• Make sure your child really wants to act! It’s a tough business and only the most dedicated should put themselves out there. Let them sign up for classes or join an drama group or youth theatre, so that they gain some experience – and have something to put on their CV.
  • If they still want to go down the professional route, get some professional headshot photographs done. These are usually black and white photos, but check what’s required first. These shouldn’t cost a fortune but you will have to pay a decent sum for good photographs. This is particularly important if your child is 10 or older.
  • Do your research! Check and check again. Compile a list of good agents who take child actors. Check them out thoroughly, look for reviews and ask for recommendations. Visit these websites: The Entertainment Agents' Association Ltd and Mandy Kids to look for agents and opportunities. Select the most suitable agencies for your child – don’t approach every single one! Different agencies offer different work so make sure it’s appropriate for your young actor.
  • Create a good package with CV, photograph and covering letter. Use the spellchecker! Send out the photos and CV to your chosen agencies and wait for their replies before sending out to any others.
  • If your child is invited to audition for an agency make sure they are well prepared. Encourage them to rehearse with a teacher or practitioner. Get them to the audition on time, looking smart and tidy, and take extra copies of photographs and their CV with you.
  • Ask questions! What rate of commission does the agency charge? How much work can it expect to get for your child? What sort of work does it offer? How much does it cost to be on their books – most agencies charge nothing unless they’re organising the headshot photos and submitting them into the Spotlight Directory.
  • Be a concerned and interested parent but don’t be a pushy parent. Your child is as important as any other child – not more, not less. Try not to embarrass your child by being a diva!
  • Let your child’s school know what’s happening. Keep them informed of auditions, call-backs, rehearsals, performances. It’s inevitable that your child will miss some schooling so you need to get the staff on board. Make sure your child completes any given homework and goes into school as often and he or she can.
  • Remember that having an agent is still not a guarantee of success, or even work. Competition is fierce and even having a great agent doesn’t always mean that your child will get the job. Sometimes all you need is talent, sometimes all you need is luck, and sometimes neither are enough. You and your child both need to remember this.
  • Be prepared for this whole experience to cost you in terms of time and money. You will have to pay for decent photographs, the printing of a good CV, travel to auditions, meetings and jobs, extra tuition (if you choose it), classes, clothes, equipment – and so on. You will have to make yourself available for auditions and will want to be there for your young actor when they are successful. The financial, emotional and practical impact will be great. Your child may never be a superstar, or even a star, but if they love performing then all you can do is support their ambitions and encourage them all the way. 

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