emotions. Characterization is important because it allows readers to understand the characters better and to empathize with them. Good characterization can make a story feel more real and three-dimensional. It can also be used to create suspense or to reveal aspects of the plot. In acting, portraying the character is one of the main focal points.

Scene Study

Scene study is the process of delving into and exploring a particular scene from a script. It’s a way for actors to get to know the characters they’re playing, and to understand the dynamics of the scene. By working on scenes in depth, actors can develop their skills and hone their craft.

Scene study can be done with a partner, or it can be done alone. In either case, it’s important to go through the scene step by step, exploring every nuance and exploring different ways of playing the characters. You want to find what works best for you, and then commit to that interpretation.

The goal of scene study is to create a believable world in which the characters live, and to bring out the emotional truth of the scene. It’s a challenging but rewarding process, and it can help you become a better actor.


Teaching a child about acting is similar to teaching them how to ride a bike. You need to show them what to do and then give them time to practice. It’s also important to be patient and positive, even when they make mistakes.

When it comes to teaching children about acting, there are a few methods that work best. Some experts believe that telling stories is one of the best ways to introduce the art of acting to young minds. By relating anecdotes from movies and TV shows, parents can help their children develop an appreciation for the skill required to perform on stage or in front of a camera. Other educators suggest using theater games and exercises as a way to foster budding talent.

An example of such a game is “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” The game requires children to act like monkeys and jump on a bed. View the clip here to show your child.

(Bonus Note: There’s also an accompanying book of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Click HERE to purchase it.)

Theater games and exercises can be fun, but they also have the potential to teach children about the importance of being a good listener. If children are able to understand what is going on in front of them, they will be able to more effectively follow directions. Therefore, young performers are also encouraged to listen to their characters and follow the instructions of their directors. This will allow them to develop a better understanding of what it means for an actor to portray a role in a movie or on stage.

Show the child how to use their imagination and act out different scenes. You can also help them learn their lines and practice their timing by reading stories together or having them watch videos of plays. Finally, have them perform in front of a small audience (friends, family) to get used to the feeling of being on stage.

Every child is different and will learn in different ways. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, you can discuss such things as emoting, conveying moods and feelings and using body language. You can also have your child watch videos of famous actors performing and ask them to analyze what the actor is doing and why.

Depending on where you live, you can usually find an acting or improv class for your child to attend. Also, participating in school plays and other activities will help adjust your child to becoming a performer.

5LittleMonkeysTeaching a child about acting can be a rewarding experience for both the child and the parent. It can help the child to develop self-confidence and communication skills, and it can be a fun way for the family to spend time together. If you are interested in teaching your child about acting, there are many resources available to help you get started, starting with the Advice, How To and and Interview sections of DirectSubmit NYCastings!

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