Give yourself a leg up and always have an extra set of clothes in the car. Shoes, tights, shirts, sweatshirts.. whatever is a good standard outfit for your child. Also hair ties, brushes, anything you need to make the necessary quick adjustments and not drive home. Also have snacks in the car... ALWAYS! Bars, Nuts, Juice boxes, fruit snacks.. so your child isn’t hungry when they arrive.
It is important to help your child understand the spot, and their function in it. Help them with any words they do not know how to pronounce or understand. But that is where your assistance should end.
IT IS CRITICAL YOU NEVER TELL OR SHOW THEM HOW TO SAY THE WORDS, OR GIVE THEM ANY GESTURES TO DO WHILE SAYING IT! DO NOT COACH YOUR KIDS! Let them sound natural like a kid.. DO NOT TELL THEM TO SMILE ON CERTAIN WORDS.
You are hurting them more than you will know. Casting directors can tell instantly that a kid has been coached poorly and then it is very difficult to direct them to read naturally.
Your job is to get them to the audition on time, keep them in a good mood, feed them, support them and drive them home safely. That is very, very helpful and appreciated.
If your kids are over a certain age, that’s where techniques can help them without locking them into a rigid recital for the casting director. Here are a few technique suggestions for your kids over 8 years old.
Personalize: This is where you can add your own experience as it fits in with the confines of the scene. You always want to work within the framework of the scene you are given and Put your own spin on it or infuse a little hint of your personality in the scene. This is very important because it is your audition and your job is to lift the copy from the page and make it come alive. The way to do this is make personal everything you are talking about. Pick someone from your life to talk to. I have a list of 5-7 people who I talk to on a regular basis and I use them and put them in the camera. I actually cast the person I am talking to or about so I have a clear picture of who is in the scene with me. They should be real people in your life, not made up people. For kids most of the time they are talking to their mom, dad or siblings. If they do not have siblings they can use a cousin or good friend Talk to them and see how the scene becomes more real for you. In addition to this work, know how you feel about everything you talking about.
Practice: Get the words out of your mouth prior to going in the room. You do not want the first time these words come out of your mouth to be on your first take… DISASTER! Find a corner, or go outside or in the bathroom and say them in full volume. The words sound different vocalized than they do up in your head..
And once you get in the room ASK FOR A REHEARSAL or look at the cue card and do a quick take out loud while the session director is finding your name on the call sheet. It is like a free take and you might even get some notes from the session director too!
Parents should ask only one question when your kid comes out of the audition room...
Are you all done? or Did you have fun?
That is it.... gather their things and sign out and go on to your next appointment.
Or treat them with a visit to the local eatery.
DO NOT ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS as they put undo pressure on your young actor and they are unable to answer it and will sense they did something wrong.. and will carry that into the next auditions.
- How did you do?
- How did it go?
- What did they ask you do?
- Did they like you?
- Refrain from saying.. lets hope you get this one.. or hope you get a callback.. etc... Keep your kids pressure free.
As parents of a young actor you have to accept that you will never be privy to what happens in the audition room. That is why they should be in class where they can get proper training from a professional.
The only time you will see your child work is on the set. That is your only opportunity to see them in action. And then again there you are the parent. They have a director, a teacher and a studio rep to make sure they are not being worked improperly under the child labor laws.
For more info on Child actors, classes or coaching call Keep it Real Acting (818)901-8606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of her more well-known credits include a Television Series Regular on The Jackie Thomas Show and a Recurring role on the Emmy-winning show Mad Men, a role which won her a SAG Award. Her other favorite recurring credits include Married with Children, For Your Love, Grosse Pointe, and Manhattan, AZ with Chad Everett. She has done numerous guest appearances on the hit shows Modern Family, The Middle, Bones, Castle, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives, ER, Seinfeld, The District, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, Friends, and The Drew Carey Show just to name a few. Her teaching career has also lead to immense success, being voted BACKSTAGE WEST'S FAVORITE ON-CAMERA COMMERCIAL TEACHER IN LA in 2010 and 2011. Her other acting classes have won BACKSTAGE WEST'S FAVORITE IN LA as well, and continue to produce amazing results for her students. She teaches Advanced Callback, Commercial A to Z and Commercial Wednesday Workouts.