Auditions are one of the most nerve-racking aspects of both child modelling and acting. And this is particularly true if you’re new to the industry. So what can you do for your child to help them impress in an audition? Is it enough to make sure their face is clean and they have nicely ironed clothes? We think you know the answer to that one. Presentation is, of course, important, but there’s so much more you can do.
Here are a few tips we’ve gleaned from our many decades in the industry. So pay attention, this is good advice!
Prepare like you’ve never prepared before
You might think you’re good at prepping your kids for school events, but you’ll need to take your prepping game to a whole new level when it comes to auditions. We recently wrote a post that goes into detail on what aspiring child actors need to know about auditions.
In that post, we outlined some basic steps you should follow before an audition. These include reading the script in its entirety, watching old videos of the production, and warming up on the day of the audition. Have a read of the post yourself and start prepping as soon as you can. It really is super important.
But don’t over-rehearse
Yes, we know, we just told you to prepare like never before but prepping for the audition is not the same as repeating the lines so much that your kid now hates every single syllable.
Even worse though is the fact that when a child becomes bored with a part, it’s crystal clear in their body language and mannerisms. If you take it too far, there’s a real chance that the audition panel or casting director won’t get to see your child’s natural personality. Instead, they’ll see a bored little kid delivering a robotic performance. And we don’t mean that in a good way.
Sure go ahead and practice those lines as much as possible, but as soon as your child starts to show signs of boredom or frustration, take a break and ease off a little.
Practice the audition
This is a great exercise as it allows mum and dad or any other family members to help make rehearsing fun.
Set up a mock audition complete with a table and chairs for the casting director or judging panel and a stage area for the audition. It’s also a good idea to set up a camera to record the entire process.
This helps your child to become familiar with performing their lines in a similar environment to the audition room.
You can experiment with different scenarios (one casting director vs. a panel) and ask a variety of questions. Doing so prepares your child for all eventualities and helps them feel a little more comfortable about answering questions on the spur of the moment.
Get plenty of rest
And we’re not just talking about our little performers here. Mums and dads also need to be fully rested on the day of the audition. So get everyone to bed on time the night before the audition.
If the audition is in the afternoon, it’s a good idea to keep the morning free if possible. So yes, you should definitely skip that trip to the trampoline park.
We’re not sure how you feel about sugary foods and drinks, but you should avoid these at all costs before an audition. Eat something light and healthy for the meal before the audition, and if your child is still hungry, let them have some fruit.
It’s important that they don’t go in there with an empty tummy, but it’s just as important that they don’t feel too full or gassy when delivering their lines. Burps can be funny, but we’re not sure the casting director will appreciate them in the audition.
Embrace those nerves (and mistakes)
Nerves are a natural thing. Honestly, if you or your child isn’t a little nervous before an audition, we’d start to worry.
Embrace those nerves and talk about them with your child. We’ve said this many times before, but it’s excellent advice. Talking about nerves to a child can help them feel more relaxed knowing that it’s perfectly normal to feel this way.
Those nerves may cause a few stutters or mistakes in the audition, and again, this is perfectly normal. A casting director will understand that a child might feel nervous and make the odd mistake here and there.
However, if mistakes happen (and they will), it’s essential that your child shows that they can deal with them easily. If they make a small mistake, there’s no need to stop and apologise. If possible, they should carry on and finish their lines.
If, on the other hand, they feel like they have completely messed up, then it’s okay to ask if they can start over again. But only do this if they really feel they need to. A casting director will appreciate a child who can soldier on despite making a mistake as this shows that they are determined to deliver their lines no matter what.
Now, you may have noticed that most of these tips are things that you as a parent can do to help your child impress at an audition. That’s because this is a team effort. Sure, your child will do the actual auditioning and performing, but they won’t be able to handle any of that without you in the wings cheering them on.
However, the most important advice we give any parent of a budding child performer is to remember that this is supposed to be fun. Child acting and modelling could help your child develop a lifelong career in the industry, but it should always be an enjoyable experience.
If you’re still a little worried about this aspect of child acting, then why not download our comprehensive guide to auditioning. In it, you’ll find tips and industry advice that will help both you and your child overcome the audition jitters.