One of the most common questions I get as a photographer is how to make the leap from acting as a hobby to as a profession. When it comes to a child wanting to be on TV or Film…the task can be a challenge. In the entertainment business, getting signed by an agent to represent them is key. Agents receive the casting “breakdowns”, then submit their represented talent to the casting directors, and bring forth auditions. In the broadcast or commercial print industry, especially for children, success is based mostly on personality and physical appearance.
1. If your child shows interest in acting, sign them up for a class. This is the first step to see if they really want to do this, or if the desire will fade once things become more structured.
2. A professional headshot is an actor’s calling card. If your child is 10 or older, he or she needs one. This shows me that the child/parent is serious, and willing to invest in their professional career. Headshots don’t have to cost a fortune, and if a child is on the younger side, good digital pictures are fine. Make sure the photos are clear and UPDATED!
3. Contact agencies and ask for days they conduct open calls. This is a great was to get in front of an agent. Be sure to have your child in an on-going acting class. On-going education is also key in this industry. If one agency turns you down or you don’t hear back, don’t give up. It’s all about being aggressive and persistent.
4. Talk to everyone you know. We do meet a lot of kids through referrals, and someone you know might be involved in the business or know someone who is. Just like looking for a job, finding an agent is about networking!