Tips for Young Actors

Breaking into the film acting business often seems overwhelming, daunting and too big to maneuver through – especially for young actors. But after reading these five important tips, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of how to get involved with your local film scene and find children and teen movie auditions.

And remember! Beginning a film career at a young age can be done in any region – not merely Hollywood. Films are made in every region of the world. But you must be proactive, enthusiastic, organized, diligent and professional.

Here’s what to do:

1. Read everything you can find about film acting auditions for kids and teens.

You must read, read, read. Read everything that you can get your hands about what’s happening in your local film acting scene – there might be a lot more happening than you’re aware of. So become aware – make sure you know all of the important resources young actors use to find auditions in YOUR area. (And read about how people find them in other regions and countries.)

Read the news on your chamber of commerce website’s community events page; your town hall event websites; the high school and university film projects (sometimes they have audition postings for teens and kids); local newspapers (check the classifieds!); and cultural, drama and arts magazines.

Also, always stay current on daily postings from the big actor’s resource websites, blogs and online or editorial magazines. A lot of acting camps and schools often have blogs and article banks that offer a wealth of information.

Organize a daily reading list or news feed that keeps you in-the-know about exactly what kind of auditions are being offered locally and nationally. (Setting up an RSS reader to keep up with daily posts is highly recommended. Try GoogleReader.)

Staying up-to-date on the film industry’s trade news will ensure that when a movie screening does come locally, you won’t miss out on what could be a chance of a lifetime.

Here are some great sites to keep up with include:

2. Search, research and search again – know the film industry inside and out.

To become a success in the film industry and find the right kid’s acting audition – you must do A LOT of research. Finding highly sought after children and teen film auditions takes knowhow about the industry as a whole, not mere luck or dabbling here and there. You must become an expert on how auditioning works and how to find what’s happening in your area.

So spend a considerable amount of time on the Internet searching young acting niche portals, forums, chat rooms, social media sites and directories to see what is available in your region. When searching in engines that have map features, try bringing up the map and then searching for auditions. See what is displayed in “local search” and always add the name of your town or city.

Make detailed lists of what you find and what kind of castings you would like to audition for. Create realistic goals by determining what has worked for other young actors, and what has not. (See what young actors are saying in chat rooms.)

By doing a lot of research on how the film industry works (especially as it relates to your region), you’ll begin to build a strong educational foundation – which casting directors love! Adult actors and producers seek out bright, informed young actors to work with – kids who have a grasp on how the film industry works.

Another important step is to research whom the casting directors are in your region. Depending on how competitive the area is casting directors may be able to meet you in person. If they are too busy for this, find out where their office is and leave your press kit in their drop box (with your resume, headshots, reels, etc.). Don’t be shy – make it happen!

3. Make connections in the film industry and contact them!

As with most industries, getting into film is not just about what you know, it’s also about whom you know. Sometimes being a fantastic networker can open up the acting audition doors to you much faster than waiting for something to fall in your lap (which rarely ever happens – you must go out and get it for yourself!).

Acting for film is about confidence, charisma and personality. If you can catch the eye of casting directors, screenplay writers, directors, producers, agents, adult actors, or anyone else in the film production business, there could be a great opportunity in it for you.

Start introducing yourself to everyone you know who is related to film acting. People love to refer each other to friends – so put the word out to your community that you’re a serious actor looking for auditions. You might be surprised who comes offering you the inside scoop on a nearby commercial set or recommends you to a university student looking for a young actor to fill a part in an award-winning reel (which is great for your portfolio!).

When you do get a lead about a coming movie project – be bold! Go there, introduce yourself – or find someone who can introduce you. Take chances to be around others who are as passionate about film as you are – there may be a point when they need you!

Also, introduce yourself at your local film office, the AFCI Film Commission, the high school and university to let every department know that you’re available and completely prepared for TV, film or commercial auditions.

4. Submit and Join – create professional profiles on talent seeking websites.

Once you’ve done your reading and researching to discover which major actor forums, search engines, blogs and groups that you’d like to belong to – join them!

Take the time to create clean profiles on trusted sites – making sure that every profile you upload represents your professional attitude toward film auditioning. Have a parent, teacher or acting coach proofread it to make sure it’s perfect! Casting directors brose these sites daily – so make sure to get your name out there in cyberspace.

Facebook is a great resource too. There are numerous group pages where local actors share their experiences, ask each other questions and get auditioning ideas. Here is a good example of how young actors use Facebook to keep in touch. (Which casting directors browse too!)

5. Participate – get involved in as many young acting auditions as possible!

Take every chance that arises to get involved with film production. Chances are, you will continue improving your craft, learning about the industry and discovering the different kid’s acting auditions in your area.

And of course acting is great fun! That’s why you love doing it. So don’t expect your first acting audition to land you a part in Twilight. Be patient and accept small jobs – even if you only get called in for a few lines. If you nail your performance, you could be on the top of the casting director’s mind when she looks to fill the next role. With every chance to audition for film comes the opportunity to impress the “right” person.

No actor can be sure of how their acting career will unfold and which avenue will lead to the wider world of film acting for big movie productions. But one thing is certain – the first person you must look to for success is yourself.

If you rely on YOURSELF to find the breaks and the local acting auditions, then you’ll evolve into a brave, self-sufficient and successful young star.

So young actors! Get out there and strut your stuff! But be diligent in your daily film auditioning homework. Read, search, connect, contact and join so that you can begin to participate in the wonderful world of acting for the silver screen.


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