How to Help Your Child Prepare for an Audition
In Hollywood, it’s not unusual for a casting director to receive upwards of 300 submissions for one role, so when your child is singled out to audition, it’s because the casting director already believes they’re right for the part! What a special opportunity they’ve been given! It’s your responsibility to show them how fun the whole process can be, by remaining calm and up-beat no matter what happens. Here’s how you can help them prepare–
1. Provide encouragement and positivity. Though your child will be excited when their agent calls with the good news, most actors will struggle with some degree of “nerves” as the big day approaches. You want to address any feelings of self-doubt by reminding them how far in the casting process they’ve already come. Now, the first big priority for you two will be to make sure your child is “off-book”. For a few pointers on how to help your little one memorize their lines, please see my video on memorizing lines quickly and thoroughly. The more thoroughly your child has absorbed the copy, the more they’ll be free to relax and just have fun in front of the camera. That’s gold to the casting director! After they’ve got their lines down, it’s time to do some research into the project: If it’s a commercial, go online to find out more about the product and the ad campaign. If it’s a TV show, watch a couple episodes to understand the style of acting it requires. For a film, try to watch more of the director’s work. Help your child bring whatever ideas their research gives them to their performance.
3. Parents, prepare yourself! Your preparation here is as important as your child’s. The entire day of the audition needs to be planned out from A to Z, to lessen the stress for both of you. The night before, take the time to look up the location (even if you have a GPS!) to find out how much time you’ll need to get there. Launder and iron the outfit they’ll be wearing if necessary, and check that their headshots and resumes are printed, stapled, and ready to go! And always keep headshots in the car!
4. Essential Needs for an audition (What to Bring): Make sure that they arrive at the audition well-fed and well-rested, with all the materials they’ll need in hand: sides, headshot/ resume, and maybe some homework to do while they wait. Pack some healthy snacks just in case the wait runs long. And don’t forget to give them a little pep-talk before they go in! Let your child know how talented and special they are, and that there’s no need to compare themselves to anyone else. All they need to do is relax, listen, have a good time, and just be themselves. They’ll do great!