Pin It

Preparing Your Child for an Audition

michelle-dannerWritten by Michelle Danner

Preparing Your Child for an Audition

Preparing for an audition is not entirely dissimilar to preparing for a job interview. While most adults, even if they have never auditioned before, can at least fall back on their job interview experience when considering rules of interaction and etiquette, most children need special preparation to help them interact with the world of adults.

Discussion

Talk to your child about the audition, especially if the audition is for a commercial or a product. For example, if potato chips are the product being advertised, talk about the kinds of foods go best with potato chips, or when your child likes to eat them. During the audition, your child will likely get asked about the product. If she is asked “Do you like potato chips?”, a simple “yeah”or “nah”will likely not get as positive a reaction as if she says “I love potato chips! I like to eat them with hamburgers and hot dogs. My favorite flavor is sour cream and onion!”Just as with a job interview, a little knowledge of and enthusiasm for the product or company can go a long way.

Rehearsal

When helping your child to rehearse a part, avoid having them repeat the lines in the same fashion every time. Remember that directors want to work with children that can take direction. Have your child read the lines quickly, slowly, with different emotions, and with emphasis on different words. You could even try to have her say the lines with a funny voice or accent.

Attire

It’s not necessary to have a girl plastered in makeup or a boy wearing a suit. Casting directors are looking for kids that look like kids, so dress them as if they were heading out for a normal day of school. One exception is that it might be advantageous for her to wear something memorable, so that she can easily be recalled later in discussions. For example, they might not remember your child’s name, but they might remember “the girl in the Hello Kitty shirt”.

Introductions

While acting rehearsals are important, it’s also important to rehearse introductions. Spend some time having your child introduce herself to you, as if you are the director. Ensure she remembers to smile and make eye contact, and make sure she understands proper etiquette.

It would also be wise to spend some time rehearsing some simple practice questions, to help your child feel comfortable talking about her. Encourage her to avoid using one-word answers. If asked about her day at school, instead of saying “OK”or “it was fine”, it would be better for her to talk a little bit. “School was great. At recess we made a big fort out of snow! And then in art class we got to play with plasticine, so I made a cool-looking dinosaur!”Help your child feel comfortable showing her personality.

The Casting Room

Once she enters the casting room, there are three things she should do. She should say hello and make eye contact with everyone in the room, then perform her scene, then say thank you and exit the room. It’s important at this stage to avoid asking questions such as “How did I do?”or “When will you call me back?”The casting director knows how to get in touch with her if necessary.

Casting directors understand that child actors are usually quite nervous. If a mistake is made, it is OK to ask to start the scene over, but it’s also important to avoid making excuses. As a parent, never make excuses for your child. Casting directors have heard every excuse countless times, and simply don’t have time to listen.

Remember to Have Fun

Encourage your child to learn as much as possible and enjoy themselves at auditions. Rather than pressure your child to get the role, congratulate them for the doing their best.

Michelle Danner is the founding and artistic director of The Edgemar Center for the Arts a cultural arts center in Santa Monica, CA.  She is a renowned actor, director and award-winning acting coach. Her studio encompasses the   following acting techniques : Meisner, Strasberg, Adler, Hagen, Chekhov, & the Stanislavsky Technique.

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

The Cast of ‘Mad Men’ on the Final Season and More
Though the AMC television series Mad Men might not carry the same cultural weight that it did a few years ago (splitting your final season over two years might do that to you), the second half of the show’s final season is expected to be full of powerful performances from its ensemble cast. With the […]
Watch: Ron Perlman on His Father’s Influence on His Early Career
Ron Perlman is a prolific actor, and he has also lent his distinctive voice to a number of projects in film and television — including the new animated film The Book of Life. One of the reasons that Perlman works so hard is not only because he loves being an actor, but because of what […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cate-blanchett-asks-graduating-s.jpg
Cate Blanchett Asks Graduating Students a Heavy Question: “What the hell can you do with an arts degree?”
“What the hell can you do with an arts degree?” Many actors ask themselves that when they find themselves struggling to make it in Hollywood while saddled with student loans. It was Cate Blanchett who posed that question recently to graduating students at Macquarie University in Sydney where she received an honorary doctorate degree. The […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/matthew-mcconaughey-rallies-his.jpg
Matthew McConaughey Rallies his Alma Mater Football Team to Victory with the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Chant
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey delivered a different kind of speech two weeks ago when he spoke with the Texas Longhorns football team after their close 20-17 loss to UCLA. The moment was a bit odd, but hilarious at the same time. Coach Charlie Strong was the one who invited the Dallas Buyers Club star to inspire the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-reveals-her-awkw.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn Reveals Her Awkward ‘Breaking Bad’ Audition Details
Though Breaking Bad was obviously a career highpoint for every actor involved, they all must move on to their next projects (except for the few who are involved in the Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul). This includes Anna Gunn, who portrayed Walter White’s wife Skyler on the award-winning series series. Gunn’s new series, the […]