3 Tips To Prepare Your Kids For TV/Film Auditions!
One of the biggest frustrations I hear from parents is that they don’t know how to effectively prepare their young actor for major auditions and castings. Since I teach, coach and cast young actors, I see how challenging it can be to help them get comfortable enough with the material so they have a successful audition.
Here are the top 3 audition prep issues I hear from parents who have young actors:
I don’t have time to work on them because we get the sides the night before
I don’t really know how to work on the scene with my daughter/son
I don’t know what casting is looking for other than us memorizing the lines
The solutions are easier than you may realize.
EVERYONE GETS SIDES LAST MINUTE
It’s helpful to know that most parents get the auditions the night be for. Occasionally you’ll receive sides a few days in advance if you’re agent or manager is able to get them to you, especially if there is a lot of dialogue. But most of the time it’s 24hrs or less in advance.
TELL THE STORY
The best way to work on sides with your young actor is to have the tell you the “story” of what’s happening in the scene. Who are they talking to and why? How do they feel about the other people in the scene(relationship)? What’s the environment? There’s a big difference between having a conversation in the library vs. a crowded lunchroom. Have them tell you the beginning, middle and end of the story in first person using the dialogue given. This not only solidifies their personal point of view but hopefully helps them commit their lines to memory vs. straight memorization. Remember, every story has an “arc” to the scene where the emotional point of view changes. It’s important to help your son/daughter identify this or else the scene will fall flat.
Once you’ve conquered the story, have them retell it to you from a different emotional place. Have them do the whole scene super excited, disappointed, frustrated. This helps them find different emotional states they may not discover simply by “memorizing” the scene.
Bring in the environment! So many actors think their scene starts on the line, yet there are things to see, hear, and look at before you begin speaking! Having a sense of the environment fleshes out the scene instead of just saying the lines.
And remember, just because your young actor doesn’t book the job, doesn’t mean they’re not good! There are so many variables that go into casting an actor that is out of their control. Having parents who know how to help their young make solid choices and feel comfortable with the material makes a huge difference in the audition room.
I hope this helps all the parents out there navigating the exciting world of acting. Remember, it's marathon not a sprint.