To begin their acting career, every child actor requires four items: headshots, an acting resume, a video reel, and audition supplies. These are necessary components of any actor’s toolkit, but you’ll approach them differently with children than you would with adults.
Headshots: A headshot is an 8×10-inch color photograph of your child actor that casting directors will use to determine whether or not they are a good fit for the role. It is not necessary to invest in professional headshots, particularly if you are just starting out. A recent iPhone portrait or candid photo of sufficient quality is sufficient. Spending a fortune on children’s headshots makes no sense, as they will need to be continuously updated. However, it is critical that they reflect the child’s current appearance. Once your child gains experience, it is critical to invest in a headshot session with a professional photographer. Your child’s headshot serves as his or her business card. It is the casting director’s first impression of your performer and an opportunity for your entertainer to get their foot in the door.
Acting resume: Depending on your child’s age and length of experience, their professional credits may be limited—and that’s perfectly acceptable! Include any school or group theater productions they have participated in, as well as any classes they have taken. The “special skills” section of an acting resume is disproportionately important for children. For child actors without professional credits, casting directors and scouting talent agents pay special attention to this segment because it provides information about the child’s personality and abilities, so include a variety of information that expresses your child’s personality. A list of your child’s special abilities can include:
- Performative abilities in the traditional sense: dancing, singing, playing instruments, and modeling
- Physical activities such as soccer, volleyball, hula hooping, and bicycling.
- Hobbies include camping, cooking, reading, and pet care.
- Volunteering and charitable work: scouts, mentoring, and Sunday school
- Personality characteristics and strengths: Outgoing, team player, quick learner, outgoing
A demo reel is a brief video compilation of three to five clips of your child’s best on-screen performances. A reel, like an expert headshot, is not necessary for the majority of child actors in their early careers. However, as they gain on-camera experience, assembling a high-quality demo reel will only increase their chances of landing a role. When it’s a larger role, the video footage is critical in persuading a director to hire the child. Studios and networks have a strong preference for footage. When you and your kid are ready, we can educate you and your child about demo reels.
Although audition materials vary according to the project, your child should always have two brief monologues memorized and prepared to perform. Selecting the appropriate monologue can be challenging. Monologues should be no longer than one minute, and students should prepare both a comedic and a climactic monologue to illustrate range. Contact us for more information.