For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be an actor… it was all I wanted as a kid, and while my parents were stoked that I had ‘found my thing’ my not-so-out-there mum and dad found it hard to know where to start (true story, my mum once said she’d rather be a garbo than an actor!)
So… I’m going to make navigating this new world slightly easier with these 5 things you can do to get your young actor started in the acting industry:
1. GET THEM A HEADSHOT
This is an actor’s number one tool. A simple, professional photo of their face. Kids are changing all of the time, so you do not want to pay a fortune for this, but it is essential that they have one and it does need to be reasonably professional. If you have some experience in photography, by all means, have a go yourself - but only if you are really confident. Below are some links to a couple of local Geelong photographers who do great shoots with kids for an equally great price.
Well, we would say that, we are an acting school right!? But seriously, you wouldn’t expect to play A level sport without training and the same goes for acting. Build their love, skills and knowledge of the craft by getting your child involved in local acting classes. If they are practicing their skills on a weekly basis then you are onto a winner!
3. REGISTER FOR STAR NOW AND CASTING NETWORKS
Your child doesn’t need to have an acting agent for you to start finding roles that suit them. Create a profile for your child on Star Now and Casting Networks and start searching for opportunities.
Production companies and filmmakers often list castings on these sites. Some of the projects are paid and some are unpaid. Either way, it is a FANTASTIC way to build your child’s experience both auditioning and performing.
Note to parents: While these are invaluable tools for the beginning actor and present a lot of great opportunities, they are publicly accessible so parents need to take full control of their use and attend all casting and film shoots booked through these sites with their child. Your child’s acting school can always offer guidance around this if there is anything you are unsure about.
As I said, you don’t have to have one to begin looking for acting work but an agent is still an important part of the equation. As well as looking for work for your child, their Agent will negotiate contracts and ensure that they are paid properly and work appropriate hours for their age etc. If your child is working professionally an agent is recommended. Finding an agent can be easier than you think! There are several great agents for kids in Victoria. You can find a list of registered agencies on the MEAA website. https://www.meaa.org/download/vic-agents-list/
Part of what we can do for students at Grace is help you in approaching and selecting the Agent that is right for your child.
5. LET THEM KNOW THAT THEY CAN DO IT!
Sure, it’s a ‘tough’ industry to break into but trust that if your child really wants to do it, if acting is what really lights them up, if they are willing to put in the work then they can achieve ANYTHING they want to! The sky is the limit!
Ok, ok - just one last one...
ENJOY THE RIDE WITH THEM!
Make sure that above all else, your child (and you) continue to have fun and enjoy the journey. There may be knock backs, for sure - but if your child simply LOVES acting and that’s what you focus on, nothing else matters. Help them to enjoy every audition regardless of the outcome. Make sure they are always connected to why they are doing it... because they LOVE it!!
I hope this helps. We are always here if you have any questions! See you at the studio,
P.S. When I say my mum would rather be a garbo than an actor, I mean no offense to any Garbologists out there… basically, she can’t think of anything else she would hate doing more than acting… Go figure!