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Getting Your Kid to Work As an Actor

Aug 13, 2008
Getting your kid to work as an actor can be a really tough task. The parents should ensure that they are not forcing their child into it & at the same time ensure that everything is handled in a professional manner. Assuming your child is motivated and really wants to act, get him into an acting class as soon as possible.

First, you want to make sure you are doing this for all the right reasons, mainly: Your child actually wants to be an actor. I see a ton of parents "pimping" their kids, and these children have no real interest in acting. This is no way to do anything, let alone deal with the harsh realities of trying to make it as an actor.

Assuming your child is motivated and really wants to act, get him into an acting class as soon as possible. Do research and find a class that suits your child. Look for classes that specialize in teaching kids and that have kids that are working all the time. I would shy away from a class that tries to teach "the Method." It's a bit too much for a child, in my opinion. Okay, maybe too much for most adults as well.

Once your kid has his chops and has a nice monologue prepared, get him some head shots. He will need two: one for commercial and one for theatrical. (Be prepared to get new head shots at least once per year, since kids grow and change quickly.) You will need to hunt for a photographer who works with kids and does not charge much more than $325 for the two looks. Sure you can spend more or even less but this is about the average for a quality shoot. Once the head shots are done, and your child has a good monologue prepared, start the process of finding an agent.

This is not that hard, most agents want to work with kids and most agencies have a childrens department. It's best to sign with an agent that both you and your child LOVE! There are a ton of childrens agents out there, so do not be afraid to say no thank you if an agent wants to work with your sign your child and it doesn't feel right.

You need to be in touch with your childs agent on a regular basis, and make sure he is working for you. That is, getting your child out on auditions. Two auditions per week is a good rule of thumb. If it is once per week for a spell that is also fine. Sometimes it will be more, sometimes less. The point is that the agent is consistently sending your child out.

I have found much success in making the audition, the call back, and the booking a game for my daughter. For example, if she gets a call back, she gets some cash. If she books the gig, she gets a cool surprise or cash, in addition to her payment for the job. This way she is 100% involved and really self-motivated to do well, which I have found to be the most important thing!

To recap:

1. Make sure your kid wants to be an actor.

2. Get him or her into a kids acting class.

3. Get him or her to learn a good monologue.

4. Find a photographer and get professional head shots done.

5. Find a great agent.

6. Make a game out of the audition process.

7. Always involve your child, help him to become self-motivated.

8. Keep in touch with your agent, at least once per week.

9. Make sure to get new head shots at least once per year.

About the Author
ANGELO PAGAN was born in the Bronx, New York and got his start in music recording with TITO PUENTE but quickly transitioned into film and television. He has been a working actor since 1989, and has appeared on television in series such as Dharma and Greg, 24, The King of Queens, and Without a Trace. He has also worked on blockbuster films such as Swordfish. To find out more, visit MyActingSite.com
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