Select Page

If you haven’t noticed, Larry has been pretty busy between being sick, commercial shoots, and his day job. I told him that I would step in and write a few posts from my experience as an actor’s wife and a mother of a future actress.

The Drama Queen

Ever since our daughter was born, she LOVED being the center of attention. She would constantly dress up, sing, dance and put on little shows for us. Seeing that she was our first child, I just thought it was a creative imagination. Boy, was I wrong!

When she entered the 2nd grade, she was cast as a lead in her class play. The music teacher putting on the little production told me that the role is normally for a boy, but our daughter was so good she decided to cast a girl. What was shocking was the fact that she had a TON of lines to memorize and she learned them all by herself. Needless to say, she surprised all the parents {including me} at her natural acting ability. The same thing happened in 5th grade. She took the after-school drama class and got the lead for that play. Once again, she memorized the lines easily and out-performed her fellow thespians.

The Disney Channel

In 2010, we discovered that the Disney Channel was holding open casting calls in Nashville, TN. We decided to make a weekend trip up to Nashville to let our little drama queen experience auditioning. We thought it would be good for her to get a taste of what a casting call was like. We drove up on a Friday night to attend the Saturday morning audition with the expectation that we would drive home Saturday afternoon.

At 8AM, Saturday morning, my daughter and her cousin joined over a 1000 eager young adults waiting for their turn to be “discovered.” She checked in and received a number and a script. During the two hour wait, she memorized the short piece and practiced it with her dad. When her time came to audition, she went in with 10 other perspective actors. After 15 minutes, the doors opened and as she was walking out she heard her name. She was asked to return for a call-back the next day.

We altered our weekend plans and stayed for the callback. After her 2nd audition, we did not hear anything. Like most casting calls, the only time you hear back is if you booked the job. It can be frustrating not knowing if they will be calling or not. It’s a wait-and-see game where you are the one waiting….and waiting.

The Next Step

After Disney, we tried to get her representation through her dad’s agent. We discovered that even though she is very talented, agents may have to decline actors when the agency has a large pool of the same demographic. If agencies do not get a lot of requests for Teen/Tween roles, they will limit the amount of Teen/Tween talent they represent.

Currently, we are holding off on finding representation for acting since she has braces and it can difficult to be cast in anything when you are in the midst of orthodontic treatment. Her desire to get into acting is as strong as ever. She is always interested in hearing about her dad’s auditions and the roles he books. For now, she gets some acting in by volunteering in the children’s ministry at church where she sings and acts out stories for the 5 and under crowd.

Is Acting for Your Child

The way you know your child is interested in acting is by his/her own desire to perform in front of people.

If your child has this interest and they are just beginning:

  • Enroll them in a drama club or class.
  • Take them on a few community theater auditions or have them audition for their school plays.
  • Sign them up for a dance class to see if they enjoy performing in front of an audience.
  • If they have a speech team at their school (usually in high school) have them join the team.
Gaining experience is a great way to expand their knowledge while adding to their acting resume. Before investing a lot of money, listen to your child to see if acting is really something they want to pursue. Remember to beware of those “mall casting agents” and other scams that try to lure wide-eyed kids and willing, open-wallet parents. See Larry’s post about scams for more on this.
The biggest mistake some parents make is trying to push their child into acting/modeling when the child doesn’t have the passion for it. But if your child is truly passionate about acting (and has demonstrated that passion in local venues – school, etc.), then the steps into the industry are similar to those for an adult.
There are other aspects to the industry that are unique to kids (and their parents) and Larry is planning a blog post about this soon. So stay tuned! As always, we welcome your questions/comments/experiences below.