SUPPORTING YOUR YOUNG ACTOR
Parental advice and support is essential for any young actor preparing to audition. These are the points that parents/guardians need to consider:
- Ask questions. Lots of questions. How many rehearsals will your child be required to attend? How much involvement will be expected of them? What time will they need to be there? Consider whether you’ll be able to take them to every rehearsal, how much this will impact on your home life and on their school life. There’s nothing worse than putting your child through a successful audition process, only to have to withdraw them at a later date.
- Make sure your child is right for the part. Don’t encourage them to take any and every audition. If the role calls for a short, dark-haired child and they’re tall and blonde, don’t put them up for it!
- If your child is very young and unable to make their own decisions, consider whether this is right for them – is it more for you than for their benefit?
- Support your child emotionally. Prepare them for disappointment at the same time as encouraging them and praising their achievements. Treat auditions as something to be enjoyed rather than something to be endured or overcome. Disappointment is more likely than success, even for the most talented child, so never criticise or chastise them for not doing well. Always praise them for having a go.
- Don’t be pushy. It never helps. Directors won’t appreciate being told how your child is better than another, or having time wasted by a needy parent. Your child will get a reputation as ‘the one with the pushy parent’ and no child wants that.
- Don’t expect to chaperone your child. A good company or organisation will have professional chaperones who understand the pressures of child actors and the business.
- If your child wants to become a professional actor, get them an agent – see Getting An Agent For Young Actors on this website. Make sure they have someone reputable and experienced on their side.
- Don’t assume that this is a career for life. Some child actors go on to act well into adult life, but many don’t. Enjoy each opportunity and encourage your child to embrace the experience rather than get fixated on the end goal.