Has your child lately been expressing their desire to appear on the big screen? Are they constantly holding family members captive with their acting skills? Do they always secure the lead part in their school play? If yes, then your child might be ready to make a career out of it! But before you decide to take a plunge into the film industry, it is very important to keep a few things in mind. Let’s start with the definition of the word “child actor”.
A child actor is a performer within the age range of 0-18 who appears in acting roles in various media formats. Commercials, TV series, plays and movies are a few examples where child actors appear. A few preferred qualities in child actors are professionalism and discipline.
Now, here’s a basic guide on turning your child into a superstar!
1. Make Sure it is Their Dream
You, as a parent, might see great potential in your child and do not want it to go untapped. But, working in the film industry, especially as a child, requires a lot of energy, determination and will. Your child will have to miss a lot of school, stay on top of homework, and miss important events with friends. They might also miss out on all the things that children typically do. At first, the going is tough but it has a high payoff in the end. At this point, you must talk to your child and understand if this is what they want to do. Forcing them into doing this will cause resentment and hurt in the long run. So, to avoid such unpleasantness in the future, you and your child need to be committed to this dream from the get-go.
2. Take Them to Performances
A great way to master any craft is to observe it happen live and make careful notes. The same can is true when we talk about prepping your child to become a child actor. Make it a weekly activity where you take your child on observation activities. Watch a local play performance or a movie (bonus points if the performance has child actors in it). Once there, ask your child to study the actors and do the same too. After the performance, compare your notes with your child. This will allow both of you to have a clear idea of what makes it to the stage and what doesn't. Use these observations and tricks to improve your child’s performance. See what works and what doesn’t for them.
3. Start Slow
Remember that children have short attention spans and little patience. Keeping this in mind, you must start slow. Do not bombard your child with training and simultaneously book them for small roles and auditions. This will cause your child to become monotonous and lose their style in the chaos. Remember that your little humans are humans at the end of the day. After all, you as an adult would not prefer to cram your waking hours with career advancement training, right?
When you and your child decide to take the child actor journey, the best advice you will ever get is to start slow. By this, we mean to get them to try out small roles in commercials, photoshoots and local theatres. Depending on the feedback from your child and the people who hired them, you can decide your next steps.
4. Enroll Your Child in Acting Classes
Once you see that your child is booking more small roles and is invested in the entire process, it is time to take things one step further. Natural talent and skill are all good but they will only take your child so far. If your child attends acting classes, they will be able to hone and sharpen their skills. They will be able to turn their acting skills on and off like a switch. Child actors who have previous experience and have attended acting classes know what it is like to be a professional.
When your child practices on stage, they know how to conquer their nerves and stage fear. Additionally, interacting with other child actors and professionals will really cement professional standards. This will provide them with an added advantage and will help them be the first choice for future roles.
5. Be Supportive and Encouraging
Remember that before you are your child's manager, you are their parent first. It is easy to get caught up in the film industry race to get to the finish line. But, your child has no one they can trust and turn to as much as a parent. Regular check-ins with your child are great. This allows you to gauge their feelings and determine if they are burnt out or stressed. Remember to give them a break if they’re not feeling up to it. They have their whole lives ahead of them. If your child is successful but doesn’t want to continue, then it is okay and right to hit the stop button. You will be thankful that you heard and acted as your child wished in the long run.
If your child is ready to do what it takes to make it big, then you will need to teach them how to deal with rejection. Being rejected from roles they were looking forward to will have a negative impact on their mindset. But this can be something that can be worked on and turned into a positive thing. Teach them that rejection is a part of life and teach them ways they can tackle it in healthy ways.
Alternatively, always show your support and encouragement. Do not criticize your child every time and make them feel less than. Healthy expressions of support boost your child’s morale and help them do better.
6. Sign Up On Digital Talent Portals and Take Them to Auditions
This last step will make sure that your child is landing the perfect role. To see them turn into a superstar, sign up on digital talent portals and audition online or offline. Taking your child to auditions teaches them to act naturally in front of a camera and to observe other child actors too.
One digital talent platform you can register on is All Talent. With All Talent, you can create an account based on your talent. This account gives you access to jobs (like child actors) from verified sources all around the world. All you have to do is pick available openings and apply for the ones that fit you best. Once you are shortlisted, you will be asked to audition offline or online. If the recruiter is impressed with your profile and audition, you will be selected for that particular role.
We’ve successfully placed 5,000+ talent including child actors in jobs worldwide! Sign up as a child actor here and fulfill your child’s dreams!