Your child may be asked to perform a part of a scene alongside a cast member. With the stage being a big area to cover, it’s important that your child understands the importance of speaking up so the panel can hear what they are saying.
Casting directors for a stage production may also expect a child to perform some actions while acting their part so make sure to help your child practice so they fully understand what may be asked of them. You can help your child prepare by asking them to try their lines while sitting, standing, or even walking.
With many stage productions (but not all) you can find a film version or a recording of a previous stage version online. An older stage version would be ideal as it gives your child the chance to see how actors perform the roles on stage. There’s no need to copy these actions, but it should give you and your child something to work off when practicing the audition scene.
Casting for this type of role can move quite quickly, and so you can expect a quick audition. This means that first impressions are hugely important so again, do your homework.
Research the show and if possible, watch previous episodes. Run through the script with your child and give them some context, so they understand their character. As we mentioned earlier, you can use analogies for younger children if the subject matter is too complex.
The first audition will be with the casting director while further auditions may be required so the network heads and director can see your child in person. While there may be a lot of coming and going involved, the entire process can be a lot quicker than auditioning for film roles.
There’s a lot riding on casting decisions for a feature film as the right choice of actor can have a huge bearing on the film’s success. So for this reason, casting directors are a lot more careful when casting for film. They will take your child in for an audition, record their performance, and then agonize over every tiny detail.
Depending on the role, there could be anything from two to three or even four auditions before a final decision is made. Again, the only way to impress is by nailing the performance, and yes, you guessed it, that takes practice. You can see why we keep harping on about it now, right?
Do the same research you would for a TV or theatre role and make sure your child is familiar with the character and backstory of the role they are auditioning for.
A self-tape audition or self-test is when a teen actor or parent of a younger actor records the audition at home and sends it through to the casting director who can then review it when they have free time. While this sounds pretty great for a nervous child, you need to be careful to do it right.
You’ll need a camera/smartphone with a tripod and a background (preferably blue) which you can make with a sheet pinned to a wall. You’ll also need good lighting so the casting director can see your child’s cute smile (very important!).
Make sure to choose plain clothing and no blues. Patterned clothing can be distracting for the casting director while anything blue could clash with the background.
The great thing about this type of audition is that you can do it again and again until both you and your child are happy with the results.
Skype auditions are an increasingly popular choice for casting directors as they help production companies cut down on expenses. If your child is asked to audition in this way, it is essential that you make sure your equipment and internet speed are up to the task.
If using a smartphone, make sure you have a tripod, while laptops should be at eye level so your child isn’t looking down at the camera. Again, plain clothing and background are essential so that the casting director can remain fully focused on the performance at all times.
Prepare as you would for any other type of audition by researching the role, and practicing the script. It’s also a good idea to perform a mock audition so your child is familiar with the setup.
And one last tip; always look at the camera. This can be tough when there’s a screen in front of your child, but it really does help to have them speaking directly into the camera lens.
For all these types of auditions, we recommend that teen actors prepare a monologue that they can perform if asked. Just try to make it unique and something that the casting director may not have come across before. Making it relevant to the role or using something the character might actually say could be a great way to stand out from the crowd.
This isn’t always possible with younger actors, so it’s a good idea to practice asking them questions, so they feel comfortable answering them on the spot. A casting director may ask them what they want to be when they grow up or what they would like to do for their next summer vacation. So be prepared!