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Acting Auditions for Kids: Tips and Preparation

Acting Auditions for KidsDoes your child have natural acting talent? Do they have the ability to quickly memorize lines and recite complex dialogues with energy and excitement? They may have natural talent! Acting auditions for kids are designed to find children ready to perform in front of an audience.

TV shows ◘ Commercials ◘ Plays ◘ Movies.

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Acting Auditions for Kids: Preparation

Provide diligent training. If your child is serious about becoming an actor, don’t treat it like a casual hobby. Parents bend over backwards to make sure their kids don’t miss soccer practice, but neglect being just as diligent with acting classes. Find a class that the kid loves and is challenging. If they stick to it, the classes will enhance every part of their life.

Give positive support. Just like any art, acting is going to be full of failures learning experiences. Providing positive support throughout the entire process will encourage your child to keep trying and make small progress. Becoming an actor takes a lot of courage. Ask yourself if you could continuously get in front of a group of strangers and poor out your emotions. Every bit of encouragement helps!

Leave the directing to the Director. Often times, the parents try to give too much direction to the child in preparation for their audition. You don’t necessarily know what the Director is looking for. Your job is to provide emotional support and encouragement. More often than you think, children get fired from acting jobs because of their parents.

Trust your child. Your child is the one that has been to all the acting auditions for kids, not you. They have constantly received direction from staff, told what to wear, and how to perform. Once they have reached a certain level of skill, they become the experts for auditions, not the parents. Trust in them, encourage them, and support them on their journey!

The Day of the Audition: 7 Tips for Success

Acting Auditions for Kids: 7 tips for success

1. Look like your headshot. Parents often spend a fortune getting professional headshots. It’s not just the first set, but the ongoing printing of copies. When your child gets called for an audition, one of the deciding factors is how they look. They were chosen partly because of how they looked in the photo, don’t change it up for the audition.  Even subtle changes, such as hairstyle can have a big impact on the team’s choices.

2. Children should look appropriate for their age and role. These are acting auditions for kids. The kids should look like…well, kids. Girls shouldn’t be wearing high-heels, with 5lbs. of makeup on. Boys don’t need to be wearing suits with their hair greased down unnaturally. They should be presentable, but comfortable. Take the role into consideration (nerd, bully, tomboy, etc.), but dress them like you normally would for an evening out or to go to school.

3. Be flexible during the audition. The director and staff have a very specific look in mind for their production. It’s important the child has the flexibility to adjust according to direction from staff. Here is an example:

Child: These popsicles are the best! (Licking the popsicle)

Director: OK, great. Now let’s try it again without the popsicle blocking your face.

Child: These popsicles are the best! (Licking the popsicle)

Director: Nice. OK. Please emphasize the word “these” this time.

Child: These popsicles are great!

Director: Try again. Please emphasize the word “these” instead of “popsicles.”

Child: These popsicles are great!

Director: Excellent, thank you very much. Next!

4. Know what you’re saying. Don’t just repeat the lines over and over. Know exactly what you’re saying and why you’re saying it. What is the message you’re trying to convey? For commercials the dialogue is often about quality, price, or benefits. For shows and movies the dialogue is about communicating with specific emotions. Learn the lines for their purpose, not just the words.

5. Memorize the first and last lines. Many directors understand that acting auditions for children are different for adults. Children may not be able to memorize all the lines. It is common for the child to look down at the script during the audition. But it’s usually the first and last lines that are the most important. These are the lines that you want to be saying when looking directly at the staff.

6. Make it fun! Parents should make the auditioning process for kids fun, not tedious. Use auditions as a little mini-performance, not a process to get a job for money. When the child stops having fun, it may be time to reevaluate the auditions, or acting in general.

7. No Pressure. Acting auditions for kids have to feel natural. Parents can help by not putting to much pressure on their kids. Congratulate them no matter what. Think of auditions of buying a raffle ticket. There is a lot of competition and you will go to many more auditions than job sites. But you’re chances will get better the more you play!

Example Acting Auditions for Kids

A typical acting audition consists of the child reading through a short scene or several lines. Commercials tend to focus on the quality of products, reactions to products, and their benefits. Plays, TV, and movie auditions normally focus on dialogue and the child’s ability to interact with others. Here are some examples of acting auditions for kids: