The Child Actor’s Guide

child actorThe Child Actor’s Guide

You want to be a TV star, maybe even a film star and win an Academy Award. You see the kids on TV shows and you know that you can do what they do.  You want your own show like Zendaya on Shake It Up or Ross Lynch on Austin & Ally.

Learn the Basics

Wanting to act and being able to act are two different things. Start by learning the basics of acting. What is a script? What is a director? What is a mark? What is a character? How to develop a character? Check to see if your school offers a Drama Class.  This class can help you learn to read a script and bring a character to life. It can help you to learn to work with other actors and their characters. Most importantly it can help you learn to listen to the director and pay attention to the different things that your character demands.


  • Do school plays. If your school does not have a drama department that puts on plays look for local theaters or community theaters. Community theaters usually put on plays that need children to play small parts. It gives you experience, which is very important.


  • You can even create your own web show. You know who are reaching and who is watching, it could very well be a casting director.

Educate Yourself

Learn everything that you can about who you are as an actor. Know what kind of actor you want to be. This is very important because if you are a dramatic actor it would not make sense to audition for a comedic (funny) role. The same goes for a comedic actor. Find out what you will need to work on; whether it’s projecting your voice or showing emotion. Practice memorizing lines and being different characters.

When you get a script you are responsible for bringing that person to life. You must become your character on set.  Find out what kind of personality your character is and where they are from. Find out what your character wants and you must show that to the audience. Have expression; if you character is crying cry, if you character is mad express that. You cannot have the same expression throughout the entire project.  When you see actors on TV shows they show all kinds of emotions, they never have the same face the entire time.

Researching this on Google will take you so far, but you will want hands on knowledge and experience when it comes to developing a character and being a part of a project. This is something you can easily learn by taking part in a drama class at school or simply auditioning for a part in the school play. If your school does not offer drama classes find out if there are acting classes being offered in your area and discuss it with your parents.

Get Out There

You’ve educated yourself and you’ve learned the basics.  Now it is time to go out no auditions and pursue your dreams. You can do this on your own or you can try getting an agent (who can help you find jobs).

If you are going to do it on your own try applying to Disney Chanel or Nickelodeon, they normally hold open call auditions which are posted on their sites.  Research different auditions in your area and make sure that the audition is being held at a business location and not in someone’s private home.

If you and your parent choose to find an agent make sure to research agencies in your area, be sure that they have a child actor division.  Have your parent or legal guardian call to setup an appointment or find out when they are having an open call. Be professional and remember that agents will not discuss appointments, contracts or important information with a child. If you are signed to an agent keep in mind that signing the contract does not guarantee a job. An agent’s sole purpose is to give you audition or job leads and to negotiate your fees.

Understand that finding parts for a child takes time and can be hard to find. So be persistent, be patient and concentrate on what it will take to become a great actor. Your dream may be starring on a Disney but it is a great idea to work on other projects. You never know when that project will be seen by the right casting director.

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  1. i live in a fairly small part of South Carolina where there are little to none acting jobs. My biggest dream is to bemoce an actress. Im 12 and going to do plays at a commuity theatre in my area for experience. I am very mature you would say for a 12 year old. I can be mad, sad, happy, crazy (im told im hilarious), and cry even if i need too. I also have a lot of experience with technology, and cameras. i record and edit my own youtube wideos by myself too. Id love to be an actress soon! <3

  2. I’m 12 going on 13 in October. The first time I did a audition it was between me and two other girls the casting director said “I’m sorry sweetie but I’m afraid ur not pretty enough or skinny enough so we have to let u go” that really crushed me. And only11 years old. Well I really want to act in when I’m older the section series and a play Edlayln

  3. I am a dancer,singer, and I love acting. I have a YouTube channel for singing and dancing videos.

  4. My name is Katie. I am very enthusiastic and the been in lots of plays and musica!s. I can sing and act and model I am 12.

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