For many teenagers it’s the dream—seeing your name up in lights and working with some of the most famous actors and actresses in the industry.
But aside from being very very lucky, how on Earth do you actually become a teenage actress? And what does it take to land that first role?
Join a drama or acting club
Joining a local amateur drama club is one of the best ways to dip your toes into the world of acting without feeling under too much pressure. But that’s not to say that it will be easy! While amateur drama clubs are often lots of fun, when a production is in the works, everyone gets down to business.
As part of a club you’ll learn to feel comfortable in front of a live audience which will make performing on camera a lot easier if you make the move to TV and film. It will also give you a good feel for how you are at memorising scripts and actions while you’ll learn how to take direction and accept constructive criticism.
Another benefit that many people don’t realise is that being part of a local drama club can also help you meet people who may be able to help you during your budding career. Casting directors, agents, and even producers have been known to pay close attention to the talent in drama clubs as they look for their next big star.
So if you do join one, give it your all because you never know who could be watching!
Get some professional headshots
Headshots are an absolute must for any budding young teen actress as this is how a casting director will choose you for an audition. This means that they need to be on point, so no smartphone selfies or holiday snaps.
Your headshot is often the first time that a casting director will see what you look like so it has to truly reflect what you look like in real life and highlight your best features. And trust us, the only way to do that is by getting a professional to take your shots. This is because a professional photographer will know the right angles to suit your features and what style of images will work best with your look.
Most important though is the fact that a casting director expects to see a professional headshot. They want to see what you look like under professional studio lighting as this will give them an idea of what you will look like on camera.
Just be careful to choose the right photographer with experience doing headshots for the entertainment industry. While a family portrait photographer will take some nice shots, a headshot photographer will take stellar ones.
Find an Agency
Some teenagers prefer to look for a casting agency before they take their headshots and that’s perfectly fine. If a teen acting agency is interested in signing you up, they may be able to recommend a local photographer who can handle your headshots. Something that saves you a lot of hassle. In fact, here at Bubblegum Casting, we’ll shoot your headshots for you as soon as you join the agency and this is included in your yearly fees. Pretty sweet, right?
But as great as that sounds, photographer recommendations and free headshots aren’t your priority here. What you’re really looking for is an agency that has a long history of managing the careers of successful teenage actresses.
Look at the production companies, TV shows, movies, and brands that they have worked with to see if you can recognise any of them. This is usually a good indicator of how trusted and reputable the agency is.
You should also be wary of any kids talent agency that is eager to sign you up without meeting you first. Any reputable agency will want to have a chat with you to see if you’re a good fit for the agency and the industry in general. The same also goes for modelling agencies for teens.
Keep brushing up on your skills
Ask any famous actor and they’ll all say the same thing—acting is a never ending learning process. From picking up accents to learning how to act with emotion, there really is so much to learn.
We recommend that regardless of your experience, you always look to hone your skills or pick up new ones. Doing this will improve your performance in auditions which then gives you a better chance of landing a role. Seems like a good idea then, right?
You can consider joining a traditional acting school or taking some online acting lessons. Either way, you’ve just gotta keep trying to improve your skills.
Oh, and whatever classes or lessons you attend, you must add them to your portfolio or CV so casting directors will know what skills you have.
There’s no generally accepted timeline for how long it takes to make it as a teenage actress. And that’s because everyone is different. Some might land their first role in a few months while it might take others a year or even more. But this is perfectly normal.
The truth is that it’s a tough industry to work in, but if you’re patient and put in the hard work to improve your acting skills, then there’s no reason why you can’t make it.