If you wish your child to grow up to be a world-class actor, it is good to start early. But it’s totally different to get a child into acting than getting an adult. You cannot force them into acting. They have to love it and they should be ready to burn the oil to be good at it.
In order to get your child into acting, you must expose them to the world of acting, get them into acting courses, make them act in local plays, and get them to audition for gigs.
Here I am going to guide and explain all these things in detail so that you have a proper course of action to begin the acting career of your child.
How To Get Your Child Into Acting?
All the information I have compiled is after talking with fellow actors, casting directors, and some parents who are actively helping their children to get into the show business.
I have divided everything into step-by-step processes so that you have a systematic approach to it.
Step 1: Exposure Into The World Of Acting
Almost all of them including parents, casting agents, and actors talked about the exposure. All had the same story about how they were enticed by the world of acting.
Almost all of them said that when they were young they were intrigued by the performance of certain actors in the cinema, theater, or a show. Many of them started imitating the actor to look cool or have fun and this is how they were introduced to the art of acting.
So if you want your child to get into acting, you will have to give them enough exposure. When they keep watching amazing performances, they will definitely fall in love with the acting.
Make sure when they are very they find their idol actor. Allow them to copy their favorite actors. Because it’s imitating, they start to develop their own technique of acting, and also they will start feeling comfortable when performing in front of the audience.
How do you ensure your child has good exposure?
The best way to excite your kid about acting is to take him to the theater and show different plays.
I would suggest refraining from showing movies at an early age as movies tend to be a visual treat. Kids would be more fascinated by the visuals rather than the acting.
Even if you want to show movies, show acting-oriented movies that are lowkey on visuals. Show them the depth of the characters, how they behave and how they move.
As far as genre is concerned, go with any of them but make sure they are suitable for your child.
But I am strongly against showing kids movies to teach them about acting. Play and theater are best for kids.
Also, you can make your kids prepare small scenes and make them perform in family get-togethers and holidays.
The key here is to make them active every day even if it is for half an hour. As they grow, working on acting becomes an integral part of their daily routine.
Step 2: Get Them Into Acting School
The best way to teach your kid about acting is to send them into an acting school. We understand it’s too early and with the baggage of day school, it would be hard for the kid.
What Are Good Acting School Options For Kids?
Initially, send them to summer acting courses or camps at the time of vacations. This is a great way to start out.
Since it’s vacation time, they will be able to enjoy the acting classes.
Many acting schools also run after-school programs. You can do a little search about acting schools for kids near you.
What Acting Technique is Best For Kids?
Don’t worry about the acting technique in the early phase. Let him or she enjoy the acting first. They will find their own technique with practice and experience.
Actors tend to understand the technique much better when they have little experience.
One piece of advice I want to give you as a parent, you should not force your kids into doing different kinds of roles or don’t fight with drama school if your kid gets a smaller part.
Let your child win bigger parts with his skills.
Step 3: Encourage Them To Join Local Theater
The best way to gain experience early is to be part of theater at an early age.
Your kid will learn more while working. Even if it’s not a paid job, encourage them to take up the gig.
How Do You Find Local Theater For Kids?
Most of the cities do have community theatre. If not most of the schools do run drama programs.
Make your kid join those schools.
Even Facebook group is a great source to find a local theater for kids. Search for the actor group or theater that is within your area and connect with them.
It doesn’t matter if it is a good production, make sure your kid is part of it.
Connect with local artists to find acting opportunities for kids within your reach.
If you are situated in an area where you don’t have such an opportunity, as a parent brings together a group of kids who are interested in acting, ask them to perform something every weekend.
Even producing small plays for your kid every 10-15 days would help your kid grow as an actor.
How do you keep them excited for daily rehearsals?
Once they join the theater, it is important to keep them excited about acting. Sometimes they might feel going for rehearsal is some kind of boring job. Ensure that it doesn’t happen.
Keep reminding them about the fun they are having at the theater or how they have a lot of friends in the theater group.
If they make friends within the theater group they will enjoy more and will never miss the rehearsals.
The other thing that keeps kids excited is the parents coming to watch their show. Your kids need encouragement from you. So you should never ever miss the performance of your kid. Even if it is a 2-minute role, make sure you see it.
After the performance, a few words of praise from the family will boost the confidence of the kid and he or she will strive for more.
Step 4: Send Them To The Auditions
In my experience auditions have taught me a lot. The auditions will show them the other side of acting which is to market themselves as an actor.
This is an important part of acting if you want to become a professional actor. The Sooner your kid learns the art of marketing themselves, the sooner they will be able to establish themselves as professional actors.
So How Do You Find Auditions For Kids?
The best place to start with is to find the local casting agency or agent that would help you with the genuine audition.
There are plenty of agencies if you are in Los Angeles or New York but if you are in smaller cities you will find a lot of casting calls for local commercials.
The local commercial is a great place to start for a kid.
If you are situated near entertainment hubs like LA and New York, your kid will have plenty of opportunities. Movies, Tv shows, web shows, commercials, plays, etc.
Initially, don’t worry about the acting skills of your kid. Even if they are still newbies, let them see what auditions are like.
There are multiple websites that regularly update audition calls. You can keep an eye on these sites for casting calls:
How Do You Send Auditions?
Some casting agencies will ask for self-tapes or audition videos before they call actors for the final audition. In such cases, you will have to shoot the audition of your child by yourself.
This is a good process to go through. If you reside away from cities like Los Angeles and New York, such an audition process gives your child a great opportunity to audition from the comfort of your home.
When he or she is called for the final audition, you actually go physically for the audition. This will save a lot of time and money for you.
I suggest creating an acting portfolio of your child which you can send to different casting agencies whenever there is a casting call.
Dealing with rejection?
It might happen he or she might not get the part. Make sure your kid doesn’t lose heart.
Teach them how rejection is an important part of acting. This is how you learn and how you get roles that fit you.
Many people tend to wish that every audition they appear for should land them a job. But that’s not the reality. Even if you are a great actor you lose the job due to other reasons as well.
It is best to focus your emotion, energy, and your hopes on your performance and not worry about the result at all.
5. Bonus Step:
As an actor, you have to keep growing. For that, it is necessary that you keep track of the progress and shortcomings.
As your child gains experience you should try to get them into advanced acting courses.
This is when actors with experience start to understand their own technique and choose which method of acting will suit their style.
Finding a good mentor or a coach is a good idea.
Usually, these intensive acting courses are run by experienced acting coaches and provide one on one coaching sometimes.
Find your kid such a coach.
Whatever you do to get your child into acting, you must make sure that he or she enjoy the art of acting. Don’t worry about the performance and technique, just let them enjoy first and let them gain the experience.