So your child has signed up with an agency, got their portfolio shots done, and now it’s time to watch the offers of work come rolling in! Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. In fact, it’s at this point that the hard work truly begins. Yes, we’re talking about the casting process that all child actors and models will go through before they land any jobs.
But before we go on, let’s start with the basics.
What is the casting process?
The casting process is the process by which a casting director finds the right talent for a specific role. It can be done in a variety of ways, but, generally speaking, it involves in-person or online auditions with the casting director or the director of the production.
How does the casting process work?
This all depends on the casting director and the role or roles that they are trying to fill. In some cases, they may choose to do an open casting call. This is when any child or teen that meets certain criteria, such as within a certain age range or height, can attend an open audition. This allows the casting director to see large numbers of kids within a specified time. Depending on the role, any kids that are suitable may be offered a part or invited to attend a more formal audition.
The more common method of casting is for a casting director to approach an agency (like Bubblegum!) with their criteria for the role. The agency will then recommend children or teens based on that criteria. The casting director will then take a look at the recommended children’s profiles or portfolios and choose those that they would like to meet in person.
As you can imagine, this is why it’s so very important to create a solid portfolio for both child actors and models. This is like your child’s business card and the right images make all the difference to a casting director who is browsing through scores of similar portfolios.
Once the casting director has made their choices, it’s then all about the auditions. This is the casting director’s chance to meet your child and see if they really do have what it takes to work on the screen or stage. If a child impresses at the audition, they may be placed on callback. This means that they have been shortlisted for the role and it’s down to a final few.
When the casting director or director makes their final decision and your child lands the role (fingers crossed), the casting process is done!
How long does the casting process take?
How long is a piece of string? Seriously though, the duration of a casting process can vary wildly from role to role. For example, if a casting director is looking for kids for background work or other simple non-speaking roles, the process could be quite quick. On the other hand, if the role is for a speaking part, then they’ll want to make the right decision from the off which means a much longer casting process.
It really is impossible to say just how long it will take, but your agent should be able to give you a rough idea based on the role and the casting director’s criteria for suitable talent.
What about auditions?
Auditions are a fun but tough process that takes quite a lot of preparation and hard work. That’s why we created an in-depth guide to auditioning that tells you all you need to know about the process.
For now, here’s the quick rundown.
Auditions are crucial to your child’s success so it really pays to prepare well for them. You believe how many kids and parents think they’ve landed the role once they get an audition, but this simply isn’t true. In fact, many of the kids on our books go through dozens of auditions before they land their first role.
The key here is to be prepared. This means practising and memorising any lines that may be required and going through the motions of being ‘in an audition’. One quick and easy trick that we find works well with younger kids is to role play an audition at home complete with table, chairs, and you as the casting director. This helps your child to get used to the idea of performing their lines or actions for an audience in an audition-like setting.
It’s also worth noting that you will need to teach your child to learn how to handle rejection as it is part of the industry. Teach them that every audition is like a learning experience and that the more they do and the more effort they put into each one, the better they will become. And better auditioning skills means better chances.
Does practice really make perfect?
Yes it does. We’ve beaten this particular drum many times in the past, but we’ll keep beating it because it’s so very important. Practice always helps when it comes to child acting and modelling. And this is just as relevant to auditioning skills as it is to those acting and modelling skills. This is why we constantly remind parents and children that auditions are an opportunity to learn and improve your abilities as well as boost your self confidence.
So if your child or teen finds themselves involved in casting process after casting process without landing a role, remind them (and yourself) that if they keep plugging away and trying to improve, they will get their big chance.
If your child is interested in becoming a child actor or model and you think they’ve got what it takes, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today or go ahead and apply to join the Bubblegum family. Either way, we’ll get right back to you.