The one thing that parents and kids who get involved in the entertainment industry are not prepared for is rejection. Some take it personally while others simply give up after a few bad auditions. And while we totally understand why parents or kids might feel frustrated and upset by this, we’re here to tell you that rejection is okay. In fact, if you look at it from the right perspective, a little audition rejection can be a very positive experience for anyone involved in kids modelling or acting.
Yes, you read that right—we just said that rejection can be good for your child. Are we crazy? Not quite, we’re just looking at things from a professional point of view.
So with this in mind, we’ve put together a few tips on how to help kids handle audition rejection. Believe it or not, this could be one of the most important things you read if your child is just starting out in the industry.
Talk about it
There’s no denying it, rejection will happen. When you think about it, kids casting and talent agencies have hundreds of kids on their books. And when a brief comes in, there could be scores of children who are suitable for the role all of whom are put forward by the agency. The casting director then needs to choose one kid from all the talent recommended by multiple agencies. That’s one kid from a pool that could number in the hundreds! So yep, your kid and every other child involved in the entertainment industry is going to face rejection at some point.
So you need to talk about it. Prepare your child or teen and let them understand that the industry is highly competitive and that there is a very strong chance that they will need to attend quite a few auditions before they land their first role. You’d be surprised at how resilient kids are once they understand that rejection is part and parcel of their new job.
Remind them it’s not personal
This is just as important for parents to remember as it is for kids to understand—failing to land a role is nothing personal. The truth is that while a casting director may have general requirements for a role such as height or hair colour, they may have some more detailed preferences that they might not share with the agency. These preferences are what could help the casting director whittle down a group of 20 or 30 kids to just a few.
Then there’s also the matter of skills. Can your child manage the lines requested for the audition? Do they know how to act with emotion? Can they follow the casting director’s instructions? These are just a few of the many ways a casting director might judge a child’s potential for a role. While it may feel personal to say that a child does have the right skillset, it’s actually just constructive criticism that can help your kid improve.
Speaking of which…
Use missed auditions as a learning opportunity
We’re not going to call them failed auditions for the simple fact that every audition is a learning experience, even the ones that might seem to go badly. These are an opportunity to learn from mistakes and perhaps improve skills that you or your child didn’t realise were lacking.
It’s important that you help your child to understand that every audition isn’t necessarily an opportunity to land a role but more like a chance to improve their auditioning skills. Once they have this mindset, it will be much easier for them to analyse their own performance.
Kids are wonderfully honest about things especially when it comes to themselves. You’d be amazed at how often we’ve heard kids walk out of auditions and tell their parents that they could have done a little better in one aspect of the audition. So give them the opportunity to be self-critical by asking them about how they feel they could improve or if there was anything that they would have done differently now that the audition is over. When kids identify their own strengths and weaknesses, they are much more likely to work on improving their skills. Remember too that kids usually want to do their best and when motivated will work hard to ace the next audition.
Give credit where it’s due
This one really goes without saying, but kids need to hear that they’ve done a good job especially when they don’t land a role. As a parent you are many things for your budding little superstar—a chauffeur, an acting coach, a manager, and even a part-time accountant. But the most important role you have is as their chief cheerleader.
So when your child doesn’t land a role or they come out of an audition feeling like they may have handled it badly, just focus on their effort and let them know how proud of them you are once they have tried their best.
You can then ask them what they think about their performance and, if you followed our earlier tip, they will let you know in no uncertain terms where they themselves think they can improve.
Working in the entertainment industry can be a wonderful experience for kids and can help them build up their self confidence. But it is extremely important that you talk to them first about how they handle rejection because as we said earlier, it will happen.
If you think your child has what it takes to handle the auditioning process and make a splash in the industry, then we’d love to hear from you.
Contact us today or go ahead and apply to join the Bubblegum family. We can’t wait to hear from you.