How to become a child actor (17 tips to becoming an actor)
17 Ways to become a child Actor
Is your child a natural performer? Have they been bitten by the acting bug?
With so many great up and coming young actors it is no wonder that young children all over the world aspire to a career in acting. So how do you become a child actor?
Firstly be assured they is no easy route, being an actor takes, determination, dedication, discipline, talent and a good sprinkling of luck! Even the most talented actor may find it excruciating to find work.
How to become a child actor.
What do I do to become a child actor?
Number 1 is to talk to your parents about your wish to become an actor. Make sure you have really thought through your reasons and you are not just looking for fame and fortune, as you may be very disappointed! Make a list of all your reasons and talk them through with your parents.
Having supportive parents is so important. After school classes are not cheap so you need your parents to help you in your mission.
Acting classes near you.
Find out where a local acting club is. Enquire at school and ask friends to share information on their acting classes. Taking a part time after school class or joining a local youth theatre is a great way to start. Classes will teach discipline and drama techniques that you can build on throughout the years. You never stop learning. Summer drama courses are another great way to gain experience. The National Youth Theatre run courses throughout the year. If you can’t afford after school classes, go to point 3.
Join a local amateur dramatic group. Putting your drama technique into practise is a must. Find out about local productions and how you can become a part of it. Your local amateur society will be crying out for young people to join them. Productions are usually rehearsed over a period of two or three months so can work well within your school commitments.
The more performance experience you can get the better. Drama festivals are a great way to gain feedback from professionals. You can enter drama festivals usually for just a few pounds; you can enter as a solo performer, in a group or as duologue.
Go to the theatre.
It is so important to watch other actors so try and go to the theatre as much as possible. Many theatre’s will offer reduced rate tickets for children. Kids’ week in London offers free tickets during the summer holidays when a parent buys a full price ticket. If theatre is just too expensive watch as many films as possible, study the young actors and pick up tips from their screen performances.
Learn online from the numerous acting masterclasses.
Now there are many more online opportunities to learn acting techniques. From meisner to Stanislavsky there are tips for all. The great Michael Caine shares a series of videos online on screen acting. So get watching.
Make your own mini movie.
Being proactive as a young actor is a must. You can make your own mini movie using your phone. Get together with a few friends, write a script and away you go! Share stories that have a message or a meaning.
Are you ready to take the next step?
If you feel you have gained enough experience it is time to take the next step. Find a list of child talent agencies and go through them looking at which clients they have and what sort of work they do. Try to find an agent that doesn’t have other children who look similar to you. Once you have a few you would like to contact ask your parents to write to them and enclose a photograph. Do not spend on headshots until you have an agent. Most likely the agent will recommend a photographer they like to use. Most agents will charge for headshots and spotlight entry. Remember just because an agent signs you up, it does not mean you are guaranteed work.
Agency fees vary but you can expect to pay between 12% and 18%.
What to do if you cannot find an agent to sign you.
If you are not able to find a suitable agent or have been rejected don’t give up. Try signing up to some of the online casting sites. Remember to ask your parents and to make sure they agree to it.
Prepare your monologues.
Being prepared is very important. You will probably need to audition for agents either by performing a monologue or by taking part in a workshop audition.
Choose your monologue carefully. Try and find a monologue close to your age and casting. You may find something from a film or from a play. There are lots of resources online. The monologue length would ideally be under 2 minutes but longer than 1 minute. Learn your script thoroughly, make character notes and do your research. Always do your very best to prepare.
Can you take rejection.
Rejection is a very real part of being an actor. You can go to literally hundreds of auditions and never get cast. However the key is to keep going, remember a casting director wants you to be right that’s why they have called you in. Always give yourself the very best chance. Excellent grooming and good manners are very important.
Read as much as you can.
Read as many plays and acting blogs as possible. Find other young actors stories and find out about their journey.
When you do get that casting call make sure you are prepared.
Check out the director, casting director and producer by using IMDB. It is great to get an idea of their previous work, you might be able to watch some of their previous projects.
What are Sides.
When you are called for a casting you will most probably be asked to learn ‘sides’ this is the script you will be auditioning with. Learn it off by heart, get someone to test you. You may be nervous so being prepared will be a great help.
The importance of listening.
Listen to the director. Listening is one of the most difficult skills, but you have to actively listen so you can take direction. The director and casting director will want to know you can take direction once you have the job.
Quite often you will be required to do a self tape. This requires you to video yourself doing the scene. Here are some great tips on how to do a self tape.
Remember every child actor had to start somewhere. Good luck and work hard to achieve your dream. Check out this article on Stranger Things Actress Millie Bobby Brown.