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How to Help Young Children Audition Well – Acting Video

These days, and especially for very young actors, many commercial acting auditions avoid the whole idea of “scripts” or specific lines. Instead many commercial auditions have actors improvise emotional reactions or scenarios. This is great news for pre-readers who want to act on camera!  If you want to help young children audition well, watch and try these tips!  Help your youngster make the most of (and get the most from) their commercial audition opportunities.

Young children are naturally brilliant actors.  We know this at 3-2-1- Acting school in Los Angeles because they are always authentically in the moment. If young children happen to be feeling excited or gleeful or pensive or hesitant or angry when the director is looking for that in that moment. However, getting a young child into any particular mood on demand or on cue is the challenge of professional acting for young children—and for the adults in their lives.

Take a look at this commercial audition “script”:

commercial audition copy no script

You’ll notice there are no lines!

For the dozens of 3-6 year olds who auditioned for this commercial, this is the prompt they and their parents had to work with in 10 or so minutes they had while they waited to be called in to audition. In those vital 10 minutes of prep, those same auditioning youngsters were often paired with one or more adults and one or more children, the other members of their commercial family. As is usually the case, the real parent(s) remained in the waiting area until the audition was over.

Like many commercial auditions, this example has a 3-6 year old doing several tasks: 1) produce multiple reactions and responses, 2) work with strangers (peers or older performers), and typically 3) demonstrate their ability to “take a note.” So what can parents do help youngsters face these challenges and walk out smiling?

Try F.U.N. – Frequent, Under 10, and Neutral!


Whatever skill your young actor is working on, frequent practice will help. Improv scenarios and emotional reaction games are especially good for preparing youngsters for what’s expected of them in commercial auditions. If you feel your youngster is ready, find acting classes that specialize in working with children and fits well with your child’s routine. Whether you’re doing acting classes for kids or practicing on your own, for best results, choose times when your youngster is most alert and eager to tackle new things.

Under 10

Keeping practice short is key in making that practice count. If you’re working with them on your own, try to keep any practice activity or game to 3-5 minutes, then do something else. Frequent, regular, brief bouts of play and practice mirrors what happens in a commercial audition room and will help your child respond on cue. Keeping it brief will help keep practice fun.


Stay neutral when practicing acting games or skills with your child actor. Reserve your judgement about the quality or style of your child’s performance. What may seems like an inauthentic smile to you—you who knows your child so well—may be exactly what a casting director is hoping to find for a particular project. These exercises are intended to help your child actor access their incomparable and natural personality, talents and skills in the audition room. Let the casting director or director worry about notes and nuance.

Happy, confident kids do well in every setting, including the audition room. You can help very young actors to do their best time after time and impress in the audition room with these easy, F.U.N. tips!

Stay Sharp: Practice Acting at Home, and ty to get to a regular acting class. Click here to schedule one at 3-2-1- Acting school for kids and teens in Los Angeles!

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