Ever Wonder About How Children Get Started as Actors?
One of my most popular articles is on how my daughter made $1,000 with my iPhone (actually it’s close to $2,000 now.) I’m going to spoil it for you if you haven’t read it: she used the phone to record an audition for a voice-over job and got it. Since then, I get so many questions on how she got started.
If you watch the story unfold, Hollywood Style, it happens like this: a family is out eating pizza and a talent scout will approach them saying, “Your child has the “IT” factor! Sign with me and I’ll make them famous!” Then the child goes on to be famous like Michael Jackson.
You may assume since this has never happened to your family, that this really isn’t the career meant for your child. Despite, what you’ve seen and heard, there is actually a more civil, realistic way to get started. Both of our kids have made decent money in print modeling, TV and radio voice-over jobs (Check out this post on how my daughter made almost $2,000 using my iPhone.)
My first child didn’t get an agent at first. It took a few tries, actually. Then the photographer who did her first set of comp cards, told her she wasn’t the cutest child he had seen and then went on to insult her hair. Pretty brutal, right? It didn’t deter me. I’m a goal-oriented, praying mama who really wants the best for my children. So I kept going and alas, she landed an agent and started booking work. The youngest was let in because she was a sibling of someone who had proven “bookable.” In fact, she just got her letter to join the actors’ union. It’s pretty cool for a 7 year old. But any way, I want to share with you how we got started with all of this. It’s not a guarantee that anything will happen for your child, but rather information to guide you. Hope it helps!
Make Sure This Career is Right for Your Family
Don’t try to live vicariously through your child. If you want a career as an entertainer, then YOU get started, don’t force your child. But if you notice that your child really enjoys not only acting but the pursuit of acting, then be your child’s biggest supporter. If you are a busy parent with lots of obligations, this might not be for you. Make sure you and your family design can support the demands of this career. I would say that home schooling has made it a little easier for us to deal with the hectic schedule, but in the end be sure you are ready to carve out time and energy for this.
Get An Agent
This is a great start, but not essential. Do a google search to find agents near you and submit your child’s snap shots (not fancy photos just yet.) If you are having trouble getting an agent, no worries. There are back-door methods to getting your child started. More information on that below.
Start Building Your Child’s Resume
Even if your child doesn’t get paid opportunities, you can still help them practice for their big break. When it’s slow for my daughter, I make sure she is practicing piano, working her youtube channel and giving her all in her traveling singing troupe. Just because these are not paid opportunities, doesn’t mean they don’t matter.
Get Some Help
That help would be me! Since I get so many questions about how to get kids started, I have created an eCourse that answers questions you might have as a parent on getting your child started as a model, actor or paid entertainer in general. Instead of sending out the same canned email to parents all the time, I have just packaged everything together that you need to know including:
- Getting an agent
- Avoiding scams
- Learning to self-submit for roles without an agent
- Deciding to go for bigger markets and bigger roles
- How to build a resume for your child
If you are interested, the class I created is hosted on my FAVORITE teaching platform, Udemy.com. To sign up for the course, use this $20 coupon (it’s normally $40 and there are only 1,000 coupons, so get going quickly!)