What Happened at Your Kid’s Audition? Five Tips for Parents of Young Actors

Anne Acker is a professional actor and mom living in Chicago. She teaches on-camera acting at The Green Room Studio, as well as runs the Kids and Teens Program.

As a child’s acting coach, I often hear the same scenario from the parents of my young students. Mom or Dad agrees to have their child audition for a professional role—they then spend time helping the child prepare, putting together the child’s resume and picture, coordinating their outfit, running lines, taking time out of the family schedule to get their child to the audition, and so on. Once there, the child enters the audition room without mom or dad. When they return, the parents eagerly ask how it went, and the child responds with a vague “fine”. The parents are left to ponder the mysterious inner workings of the audition room. While we can’t expect children to give a detailed analysis of each experience, we can keep these five things in mind to help young actors in their auditions.

  1. Keep your kids real and relatable. TV is much less polished than it used to be. Audiences prefer characters to be relatable, rather than heightened and over-rehearsed. Often times this just means being themselves! Many of the roles your children will audition for will be fun, real kids just like them.
  2. Your child can’t control the casting process. They can only control their five minutes in the room. If they are coming in the room prepared, focused, and positive, they will find the most success. A successful audition is a victory in and of itself.
  3. Casting directors are an actor’s best friend. They are rooting for everyone—the more talent they present, the better. Remind your kids that the person behind the camera is on their side.
  4. Professional auditions are not the place to test your child’s maturity. Professional acting can be a great activity for kids to learn the importance of preparation, to grow creatively, and to meet and work with new people. While this is an activity for your child, it is a business for everyone else involved. Be sure they are prepared with their audition material. It is only fair to the casting directors and agents, as well as the other kids who did not get one of the audition slots.
  5. This should be fun! If they are not having fun, they won’t have good auditions. If your child seems to be losing interest, talk to them. It may be time for a break.

The casting process can be difficult to navigate—even for seasoned professional actors. Parents should not feel alone when confused or frustrated. Understanding the process takes time and the right support. To learn more about the process, view the Green Room’s Acting Business Videos. Visit our Kids and Teens Schedule Page to see our upcoming classes. Included in the session is a parent talk where we answer all your questions about the industry!

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