TIPS TO PREPARE KIDS FOR ON-CAMERA AUDITIONS-By Matt Newton
There is already so much work involved when it comes to preparing a child actor for work. With coaching, headshot’s, rehearsals, school commitments and everything else in between, there is almost no time for much else. Plus, it can be very overwhelming. It’s important to remember to stick to a schedule and to keep everything balanced with children. You already work so hard and you do everything you can to keep them happy that it can be hard to juggle everything. One of the most stressful parts of acting is the auditioning.
This is just a list of some tips that should be of use to some parents and child actors:
1.) Read the whole script
It can be hard to find the time, but try to show your child that it’s just like homework. It’s just another part of their day to day life. Even if you manage to do a light skim through, that would be better then anything because at least your child will have a rough idea with what is going on. There will be times when the director will ask your child about the script, so it’s good for them to be prepared.
One of the most important jobs you will have as a parent to a child actor, is to help them with their lines. It can seem daunting and long so it’s important that you try to make it ask fun as you can. Have them try it out in a few different ways, ask them questions about the script. Try to get them involved as much as possible so that they will want to learn their lines.
3.) Don’t focus on the breakdowns
If the character your child is auditioning for is a “happy, go lucky and funny 9-year-old” do not force them to act that way in the scene, it needs to come naturally. It will either be there or it won’t. It’s the personality that will stand out the most and every child is different and has their own way of doing it. Try to suggest the character, because the moment they try too hard, it looks forced in the audition.
4.) It’s ok to say no
Let’s say you’ve got three auditions and a self-tape tomorrow, that’s too much! It is much better to have two auditions that you are completely prepared for instead of four extra auditions, that becomes way too overwhelming. It’s a good idea to ask your agent which auditions will be the most flexible. Pick and choose which ones will fit best for your child and focus on them.
5.) Master on-camera audition etiquette
Make sure to tell them to be natural and just listen. If your child starts with a lot of crazy facial expressions and is overall just projecting too much, it can be off-putting. Everything should come across as very natural. Walking into the room confidently, learn to recite their slate to the camera, take a breath and disappear into the scene. The more focused they are, the less fidgety they are.
6.) Manage their expectations
No matter what, do not tell your child “this is a really big and really important audition”. There is no need. This is meant to be a fun experience for your child, and if you force your child to do something that they really don’t want to do, how to you expect them to want to continue this journey? Also, once the audition is done, simply move on. There will always be so many auditions around the corner.