How to Start a Career as a Child Actor
If your child exhibits some sort of talent and seems to be the life of the party, or if he’s very smart, analytical, and has a natural ability for acting, then you may have considered enrolling him in some sort of academy and getting an acting career going. However, starting a career as a child actor is not that simple and there are some things every parent should know before they embark on this path. Here are some of the essential you should know about starting a child acting career.
Evaluate your Situation
While a career as a child actor can pay off in the long run, actually starting a career is not an easy task. A career as a child actor demands a lot of commitment and dedication, both mentally and financially. First, you have to understand that your location might be a major issue. Most casting agencies and studios are in hubs such as Los Angeles or New York, so unless you live in one of these hubs or close by, you might have to consider relocating. That is a major commitment right there, so you have to be sure that the effort will pay off before you make a move.
On the financial side, professional headshots will have to be taken, and that is for each audition. A single headshot can cost upwards of $300. And that doesn’t even include embossed copies that you’ll have to hand out at every cattle call or audition. In addition, you’ll also have to consider enrolling your child in an academy or program. Programs like the Premiere Program, which was named after the first color TV program to be ever broadcast, are a great option for parents who don’t want to spend thousands and thousands in academy tuitions and will provide your child with a solid acting foundation.
Start the Booking Process
Once you’ve committed to embarking on the child actor journey, you should start looking for casting calls immediately. The more auditions, the better. You shouldn’t expect huge roles at first; most gigs at the beginning are either commercial or modeling. But that is a great way to get your foot in the door. If a director happens to notice your child’s performance on a commercial set, they might be inclined to hire them for other bigger roles.
Start Looking for an Agent
Once you start building a portfolio, it would be a wise idea to start looking for an agent. Agents already have access to a huge network and good agents will make the booking process much easier.
Whatever you do, never pay them up front for representation. You should only pay them on a commission basis. If they ask you any type of remuneration up front, run.
Starting a career as a child actor can be very demanding, but when done right, it can be very fulfilling to you and your child. Make sure that you understand everything there is to know about the business before you decide to make the jump.