My 14 year old daughter wants nothing more in life than to be an actress. She loves doing plays for the church,school, community and anyplace else she can find.She is normally the lead and she even won an audition to be on Shake It Up Chicago, but sadly I could not afford the airfare to get her to the taping location, nor did I want her to be gone half the summer in New York doing filming. As much as I support her goals and dreams, I am still a single parent with other children that need me at home, not going cross country filming. So that started me digging to see what local opportunists were available to her that would allow her to hone in on her talent and build her acting profolio at the same time.
If you have the funds to afford to hire an agent, that is obviously the least stressful way to go about getting auditions. They do all the leg work for you and believe me its alot of work to secure an audition and get all the required documents they want before you show up and then on the audition date. Unfortunately , agents are expensive and simply not in my budget. So I get to do the grunt work myself . I have started compiling a list of local places that hold child auditions the most
Getting the audition is just the first stop in landing the part. Before you ever reach that point you have to build a profolio of your child which needs to include: a resume, head shots, and a demo of all your work. It is best to keep two different types of profolios: one for commercial and one for theatrical.
Want to land an acting job? Follow these basic resume rules:
- Your resume should never be more than one page long.
- Never make the font on your resume smaller than 11pt. It is difficult to read in any situation, whether it's in a well-lit office or a darkened theater.
- Staple and trim your resume to fit the headshot, or even better, print it directly to the back of your headshot.
- Don't staple clippings or reviews to your resume; they will just get in the way.
- Make sure you put your email, phone number and name on your resume. The best, and easiest to remember, is your first and last name, whenever possible (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Put your education and special skills on your resume. Useful skills besides acting count, such as foreign languages, driver’s license and valid passport. Make sure that you can do what you say you can do – and do it well. You don’t want to promise you can ski if you won’t be able to make it down the Bunny Slope on set.
- Several organizations recommend printing the resume directly onto the photos so the sizes match, but this is optional
Commercial: These should be attractive, warm, and open. Always smile for these shots, with teeth showing, if possible.These photos are used for television and commercial work only.
Theatrical: These can be more “natural,” and should try to represent your characteristics as a person.
These are used for theater and film opportunities.
If you're in a showcase, you can use either, depending on which industry professionals may be there.
The format for headshots:
From close-ups to 3/4 shots, from bordered to borderless. Make sure you use the preferred format for your area since every place is different. It’s often best to wait until you get there so you can find a photographer who knows the market. In other words, do your New York shots in New York and your L.A. shots in L.A.and Dallas shots in Dallas. The headshot should show off your best qualities. Don’t dress or use make-up that covers your true nature; let the shot be true to you. And by all means, get new headshots if your look changes drastically and/or after a few years have passed. A great example of this is when my daughter decided to pierce her ears and change her hair color from dishwater blonde to jet black. Misrepresenting yourself will only lead to trouble later in auditions. Remember, headshots aren't glamour shots. The casting director is calling in the person he saw in the photo. Make sure the “you” in the shot is the “you” who walks through the door. Often you will be judged by your headshot even before you are called in to have an audition. Let your photo speak for you by being professional, compelling, approachable and, above all, you! Do not wear things that make you uncomfortable or that you would never wear in a million years. There are all sorts of opportunities available for you as you are!