The COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on so many aspects of life, which proves no less true in the entertainment industry. From musicians to actors, comedians, and more, entertainers of every stripe have felt the sting of quarantine.
The movie industry has faced its own struggles, too. Movie theatres have closed, and productions have gotten delayed. As a result, many have wondered what the industry will look like moving forward.
Fortunately, access to technology has helped many families circumnavigate in-person child acting auditions and meetings favouring virtual meetings and self-tapes. Some actors have gotten downright creative when it comes to how they’re clinching digital jobs.
Are you ready to learn about the possibilities available when it comes to online auditions, remote casting, and self-tapes? Keep reading for our full breakdown of what the acting and modelling industry looks like in a post-COVID-19 world.
Virtual Auditions Are Here to Stay
Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we interact with others, do our jobs, and go to school. Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook have transformed into makeshift classrooms, virtual business meeting areas, and more.
This tech has also had a significant impact on Hollywood. Instead of physical auditions in front of producers and directors, now everything happens via phone or computer. Actors have two ways to take auditions these days:
- Virtual live auditions
- Taped scenes
Each comes with specific pros and cons. For example, self-tapes allow actors full control when it comes to sound and lighting. They can do as many takes as necessary, unlike live auditions where they must go home when they mess up.
How are families preparing these tapes to send out to child acting and child modelling agents? These demos can be created using a digital camera or a cell phone. As for the Zoom platform, you’ll need a computer for these virtual meetings.
Of course, the trick with virtual Zoom meetings or self-tapes is to get enough of your child’s personality across to directors and producers that they want to see more. This represents a distinct challenge since your child won’t get to act in front of them and actually get to know them.
Despite the downsides, virtual auditions are here to stay. So, it’s time for your family to master these new platforms for auditioning.
The Ins and Outs of Virtual AuditionsWhat are some tips to help you get the most out of your child’s virtual auditions? First, it’s important to understand that recording auditions have been around for years and thankfully so. After all, COVID-19 would’ve gutted the industry were these processes not already in place. That said, taping your child’s auditions comes with a variety of hoops you must jump through. While you may already have some experience putting your kids on tape, doing so under such restricted conditions comes with the need for increased preparation. This preparation may include everything from hair and makeup to the appropriate costuming. It also involves setting up or holding the camera in a way that captures a full-body shot with optimal lighting. (A mini-tripod works well for this.) What’s one of the most complicated aspects of shooting a virtual audition? Getting the framing right remains among the most complicated aspects of the process. Of course, recording the audition may prove even trickier. You’ll want a backdrop and lighting rig, including a ring light, to get it just right. These additions can be time-consuming to set up but prove well worth it when it comes to getting the ambience just right. Once you’ve gotten these things in place, your child can focus on reading their lines. If you use your phone’s camera to record footage, then you may wish to use an iPad or other tablet when your kid needs to look at their lines.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
You can set up a scrolling system on your iPad or tablet like a teleprompter for the best results. But what about reading the opposite lines to your child? You’ll likely need to stand-in.
Or you can utilize an app used by actors to record the lines of the opposite role and hear them read back. Some parents find this to be an unnecessary hassle, though.
As for video editing? We recommend turning to a third-party for assistance. A great editing company can prove especially helpful when it comes to getting your self-tapes just right. You’ll be amazed by the phenomenal quality and the quick turnaround time.
In fact, some companies can get edited tapes back to actors within as little as an hour. Many of these companies were involved in full-service taped casting sessions with high-quality sound and lighting. These companies also offered post-audition editing.
Since the pandemic began, they’ve had to make the switch to editing tapes. Despite the added expense, what they do remains well worth the additional money. After all, casting directors ultimately want to envision how an actor will contribute to their set.
An excellent tape editing company can help you achieve this. Some companies also offer services that facilitate an audition, including getting on the computer and reading together virtually. They can even record auditions and then edit and compress them.
As you can see, these companies take the mystique out of digital auditions while giving your child a leg up on the competition.
Preparing Your Child for an Audition
Even during the best of times, acting auditions can prove tedious and stressful. What’s more, rejection is always a hard pill to swallow. Yet, these remain significant aspects of show business.
Chances are, your child will have to submit hundreds of auditions before getting accepted for even a minor role. Without perseverance and determination, it’s all-too-easy to give up. Especially with all of the new demands placed upon children and their parents due to COVID-19.
Just remember that auditions will get easier as time goes on, and the same holds true for the process of taping them and having them edited.
What can you do to help get your child prepared for making self-tapes and Zoom auditions? Besides the tech setup mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to remember that practice makes perfect. What’s more, professionalism matters.
What if you’re not sure where to start when it comes to helping your child hone their acting skills? Remember that there are a variety of acting courses available online. They can help your child take it to the next level when it comes to acting.
As for professionalism, this involves sweating the small stuff. For example, when you receive a casting call notice, be sure to read it from beginning to end. Then, reread it.
Remember that some casting notices are full of specifics, while others may read more vaguely. Pay attention to particular requests made by the casting director so that you can ensure your child is fully prepared for a performance.
You’ll also want to make a note of any instructions related to a certain look, if applicable. These tips will help you and your child get ready for the next audition. And you’ll prove well-prepared to assist your child in putting their best foot forward.
Create an Environment Where Your Child Shines
You can also help your child to shine even before their next audition. How? By reminding them that the audition begins as soon as they’re on-camera or in a Zoom call.
So, even before your kid starts reading their lines, they should smile often and showcase their personality. Encourage your child to be friendly to everyone they encounter if they’re on a Zoom call. And help them practice for a Q&A session with the casting director during the audition.
For the smallest children, it can prove difficult to get them to deliver multi-sentence responses to questions. But you can cultivate this skill by conversing with them on a variety of topics. You should also remind your child to always make eye contact.
Remember that a memorable personality will take your child a long way. It will also make it easier for them to secure their dream roles, even over the internet.
Child Acting and Modelling in a Post-Pandemic World
When it comes to child acting and child modelling, much has changed in the post-pandemic world. Auditions now take place via Zoom or self-tapes, and photoshoots come with restrictions on how many people can be in attendance.
Here’s a full breakdown of state and territory government information.
While virtual formats don’t allow you to enjoy a one-on-one session with a casting director, they do come with distinct advantages.
Self-tapes, in particular, allow you to take control of the audition. You can do another take when your child flubs heir lines, and you can adjust lighting and backdrops to showcase your child’s appearance and talents.
When you work with a professional editing company, you can take audition videos to the next level, putting your little star’s best foot forward.
Launching Your Child’s Career
What’s the next step if you’re interested in launching your child’s career? It starts with finding the right agent to help you navigate the competitive waters of child acting and child modelling.
Adam Jacobs, the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, is here to help. Bubblegum Casting represents the longest-running agency specialising in babies, children, and teen talent in Australia.
Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties, and agencies to secure talented children to work in television, film and modelling roles. Apply now to jumpstart your child’s career.
8. Learn With Your Child
Don’t be afraid to step into the work with your child. Arguably, one of the best parts of being a parent is that your child pulls you into interests and hobbies that you’d never stepped into before or haven’t stepped into in a while. It’s a youthful feeling.
By working with your child on their lines, you’re showing them that you’re in full support of everything that they’re doing. If you learn another character’s lines, you’ll be able to (1) help your child learn their lines more effectively and (2) show that you’re fully invested in the interests that your child is pursuing.
Plus, researchers have found that memorising information – even at older ages – stimulates your brain. You can alter your brain’s neural pathways and improve your brain’s ability to store new knowledge.
There’s nothing bad that can come out of practising with your child. So, next time that they’re working on memorising lines, try to jump into the activity with them.
Your child may know some ways to memorise lines that you’ve never thought about before. These skills can help you memorise other things in life as well.
Taking this time with your child advances their career and helps you with your memory. It’s a winning situation all around.
From Aspiring Youths to Successful Child Actors
We hope that all of these tips on how to help your child with lines and script memorisation will put your child on the road to success. Especially when your child is just starting out, it’s difficult to balance everything. But, there is a way to find the groove.
When it comes to child acting, all your child needs is perseverance. With you by their side, they’ve got everything they need to succeed and become one of the many successful child actors.
Don’t forget to come to our team here at Bubblegum Casting to get your child on the road to more acting opportunities.