From Macaulay Culkin way back in the day to Millie Bobby Brown, every successful child actor you can name started out with no experience at all. So what’s stopping your child or teen from doing the same? Absolutely nothing!
If you think your child has that certain something that could make them a star and they’re genuinely interested in jumping feet first into the exciting world of acting, then you’re in luck. Here at Bubblegum, we’ve seen children who have never even acted in a school play join the industry and become successful child actors. And you guessed it, we’re ready to share the exact approach that those little superstars followed on their path to fame.
While your child may have dreams of becoming the lead role in some amazing new Marvel franchise, it’s best to temper those expectations a little and think more about some small wins to set them off on the right foot.
Set some nice little goals for your child that they can actually hit so they’ll get that feeling of accomplishment. These can be simple goals such as learning lines for a monologue (we’ll talk more about that later) or taking some acting classes to improve their skills (yep, we’ll talk about this later too!) Parents and guardians can even set small goals for themselves too like finding out how to get an acting agent for a child or simply reading the advice we give here on the Bubblegum blog every week.
Whatever goals you set for your child and yourself, make sure that they are realistic and attainable. The last thing you want is for your child to feel frustrated at an apparent lack of progress in their fledgling career.
Go to all the auditions
Yes, we mean all of them. Every. Single. One. Let your agency know that as your child has no experience, they’re open to auditioning for any acting roles that come along. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a three second clip in a commercial or a speaking role in a movie, you’ll want your child to audition for everything the agency thinks they are suitable for.
There are two reasons for this. The first and most obvious reason is that it gives your child more opportunities to land a role. But the second and possibly more important reason is that your child gets more experience in a professional setting. The more auditions they go to, the more they understand what a casting director looks for in a child actor, and this will no doubt improve their chances in the future.
We’d even recommend that your child takes advantage of any acting opportunities they may have at school. While you may think that school plays aren’t quite the industry experience required to work as an actor, learning lines, taking direction, and performing in front of an audience is great experience.
Take acting classes
Even if your child has a natural talent for acting and has the right personality for the industry, there are so many things that they will still need to learn. In fact, acting is a continuous learning process that requires constant training at all ages and levels of experience.
So think about signing your child up for acting lessons through either a traditional acting school or an online one like our very own Bubblegum Academy. While a traditional school can be good for meeting other parents and networking, an online program is often cheaper and certainly offers a bit more flexibility. Either way, these lessons will help your child improve their skills and will also give them more confidence when going into an audition. And that is worth its weight in gold.
Film a self tape
A casting director would love to see a showreel of your child’s best moments as an actor, but they understand that most kids won’t have too many acting credits. This is why it’s perfectly acceptable to create your own self tape that shows your child ‘in action’ performing a few lines from a scene or a monologue they have learned.
We’ve touched on filming self tapes in the past as they are now used quite often by casting directors during the auditioning process. While it’s not exactly acting experience, a self tape shows that your child can memorise lines and act when the camera is rolling. It also has the added benefit of showing the casting director what your child looks like on film.
Just remember that a self tape doesn’t need to be too long and that you’ll need to re-record it as your child grows.
Don’t take rejection personally
Rejection is part of the acting game. This actually makes sense when you think about how dozens of kids may be going for the same role. So it’s incredibly important that you teach your child that landing an audition is a win even if they don’t get the part. Once they can get into this mindset, then not getting the part isn’t so much of a big deal and they can relax a little more when auditioning. And yes, parents will also benefit from adopting this mindset too!
Becoming a child actor is as much about patience as it is hard work and talent, so hang in there, your child’s big break will come once they keep plugging away and honing their skills.
If you think your child has what it takes to be a successful child actor then we’d love to hear from you. Whether your child has experience or not, feel free to get in touch with us today or you can even go right ahead and apply to join the Bubblegum family. We can’t wait to hear from you!