She was just four years old, and I was already faced with a dilemma. She wanted to act, to become a movie star. She would spend hours and hours acting in front of her audience of dolls. One day we went to a stage production of Annie, and she turned to me and said, “Mommy, I want to be like that girl. I want to act.”
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I had read the Uta Hagen textbook and realized that we really needed to have a respect for acting. But did this mean I needed to allow my daughter to audition as a child actress. I turned to the internet to learn more about child acting and found that there was a lot of good information.
Media experts informed me that professional child acting was difficult. But I really didn’t have to think that far ahead. I found that I wanted my child to have the experience, at the very least to take acting classes. Now after some time of being in the environment, I want to share my thoughts for other parents.
The truth is that if your child is like mine, if he/she has a passion for acting then you know that they would love to take part in the activity in some way. So how do you know when your child loves acting?
The First Signs
If you child is passionate about acting, you know it. They perform around the house. They choose imaginary audiences or even sit you down and ask you to watch their performance. In school they always want to be a part of the performance. They stand out in front of the school or classroom. Your child always wants to be in the spotlight.
Look for Consistency
Most children say, “I want to be on TV”. Sure, because acting seems like fun. But acting is challenging and it takes a lot of hard work, so you need to make sure his/her desire is consistent.
You’ll know it’s a real passion when your child always talks about performing or being on TV, when he/she is always talking about a recital or school play.
If they only mention it in passing, the level of interest may not be enough to be successful in the industry. When looking for this passion don’t just listen to what he/she is saying but also watch what he/she is doing. If your child does any of the following things, you might be right in thinking that acting is their dream:
• Audition for the school plays
• Making up skits and performing for family and friends
• Asking to go to plays
• Looking for ways to act
• Excitement over acting class
How Can You Help Your Child?
Ignoring your child’s passion is not the answer. You can help them even if you don’t want them to become a child actor. Helping develop this passion will lead them to developing their creativity and who knows they may really end up becoming an actor or actress.
Start Them Early
Enroll your child in dance lessons. This is a great way to see if they are interested in taking the stage. You can even enroll them in a local theater program as early as 5 or 6. Help your child become a part of the choir, take voice lessons, or participate in music.
Give Them More Awareness
Take them to different events. Theater, dance and musical performances are great.
Take Their Passion Seriously
If your child starts to audition take it seriously.
Directors expect children to behave professionally. This shows they can be responsible. Come prepared with what is needed.